Match Day, 2018

Leslie Capo
Director of Information Services 

Envelopes revealing the number of new doctors who will train in Louisiana were opened at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine Match Day Ceremony on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It is the culmination of months of interviewing for graduating medical students with academic health centers and hospitals that have residency programs.  The students list their choices for residency programs, and the academic health centers and hospitals list their choices of students to fill them. All selections are fed into a computer, and “matches” are made.  Match Day is when the students and their families find out where they matched and where they will go to complete their graduate medical education. 

Since statistics show that the majority of physicians remain in the communities and set up practice where they’ve done their residencies, Match Day also reveals important information about the supply and types of physicians the New Orleans area and the state of Louisiana will have. The supply of physicians practicing here not only affects access to care, but also local economies and the larger state economy. LSU Health New Orleans educates the majority of Louisiana’s physicians.  

Forty-six percent of graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year chose to remain in Louisiana to complete their medical training, and 75% of those staying in state will enter an LSU Health residency program. That is down from 49% staying in state last year and 64.3% in 2012.  “The anxiety our students feel over budget cuts, either proposed or imposed, to higher education and health care is continuing to erode their confidence in Louisiana,” notes Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. “Our graduates are in great demand by programs in other states, and the constant uncertainty is driving them out of Louisiana in growing numbers. We are very concerned about the future of health care here.” 

“A decline of 18% in the last five years is of concern,” said Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine. “The anticipated opening of University Medical Center New Orleans bolstered our Match numbers in 2012, but consternation about the future of UMC and our other teaching hospitals, as well as the fate of our residency programs based in them, is taking its toll. In the past when our students chose out-of-state residency programs, they left to broaden their experience, and many would come home to practice. But if they leave because they think Louisiana’s future as a place to live and practice is in question, they will never return. We train Louisiana’s physician workforce, and Louisiana is among the states with the highest number of physicians age 60 and older. The constant budget uncertainty is making it increasingly difficult to retain our highly qualified graduates to replace retiring doctors and maintain an adequate supply of physicians.”  

Of the 65 accredited residency and fellowship programs under LSU Health New Orleans, 35 participated in the Main NRMP Match whose results were released today. They are Anesthesiology, Child Neurology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Family Practice (Kenner, Bogalusa, Lafayette and Lake Charles), Internal Medicine (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Interventional Radiology, Medicine-Preliminary (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics-Gynecology (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Radiology, General Surgery, Surgery-Preliminary, Vascular Surgery, Medicine-Pediatrics, Medicine-Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics-Emergency Medicine. 

LSU Health New Orleans medical graduates training in other states will be going to such prestigious programs as Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the Medical University of South Carolina and Emory University, among others. 

The National Resident Matching Program was established in 1952 to provide an orderly and fair mechanism to match the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with  residency program choices of applicants.  The program provides a common time for the announcement of the appointments, as well as an agreement for programs and applicants to honor the commitment to offer and accept an appointment if a match results. 

Residency programs begin on July 1, 2018.