More med students choosing internal medicine residencies

March 25, 2011

Good news for primary care practices: Enrollment in internal medicine residency program has grown for the second straight year, according to the 2011 National Resident Matching Program report.

 

Good news for primary care practices: Enrollment in internal medicine residency programs has grown for the second straight year, according to the 2011 National Resident Matching Program report.

The report states that 2,940 U.S. seniors at medical schools enrolled in internal medicine residency programs this year, an 8% increase from last year. It is the second straight year of increases for internal medicine residencies, following a decline from 2007 through 2009.

“We're cautiously optimistic and hope that the positive trend continues," Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American College of Physicians, said. “But the U.S. still has to overcome a generational shift that resulted in decreased numbers of students choosing primary care as a career. In 1985, 3,884 U.S. medical school graduates chose internal medicine residency programs. And the 18.9% of U.S. seniors that matched internal medicine in 2011 is the same percentage as 2007."

The 2011 numbers include students who will ultimately enter a subspecialty of internal medicine, such as cardiology. Currently, between 20% and 25% of internal medicine residents specialize in general internal medicine, compared with 54% in 1998.

See the study here.