Among the factors that can contribute to medical specialty choice is the magnitude of opportunity. This unique view of program data reveal which specialties offer the greatest number of first-year residency positions. 

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To get you started within a specialty, each link takes you to a list of the 10 programs offering the most first-year positions for that specialty.  

Rankings are based on FREIDA™ data updated as of Oct. 10, 2019. FREIDA™, the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database®, allows medical students to search for a residency or fellowship from more than 11,000 programs—all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. 

In 2019 so far, FREIDA users have tallied more than 3.5 million views of residency programs. With this collection, we draw from the nearly 40,000 first-year residency positions to share the 10 specialties that offer the most first-year medical residency positions. 

  1. Internal medicine –11,515 first-year residency positions (including preliminary positions)

  2. Family medicine – 4,890 first-year residency positions

  3. Pediatrics – 3,226 first-year residency positions

  4. Surgery-general – 2,868 first-year residency positions (including preliminary positions) 

  5. Emergency medicine – 2,739 first-year residency positions  

  6. Psychiatry – 1,906 first-year residency positions 

  7. Anesthesiology – 1,679 first-year residency positions 

  8. Transitional year – 1,635 first-year residency positions 

  9. Obstetrics and gynecology – 1,512 first-year residency positions 

  10. Radiology-diagnostic – 1,187 first-year residency positions 


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