Internal medicine residencies level off for 2012

May 10, 2012

After 2 years of increases, the number of U.S. medical students choosing internal medicine residencies has plateaued, concerning the American College of Physicians.

After 2 years of increases, the number of U.S. medical students choosing internal medicine residencies has leveled off. This year, 2,941 seniors matched in internal medicine, compared with 2011's figure of 2,940. That number includes students who ultimately will enter a subspecialty.

Currently, about 20% to 25% of internal medicine residents specialize in general internal medicine, compared with 54% in 1998. Those numbers are not high enough to meet the growing demand for primary care physicians, according to the American College of Physicians (ACP).

"We remain concerned about the need to significantly increase the nation's internal medicine and primary care physician workforce to meet the needs of an aging population requiring care for chronic and complex illnesses," says Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP, ACP president.