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The envelope, please

Nicholas Modjeski is happy to be pursuing a family medicine residency.

Match Day 2006 portends the future for fourth-year students

It’s a rite of spring — and a rite of passage — on every U.S. medical campus. Match Day is the day when fourth-year medical students gather nervously, some with family in tow, to simultaneously open small white envelopes that hold important news about the next big step in their medical careers.

On March 16, 216 University of Minnesota medical students gathered at McNamara Alumni Center to learn where they will complete their residency training. “You’re going to be absolutely superb physicians,” said Dean Deborah Powell, M.D., in her parting words before the envelopes were produced.

When it was over, more than half discovered that they will stay in Minnesota: 46 will pursue residencies at the University of Minnesota, 18 at Hennepin County Medical Center, 15 at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and the remaining 37 at other residency programs in the state.

Once again, the most popular resi-dencies are in primary care specialties: internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics. Despite this popularity, however, the overall percentage of primary care residencies is shrinking: 46 percent this year compared with 49 percent in 2005. This is in line with a national trend among medical students, who are increasingly choosing specialties such as surgery and anesthesiology.

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