Residency match results not encouraging for adults needing primary care

Mar 18, 2010

The number of U.S. medical students choosing internal medicine residencies inched higher from 2009 but not enough to significantly impact the shortage of primary care physicians.

According to the 2010 National Resident Matching Program report, 2,722 U.S. seniors at medical schools enrolled in an internal medicine residency program, a 3.4 percent increase from 2,632 in 2009. The internal medicine enrollment numbers are similar to 2008 (2,660), 2007 (2,680), and 2006 (2,668). In comparison, 3,884 U.S. medical school graduates chose internal medicine residency programs in 1985.

"Multiple studies have shown that the U.S. is facing a shortage of ," said Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, Deputy Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President, Medical Education and Publishing, for the American College of Physicians (ACP). "ACP has consistently called for health care reform to ensure that all Americans have access to a primary care physician, which is crucial for both preventive care and long-term treatment of complex and ."

The 2010 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.

"Because it takes a minimum of three years of residency after four years of medical school to train an internist, it is critical to begin making careers in internal medicine attractive to young physicians," said Dr. Weinberger. "As America's increases and more people gain access to affordable coverage, the demand for general internists and other primary care doctors will drastically outpace the primary care physician supply."

Increasing Medicaid and Medicare payments to primary care physicians, expanding pilot testing and implementation of patient-centered medical homes, and increasing support for primary care training programs are ways to increase the number of primary care physicians, according to ACP.

ACP remains concerned about the rising cost of medical education and the resulting financial burden on physicians who choose careers in internal medicine, Dr. Weinberger noted.

Explore further: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Provided by American College of Physicians

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

Related Stories

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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

User comments : 0