In an effort to “go all-in” and achieve a #1 ranking this year in the all-important 3rd year resident in-service exam scores, the University of Maryland Emergency Medicine program pulled off a shocking trade last night just hours before the July 30 9PM EDT trade deadline. Vanderbilt 3rd year Chief Resident Rachel Browning was sent packing to Maryland in exchange for two promising interns, Chelsea Smith and Graham Berry, and 4th and 8th round picks in the 2016 Match.
It had been known for weeks that Dr. Browning was on the trade block. After a successful run in the late 2000’s, Vanderbilt had been hit with a recent string of disappointing classes and poor in-service exam scores. Looking to gain prospects, they made this trade to fortify their future. Dr. Browning was a rare exception to the disappointment, but Vanderbilt did not want to lose her for nothing at the end of the year.
Per a Vanderbilt press release: “We appreciate Dr. Browning for all of her efforts these past 2 years. However, it was apparent after orientation that we needed to ‘optimize the potential’ of our intern class. This trade goes a long way towards making that happen.”
It is accepted in the Emergency Medicine residency director community that 3rd year in-service exam scores are a source of immense pride and sometimes job security. Several directors have recently been fired when scores do not reach expectations. In recent years, deadline deals have become more frequent to help shore up these rankings. Sources say that after years of #5-8 rankings in their scores, Maryland has become frustrated with this perceived mediocrity and looked to try this year and make a concerted push for #1.
Dr. Browning, 30, is a 2013 graduate of UNC school of medicine. She was a 2nd round pick in the 2013 Match and frequently performed in the >90th percentile in exam scores and clinical acumen. Scouts have been particularly high on her productivity and professionalism. By all accounts, she is considered a top performer.
Dr. Smith is a 2015 graduate of University of Michigan and was Maryland’s 1st round pick in this year’s match. She has a track record for excellence on her board scores, but questions remain about her productivity. Scouts think this will improve with time and she is considered an excellent candidate to excel. She was rated Maryland’s #2 prospect in the recent EMRA intern rankings.
Dr. Berry is a 2015 graduate of University of Utah and was Maryland’s 8th round pick this past year. He was felt to need work on knowledge base and professionalism. Scouts are split about his ability in the clinical arena, but he was strong when it came to board scores in medical school and this was felt to translate nicely into the in-service. He was rated Maryland’s #9 prospect this season by EMRA.
In a corresponding move, the bottom two residents in Vanderbilt’s intern class were designated for assignment back to medical school. Vanderbilt has not yet announced a new chief resident.