The Match Day 2020 ceremony for the Creighton University School of Medicine (CUSOM) may have been a more low key affair this year but graduating Creighton medical students still achieved a stellar matching rate, with 95% of 138 students matched to their residency specialty of choice.
The matches, which are announced nationwide at generally the same time every year, saw eight Creighton medical students - including six from the Phoenix regional campus – matched to residencies at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Valleywise Health in Phoenix.
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Valleywise Health are major partners in the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance, formed in 2018 to administer the residency and fellowship programs for its partnering organizations.
Six medical students from Creighton’s Phoenix regional campus will serve their residencies at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Two Creighton medical students from Omaha will train at Valleywise Health-based programs (see below).
Graduating Creighton medical student Joel Eastes, who matched into the General Surgery program at St. Joseph’s Hospital, said he received his first choice for his residency.
“It’s been a journey," he said. "My family has supported me and it’s as much a testament to their hard work as much as anything I’ve done.”
Collectively, Creighton students in Omaha and Phoenix will serve their residencies in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Of these, 16 will travel to Arizona, where Creighton is building a $100 million health sciences campus in midtown Phoenix; 14 will head to Minnesota, 12 each to California and Nebraska and 11 to Missouri.
“I want to congratulate our core residency programs for an excellent match outcome,” said Joann Porter, MD, FACP, Designated Institutional Officer for the Creighton Alliance. “Add this to our great results in our fellowship match and we are looking forward to another wave of great residents and fellows.”
In addition to the Creighton University medical system, other prestigious programs that will provide homes for Creighton graduates include the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Northwestern, Penn, Rush, Emory, Vanderbilt, Stanford, UCSF, UCLA, UC-San Diego, George Washington University, Baylor, Mount Sinai, and Harvard.
This year’s Match Day ceremony was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of gathering in the St. Joseph’s Sonntag Pavilion to celebrate with classmates and family, Phoenix-based med students picked up match envelopes at designated locations and opened them individually. Eastes opened his with his wife present.
“We had planned to take a trip to wine country in Mexico to celebrate but they’ve closed the border so we’ll have to delay those plans,” Eastes said.
He chose St. Joseph’s General Surgery program as his first choice after doing third- and fourth-year rotations in his last two years of medical school.
“From a training standpoint, it’s a great culture and a great group of people at St. Joseph’s and Valleywise. They’ve been very supportive of residents, with a strong emphasis on education. And Phoenix has everything my wife and I are looking for – great weather, diversity and a strong residency program.”
The School of Medicine’s high matching rate was in keeping with recent years, which saw match rates to specialty of choice well in excess of 90 percent. In 2017, 94% of graduating medical students achieved their desired specialty, a figure that rose to 97 percent in 2018 and remained stable at 96 percent in 2019.
Students this year matched into 20 different specialty areas. These comprised internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, general surgery, diagnostic radiology, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, emergency medicine, urology, dermatology, otolaryngology, and ophthalmology. Students also matched into interventional radiology, pathology, pediatrics/psychiatry/child psychiatry, plastic surgery, and urology.
CUSOM-Phoenix student matches at Creighton Alliance partners
Joel Eastes - General Surgery/St. Joseph’s Hospital
Catalina Flores - Radiology-Diagnostic/St. Joseph’s Hospital
Dylan Hoyt - Radiology-Diagnostic/St. Joseph’s Hospital
Christina Momchev - General Surgery/St. Joseph’s Hospital
Anne Tang - Family Medicine/St. Joseph’s Hospital
Andrew Mezher - Surgery Prelim/St. Joseph’s Hospital
CUSOM-Omaha student matches at Creighton Alliance partners
Diane Light - Ob-Gyn/Valleywise Health
Zachary Masuda - Psychiatry/Valleywise Health