Wednesday, April 06, 2005

2005 Match Stats....
Mr. Genes, Grunt Doc, and Dr. Rack have analyzed the statistics from the 2005 Match. Here are some more numbers:

General Surgery had 1051 positions available this year (see page 4), up from 1044 last year. Of these 885 were filled by US applicants (80.3%) and 199 by non-US applicants (18.9%) for a total of 1044 applicants matching in general surgery (99%). Seven spots were unfilled. These numbers are slightly down from last year when US applicants filled about 85 percent of the slots, and only two slots were left unfilled. This represents the first decline in the number of US applicants matching in general surgery since 2002.

Family Practice had 2761 slots available this year, down from 2864 in 2004 and 2920 in 2003. 2275 slots were filled (82.4%), up from the 78.8 fill percentage last year. 1117 of the 2275 were filled by US seniors (49%), 1158 by non-US applicants (51%). The number of filled slots held by US applicants is down somewhat from 2004 when 52.5 percent of the filled slots were US applicants. The total fill percentage has ranged anywhere between 76-82 percent since 2001, while the total number of slots offered has fallen from 3074 in 2001 to 2761 this year. The percentage of filled slots held by US applicants has fallen from a high of 64 percent in 2001 as well.

Internal Medicine had 4634 slots filled out of the 4768 offered (97%). This is the same as last year and has been trending upward since 2001 (93%). Fifty-seven percent (2659) of those filled were filled by US applicants, up slightly from 56% last year. While the total number of offered slots has varied slightly from year to year, more slots were offered in 2005 compared to 2001 (4768 vs. 4727)

Pediatrics offered 2269 slots this year and filled 2211 of them (97.4%). The total number of slots were up slightly from 2004 (2261 vs. 2269) and the fill percentage was up by 1.7 percent as well. US applicants held 76% of the filled slots in 2005, up slightly from the 74.5 percent last year. This reverses a trend since 2001 when 81 percent of the filled slots were held by US applicants.

What does this mean? Is Family Practice in trouble? If FP offered the same number of slots as it did in 2001 (3074) their fill rate would have been 74% with only 36.3%of total slots held by US applicants. Can the availability of fellowships leading to high-paying specialist postitions explain how IM and Pediatrics outperform FP? I can see it more for IM, but I have no idea how much a pediatric pulmonologist or cardiologist makes compared with their adult colleagues.
One thing I thinks this makes abundantly clear, the solution to the primary care problem does not lie in providing more residency training slots, as they can't fill the ones they have even after reducing the numbers.
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