Crozer-Keystone Residency Programs Enjoy Another Successful Match Day
Crozer-Keystone Health System offers a full range of educational programs for graduating physicians. However, finding the right hospital program and being accepted takes many months of hard work and dedication. Medical students and other qualified applicants apply to residency programs via the electronic residency application service (ERAS) and are matched with their program on an official Match Day through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).
Crozer-Keystone is fortunate to have thousands of applicants every year and a number of challenging and fully accredited residency opportunities are available through this program.
Crozer-Keystone residency programs include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Osteopathic internship, Pediatrics, Podiatric Medicine and Transitional Year. The process begins months earlier through residency fairs and an application process orchestrated by ERAS. Various residency programs interview applicants and then rank them. Similarly, interviewing students rank programs in the order they prefer. Computers then process students’ and programs’ lists simultaneously. Medical students are assigned to their highest-ranking choice that also expressed interest in them.
Each spring, fourth-year medical students and residency programs across the country create a wish list, and then wait to be matched through the NRMP. The official Match Day is held in March. This is the day that students find out where they will spend their residencies.
“Most teaching hospitals pursue three related enterprises: teaching medical students and resident physicians, conducting research both basic science and clinical investigation, and patient care through delivering healthcare services through a network that may include one or more hospitals, satellite clinics, and physician office practices. This results in a health system that encourages the highest standards of quality and provides access to the most up-to-date treatments. It also fosters an environment where many people are always thinking about the patient’s condition, leading to more thorough patient care,” says Guy Hewlett, M.D., FACOG, director of Medical Education at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
“We are delighted that all of the Crozer-Keystone programs filled all of their available spots in the match this year and enjoyed another year of competitive applications. We welcome a diverse group of trainees from a wide range of U.S. and international medical schools,” Hewlett says. “We are especially pleased to have filled all available positions in the Match because doing so allowed us to avoid the first year of the supplemental offer and acceptance program (SOAP), a new program offered by the NRMP to pair unmatched applicants with unfilled programs. Although SOAP replaced the traditional “scramble” and was expected to be more orderly, unanticipated problems were inevitable with this first iteration.”
The Obstetrics and Gynecology program director is supported in meeting the educational mission of the residency by four assistant program directors, the subspecialty OB/GYN staff covering all major OB/GYN subspecialties, the general OB/GYN physicians in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Crozer and DCMH, and faculty members from several other clinical departments.
David K. Hadley, M.D., who recently completed his first full year as program director of the OB/GYN program, says that he enjoys the Match process. “My comments from last year still hold true. We are trying to find the best physicians for our residency program to train and hopefully the applicants feel the same about us. In a small residency program such as ours, the residents are very inter-dependant and my priority is finding physicians who will work well together. Unfortunately that is something that is hard to predict when meeting residents through the brief interview process.,” he says. “As an interviewer, I try to gauge how medical students have responded to challenges throughout their education and project their abilities to our hospital environment and look for compatibility with the residents we already have here.”
OB/GYN training has increased in popularity over the past several years, and the number of interested applicants has risen while the number of residency spots has not changed significantly. Hadley says, “Due to the increase in competition, medical students are interviewing at more programs and, as a result, I have had to increase the number of interview slots as well. This year we will likely screen 400 applications, invite 90 to interview, interview 75 and rank 70 applicants to match three new interns. As you can see, the investment in time is great but the payout is greater when we get it right.”
The Family Medicine Residency Program offers advanced training in sports medicine, medical informatics, obstetrics, women’s health, geriatrics, or faculty development. “This has been another great year for matches. Since we have expanded the program last year, we continue to receive not only quality students nationally but the quantity has improved,” says William Warning, M.D., director of the Family Medicine Residency Program. “It is nice to see both quality and quantity as the program grows.”
Warning continues, “For many years, we saw a decline in applications to family medicine residencies, but for the past two years, we have had an abundance of applicants. This area is very competitive for medical students. They have e a lot of choices. That’s why it is exciting to see the growth in the Family Medicine Program. Additionally, we offer a diverse education, allowing our graduates to hit the ground running. The program has also received Patient-Centered Medical Home certification, providing residents with relative and trending education that will benefit patients and their families.”
The Internal Medicine residency program is a three-year training program that accepts eight residents per training year. The program combines strong clinical and didactic components, offering residents a well-rounded training experience. “All of the new residents have excellent qualifications, high board scores and come from highly qualified medical programs. Given the competitive recruitment season, we are proud to have matched fully with this group of residents. We look forward to having another group of enthusiastic and energetic residents,” says Ashish Rana, M.D., director of the Internal Medicine Residency.
The Pediatric Residency Program received more than 1,250 applications for its six available positions this year. Program leadership interviewed about 120 applicants. “People may not realize how stressful the application process is or how tough the competition is,” say s Kelly Bradley-Dodds, M.D., director of the Pediatrics Residency Program. “Can you imagine applying for a job and finding out there were over 200 other people who applied for that position? Students travel all over the country at their own expense to interview for residency. Every resident who works at Crozer has literally beaten out hundreds of other applicants for that position.”
