Program Overview

What is MATTER?

The purpose of the Mountaineer Accelerated Track to Enter Residency (MATTER) is to present an efficient path toward residency for medical students who have committed to a core specialty at West Virginia University School of Medicine.  As a component of our career advising system, MATTER is a potential option for students to secure a residency position at one of our three clinical campuses. Students may apply to a core specialty, including family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. If selected through a competitive process, medical students will complete the M.D. curriculum in 137 weeks, which is 16 weeks shorter than the typical 153 week curriculum. While MATTER is a modified curriculum, selected track students must acquire and demonstrate proficiency of all of the WVU School of Medicine Outcomes for the Competent and Reflective Physician.

The rationales for implementing MATTER include the following:

  • present a career option for students who are committed to a core specialty residency program at WVU
  • address student debt by minimizing the cost of medical education without losing academic quality
  • transition medical students into a residency program with more efficiency and expediency
  • attract talented students who may ultimately become physicians serving the needs of our citizens and communities    

How can I learn about MATTER and consider whether I would like to apply?

MATTER will be introduced and discussed during professional development week (orientation), during the first week of medical school. In the early spring of the first-year of medical school, academic enrichment opportunities are presented to students.  Students are informed about a required course (CCMD 788 Selective Experience), which is completed during the summer between the first- and second-academic years. The objective of this course is for students to pursue educational activities that serve as career and professional development opportunities.  This learning experience targets the practice-based learning and improvement competency. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Reflect on academic and professional performance to identify strengths and limitations in regard to one’s knowledge, collaborations skills and professionalism. (PBL&I5)
  • Identify academic, professional and career goals. (PBL&I4)
  • Demonstrate life-long learning skills, as evidenced by identifying learning activities to achieve academic, professional and career goals. (PBL&I4)

Students interested in MATTER may complete one or more existing clinical externships to consider career options.  Externships are available for each of the seven core specialties.   Students must submit a reflection on their online portfolios to earn credit for the course.  Some of the reflection questions include:

  • Reflecting on your first-year grades and narratives and your summer experiences, what are your goals as a second year student?
  • What activities did you do to satisfy the requirements for the summer course?
  • How will achieving your goals help you pursue career interests?

After completing the selective experience, talking to MATTER leaders of the different specialties, students can decide whether they would like to apply to a MATTER track.  The application cycle for MATTER will begin in the second-year of the curriculum. 

For more information on MATTER specialties reach out to one of our contacts.

How can I apply to the MATTER program?  

In the fall of the second-year of the curriculum, student may apply to a MATTER track.  All WVU medical students are eligible for MATTER specialty tracks across all three clinical campuses.  Each specialty will assign a director/career advisor to help students negotiate the MATTER application process. 

Each specialty will also have a selection committee to consider and select applicants for the MATTER Track. MATTER advisors will be able to counsel students across any of the three clinical campuses.

MATTER applicants must submit the following to the appropriate MATTER track specialty director (contacts list):

  1. Students must request the Student Service office to submit a “mini” Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) to the appropriate MATTER Track director.  Students must request a mini MSPE at least 5 working days prior to the MATTER application deadline (i.e., September 15 or the next business day).  Students Services will relay the mini MSPE directly to the MATTER Track director.   
  2. Students must submit a personal statement (limited to one, single-spaced page) directly to the appropriate MATTER Track director.  The personal statement should communicate:
  • What are your reasons for choosing the specialty?
  • What are your career plans?
  • What accomplishments do you want to emphasize?
  • What outside interests do you have?
  • What contributions can you make to the specialty and the residency program?
  1. Students must submit at least one letter of reference to the MATTER Track director

MATTER Track directors will consider these materials.  The director will communicate to the applicants when and if they have been offered an interview. 

Although students may apply to more than one MATTER track, students are advised to be deliberate and consider their decision to apply to a MATTER track carefully.  All MATTER tracks will use the same “traffic rules” or calendar dates for application and selection.  Application materials must be submitted on September 15 (or the following business day).  The interview and application process must be completed and students must be notified whether they have been selected for a MATTER track by November 1 (or the following business day).  Students must choose and commit to one track by November 10 (or the following business day). If a MATTER track spot is unfilled because an applicant declined an invitation, then programs may select and notify a “waitlist” student by November 20 (or the following business day).