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Primary care the top match for osteopathic medical students


Placement rate hits record high, expected to grow with final numbers later this spring.

Primary care is the future area of study for a majority of osteopathic medical students who collectively set a record matching into residency positions this year.

The American Osteopathic Association announced the 2023 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) matched 7,132 osteopathic medical students and past doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) graduates into postgraduate year one (PGY1) residency positions. It represented a 91.6% placement rate, an all-time high and up slightly from 2022, but the rate is expected to surpass 99% when final placement numbers are available in May.

Primary care the top match for osteopathic medical students

Ernest R. Gelb, DO
American Osteopathic Association

They will advance in 37 specialties, with 3,902, or 57%, matching DO students landing in primary care, and 2,910, or 43%, heading for non-primary care placements.

“We are thrilled to see continued growth in the number of osteopathic medical students and graduates who successfully place into residency positions through the NRMP Match each year,” AOA President Ernest R. Gelb, DO, said in a statement. “The percentage of matches for our residency candidates continues to keep pace with the growth of our profession, demonstrating that residency programs and patients are actively seeking the distinctive approach DOs provide across the full spectrum of medicine.”

There were increases in DO residents in family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. With emergency medicine, those categories represented the top four of 15 specialties for the numbers of PGY1 matches, according to AOA.

The number of DO placements in specialty training programs increased for general surgery, neurology, psychiatry, pathology, orthopedic surgery, child neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, vascular surgery, and otolaryngology. There were 320 graduating fourth-year students and 68 graduates securing residency positions in programs run or sponsored by the U.S. military.

“It’s exciting to witness the continued growth and expansion of osteopathic medicine across the full House of Medicine, and this year’s high match rate speaks to the exceptional quality of our DO residency candidates and the pivotal role they will play in the future of health care,” AOA Interim CEO Kathleen S. Creason, MBA, said in a statement. “I am inspired by the dedication and tenacity of these future residents and can’t wait to see how they will influence the landscape of medicine for years to come.”

AOA also listed the top 15 specialties by numbers of PGY1 matches:

  1. Internal Medicine
  2. Family Medicine
  3. Emergency Medicine
  4. Pediatrics
  5. Psychiatry
  6. Anesthesiology
  7. Transitional year
  8. Obstetrics & Gynecology
  9. Surgery
  10. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  11. Neurology
  12. Internal Medicine – preliminary year
  13. Diagnostic Radiology
  14. Orthopedic Surgery
  15. Pathology
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