Bradley-Dodds explains that applicants are attracted to the program’s strong community service component, a balanced curriculum with experience in high-acuity tertiary subspecialty care and primary care/community pediatrics, and the warm and friendly atmosphere here at Crozer. All residency programs are held to strict educational standards and are reviewed by a national board. What gives each program its individual character is the feel of the place and the people who work there. “Applicants usually remark on how welcoming and friendly everyone is here, and I believe that has a significant impact on our excellent success rate in the Match,” Bradley-Dodds says.
“My goal is that graduates will leave our program as confident, hands-on pediatric providers with the capability to manage the full spectrum of pediatric healthcare. Feedback from this year’s survey of fellowship program directors who hired recent graduates for advanced subspecialty training rated our graduates as “outstanding” in the following areas: overall patient care; clinical judgment; ability to receive and integrate feedback; teamwork; ability to develop positive relationships with staff and colleagues; commitment to ethical principles; and overall professionalism.,” Bradley-Dodds explains. “Graduates from our Pediatric Residency Program receive highly competitive fellowship positions at academic centers across the country. I’m so happy for them and proud to have them representing Crozer.”
Christine Giesa, D.O., is the director of Osteopathic Medical Education for CKHS and program director for the CKHS Osteopathic Traditional Rotating Internship. The internship is based at DCMH, although the interns rotate at Springfield Hospital and Crozer-Chester Medical Center as well. “This is unique within the CKHS post-doctoral programs. The D.O. interns truly receive a "systemic" experience. For example, the D.O. interns rotate in Family Medicine (interfacing with the CKHS family medicine residents and faculty), Radiation Oncology, General Surgery and Emergency Medicine at DCMH; Internal Medicine and General Surgery at Springfield; and Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Trauma Surgery at Crozer,” Giesa says.
Giesa filled 15 intern positions for the academic year 2012-2013. “It is most rewarding to teach and guide these newly minted physicians toward their career goals, while, at the same time challenging them as to their career choice. Several interns change their minds each year during the course of their internship,” Giesa says. “I am very excited about the start of the new academic year. This will be my first intern class. The interns can expect innovative changes in the didactic program. The incoming interns have diverse interests in physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology, anesthesia, general surgery, emergency medicine and dermatology. Additionally, we offer three months of electives in ophthalmology, interventional radiology and wound management, plus research time resulting in the opportunity to have medical articles accepted and published in local and national medical journals.”
The Podiatric Residency Program is overseen by William Urbas, D.P.M. It is one of the few 36-month podiatric residency programs that offers all residents certification in reconstruction ankle surgery. “We are very proud of our comprehensive, diversified program,” Urbas says. “Additionally, we were able to fill all four spots again this year with our top choices. We have an impressive program here at Crozer. With a large hospital and multiple podiatric attendings, receive a diversity of training that helps shape them as physicians and surgeons in the future.”
Crozer’s Transitional First-Year Residency program provides a well-rounded clinical and educational experience for new doctors embarking on their postdoctoral training. Each year, a class of 14 residents enters the program where they receive a broad-based curriculum, which is flexible enough to meet the needs of residents with a variety of future career choices. “This year, we matched our 14 positions from schools including University of Pennsylvania, Boston, Temple UMDNJ, Drexel and Jefferson. This group of transitional residents will then proceed to residencies that include dermatology, radiology and ophthalmology. We continue to have a reputation at the medical school level for providing an outstanding training experience. The graduates of our program are our best recruitment tool for incoming students. This speaks to the dedication of our physician teachers and administrators who collaborate on the unified mission to provide a great program to training doctors, says Dina Capalongo, D.O., chief, division of General Internal Medicine and program director, Transitional First-Year Residency.
Capalongo emphasizes that hundreds of applications are reviewed and each person brought in for the interview process is hand selected because of his/her application, education, and what he/she can bring to the program.
“Many hours go into screening applications. We would have been pleased to have matched from any who were chosen to come in for an interview. The 14 incoming students this year are all extremely qualified going into residencies post transitional year that include ophthalmology, radiology, dermatology and radiation oncology,” Capalongo says. “The residency is highly regarded in the Philadelphia area with the reputation of providing a superb foundation of medical skills and knowledge to our interns. We accomplish this by providing education and experiences in many departments of the hospital which creates a rigorous well-rounded training program.”
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of finding a good match between a candidate and a program. The years spent in residency define the careers of most physicians and the friendships and bonds formed during this time often result in lifelong relationships. From the program’s perspective, it is of utmost importance to match candidates who are committed to excellence and who are willing to embrace our institutional values,” Hewlett says.
After successfully completing a residency, many physicians continue into a fellowship program for additional training in a sub-specialty field.
A fellowship is the period of medical training that a physician may undertake after completing a residency. During this time (usually more than one year), the physician is known as a fellow. Fellowship programs offer additional skills and knowledge in a sub-specialty field. Fellowship programs offered through Crozer-Keystone include primary care sports medicine, geriatric medicine and vascular surgery. [Editor’s note: The fellowship programs will be covered in the next edition of The Journal]
For more information about Crozer-Keystone’s Residency and Fellowship Programs, visit the Crozer-Keystone Web site at http://www.residency.crozerkeystone.org.