In a key measure of the success of its graduates, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) placed 99 percent of its Class of 2022 into a residency program — 2 percent higher than the school’s 2021 residency placement rate.
James W. Nemitz, Ph.D., WVSOM’s president, said the school’s high placement rate is especially notable at a time when the growth in the number of U.S. medical students is outpacing the growth of graduate training programs.
“I am proud of our graduates and their success in securing residencies at a time when there are more applicants applying for residencies than positions available,” Nemitz said. “The successful placement of our graduates is the culmination of hard work by our students, faculty and staff. WVSOM continues to be a leader in providing quality, highly competent, compassionate osteopathic physicians to serve our communities.”
According to a report by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the nonprofit organization responsible for placing most medical school graduates into residency programs, the 2022 match rate for new U.S. graduates receiving D.O. degrees was 91.3 percent — an all-time high — while the match rate for those receiving M.D. degrees was 92.9 percent.
After completing medical school, new physicians train in residency programs for three to seven years in order to qualify for medical licensure. A total of 190 of the 192 on-cycle graduates in WVSOM’s Class of 2022 matched to residencies.
Additionally, 88 percent of WVSOM Class of 2022 graduates matched to one of their top choices of residency programs, as self-reported by graduates.
Linda Boyd, D.O., WVSOM’s vice president for academic affairs and dean, praised the class for its success in residency placement.
“We work hard to support our students in getting the residency of their choice. WVSOM has a great reputation in training doctors to perform well from the beginning of residency,” Boyd said. “However, most of the work comes from the students themselves, who study hard for four years to learn their profession, including building a strong foundation of knowledge in science and medicine, as well as practicing the art of medicine by listening to patients and doing physical exams and procedures. Many students also do research while at WVSOM to build a skill set in scientific inquiry. Medical school is incredibly rigorous, and we’re proud of our students’ accomplishments.”
Although WVSOM’s graduates can enter any specialty, part of the school’s mission is to train physicians to practice in primary care, which encompasses family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and OB-GYN. A total of 105 graduates in WVSOM’s Class of 2022, or 55.3 percent of those who matched, are entering primary care residencies.
Other popular specialties for 2022 graduates of the school include emergency medicine, with 27 graduates; general surgery, with 10 graduates; psychiatry, with 10 graduates; and orthopedic surgery, with six graduates. One Class of 2022 graduate entered a residency in urology, a specialty commonly recognized for requiring one of the most competitive application processes in the field of medicine.
In addition to residency programs at some of West Virginia’s largest medical organizations, such as Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia University and Marshall University, WVSOM graduates matched to programs at renowned health care facilities nationwide. They include the Cleveland Clinic, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Mount Carmel Health System, Kettering Health Network, Rutgers University, Howard University and Kent Hospital/Brown University.
The NRMP’s Main Residency Match was the largest in the organization’s 70-year history, with 39,205 residency positions offered and 36,943 positions filled, according to the NRMP website.
“In our 70th year of matching, we were excited to see the high PGY-1 [postgraduate year 1] match rates among each applicant type, especially the record high rate for U.S. D.O. seniors,” said Donna Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN, president and chief executive officer of the NRMP.