This Month's News
Match results highlight growing shortage of residency slots
The 2013 Main Residency Match was the largest in the program's history, according to data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). A record 40,335 people worldwide applied for 29,171 U.S. residency positions this year. This is up nearly 2,000 applicants from 2012, including almost 1,000 U.S. seniors. The NRMP attributes this latter increase to three new U.S. medical schools graduating their first classes as well as enrollment expansions in existing schools.
Primary care was also a success story, with the number of U.S. students choosing this career path up by almost 400 over 2012. Internal medicine increased 194 over last year to 3,135 total; pediatrics gained 105, to 1,837; and family medicine increased 33, to 1,355.
Indeed, for many students, Match Day was cause for celebration. Jamie Johnson, a student from the Indiana University School of Medicine, described how being an AMA member “played an integral role in making me a competitive candidate during the residency application and interview process because of leadership, volunteer, and advocacy experiences.” The AMA was invited to be one of 12 sponsors and exhibit at the school’s post-Match celebration on March 15.
“More importantly,” added Johnson, “my membership in the AMA has helped to mold my future career plans as, in addition to practicing medicine, I plan to remain intimately involved in medical leadership at both the state and national levels after witnessing the impact bodies such as the AMA can have on the medical community and our patients.”
Unfortunately, a growing number of U.S. seniors did not obtain a residency position, either through the Match or in the NRMP’s post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, or SOAP. In fact, this number doubled this year, from 262 in 2012 to 528 in 2013.
One recent article called the situation a “residency black hole.” Further, the gap between the demand for residency positions and the nation's actual supply stands to grow worse with proposed federal funding cuts for GME and increased medical school enrollments. Meanwhile, the country is expected to see a shortage of 62,900 physicians in just two years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The AMA supports lifting the cap on federally funded residency positions to help ensure that more Match applicants have the opportunity to continue and complete their training. Legislation introduced last month in Congress calls for funding an additional 15,000 Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) positions over the next five years. Read more about this legislation elsewhere in this issue.
Also, visit the AMA's Save GME campaign website and urge your members of Congress to address this issue.
For more reading...
- "Matching the unmatched: the role of the medical student career advisor" (Wing of Zock).
- "Match day: more medical graduates entering primary care" (USA Today).
- "Match day: specialty slot contest good for primary care?" (MedPage Today).
- Primary care rebounds on Match Day (American Medical News).
- "Job prospects are dimming for radiology trainees" (New York Times)