Residency match results encouraging for adults needing primary care

Mar 17, 2011

The increase in the number of U.S. medical students choosing internal medicine residencies in 2011 is a positive sign toward easing the primary care workforce shortage, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation's second-largest doctors group.

The 2011 National Resident Matching Program report released today shows an 8.0 percent increase from last year, with 2,940 U.S. seniors at medical schools enrolling in an internal medicine residency program, compared to 2,722 in 2010. This is the second consecutive year that internal medicine enrollment numbers have increased. This trend follows a two year decline from 2007 to 2009 (2,680 in 2007; 2,660 in 2008; and 2,632 in 2009).

"This is good news for internal medicine and adult patient care in the U.S.," said J. Fred Ralston, Jr. MD, FACP, president, ACP. "The American College of Physicians has consistently called for health care reforms that support internal medicine as a career path, including increasing support for primary care training programs, increasing Medicaid and to , and expanding pilot testing and implementation of new models of patient care."

While ACP welcomed the trend of more U.S. students choosing internal medicine residencies, the organization cautioned that increasing the nation's primary care workforce has a long way to go to meet the needs of an requiring care for chronic and complex illnesses.

"We're cautiously optimistic and hope that the positive trend continues," said Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, executive vice president and CEO, ACP. "But the U.S. still has to overcome a generational shift that resulted in decreased numbers of students choosing primary care as a career. In 1985, 3,884 U.S. medical school graduates chose internal medicine residency programs. And the 18.9 percent of U.S. seniors that matched internal medicine in 2011 is the same percentage as 2007."

The 2011 match numbers include students who will ultimately enter a subspecialty of internal medicine, such as cardiology or gastroenterology. Currently, about 20 to 25 percent of internal medicine residents eventually choose to specialize in general internal medicine, compared with 54 percent in 1998.

Explore further: Experts denounce clinical trials of unscientific, 'alternative' medicines

Provided by American College of Physicians

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study links primary care shortage with salary disparities

Sep 09, 2008

The nation's shortage of primary care physicians has been linked to a host of poor health outcomes, and a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that salary disparities play a majo ...

Researchers recommend curriculum on unhealthy substance use

Mar 15, 2010

Educational leaders from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) believe teaching the subject of unhealthy substance use must be incorporated into internal medicine residency training and can be done within existing teaching ...

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0