Largest Number of Residents in Training, But Is It Enough?
Texas had the largest single-year increase in the number of offered positions in at least the past 15 years in the 2011 Match of physicians to entry-level residency program positions administered by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Texas residency programs provided 70, or 4.6-percent, more offered positions in the 2011 Match than in the prior year.
The Match took place March 17, but state-level statistics only recently became available.
Ninety-five percent of the positions offered in Texas through the Match were filled on Match Day. Typically, it is rare for any entry-level training positions to go unfilled at the start of the residency year in July, with any post-Match vacancies typically filling the week after the Match.
Over the decade, Texas added 242 entry-level allopathic residency program positions, an 18-percent increase, growing from 1,351 in 2001 to 1,593 in 2011. The number of entry-level positions offered by Texas residency programs in the 2011 Match represented 6 percent of offered positions in the United States.
U.S. medical school seniors' interest in four programs – internal medicine/pediatrics, otolaryngology, radiation oncology, and diagnostic radiology – was so high that they filled every available position in Texas.
Nationally, the 2011 Match was the largest since it began in 1952, with 26,158 offered positions. The number of new positions, 638, or 2.5 percent, represents the largest single-year increase in five years. The match rate for U.S. medical school seniors was up a bit from the past year, at 94.1 percent, compared with 93.3 percent in 2010. This indicates there was likely a slight improvement in the availability of training positions for medical school seniors. Following last year's Match, there were concerns about shortages of training positions for the increased number of medical school graduates. Although the match rate slightly improved this year, only half of the allopathic seniors matched to their first-choice program – the lowest rate since 1997. Of those who matched, 81 percent matched to one of their top three choices.
For the second year in a row, more U.S. seniors matched to primary care, with family medicine continuing to experience the strongest growth in the number of positions filled by U.S. seniors, up 11 percent over the previous year. Family medicine offered 100 more positions this year. Internal medicine and pediatrics also attracted a higher number of U.S. seniors, with internal medicine gaining 8 percent and pediatrics, 3 percent. Obstetrics-gynecology saw a slight decrease in U.S. seniors, down 2 percent. Other specialties that attracted more U.S. seniors included emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and neurology, with neurology leading the group by a gain of 41 percent.
Primary care specialties together fill 99 percent of available slots and saw a 6-percent increase in the percentage of U.S. seniors that matched to these specialties in 2011.
In comparing the number of U.S. medical graduates to the number of offered positions and the graduates' preferred matches, family medicine had the highest ratio of available positions per U.S. senior at 2.1 to 1. This was followed by pathology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, both with a ratio of 1.9 seniors per available position. The lowest ratio of offered positions to the number of U.S. seniors seeking a position in that specialty was thoracic surgery at 0.4. The total number of positions was also very small –13 – compared with 53 seniors who sought a position in that specialty (including only choice, first choice and not first choice rankings by seniors).
The number of U.S. citizens who attended international medical schools increased again this year to 3,769, with 50 percent matching to positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates who registered for the match declined for the second year in a row, down 8.1 percent to 6,659. This was the lowest number in five years. Despite the decrease, there was a slightly better match rate for international medical graduates, growing from 39.8 to 40.9 percent. More than half matched to two specialties: internal medicine-categorical and family medicine. The next largest specialty was pediatrics-categorical and psychiatry. Training programs typically expect physicians who enter categorical training positions to complete the training required for certification in that specialty.
Osteopathic physicians participating in the match set a four-year record this year, at 2,178. About 72 percent of those matched to a position, also setting a four-year record.
More U.S. seniors showed interest in primary care training programs this year. Although increases for family medicine and internal medicine were small – only about 4 percent – both saw a reversal of previous downward slides. Family medicine programs in Texas filled 202 or 96-percent of the 211 positions offered in the match, the highest number of filled positions for family medicine since 1998.
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TMA 2011 Fall Conference Next Month
Join leaders from across Texas for TMA's 2011 Fall Conference Oct. 21-22 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin 2011.
Students are invited to join members of the Resident and Fellow Section for a special panel discussion on practice setting options. Hear firsthand from young physicians in a range of practice settings, from solo practice to large group to academia, on how they selected their career path, plus the good, the bad, and the ugly they have learned along the way.
The meeting will be at 1 pm Saturday, Oct. 22, in Foothills 1 of the Hyatt.
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Texans Win AMA Foundation Scholarships
Two fourth-year Texas medical students are among 18 winners of the American Medical Association Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarships. The medical schools nominated the recipients, and the AMA Foundation chose the winners on the basis of their academic standing, financial status, and community involvement.
The Texas winners are Joshua Goldman, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, and Kymberly Gonzalez, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Each student will receive a $10,000 scholarship to help defray medical school expenses.
"These medical students represent the very best of the next generation of physicians," said AMAFoundation President Owen Garrick, MD, MBA. "Their academic achievements, public health initiatives,and volunteer activities illustrate their commitment to assume leadership roles in the medical communityand improve health care in the United States."
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Resources for You and Your Chapter
Looking for help planning chapter events? Want clarification on parliamentary procedure? Not sure who the contact is for your council or committee?
Visit the MSS Leadership Manual for resources on a range of topics from resolution writing to funding to leadership opportunities and more.
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AMA Meeting in November
The American Medical Association Medical Student Section Interim Meeting will be Nov.10-12 in New Orleans.
Meeting events include more than 25 educational programs topics, two days of policy-making sessions, the 9th Annual Research Symposium, and elections for chair-elect of the Governing Council and student representative on the AMA Board of Trustees.
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TMA on Facebook and Twitter
For more inside news about TMA events and issues, become a fan of the Medical Student Section on Facebook.
You also can stay up-to-date about Texas medicine by subscribing via RSS to Blogged Arteries, which provides breaking news you need to know, and by following @texmed on Twitter.
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