2019 Match: What it Means for Family Medicine in Michigan

This year’s National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Main Match on March 15 was record-breaking on many different levels. Compared to previous years of the Match, this year saw increases in:

  • Available first-year (PGY-1) resident positions
  • Number of osteopathic programs offering positions
  • Number of osteopathic medical school students and graduates submitting program preferences 
  • Number of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors
  • Match rates for both U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates

The 2019 Match also marked a decade of year-over-year growth for the Family Medicine specialty nationwide, as reported by AAFP.

While analyzing national, state, and specialty-specific data is helpful in projecting healthcare workforce trends, it’s really the individual stories of soon-to-be Family Physicians that capture the excitement of the Match and for the future of Family Medicine.

While just one student whom MAFP featured in our post-Match article published on March 15 is staying in Michigan for residency (congratulations Sanjiv Kandiah and Beaumont Health-Troy Family Medicine Residency!), it is with mixed emotions that the other three graduating seniors who graciously shared their Match experiences with us for the article are heading to programs in California and Wisconsin in July.

“We certainly celebrate the achievements of Tiffani Strickland, Alec Ludwig, and Anne Drolet—three students who have shown tremendous leadership throughout their medical school years by, among other things, volunteering their time to serve on Boards and committees of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians and its philanthropic arm, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan,” said MAFP President Mary Marshall, MD, RN (Grand Blanc). “However, we are sad to see them leave and sincerely hope they choose to practice in our wonderful state post-residency.”

Research shows that where a resident trains is a significant indicator of where he/she may choose to practice medicine.

“As the Baby Boomer generation ages and a substantial percentage of the physician workforce nears retirement, the U.S. faces a projected deficit of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2035. In Michigan, we could see a shortage of as many as 8,000 physician by 2025,” said Dr. Marshall. “Ensuring more medical students not only choose Michigan but to also choose Family Medicine is so important for the future of health and healthcare delivery in our state.”

Nearly half of all first-year positions available at residency programs across the U.S. in this year’s Match were within the primary care specialties of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics.

Below are Family Medicine highlights of the 2019 Match among seniors graduating from Michigan’s six allopathic medical schools this spring.

Central Michigan University College of Medicine

Seventy-one percent of CMU’s third medical school class matched to primary care residencies in the 2019 Match; 45% will be staying to train in Michigan.

“To have such high percentages of our students match into Michigan residencies is evidence that we are staying true to our mission of preparing physicians to serve in rural and medically underserved regions of Michigan,” said George Kikano, MD, CMU vice president for health affairs and dean of the CMU College of Medicine, in a news release.

CMU College of Medicine’s Family Medicine Residency program is one of the oldest accredited residency programs in the U.S. (1969) and the first to be accredited in Michigan. Of its 200-plus graduates over the years, more than half have remained in Michigan, many of whom are still practicing in and around Saginaw where the program is based.

Among them is Doug Forsyth, MD, a 1993 graduate of CMU Family Medicine Residency who now practices in Chesaning, a small town with a population of 2,270 that is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Saginaw.

Following in Dr. Forsyth’s footsteps is his son, Joshua Forsyth, MD, a first-year CMU Family Medicine resident and preceptor in the College of Medicine’s comprehensive community clerkship program.

For the younger Dr. Forsyth, it was CMU Family Medicine Residency program’s ongoing mission of developing primary care doctors for practice in central and northern Michigan, where many of the state’s rural and underserved communities are located, that compelled him to rank the program highly in last year’s match, according to a Morning Sun article.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

As the nation’s pioneer in community-based medical education, MSU College of Human Medicine students are spread across seven different campus locations and more than 50 affiliated hospitals and facilities. Years one and two are spent at the East Lansing campus or the Secchia Center in downtown Grand Rapids’ science corridor. The final two years are spent at one of the college’s seven clinical campuses:

  • Michigan State University/Flint Area Medical Education
  • Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners
  • Lansing Campus
  • Midland Regional Campus
  • Traverse City Campus
  • Upper Peninsula Regional Campus
  • Southeast Community Campus (Southfield/Detroit)

Of the 95% of MSU College of Human Medicine seniors that matched to a residency program through the March 15th NRMP Match, 44.3% are entering a primary care residency, up from 42.5% in 2018. Thirty-eight percent will remain in Michigan for residency training beginning in July—lower than in 2018, when 43% of seniors matched to programs in Michigan.

Of the 70 MSU College of Human Medicine graduates staying in Michigan for training, 48.6% have chosen Family Medicine as their specialty, up from 40% in 2018. Family Medicine was the second highest ranked specialty in the 2019 Match, with 26 students (14.2%) choosing the specialty; of those, 12 will remain in Michigan.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Forty-eight students of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine’s fifth graduating class matched to residencies in primary care, including eight to Family Medicine, three to Family Medicine residency programs in Michigan, and 14 who will remain connected to Beaumont Health, OUWB’s affiliate institution.

As part of its academic mission, Beaumont Health supports Family Medicine residency programs in Farmington Hills (5 residents per year chosen through the NRMP Match), Grosse Pointe (6), Troy (8), and Wayne (10).

