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With near-perfect residency placement rate, IU School of Medicine leads graduates to further training across US

Jan 18, 2024

It was Saint Patrick’s Day 2023, but the crowd gathered at the Indiana University Indianapolis Campus Center on March 17 wasn’t wearing green. Instead, the congregating IU School of Medicine seniors sported bright red T-shirts with the slogan, “It’s my lucky day.”

They had “matched” with a residency program.

Lucy Brown and her mother. Lucy Brown celebrates with her mother after she was matched into the Gynecology and Obstetrics Residency at Johns Hopkins, a top program ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Photo courtesy of IU School of Medicine

IU School of Medicine celebrated a record-setting 99.7% residency placement rate for the Class of 2023, meaning virtually all graduates are now working as physicians in their chosen medical specialties. About one-third are continuing their medical training at IU, while the rest are in residency programs across the United States.

“I was extremely nervous going into Match Day because it was a huge moment that would determine the next five years of my life,” said Dr. Kazeerat Adedokun, a 2023 graduate.

Along with her peers, Adedokun held a red envelope in her hands to be opened precisely at noon — the time when every graduating M.D. student across the nation participating in the National Resident Matching Program would discover their residency “matches.”

At the big reveal, Adedokun was elated to see “Psychiatry Residency at Indiana University School of Medicine.” She would be staying in Indianapolis with her family, friends and mentors.

“Seeing that name in my envelope was a total relief,” said Adedokun, who began her residency in July. “I had faculty members, lead advisors and peers who were very supportive of me and my goals. I knew that I wanted these kinds of people in my corner for the rest of my training.”

Purva Patel felt a similar relief to see “Indiana University” when she opened her envelope. Patel is now in the Internal Medicine Residency program and intends to follow that with a cardiology fellowship.

“Based on my experiences as a medical student here, I was confident that the training I would receive would prepare me well clinically,” Patel said. “Through my third- and fourth-year rotations, I was able to observe first-hand the culture of the (residency) program, where faculty dedicated time to teach at bedside and, during rounds, provided residents with progressive autonomy.”

Finding their perfect match

Patel and Adedokun were among 107 IU medical students who joined training programs affiliated with IU School of Medicine or IU Health. Another 247 classmates packed their bags to start their medical careers in residency programs across the nation, including matches at prestigious medical institutions like Northwestern University, Washington University in St. Louis and Emory University.

Andrew Young and Purva Patel in white coats Dr. Andrew Young, left, medical director of the Adult Ambulatory Care Center, works with Purva Patel, who is in the Internal Medicine Residency program at IU School of Medicine. Patel intends to follow her residency with a cardiology fellowship. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

Lucy Brown was thrilled to matched into the Gynecology and Obstetrics Residency at Johns Hopkins, a top program currently ranked No. 2 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

“I was pretty shocked,” Brown said of the big reveal on Match Day. “I never expected to match at a place like Hopkins.”

Advocacy and community engagement were at the top of her list when ranking residency programs.

“It was clear to me on interview day that Johns Hopkins has a strong foundation in advocacy,” Brown said. “They send residents to Capitol Hill each year and lobby at the statehouse for equitable health care.”

At IU School of Medicine, Brown and Adedokun both were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society, a peer-nominated recognition for medical students, residents and faculty who demonstrate exemplary behavior promoting humanism in medicine. Brown volunteered at the IU Student Outreach Clinic as the women’s health co-chair and was involved in public policy research and advocacy.

“We are thrilled to have matched Dr. Lucy Brown into our Johns Hopkins Gynecology and Obstetrics Residency program,” said Dr. Betty Chou, program director. “Her accomplishments in her academics, research and leadership were only eclipsed by her passion, empathy and work ethic. She is an amazing patient advocate and is very committed to patient-centered care. These are important traits we value when we are looking to match students into our residency program.”

Not lucky, but well-prepared

Such comments from residency program directors make it clear that IU’s near-perfect residency placement rate isn’t luck; it’s due to the excellence of the medical education program.

Dr. Kazeerat Adekokun, left, the first resident going through the new child psychiatry fast track, meets with Dr. Aimee Patel, residency ... Dr. Kazeerat Adekokun, left, the first resident going through the new child psychiatry fast track, meets with Dr. Aimee Patel, residency program director at Methodist Hospital. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

“As the largest allopathic (MD-granting) medical school in the country, IU School of Medicine plays a pivotal role in training the next generation of physicians,” said Dr. Debra Rusk, assistant dean for medical student affairs. “We have been on the forefront of innovations in medical education. We have graduates of the IU School of Medicine and our IU School of Medicine residency programs practicing in varied specialties across the country, providing excellent patient care. Many of our graduates are also academic faculty at other training institutions, continuing the legacy of IU School of Medicine’s dedication to exceptional medical education.”

While IU medical students historically do well in the annual residency matching process, the nearly 100% placement rate for 2023 puts IU at the top, along with several Ivy League medical schools. The School of Medicine likes to keep its best students in IU residency programs, but faculty equally celebrate sending highly competent medical students to practice in other regions of the U.S.

“The IU School of Medicine has a national reputation, and we attract students from all over the country,” Rusk said. “By providing them an excellent education, we allow our students to be competitive for residency placement across the country, including at some of the top institutions.”

Brown is off to a terrific start in her first year of residency at Johns Hopkins.

“Intern year is overwhelming, yet I find myself enjoying every bit of it,” she said. “It’s crazy to be doing a Pap smear with the physician who helped discover the vaccine for HPV. The doctors who train at Johns Hopkins are leaders and change-makers.”

Brown said the high-quality medical education she received at IU gave her confidence going into residency.

“I’m really proud to be an IU graduate, both undergraduate and medical school,” Brown said. “I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best OB-GYNs in the country. I can’t express how proud I am of them and how grateful I am to have learned from them how to provide compassionate and just care.”

Patel is equally grateful for the training she received as an IU medical student. Now as a medical resident, she continues to learn from her mentors and is forging new connections in internal medicine and cardiology.

Dr. Kazeerat Adekokun was among 107 IU medical students who joined training programs affiliated with IU School of Medicine or IU Health i... Dr. Kazeerat Adekokun was among 107 IU medical students who joined training programs affiliated with IU School of Medicine or IU Health in 2023. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

“Purva is already applying the medical knowledge she learned in the classroom to patients she sees at the bedside,” said Dr. Noelle Sinex, associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency program at IU School of Medicine. “She brings a holistic approach to patient care, integrating the patient’s psychosocial needs into their medical care plan.”

Meanwhile, Adedokun is embarking on her intern year of residency alongside four other IU School of Medicine 2023 graduates. Nearly half of the first-year residents in the Indianapolis program are from IU, while others come from places like Loyola University, University of Arkansas, the Medical College of Wisconsin and international medical schools.

Adedokun, the first resident going through the new child psychiatry fast track, said she is excited to be learning from passionate faculty in both psychiatry and pediatrics to fill an area of critical need in the state and nation.

“I hope to practice as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and possibly work in adult outpatient settings as well,” she said. “There are so many different areas of psychiatry, and I am still figuring out the specifics of my interests. I have been learning more about reproductive psychiatry, and it’s an area I’m interested in. Let’s just say, I have a lot of interests and a lot of time to figure everything out.”

Author

IU School of Medicine

Laura Gates

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