UTHSCT Succeeds with 2021 Match Day, 61 New Resident Physicians

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) had another successful medical residency “Match Day” this year, filling all of its 61 slots with new resident physicians who will start their medical training in East Texas July 1, 2021.

“We again had a very successful year and all programs matched,” said Dr. Emmanuel Elueze, UTHSCT’s designated institutional officer and vice president for medical education and professional development. “Match Day is one of the most significant days in the lives of medical school graduates. It is the day they find out where they will spend the next two to five years in residency training in their medical specialty. Unique to this year’s incoming resident physicians is the fact they make up the first class of medical school graduates in history to complete their residency interviews completely online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) uses a mathematical algorithm to make the matches for medical school graduates from around the world to programs in which they have indicated interest, and which have indicated an interest in them as applicants.

The match process begins in the fall during a medical school student’s final year when they apply to the residency programs of their choice. Applicants interview throughout fall and early winter, rank the programs in their order of preference and send those lists to NRMP which processes them to match with programs that also ranked the applicants.

NRMP reports that this year’s 2021 match was the largest in history with 38,106 positions offered—with 35,194 first-year positions (Post Graduate Year 1 or PGY1) offered, which was a 2.7 percent increase over 2020. They also reported that concerns about the impacts of “virtual recruitment” on applicants matching into PGY1 positions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were not realized.

UTHSCT had 61 openings that all filled on the first day. UTHSCT offers nine residency programs that include two in family medicine, two in internal medicine, general surgery, occupational medicine, psychiatry, rural family medicine and rural psychiatry.

“Our successful Match Day enrollment is a reflection of how competitive our programs are,” said Dr. Julie V. Philley, executive vice president for health affairs at UTHSCT. “This year, we are adding two new residency programs: one in family medicine in Athens and another in rural psychiatry in Pittsburg.”

UTHSCT currently has 117 resident physicians enrolled. Peggy Pazos, executive director for graduate and undergraduate medical education reports that 33 will be completing the program in June. With 61 incoming new resident physicians, UTHSCT will have 145 in the new academic year that begins on July 1, 2021.

“2021 will be a record year for the total number of incoming resident physicians,” Pazos said. “They are coming from several medical schools close by in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma as well as schools in states farther away like Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia and even from other countries including Barbados, the Caribbean, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.