LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Number of LSU Health New Orleans Medical Grads to Stay in LA Continues to Fall

LSU Health New Orleans Match Day 2018

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Leslie Capo

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Forty-six percent, or 89 of 193 LSU Health New Orleans graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year, chose to remain in Louisiana to complete their medical training, and 75% of those staying in-state will enter an LSU Health residency program. That is down from 49% staying in-state last year and 64.3% in 2012. The LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine residency programs in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Bogalusa will accept 215 new residents for 215 residency positions. The vast majority of physicians providing care to the citizens of Louisiana are LSU Health-trained doctors.

“The anxiety our students feel over budget cuts, either proposed or imposed, to higher education and health care is continuing to erode their confidence in Louisiana,” notes Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. “Our graduates are in great demand by programs in other states, and the constant uncertainty is driving them out of Louisiana in growing numbers. We are very concerned about the future of health care here.”

The Match, conducted annually by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), is the primary system that matches applicants to residency programs with available positions at U.S. teaching hospitals and academic health centers. The choices of the students are entered into a software program as are the choices of the institutions with residency programs. All U.S. graduating medical students found out at the same time today where they “matched” and where they will spend their years of residency training. National studies have found that a high number of physicians set up their permanent practices in the areas where they have completed their residency programs. Therefore, match results figure prominently in Louisiana’s physician work force.

“A decline of 18% in the last five years is of concern,” said Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans. “The anticipated opening of University Medical Center New Orleans bolstered our Match numbers in 2012, but consternation about the future of UMC and our other teaching hospitals, as well as the fate of our residency programs based in them, is taking its toll. In the past when our students chose out-of-state residency programs, they left to broaden their experience, and many would come home to practice. But if they leave because they think Louisiana’s future as a place to live and practice is in question, they will never return. We train Louisiana’s physician workforce, and Louisiana is among the states with the highest number of physicians age 60 and older. The constant budget uncertainty is making it increasingly difficult to retain our highly qualified graduates to replace retiring doctors and maintain an adequate supply of physicians.”

The percentage of LSU Health New Orleans medical graduates going into primary care is 49.7% this year, down from 51% last year. Primary Care specialties include Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Preliminary, Medicine-Primary, Obstetrics-Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Medicine-Pediatrics. OB-GYN is not always included in primary care data; however, in some Louisiana communities the only physician is an OB-GYN.

Of the 65 accredited residency and fellowship programs under LSU Health New Orleans, 35 participated in the Main NRMP Match whose results were released today. They are Anesthesiology, Child Neurology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Family Practice (Kenner, Bogalusa, Lafayette and Lake Charles), Internal Medicine (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Interventional Radiology, Medicine-Preliminary (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics-Gynecology (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Radiology, General Surgery, Surgery-Preliminary, Vascular Surgery, Medicine-Pediatrics, Medicine-Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics-Emergency Medicine.

LSU Health New Orleans medical graduates training in other states will be going to such prestigious programs as Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the Medical University of South Carolina and Emory University, among others.

The National Residency Matching Program was established in 1952 to provide an orderly and fair mechanism to match the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with residency program choices of applicants. The program provides a common time for the announcement of the appointments, as well as an agreement for programs and applicants to honor the commitment to offer and accept an appointment if a match results.

Residency programs begin on July 1, 2018.