Match Day 2013 for KU medical students: Nearly half will go into primary care

March 15, 2013

By David Martin

Donald Campbell will train in internal medicine at the University of Kansas in Kansas City.

Graduating medical students observe a rite of passage during the third week of March. On Match Day, they learn their residency assignment.

The University of Kansas School Medicine in Kansas City held Match Day today in Battenfeld Auditorium. In his opening remarks, Mark Meyer, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, noted that the students' medical education began in the same room, on the day they were presented their white coats for the first time.

Four years later, the Class of 2013 sat before Meyer a little older, a lot wiser and, in some instances, adept at changing diapers. Infants and toddlers accompanied some students to the Battenfeld stage after Meyer drew their envelopes from a box decked in KU wrapping paper.

Kahlil Saad, the first student whose name Meyer pulled from the box, did not come forward immediately. When Saad eventually appeared, he walked to the stage with his wife, Mi Lim Park, and their very young children: Joelle, who is 16 months old, and Daniel, who was born earlier in the week.

"OK, I guess they have an excuse to be late," Meyer said as Saad and Park, arms full, made the way to the front of the auditorium. Standing in front of one of the microphones on stage, Saad opened his envelope and announced that he will train in urological surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit.

A not-for-profit organization, the National Resident Matching Program, matches students with the institutions where they receive their training. After the interview season, applicants and programs rank and submit their preferences. A computer algorithm works from both lists to find the best match. Couples ask to be assigned to a program where each has been offered a position.

Candice Coffey was matched with her No. 1 choice: the University of Kansas School of Medicine. She will train in family medicine in Kansas City. As the Match Day ceremony broke up, Coffey left the side of her parents, Vernon and Judy Coffey, to share a hug with Deb Clements, M.D., director of the family medicine residency program.

Coffey, who is from Chilhowee, Mo., hopes to be a gerontologist. She became interested in geriatrics while completing a four-week clerkship in the specialty, which is obligatory for KU students. Coffey says she knew in the first week of the rotation that working with older adults was something she would like to pursue as a career.

Coffey feels well prepared to make the transition from student to resident, which she will do in a city she knows and likes. "I anticipate that it will be fun, that I will fit in and that I will have the support system to make sure that I succeed," she said.

Nearly half of the members of the Class of 2013 will enter primary care specialty. Seventy-five of the 164 graduating seniors at the Kansas City and Wichita campuses chose family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics.

Kansas is the most popular destination for the "M4s." Forty-seven students will complete their training in Kansas City, Wichita or Salina. An additional 14 students will receive their graduate medical education at Children's Mercy Hospitals & Clinics, Research Medical Center or the University of Missouri–Kansas City, which are based in Kansas City, Mo.

Laddy Maisonet's envelope — which her 17-year-old son, Gaspar Jaen, opened — revealed that she will train at the top-rated pediatric hospital in the nation. Her residency in child neurology will take place at Boston Children's Hospital.

Masionet is thrilled to be able to combine pediatrics and neurology at a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. "You take care of a lot of children with special needs in this specialty, and that's one of the things I am interested in doing," she said. "Plus, you have this huge breadth of diseases and different experiences. The brain really has to do with the whole body. That's one of the things that I love about neurology is that you have to take care of all the organ systems, not just the brain."

Todd Crawford is also going to a renowned hospital on the East Coast. He will train in general surgery at Johns Hopkins. "I enjoyed all the rotations here," he said. "But nothing captivated me like the surgical environment."

Crawford would like to become a cardiac surgeon. He has a special compassion for heart patients as someone who expects to need surgery to correct an aortic aneurysm.

Students entering some specialties learned their destinations in advance of Match Day. Urology and ophthalmology operate outside of the National Resident Matching Program.

Tyler Thress found out in January that he will train in urological surgery at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Secure in this knowledge, he wore the local pro basketball franchise's jersey to the Match Day ceremony. Thress thought the Oklahoma Thunder tank top would lighten the mood at the joyous but tense event.

"I consider myself a class clown of sorts," he said.

Visit the KUMC Alumni Assocation Facebook page to view a slideshow from the March 15 ceremony.

Last modified: May 02, 2013