Family medicine Match rate increases slightly

Tags: national residency matching program, match, workforce

Family medicine Match rate increases slightly

posted 04.12.12

For the third straight year, family medicine attracted more graduating medical students, according to the National Resident Matching Program. However, the gains made nationally were smaller than in the past two years. Family medicine residency programs filled 2,611 positions out of 2,764 positions offered for a fill rate of 94.5 percent, a slight improvement on last year’s fill rate of 94.4 percent. Thirty-four more family medicine positions were offered nationwide in 2012 than in 2011, and 35 more positions were filled in 2012 than in 2011.

Eighteen more U.S. seniors chose family medicine in 2012 compared with 2011, though fewer U.S. seniors participated in the Match in 2012 compared with 2011. This is the first time since 2002 that fewer U.S. seniors participated in the NRMP than the preceding year, though this year’s Match was the largest in NRMP history with 38,000 vying for 26,772 PGY-1 and PGY-2 positions.

“Despite the increased attention for primary care, the percentage of primary care positions filled in 2012 continues to fall short of the peak interest that occurred in 1998,” AAFP reported in its Match analysis. “Although the Match results are encouraging, student interest … is still not at the level it needs to be.”

“The majority of positions offered and filled in the NRMP, especially among U.S. graduates, continue to be in non-primary care sub-specialties.”

In Texas, 202 positions were filled out of 210 offered, for a fill rate of 96.2 percent in 2012. One fewer residency position was offered in 2012 than in 2011. More detailed results for the state will be available in May.

This year brought significant changes to the Match. NRMP moved Match Day from the third Thursday of the month to the third Friday of the month to implement the new Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, or SOAP. The SOAP process allows medical students who do not match in the first round to enter into successive rounds of matching. It replaces the Scramble and, according to the NRMP, provides “an equitable, transparent, and orderly process for applying to, offering, and accepting positions in programs that did not fill” in the Match.

The organization reports that in its inaugural year, 93 percent of unfilled positions were placed in SOAP, and by the end of week, 91 percent of those positions had been filled.