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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. 

Access FREIDA™

Quickly search and sort more than 12,000 fellowship and residency programs with easy-to-use filters that can be saved to your member-only dashboard.

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 from Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2021. FREIDA™, the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database®, allows medical students to search for a residency or fellowship from more than 12,000 programs—all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

In 2021, FREIDA users tallied more than 8.5 million views of residency programs. With this collection, we draw from the nearly 60,000 first-year residency positions to share the 10 specialties that offer the most first-year medical residency positions. 

Most first-year medical residency positions of 2021

    1. Internal medicine –12,160 first-year residency positions (including preliminary positions)

    2. Family medicine – 5,199 first-year residency positions

    3. Pediatrics – 3,258 first-year residency positions

    4. Surgery-general – 3,056 first-year residency positions (including preliminary positions) 

    5. Emergency medicine – 3,000 first-year residency positions  

    6. Psychiatry – 2,089 first-year residency positions 

    7. Transitional year – 1,911 first-year residency positions

    8. Anesthesiology – 1,774 first-year residency positions 

    9. Obstetrics and gynecology – 1,589 first-year residency positions 

    10. Radiology-diagnostic – 1,223 first-year residency positions 


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