Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific students celebrated a milestone in their careers – learning where they were accepted for post-graduate residencies.
COMP held Match Day celebrations on its Pomona, California and Lebanon, Oregon campuses March 17, 2017. When the clock struck 9 a.m., students in COMP’s Class of 2017 opened envelopes containing their residency locations, and the lecture hall rang out with shouts of joy as they hugged family members and classmates.
Of the 209 students who matched in Pomona as of March 17, 129 placed in Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) residency programs, 71 placed in American Osteopathic Association residency programs, and nine placed in military residency programs.
Fourth-year COMP student Claudia Hammi’s celebration was among the most exuberant and heartfelt. She matched into an anesthesiology residency at UC Irvine Medical Center, one of the first DOs to do so.
“I feel like I am doing it for all of us, not just for myself,” Hammi said. “I feel like some more doors can open at other places and in other specialties as well.”
Match Day is the proudest moment in being a faculty member at WesternU, said Lisa Warren, DO ’01, Director of COMP’s Office of Career and Professional Development and Clinical Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.
“When students first come on campus, I am always impressed with all the accomplishments that they come in with. As we see them professionally mature in the classroom and onto clinical rotations, they continue to have that spirit and motivation to do great things in their careers,” she said. “In my position, I am blessed to work with such talented individuals. It is an amazing experience to have the luxury to spend the time to get to know each of them intimately and learn about who they are and what they have accomplished over four years. I am so proud to call them my future colleagues.”
COMP is once again producing a large number of primary care physicians: 136 of 209 COMP students matched into primary care, or 65 percent.
COMP student Kristine Nicole Jugo will enter a family medicine residency at UC San Francisco – Fresno. She completed a clinical rotation there and found everyone to be supportive and friendly.
“I always saw myself practicing full-scope medicine. I wanted to see from kids to adults, with a little bit of OB and a lot of outpatient,” Jugo said. “I feel like I fit in with the people there the best. They’re very friendly, huggy type of people.”
She was also attracted to Fresno because it’s a large institution that serves a large migrant population.
“One of my primary focuses is underserved medicine,” she said. “I grew up in an immigrant family. My parents didn’t have much coming here. But I also feel like those are the people who need it the most, the underserved who can’t get to see doctors or don’t have insurance and so those are the people I feel I want to see.”
A total of 96 COMP-Northwest students participated in the Match, and nearly two-thirds (62) landed programs in primary care, which includes internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and OB-GYN.
Ginger Cupit, DO Class of 2017 class representative, was one of 32 COMP-Northwest students who matched into a family medicine residency program.
“I feel immensely overwhelmed and grateful,” she said. Cupit will join the Family Medicine Residency Program at Georgetown University’s Providence Hospital in Washington D.C. “I am so thankful for the incredible opportunities COMP-Northwest and Lebanon has blessed me with these past four years. I can truly say I’m leaving here a better person and am more prepared to take on the next chapter of my education.”
After the students opened their envelopes, they were invited to the front of the lecture hall to announce their name, specialty residency program and location. Their information was pinned to an electronic map displayed on the lecture hall screens.
Medical residency programs can range from three to seven years, depending on the specialty. For example, family practice is three years, while neurosurgery is seven years. Following residency, the physician is then able to set up practice in the community of their choice.
COMP Dean Paula Crone, DO ’92, told the Class of 2017 that completing four years of medical school was just a warm-up act.
“You’re starting on a journey that you will carry with you and use every day of the rest of your life as you go out and take care of your patients,” she said. “You have learned so much over the last four years. Carry with you resiliency, tenacity, courage and purpose. Embrace where you are going and know wherever you go they so need you there and you are going to make an impact and change the world where you’re at.
“I’m so proud of each and every one of you,” Crone added. “Let’s raise our glasses and toast to this Class of 2017 and all of the wonderful things that they are going to be doing in their future.”