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RESULTS of the 2005 National Resident Matching Program: Family Medicine

Perry A. Pugno; Gordon T. Schmittling; Gerald T. Fetter; Norman B. Kahn

The results of the 2005 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) reflect a currently stable level of student interest in family medicine residency training in the United States. Compared with the 2004 Match, 19 more positions (66 fewer US seniors) were filled in family medicine residency programs through the NRMP in 2005, at the same time as four fewer (18 fewer US seniors) in primary care internal medicine, seven more in pediatrics-primary care (three fewer US seniors), and 12 fewer (21 fewer US seniors) in internal medicine-pediatrics programs. In comparison, 25 more positions (four more US seniors) were filled in anesthesiology but two fewer (14 fewer US seniors) in diagnostic radiology, two “marker” disciplines that have shown increases over the past several years. Many different forces, including student perspectives of the demands, rewards, and prestige of the specialty, the turbulence and uncertainty of the health care environment, lifestyle issues, and the impact of faculty and resident role models, continue to influence medical student career choices. Seven more positions (57 more US seniors) were filled in categorical internal medicine while 48 more positions (68 more US seniors) were filled in categorical pediatrics programs, where trainees perceive options for either practicing as generalists or entering subspecialty fellowships, depending on the market. With the needs of the nation, especially for rural and underserved populations, continuing to offer opportunities for family physicians, family medicine experienced another slight increase through the 2005 NRMP. The 2005 NRMP results suggest that interest in family medicine and primary care careers continues to be stable.

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