How Well Do Medical Students at the Regional Medical Campus Match?: A 6-year Analysis at a Single Medical School.

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Anecdotally, some students and faculty members alike have at times expressed concern that medical students who train at Regional Medical Campuses (RMC) will be disadvantaged in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), and may not achieve the same level of success as their peers at the main academic medical center. This project was undertaken to examine the validity of these concerns at the RMC affiliated with the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine (PSCOM).


Results from the annual NRMP process were analyzed over a 6-year period (2014-2019), for both the main Hershey Campus (HC) and University Park Regional Campus (UPRC). Comparisons included the types of residencies selected, percent of students matching instate, percent matching in primary care specialties, and number having to participate in the supplemental offer and acceptance process (SOAP). All results were expressed as simple percentages.


During the study period, 819 students graduated from PSCOM (723 - Hershey Campus, 96 - UPRC). In total, 28 of the 723 Hershey Campus graduates (3.9%) and 1 of the 96 UPRC graduates (1%) went through the SOAP process. UPRC students were more likely to match into primary care specialties (44.8% (UPRC) vs 33.2% (Hershey Campus), defined as Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine and Obstetrics-Gynecology, as well as stay within the state of Pennsylvania for their residency (34.4% - UPRC vs 31.7% - Hershey Campus). While the UPRC students more frequently matched into primary care specialties, several matched into highly competitive specialties, including ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, diagnostic radiology, and neurosurgery.


Concerns frequently expressed regarding a successful match for students studying at regional medical campuses are not supported by our findings. Compared to their main campus peers, the UPRC medical students have been equally successful in the NRMP match.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Regional Medical Campuses
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 12 2020


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