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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

Match Shows Modest Decrease for Internal Medicine

Decrease Partly Offset by IMGs and DOs According to ACP-ASIM

PHILADELPHIA -- (March 16, 2000) Results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Match, released March 16, 2000, show a modest decrease in the number of senior medical students matched to residencies in internal medicine and a substantial overall decrease in U.S. medical graduates placed in first-year positions in any primary care specialty, according to the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).

The overall matching of U.S. medical graduates (USMGs) to first-year positions in career-bound internal medicine programs fell by 137, or 3.9 percent. The fill rate was 93.1 percent with 398 vacancies after the Match.

The categorical internal medicine residency attracted 2,800 U.S. seniors, 62 less than 1999, or a drop of two percent. Two hundred eighty-one U.S. seniors were matched to primary care internal medicine residency positions, compared to 347 in 1999, a drop of 19 percent. In medicine-pediatrics, the drop was negligible, from 347 in 1999 to 338 in 2000.

Filling of preliminary (one-year) internal medicine positions, not included in the above figures, showed a growth of 7.5 percent over 1999. These 1,136 U.S. seniors are likely to pursue such specialties as ophthalmology, neurology or radiology after one year of internal medicine training.

The number of U.S. seniors entering into the three primary care specialties fell by 439 students, or 6 percent. With respect to the total number of individuals matched to these specialties, the declines are more modest: 1.2 percent for internal medicine and 1.9 percent for primary care specialties combined. This is accounted for by the doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) and international medical graduates (IMGs), whose numbers rose in 2000 over 1999. However, the NRMP results give an incomplete picture of DOs and IMGs entering first year residency positions, since many such trainees are recruited outside the Match. The complete picture will emerge when programs are individually surveyed in the fall.

"Overall, it appears that interest among U.S. medical school seniors in residencies leading to primary care practice declined substantially this year," according to Herbert Waxman, MD, FACP, ACP-ASIM senior vice president for education. "It will be important to track this cohort to see whether those entering internal medicine programs show an increased likelihood of moving on to subspecialty training three years hence rather than entering general internal medicine practice."

The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group. Its membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are doctors for adults who provide comprehensive diagnostic and preventive specialty care.

ACP-ASIM is dedicated to the advancement of internal medicine so that its members can provide the best quality care for their patients. A nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia, its mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.

[ Note to Editors: Herbert Waxman, MD, ACP-ASIM Senior VP for Education, is available for comment. Either call 215-351-2655 (Communications Dept.) or send an email to lteer@acponline.org. ]


Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800-523-1546, ext. 2655; lteer@acponline.org

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