Happy Match Day! Earlier today, medical school seniors across the country learned where they would do their residency training. But today is not just about how medical students will be spending their next 3-7 years. It’s also about which specialties are hot… or not… in the eyes of future physicians.
This year’s results should make family physicians hopeful. The number of U.S. medical school seniors who chose family medicine residencies rose 9% over last year. This year, nearly 45% of the slots were filled by U.S. medical graduates. That’s the highest percentage of U.S. students entering family medicine since 2002, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Why the increase? Dr. Lori Heim, president of the AAFP, says it has something to do with the debate on health reform. With politicians, physicians, and policy experts all talking about the importance of primary care and the medical home, students are the getting the picture that being a family physician might be worthwhile.
The 2010 resident match results also indicate that areas like dermatology, neurological surgery, orthopedic surgery, and otolaryngology are some of the top choices for U.S. medical students, as they have been for many years.
Again in 2010, these areas were the most competitive, according to the National Resident Matching Program, with at least 90% of the available slots in each specialty being filled by U.S. medical school seniors.
— Mary Ellen Schneider (on Twitter @MaryEllenNY)