Among the thousands of students who learned this week whether they could begin practicing medicine are 120 California Touro University California students from the college of Osteopathic Medicine.

That's more than just good graduation news. The students will help fill a doctor shortage, officials said.

Those medical students were matched in the area they wish to practice for their careers, according to a Touro University announcement.

Residencies vary from a minimum of three years to a maximum of six years for some surgical specialties. After residency physicians can extend their specialization training through fellowships of one to three years.

There are no residencies in Solano County, but some are in San Francisco, Fresno, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, Oakland and other cities, a Touro official wrote in an e-mail.

Due to their placement, the Touro University students will help fill a shortage of primary care residency opportunities for graduating medical students.

After being hired earlier this year, Touro University CEO Shelley Berkely said one of her goals would be to work with the Legislature and local hospitals to develop ways to open up more residency programs.

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, has introduced a bill which would create a Graduate Medical Education Fund to increase the number of medical residency slots in physician training programs for graduate students.

Touro's highlight this year is that a record 68 percent of its students landed in primary care residencies which will help to meet the physician shortage, the Touro announcement indicated.

In addition, 44 percent of the medical students were matched to residency programs in California.

This brings a total of 79 percent of graduates matched in either primary care, in California, or in other fields, including anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, integrative family medicine and neuromusculosketal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology.

Other fields include orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, pathology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, radiology.

Various students were matched from Hawaii to Maine, and Washington to Florida. Ten students were also matched in the Health Professions Scholarship Program of the United States Army, Navy and Air Force. Adding to primary care, students were matched in various disciplines of medicine, including psychiatry, emergency medicine, radiology, anesthesiology, and general surgery.

"We are extremely proud of our students match results for the class of 2014," said Michael Clearfield, D.O., F.A.C.O.I., and Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, in the announcement.

"Once again, we matched 100 percent with a record-setting 64 percent in primary care residencies. The remaining 36 percent who matched in non-primary care programs encompassed a full spectrum of specialties," he added.

Contact Sarah Rohrs at 707-553-6832.