Emergency medicine sees tough Match Week

Residency match results are rolling in for 2023, and an unprecedented number of emergency medicine positions — 555 — are unfilled

This is more than double the number of unpatched positions the specialty saw last year, according to a joint statement from 11 emergency medicine groups published March 13. From increased clinical demands to debt burden, there are a number of factors driving applicants to favor other specialties. 

For one, emergency medicine topped Medscape's ranking of most burned out specialities in 2021 and 2022. Last year, 65 percent of emergency medicine physicians reported burnout. The joint statement from the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and other groups also acknowledged ED boarding as a challenge. In a November letter to President Joe Biden, dozens of medical groups warned that staffing shortages had brought ED boarding to a crisis point, citing the patient safety and quality risks tied to boarding. 

"Given the recent pandemic and results of the last two Matches, this is a challenging time for EM," the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and other groups said in the joint statement, adding that they have convened a "Match Task Force" to develop strategies that can mitigate the factors that have led to an increasing number of unfilled positions. 

The groups said they are confident unmatched spots will fill during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, known as SOAP — a pathway for eligible unmatched applicants to apply for unfilled positions. 

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