AAMC Remains Concerned About Shortage of Residency Positions Despite Successful Match Day
Washington, D.C., March 21, 2014—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued the following statement about the results of the 2014 Main Residency Match:
“The AAMC congratulates the nation’s medical students on a successful Match this year. Match Day is a joyous time for new physicians that celebrates their hard work and the accomplishments that have brought them to this point in their careers.
However, based on our preliminary analysis of this year’s data, it appears that several hundred U.S. medical students did not match to a first-year residency training program. As a result, with a serious physician shortage looming closer, we remain concerned that the 17-year cap on federal support of new doctor training will impede the necessary growth in residency positions that must occur to ensure that our growing and aging population will receive the care it needs.
According to the most recent AAMC Survey of Medical School Enrollment Plans, U.S. medical school (M.D.) enrollment will increase to 21,349 students by 2018. Combined with the larger number of graduates from osteopathic schools (D.O.), which also are expanding to address the shortage, as well as increasing numbers of international graduates entering the Match, there may be too few residency positions for all the newly graduated doctors in the not-too-distant future.
With one-third of the nation’s doctors expected to retire in the next decade, and 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, our nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020, split nearly equally between primary care and other medical and surgical specialties.
The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have stepped up to address these shortages by expanding their enrollments and voluntarily creating new residency training positions, at a cost of $1 billion per year over the last decade. However, additional federal budget cuts to teaching hospitals make significant further expansion of residency training programs highly unlikely, and some programs, facing declining clinical revenue, may be forced to close.
As a result, to make a meaningful difference in the number of physicians serving our nation, the federal government must resume doing its part to ensure an adequate supply of physicians in the U.S. by lifting the cap on Medicare support for graduate medical education. We urge Congress to act without delay to pass legislation, introduced in both the House and Senate, which would train an additional 4,000 doctors a year, as well as encourage the development of new health care delivery models and more team-based practice. It is going to take an act of Congress to make sure patients are able to see a doctor when they need one.”
The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association representing all 144 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 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org/newsroom.
2014 Match Data
Read the advance data tables from the NRMP.
AAMC Survey of Medical School Enrollment Plans
Medical schools are on track to increase medical school enrollment 30 percent by 2018.
How to Fix the Doctor Shortage
Learn more about why funding for graduate medical education matters.