"I feel very grateful to have matched at the Beaumont Health Troy Family Medicine Program," said Sanjiv Kandiah. "I completed part of my third-year clerkship at Beaumont Hospital, Troy and had a pleasant experience. This encouraged me to further pursue a sub-internship there in my fourth year, where I completed a four-week inpatient rotation with the Family Medicine team. I was trusted with more responsibilities and was valued as a contributing member of the team. I felt the resident physicians, faculty and staff I worked with were very supportive and respectful. Although I know that the training here will be rigorous, I am excited to work with these wonderful people again over the next several years!" 

University of Michigan Medical School  

Nearly 160 U-M Medical School seniors matched to a residency program of their choice on March 15, earning the school a 97% match rate. Twenty-eight percent of the graduates will stay in Michigan, including 16% who will continue training at Michigan Medicine—U-M’s academic medical center.

Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Michigan School of Medicine as the sixth best medical school in the country for training primary care physicians and third for training Family Medicine doctors.

Among the incoming U-M class of Family Medicine residents is Blake Arthurs, an M4 at Wayne State University School of Medicine and an undergraduate alum of the University of Michigan.

“I am very excited to be home!” said Blake of matching to University of Michigan Family Medicine Residency.

Just a few short years ago, Blake wasn’t convinced a career in medicine was for him. He admits that during his first year of medical school he had a lot of doubts, recalling how he often wondered if he had made a mistake, if becoming a physician was really what he wanted to do, if all the schooling would be worth it.

That’s when he applied and was selected as Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan’s 2016 student extern.

“This externship was hands down the best experience I could have hoped for. I saw that in Family Medicine a strong doctor-patient relationship is above all else,” he said, identifying geriatric and newborn rounds, deliveries, home visits, and outpatient procedures as highlights.

He also credits his externship mentor, Scott Yaekle, MD, with providing him first-hand insight into the life of an accomplished and well-rounded Family Physician. Dr. Yaekle, who practices Family Medicine in Westland and serves as associate director and director of student affairs at Beaumont Health-Wayne Family Medicine Residency, was named 2016 Michigan Family Medicine Educator of the Year.

In tandem with hands-on clinical experience led by Dr. Yaekle and the Beaumont Health team, Blake also conducted a research project focused on the critical appraisal of research articles. His findings were ultimately published.

"There are new discoveries every day in medicine, and it is tough as a Family Medicine doctor to stay on top of everything, especially since the scope of Family Medicine is so broad," Blake wrote in his journal chronicling his externship experience. "The skill of determining if a certain research finding is clinically useful for the care of a specific patient is an important tool for all physicians."

Blake said the clinical and research experience he gained through the FMFM/AAFP Foundation-funded externship in the summer of 2016 was the turning point he needed to decidedly erase all of his doubts and, with confidence, pursue a career as a Family Physician.

Wayne State University School of Medicine

More than 270 Wayne State University medical students matched to residency in this year’s Match, for a total match success rate of 98%, which exceeds the national average match rate of 93.9% for allopathic students.

Just over half of WSU's 2019 medical school class (50.3%) are staying in Michigan for training and 30% will enter primary care residences. Of those, 25 chose Family Medicine as their specialty. Among them is Adrianna Clapp.

“It has been my dream since the first day of medical school to go into Family Medicine!” she said upon learning she matched to Mayo Clinic’s Family Medicine Residency program in Jacksonville, FL.

Adrianna was honored with the Penfil-Tischler Award during WSU”s Match Day celebration ceremony. This annual peer-nominated award recognizes a graduating senior’s exemplary understanding of the art of medicine as displayed by his/her care of patients during medical school clinicals.

Adrianna said she plans to continue her Academy membership with the Florida chapter, noting that she enjoyed being part of MAFP during her four years of medical school in Detroit.

Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

All 56 of WMed’s 2019 graduating seniors matched to residency programs—including four to Family Medicine in California, Maryland, and Illinois. With its residency programs filling every available slot, WMed will welcome 72 new physicians in July, including six Family Physicians-to-be who comprise the inaugural class of the school’s new Family Medicine Residency program in Battle Creek.

“It is a phenomenal opportunity to develop a new residency in a community hospital and a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with the support of the medical school,” said Holli Neiman-Hart, MD, FAAFP when interviewed for a WMed article highlighting the years-in-the-making joint venture. “Our residents will be offered a wide variety of experiences and we are looking forward to being involved in the community of Battle Creek.

Dr. Neiman-Hart serves as director of the new program and chairs Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan’s Professional Development Committee.  

Following medical school graduation this spring, ten of the newest Family Physicians will head to Kalamazoo to launch their residency training at WMed’s Kalamazoo-based Family Medicine Residency program. Of the 10 positions, one is funded by the new MIDOCs program, authorized by Michigan legislation in 2017 and for which legislature appropriated $5 million in Fiscal Year 2019 state funding to help address the state’s physician shortage by increasing the number of available residency slots in select specialties. 

In return for up to $75,000 of educational loan repayment, MIDOCs residents commit to practicing for at least two years after residency in a rural or underserved Michigan community.

WMed along with the medical schools at CMU, MSU, and WSU helped develop the program. Each were designated two MIDOCS slots at their residency program for 2019.  

“MIDOCs is a good example of the state and medical education community partnering to solve a problem in primary care in Michigan. I am excited to be part of this innovative pilot to increase the number of primary care physicians serving rural and urban communities,” said Glenn Dregansky, DO, FAAFP, program director of WMed Family Medicine Residency-Kalamazoo. 

If you are interested in the MIDOCs program, please contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education at CMU, MSU, WSU, or WMed.