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Student doctors from Western University of Health Sciences’ Oregon campus celebrated Match Day last week online to respect rules regarding social distancing across the country. This year, instead of simultaneously opening envelopes at 9 a.m., students simultaneously checked their emails on Friday, March 20, 2020, to discover where they would spend the next chapter in their medical career journey. WesternU COMP-Northwest leveraged technology, celebrating with students, their families, and faculty and staff on an innovative video conference call topping more than 100 participants.

Match Day is celebrated across the U.S. as fourth-year medical students learn which U.S. residency programs they will train in for the next three to seven years. The Match is hosted by the National Resident Matching Program, through which medical students obtain residency positions in accredited training programs. The Match represents the culmination of students’ undergraduate and medical school education, which in most cases means a minimum of eight years of study.

One hundred and three students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest Class of 2020 placed in residency programs. Of those, 49 placed into primary care fields including family medicine (21), internal medicine (13), pediatrics (eight), and OB-GYN (seven). Students also placed into emergency medicine residency programs (17); psychiatry (three); general surgery (six); one in neurology and two in child neurology; and anesthesiology (nine); among other specialties.

WesternU COMP-Northwest Vice Dean John T. Pham, DO, congratulated the class and let them know how proud the college was of the osteopathic medical students’ last four years. “You are needed more than ever now with the current crisis in our country,” he said. “You will be on the front lines, and a lot will be asked of you, but I know you are all up for it. May you never lose sight of how incredible your skills are or forget how priceless they are to your patients.”

Sixteen students will complete their training in the Pacific Northwest, with half of them in Oregon: four in Portland hospitals and four at Good Samaritan Regional Center in Corvallis. The other eight students will complete their residency training in Washington.