The 99.3% of fourth-year medical students at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) who received a “match” were part of the largest number of osteopathic students nationwide to place in a residency program.
The “Match Day” at medical schools is when medical students learn where they will work in a medical residency and their medical specialty.
ARCOM, a college with the Fort Smith-based Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE), held its second match day Friday (March 18) at the Fort Smith Convention Center. According to the college, 5,835 prospective students in 2018 applied for one of 150 openings at ARCOM, and now almost all of the 150 students are now moving into a residency program. ARCOM’s first class was seated in 2017.
“This was a very successful match. The overall match placement of the Class of 2022 is 99.3%. We had students matching from Hawaii to New York, and from Chicago to New Orleans. Thirty-three students placed in residencies in Arkansas. Overall, the vast majority of students placed in our service area. In addition, we had several students place in some of the most competitive specialties,” said ARCOM Dean Dr. Rance McClain.
ACHE was formed when Fort Smith-based Degen Foundation used part of $70 million from the sale of Sparks Health System in November 2009 to what was then Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates to build the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) at Chaffee Crossing. The $32.4 million college and its 103,000 square feet is now home to 600 medical students.
The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University reported that 96% of its class of 2022 placed into residency programs.
“Match Day is one of the biggest days of the year for everyone involved in medical education, and we’re very pleased with our results,” said Dr. Shane Speights, dean of NYITCOM at A-State in Jonesboro. “The Class of 2022 experienced a number of unique challenges as their final two years of medical school took place during a pandemic. They persevered and worked incredibly hard to secure these residencies, and we just couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The class of 2022 is NYITCOM at A-State’s third to participate in Match, and the Jonesboro-based medical school continued a trend of placing a vast majority of its students in primary care positions. Approximately 70% of NYITCOM at A-State student doctors were placed into primary care programs, including 31% who matched into family medicine programs, 20% into internal medicine residencies, and 25% who will specialize in pediatrics, OB/GYN or psychiatry.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) said the percentage of DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) seniors matching rose more than two percentage points from last year, to 91.3%, which set a new record. The number of U.S. DO seniors participating was a record-high 7,303, up 2.8% over 2021. Of those, 6,666 matched to first-year residency positions, a 5.4% increase from last year and also a new record high.
“We are very proud of the DO graduating class of 2022 and the incredible determination and commitment they displayed when faced with challenges that were unimaginable when they began this journey four years ago,” said AACOM President and CEO Dr. Robert Cain. “I am also particularly pleased to see that osteopathic medicine continues to grow. … I salute all our colleges and the faculty for their ability to keep the students’ safety and education as top priorities despite the ever-changing landscape and challenges during these pandemic years.”
According to AACOM, there are 38 U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine that educate nearly 34,000 future physicians, or 25% of all U.S. medical students.