More Med Students Enter Primary Care; Specialties Still Strong

The number of seniors at U.S. medical students entering primary care rose again in this year's residency match, according to a release by the National Resident Matching Program.

Positions filled by filled by U.S. seniors rose by 11 percent in family medicine, 8 percent in internal medicine and 3 percent in pediatrics over last year, and family medicine matches were higher for the second year. Emergency medicine, anesthesiology and neurology also saw increases in U.S. seniors.

Many specialty fields did not show much growth, mainly because they are highly competitive. At least 90 percent of available positions in dermatology, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery were filled by U.S. seniors.

Due to ongoing increases in U.S. medical school enrollment, the 2010 Match was the first year that the number of positions filled by U.S. seniors exceeded 15,000.

The Match is also open to graduates of osteopathic schools and foreign medical schools. The 2011 Match placed 2,178 osteopathic applicants and 3,769 applicants from international medical schools in U.S. residency programs.

Read the National Resident Matching Program release on physician supply (pdf).

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