Pritzker School of Medicine graduates taker their next steps as doctors

Pritzker School of Medicine graduates take their next steps as doctors

March 19, 2009

It was time to celebrate when 110 students from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine found out this week where they will do their medical residencies.

Graduates learned the good news at Match Day, an annual rite of spring for medical students across the country when they simultaneously find out where they will continue training next year in residency programs.

Fourth-year medical students submit a list of hospitals, ranked in order of preference, to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Hospitals also rank their applicants based on letters of recommendations, academic transcripts, and personal interviews. The NRMP then matches each student with the highest-ranking hospital that accepts him or her.

The most popular specialties chosen this year by Pritzker students were internal medicine (29), pediatrics (14), orthopaedic surgery (9), and general surgery (8).

The hospitals accepting the most Pritzker recruits were University of Chicago Medical Center (19), Northwestern University (9), Harvard-affiliated hospitals (7), Stanford University (6), and the University of Washington-affiliated hospitals (5).

Stephanie Donald, 26, found out she is starting her first year of residency in emergency medicine in June at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "I'm thrilled and relieved that this day is finally here and my match is everything I had been hoping for! It was a great four years, and Pritzker really prepared me well for this next step."

"I am thrilled for the many successes of our students -- both today in the Match and for the numerous successes that are yet to come," said Holly Humphrey, MD, professor of medicine and dean for medical education at Pritzker.

"We strive to provide all Pritzker students with the most robust, engaging, and invigorating educational experience throughout their time with us so that they are fully prepared to enter their residency programs with a high level of confidence, commitment, and compassion. The Class of 2009 has already demonstrated these qualities through their research, clinical work, and community service, and I have every confidence that they will continue this wonderful tradition of aspiring to excellence throughout their respective journeys into the medical profession."

U.S.News & World Report ranks the Pritzker School of Medicine 16th in the nation, the highest ranked medical school in the Chicago area. Eight individuals affiliated with Pritzker have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine.

About 20 percent of Pritzker students are involved in a combined degree program within the Biological Science Division and with other divisions at the University of Chicago, including the School of Social Service Administration and the Booth School of Business.

The school's primary teaching hospital is the University of Chicago Medical Center. In July 2008, Pritzker entered into a teaching affiliation with NorthShore University HealthSystem.

In order to inspire the next generation of physicians, Pritzker will launch the Pritzker Initiative in 2009, a new curriculum designed to transform medical education at the school. The initiative will increase student-faculty interactions, reduce the number of large lecture classes and replace them with small-group, hands-on learning under the direct mentorship of renowned faculty physicians, researchers and clinical educators.

The goal of the Pritzker Initiative is to improve education for the next generation of leaders in all aspects of medicine. It will enhance the educational experience while preparing aspiring physicians for careers that combine scholarly inquiry with clinical care. It also will increase the number of graduates who focus their scholarship and clinical practice on improving health care delivery in underserved areas.

To achieve this renewed emphasis on mentorship and very personalized approach to education, the school will reduce its average class size from 104 new students each year to 88 by the fall of 2009.

About the University of Chicago Medical Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center, established in 1927, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It consists of the renowned Pritzker School of Medicine; Bernard Mitchell Hospital, the primary adult patient care facility; Comer Children's Hospital, devoted to the medical needs of children; Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a maternity and women's hospital; and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, a state-of-the-art ambulatory-care facility with the full spectrum of preventive, diagnostic, and treatment functions. Care is provided by more than 700 attending physicians - most of whom are full-time University faculty members - 620 residents and fellows, more than 1,000 nurses and 9,500 employees.

The Medical Center is consistently recognized as a leading provider of complex medical care. It is the only Illinois hospital ever to make the U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll, with eight clinical specialties--digestive disorders; cancer; endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; geriatrics; and ear, nose and throat--ranked among the top 30 programs nationwide. The Medical Center was awarded Magnet status in 2007, the highest level of recognition for nursing care.