At 11 am, 65 Peoria medical students opened an envelope to reveal where they will train for the next three to seven years on their journey to becoming a physician. The University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) students gathered at Embassy Suites in East Peoria as part of the Match Day event in which fourth-year medical students nationwide simultaneously learn of their “match,” or assigned residency program, through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). These same students are approaching their medical school graduation in May, and the next step is completing a residency in their choice of specialty.
UICOMP students matched to 18 different specialties in 19 states. Of those, 29 students are headed into primary care, and 24 students will remain in Illinois with seven matching to residencies in Peoria. The top three specialties students chose to pursue this year were Pediatrics (9), Family Medicine (6), Internal Medicine (6) and Emergency Medicine (5).
Among this year’s class, five are from Peoria, and 14 are from central Illinois.
Classmates Brittani Steinberg, Glenview, and Ryan Wilbur, Brimfield, sought a couple’s match with the goal of landing in the same hospital or training center or at least in the same city. Steinberg selected obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) while Wilbur is entering orthopedic surgery. “Our goal was to get the best training possible while allowing us to be together,” Wilbur said. Steinberg was drawn to her specialty following her work at an infertility clinic before entering medical school. “I fell in love with the field,” she said. “I am drawn to helping patients through the joys and challenges that accompany OB/GYN.” Wilbur had originally considered biomedical engineering as an undergraduate student, but his interest in the life sciences drew him to medicine. Both Steinberg and Wilbur matched to residencies at Washington University in St. Louis.
Carly Woodin, Morton, celebrated Match Day with her parents, grandparents, sister and brother whom greatly influenced her motivation to pursue medical school. “Each child has their own unique normal, and it is our job as pediatricians to be adaptable to meet the patient at their normal,” Woodin says. “Pediatrics is a unique experience that includes a balance of providing quality care for the patient, often in a special way, while providing education, comfort, and support to their parents and caretakers.” She will remain in Peoria for her training.
Andrew Meister, Chillicothe, enrolled in medical school after launching his career as an engineer and serving as an infantry officer for the US Army National Guard. His interaction with a local surgeon inspired him to enter the field of medicine. His specialty is orthopedic surgery, and he matched to Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania.
Douglas Grow, Woodridge, was a “military match” and will be training in the Army Radiology Residency program at Madigan Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. “Military matches” learn of their assignments in December, but Grow still joined the Match Day celebration in support of his classmates. Grow says his path in medicine was motivated by many factors, including personal interactions with healthcare, especially concerning his twin brother. He matched to Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.
The residency programs at UICOMP filled its 87 openings with fourth-year medical students from throughout the nation as part of the same match process. In Peoria, UICOMP’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) office administers residency programs in affiliation with OSF Saint Francis Health Center and UnityPoint Health Methodist. UICOMP offers 12 residency programs – Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Pediatrics, Radiology-Diagnostic and Transitional Year.