Monday, March 18, 2013

Future of Family Medicine: 2013 Match Day Breakdown

Another year and another successful Match Day for 4th year medical school graduates.  Once again, both primary care and family medicine residencies gained interest, applicants, and matriculants. The 2013 Match results demonstrate gains in these areas for the fourth year in a row.

2013 NRMP Match Results:  Family Medicine had 2,914 of 3,037 PGY-1 spots fill this year, which is a 95.9% match rate.  This is up by 0.6% from last years 94.5% match rate when 2,611 of 2,764 PGY-1 positions were filled. Of note, however, only 44.6% of PGY-1 spots were filled by US medical graduates, marking a significant decrease from 2012 (48.3% last year).  For reference, Internal Medicine residencies saw a 49.9% US medical graduate rate. To drill down on this further, their were actually more US graduates that applied to family medicine in 2013, but the additional 273 new spots nationwide altered the percentage that were ultimately filled by US grads.

Also read AAFP News Now coverage of Match Day at: Family Medicine Match Summary.

The Osteopathic Match: Family medicine continues to be the largest matched specialty among osteopathic medical students, which announced the results of the 2013 osteopathic match in mid-February. Family medicine saw a 11% increase from last year, and was the largest matched specialty with 472 positions filled. This is well inline with studies that indicate that over half of DOs practice in a primary care field.
More medical schools continue to open, and existing schools expand class sizes to meet the growing health care needs of the American people. It follows that this year’s match had more applicants than any previous year.  In all, the 2013 graduating class matriculated 800 more foreign-born and International medical school graduates as well as nearly 300 more Osteopathic grads than last year.  

For the past four years, the Match has shown an increasing trend of medical students choosing paths in primary care.  Many suggest that this is a result of the more common occurance of primary care in the grander dialogue of the future of health care, or the boosts that primary care has recieved in policy and legislation recently.  However, some contend that the increases that we are seeing are simply in response to the greater competition that now exists within the Match.  As the applicant pool continues to widen, we will be eager to watch this trend in the coming years.  Either way, it is exciting that more than 3,000 new family medicine physicians are about to embark on a new journey into primary patient care!
See for more detailed match analysis. Follow AAFP detailed analyses at: also!

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