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Match Day: A Banner Day At Hopkins

Match Day is one of the most important days in a medical student's life.  It's when students learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. And it's an important day in the lives of those hospitals and clinics as well. Here, residency directors at Johns Hopkins reflect on what this year's match will mean for them.

By Lenny Feldman, M.D., and Barry Solomon, M.D.

March 15, 2013, may prove to be a watershed day for primary care at Johns Hopkins. It is yet another indication that our primary care renaissance continues. If this year’s match process is any indication, the future of primary care is bright at Johns Hopkins and for the entire country. Both the Johns Hopkins Internal Medicine Urban Health Primary Care Track and the Urban Health Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency received over 160 applications from eager 4th-year medical school students. There are four intern slots in each program, and we interviewed approximately 40 applicants for each program. Today, both programs filled with absolutely fantastic students who want to become leaders in urban health primary care.

We are extremely proud a Hopkins medical student filled one spot in each program. That is dramatic progress. It illustrates the burgeoning primary care interest among the Hopkins students and that our own students believe that Hopkins primary care renaissance is for real. Moreover, each program matched an under-represented minority.  We have not accomplished our mission if we do not produce under-represented minority leaders in urban health primary care.

Our pediatrics residency program received close to 1,000 applications this year (our highest ever).  We interviewed about 350 applicants and matched 27 highly talented, bright and diverse young physicians. In July our new interns will become primary care providers for children and families in Baltimore City through the Harriet Lane Clinic and our Johns Hopkins Community Physicians partners.  Six of our interns will provide primary care to Latino and Hispanic patients and families at our Bayview Children's Medical Practice.  While some of our residents will pursue careers in primary care, others will choose to continue their training in subspecialty fellowships.  All of our residents will gain the essential knowledge and skills to serve our most vulnerable patients and families. They will learn how to help families navigate our complex medical and social service system and develop skills in care coordination using an interdisciplinary team-based approach. 

Deciding to enter a primary care focused residency is not any easy decision, but the energy we encountered this year when discussing the future of primary care with the applicants was more electric than ever. The same forces that drive organizations like Primary Care Progress and The Johns Hopkins Consortium for the Advancement of Primary Care propel the medical students as well. The excitement over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the recognition that primary care is central to the success of our evolving health system has clearly impacted choices. Applicants want to discuss whether the resident continuity practice is a patient-centered medical home and if Hopkins will become an accountable care organization.
Our applicants are primarily focused on domestic primary care, and we have more and more candidates who wish to live among their patients. Interestingly, those who do have a global health interest would like to travel abroad to see how health care innovations, such as community health worker models, can be brought back to the United States. More of the applicants are engaged in advocacy in medical school, know what community based participatory research is (and are participating in it), and are facile with terms like the social determinants of health. Universally, they value communication with patients and revere the doctor-patient relationship.
March 15, 2013, was a banner day for primary care at Johns Hopkins. With the current trends we are experiencing, there are bound to be many more banner days to come!

Lenny Feldman, M.D. F.A.C.P., F.A.A.P., S.F.H.M. is program director in the Med-Peds Urban Health Residency and director of the IM Urban Health Track.

Barry Solomon, M.D., M.P.H., is 
associate program director of the pediatric residency and medical director of the Harriet Lane Clinic.

Click the "match day" tag to the right for more Match Day 2013 stories.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 22, 2013 8:46 AM America/New_York
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