Thursday, March 17, 2011

Future of Family Medicine Match Day Coverage - The 2011 Family Medicine Match Results

Disclaimer: This post will be an evolving post that will change throughout the course of the week as results and statistics are released for the match in regards to family medicine.

Well, medical students - the day is here!  NRMP Match Day - a day that brings us full circle to US Grads matching into residency programs throughout the country.  It all started back in December with the military match, then continued with early match, the Osteopathic match, and now the NRMP match.

Military match stats this year had family medicine listed along with peds, ob, surg, and ortho as the most competitive for medical students participating in the military match.

Osteopathic match: "Primary care specialties of family (medicine) saw a 15% increase and internal medicine saw a 28% increase. Family (medicine) was the largest matched specialty with 373 positions filled."

Last year's family medicine match results: "more U.S. medical students chose family medicine as their specialty.. resulting in a fill rate of 91.4%, the highest percentage for family medicine ever."

This year, 172 more students chose family medicine - 2,576 family medicine positions were filled out of 2,730: a fill rate of 94.4% - impressive when taking into account that 100 more positions were available for family medicine vs. last year. Of the 2,576 candidates who selected family medicine, 1,317 of them are U.S. medical school graduates - this as a result of 133 more US Grads choosing family medicine this year (7.9% of US students chose family medicine last year vs 8.4% this year).

At 1PM EST, the NRMP released exciting results in regards to primary care!

For the second year in a row, more U.S. medical school seniors will train as family medicine residents, according to new data released today by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).  The number of U.S. seniors matched to family medicine positions rose by 11 percent over 2010....
  Among primary care specialties, family medicine programs continued to experience the strongest growth in the number of positions filled by U.S. seniors. In this year’s Match, U.S. seniors filled nearly half of the 2,708 family medicine residency slots. Family medicine also offered 100 more positions this year. 

This link will take you to AAFP's perspective on this year's match data.  Here is a summary of discussion:
Although the Match results are encouraging, student interest, however, is still not at the level it needs to be. Although the match rate in family medicine among US medical school graduates has increased, the majority of positions offered and filled in the NRMP, especially among US graduates, continue to be in non-primary care sub-specialties. In its 20th Annual Report “Advancing Primary Care”, the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME) affirms that the US physician workforce needs to be made up of "at least 40% primary care physicians" to ensure the nation's health, health care access, health care expenditures and health outcomes for the future.  
COGME projects that to reach this 40%, 63,000 additional primary care physicians are needed. If health reform succeeds in increasing the number of insured individuals, more than 100,000 additional primary care physicians will be needed. 
The number of students entering family medicine is most reflective of the future physicians who will provide primary care for adults in the future. The vast majority of internal medicine residents sub-specialize; only 2% of students entering an internal medicine residency choose to do general primary care after residency graduation in one study.
AAFP President, Dr. Roland Goertz, comments about this year's match results in AAFP's press release: 2011 Match Results Again Spotlight Family Medicine Gains
“This year’s results mark the second consecutive year of increased interest in family medicine,” Goertz said. “Although several factors likely contribute to the increase, we believe an important element is recognition that primary care medicine is absolutely essential if we are to improve the quality of health care and help control its costs. Of course, sustaining this interest will require continuing changes in the way America pays for and delivers health care to patients.” 
“Primary care has become much more visible as a result of the discussion about improving our health care system,” he said. “More people understand that if we’re to have high quality care at a controllable cost, we need to rebalance our system on a foundation of primary medical care.

Add in the heightened awareness through activities of the Family Medicine Interest Groups, and students began to understand that family physicians will be able to practice the kind of medicine they envisioned when they decided to become a doctor.” 
MedPage Today joins in on the mix and offers their perspective on primary care in an article titled "Primary Care Again a Top Choice on Match Day."

"This is good news for internal medicine and adult patient care in the U.S.," J. Fred Ralston Jr. MD, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), said in a statement.
The organization appeared guarded, however, adding that the primary care work force still has "a long way to go" to meet the needs of an aging population with various chronic diseases.

"We're cautiously optimistic and hope that the positive trend continues, but the U.S. still has to overcome a generational shift that resulted in decreased numbers of students choosing primary care as a career," Steven Weinberger, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the ACP, said in the statement
While we continue to compile data, we invite you to visit Mike Sevilla, MD's Family Medicine Rocks! Podcast recorded earlier today on BlogTalkRadio - info about this podcast can be found at his new site,

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