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Record large class of med students, graduates, head into family medicine

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AAFP announces good news for primary care in results of NRMP Match.

Primary care will get a shot in the arm by way of a record large class of medical students and graduates entering the field of family medicine.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) announced the 2023 National Resident Matching Program Main Residency Match (NRMP Match) will pair 4,530 budding doctors with family medicine residency programs. Family medicine had 5,107 residency positions, 172 more than last year, totaling 13.6% of positions offered in all specialties, and with more programs offering posts than any other specialty.

AAFP congratulated the future family physicians for showing great resilience. After a “tripledemic” with COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus, along with large-scale shifts in health care and practice challenges affecting medical education, the upcoming doctors “join a primary care workforce that needs them more than ever.”

“The AAFP congratulates each of the students who matched into family medicine this year, a specialty that is the backbone of health care and a core component of ensuring patients have equitable access to comprehensive care,” AAFP President Tochi Iroku-Malize, MD, MPH, FAAFP, said in a news release. “We commend every student who has chosen to practice in this profession and know that the future of family medicine is in the most capable hands.”

AAFP said strengthening and expanding residency training programs is a top priority to address the urgent need for more primary care and family physicians. The AAFP has urged Congress to increase investment in Medicare Graduate Medical Education programs to meet workforce needs and train physicians who practice in areas with physician shortages.

For 2032, this is the 14th consecutive year of growth in the number of family medicine positions in the NRMP Match. Offering more positions in the Match than any other specialty reflects the urgent need to expand family medicine residencies, which are distributed more broadly than any other specialty to training physicians in the communities that need them the most, according to AAFP.

“Family physicians can make you feel better, and we can extend your life,” Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, said in the news release. Savoy is AAFP’s senior vice president of education, inclusiveness, and physician well-being.

“There is great joy in adding to our family of family medicine and knowing our future colleagues will be doing amazing work,” Savoy said. “Whenever I see more and more people choosing family medicine, I see people choosing to invest in the health of our country, and then the health of our world.”

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