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AAMC Concerned About Reports of Unmatched Students

Washington, D.C., March 15, 2013AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement about the results of the 2013 Main Residency Match:  

 “Match Day is usually a day of excitement, enthusiasm, and joy for medical students around the country. While that remains true for most graduating medical students, we are very troubled by reports about significant numbers of highly qualified U.S. medical school graduates who did not match to residency training positions.

 While we are waiting to learn the exact number of unmatched students, the reports coming from our member medical schools are cause for significant concern, and demonstrate the urgent need to increase federal support for graduate medical education.

 Yesterday, we were very pleased to see reintroduction of the “Training Tomorrow’s Doctors Today Act” by Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.), and the “Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2013” sponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The increase in the number of Medicare-supported graduate medical education residency positions proposed in these measures would begin to alleviate the doctor shortage facing the nation by allowing medical schools and teaching hospitals to train between 3,000 and 4,000 more physicians a year. We applaud these lawmakers for their leadership.

 With a nationwide shortage of 90,000 physicians projected by 2020, U.S. medical schools are on track to increase their enrollment by 30 percent. In fact, the 960 additional graduating medical school students participating in this year’s Main Residency Match are due primarily to four new medical schools included in this year’s Match and the efforts of existing schools to expand enrollment.

 To avert the coming shortage, we need to begin today to increase the overall supply of physicians in this country by lifting the cap on residency training positions imposed in 1997 by the Balanced Budget Act. Inaction will only mean extensive shortages of both primary care physicians and a wide range of specialists. Reducing our nation’s deficit is important. But the question must be asked: If there aren’t enough doctors, what will you do?”

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 141 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom

Contact

Susan Beach
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Telephone: 202-828-0983
E-mail: sbeach@aamc.org