Meharry holds ‘Match Day’

Conley family: (front row / seated l-r] Hannah Williams [friend] James E. Conley, Class of 2013 Ella Conley, grandmother [back row/standing l-r] Hellena Pleas Conley [mother] Veatrice Conley [sister] James R. Conley [father] Dr. Wayne Riley, President, MMC, and Sandra Pleas [mother]
Photos: Cass Teague

Fourth-year medical students around the country and especially those in Nashville’s Meharry Medical College learned where they will begin their careers as physicians March 15 during the nationwide annual event known as ‘Match Day.’ A majority of Meharry Medical College fourth-year medical students will start their careers as physicians in primary care, addressing a growing need in an American healthcare system that lacks approximately 9,000 primary care doctors, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

“We continue to be encouraged by the number of Meharry Medical students who embrace primary care,” said Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MBA, MPH, MACP, president/CEO of Meharry Medical College. “With the looming shortage of internists, pediatricians and family physicians across the nation, Meharry continues to be a top producer of primary care physicians in this era of health reform.”

Primary care is the main source of health care for most Americans. The AAMC predicts the shortfall of primary care physicians will increase to more than 65,000 doctors by 2025 if not addressed. Sixty-two percent of Meharry’s fourth-year students matched in the primary care fields of internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine. This is up 10% from Meharry’s 2012 rate of 53%. Meharry’s rate increases to 71% when obstetrics and gynecology are included in the primary care category.

“Meharry has always been dedicated to helping fulfill the national need for primary care physicians, and we’re proud that the number of students pursuing primary care reflects that commitment,” said Charles P. Mouton, M.D., M.S., dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president for Health Affairs.

“In this ever-changing healthcare environment, Meharry consistently offers students the best medical education while reinforcing the importance of providing care to those living in underserved communities.”

Alston Mason Family Left to right: Richard Manson, Ruth Johnson Manson, Whitney Alston, Class of 2013, Charles Alston, Beverly Alston, and Ashley Manson
Photo: Cass Teague

Four percent of Meharry students matched to residency programs in Tennessee including East Tennessee State University, University of Memphis, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Meharry Medical College students also successfully matched to dozens of residency training programs from coast to coast including prestigious academic health centers such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Cleveland Clinic.

Lamercie Saint-Hilaire successfully matched into Family Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, the number one ranked residency program in family medicine.

“I am thrilled to match at UCSF family medicine because it is based at the San Francisco General Hospital, county hospital that serves the underserved, so its mission is closely aligned with Meharry’s mission,” said Saint-Hilaire.

“The education I received at Meharry has prepared me to succeed, and I’m excited to start my residency in July.”

More than 30,000 students submit applications to the NRMP to find a position at a U.S. teaching hospital where they will undertake a three- to seven-year period of specialized training.

The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm, designed to produce a best result by aligning the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs in order to fill the thousands of training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals.