Philadelphia, March 20, 2015 -- The number of U.S. senior medical students choosing internal medicine residencies increased by about 5 percent in 2015. During this time, the number of new internal medicine positions increased by about 4 percent. According to the 2015 National Resident Matching Program, 3,317 U.S. medical school seniors matched for residency training in internal medicine.
"The American College of Physicians is pleased to see that the number of internal medicine positions offered in 2015 increased to 6,770, or about one in four of the available residencies," said Patrick Alguire, MD, FACP, ACP's senior vice president for medical education. "ACP remains concerned, however, that the financial burden on medical students from the cost of medical education, along with problematic payment models and administrative hassles for physicians, are barriers to general internal medicine and primary care careers, which are the heart of a high performing, accessible, and high quality health care system."
Internal medicine enrollment numbers have increased every year since 2010: 2,772 in 2010, 2,940 in 2011, 2,941 in 2012, 3,135 in 2013, 3,167 in 2014, and 3,317 in 2015. The percentage of U.S. seniors matched to postgraduate year one (PGY-1) positions has increased from 18.9 percent in 2011 to 19.8 percent in 2015. The percentage of internal medicine positions filled by U.S. seniors has remained steady at approximately 49 percent over the last four years.
The 2015 match for internal medicine is still below the 3,884 U.S. medical school graduates that chose internal medicine residency programs in 1985. The great majority of current internal medicine residents will ultimately enter a subspecialty of internal medicine, such as cardiology or gastroenterology. Only about 22 percent of internal medicine residents eventually choose to specialize in general internal medicine, compared with 54 percent in 1998, according to ACP.
The 2015 match also showed an increase of U.S. medical graduates who matched in Internal Medicine-Primary Care (156 in 2010, 166 in 2011, 186 in 2012, 200 in 2013, 202 in 2014, and 206 in 2015, ) and in Medicine-Pediatrics (299 in 2010, 309 in 2011, 276 in 2012, 312 in 2013, 284 in 2014, and 319 in 2015).
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 141,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.