I thought all of you might be interested in the article posted today in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I hope we are able to achieve 100% match results, or very close to it.

Some good news so far; We had one placement at the U. of Toronto Hospital which I believe is the largest family practice medical center in Canada. He was one of 24 people chosen out of 84, but originally out of 2000 applications!!

We had another match in Medicine at Harbor Hospital in Maryland.

Another excellent placement included a first choice match at St Lukes Bethlehem Hospital Network (affiliated w U-Penn), categorical five (means he is locked in for 5 years) general surgery. From our understanding, HE IS THE FIRST CARIB STUDENT EVER ACCEPTED INTO THIS PROGRAM.

Another; Three years, Internal Medicine at Mt Sinai/Elmhurst Hospital, with one third of the time in the Manhattan Mt Sinai (his second choice).

The very best of luck to the remainder of our graduates, we are very proud of all of you!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Family-Medicine Residencies Shrink Again as Doctors-to-Be Get Assignment
By Katherine Managan

Record numbers of medical-school seniors ripped open envelopes on Thursday in ceremonies across the country and learned where they will spend the next three to seven years training as physicians. While the numbers were heartening to educators worried about future physician shortages, they also revealed a disappointing drop in family-medicine residencies, which have declined for nine out of the last 10 years.
The assignments were revealed at 1 p.m. Eastern time in simultaneous Match Day ceremonies at medical schools across the United States.
After a slight uptick last year, the number of positions offered in family medicine declined this year. The number of those positions filled by seniors in traditional American medical schools also dipped, by 8 percent. U.S. medical seniors filled just 46 percent of the 2,311 slots, while the remaining positions went mostly to graduates of foreign medical or osteopathic schools.
This decline prompted a statement of concern from the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Ted Epperly.
“If America’s medical schools continue to generate a physician work force that is going into subspecialties, we are not meeting the needs of America’s communities,” he said. “America’s medical schools then become part of the problem and not part of the solution of meeting America’s work-force needs.”
In an interview on Thursday, Dr. Epperly said the association "will redouble our efforts to drive home the message that we need to increase the work force of family physicians in this country."
Many students, faced with debts of more than $150,000, are shying away from family medicine because of the field's relatively low salaries, he and other educators concur. The most competitive specialties this year included dermatology, orthopedic surgery, and neurological surgery.
Rising Participation
Nearly 30,000 applicants participated in the match, which is an all-time high. Of those, 15,638 were seniors in American medical schools, 10,874 were graduates of international medical schools, and 2,015 were students and graduates of osteopathic schools. An additional 1,222 were physicians who had graduated from medical school earlier, but had not yet matched to residencies, sometimes because of illness or pregnancy.
“We saw an across-the-board increase in match applicants this year, particularly among U.S. medical-school seniors,” said Mona M. Signer, executive director of the National Resident Matching Program, which is sponsored by several groups, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“This is likely the result of medical-school expansion across the nation in anticipation of a future physician shortage," she added. "Existing medical schools have increased their class sizes, and new medical schools are in development.”
The 29,890 applicants who participated in the match this year represented a 4-percent increase over last year and a 15-percent jump over five years ago.
Medical educators are concerned, though, that the number of residency slots remains constrained by the federal government’s cap on the number of positions that Medicare pays for. Ninety-three percent of U.S. medical-school seniors matched to a residency program this year, with 82 percent of them ending up with one of their top three choices.
New Orleans’s two medical schools had cause to celebrate this year. Tulane University School of Medicine filled all but three or four of its 200 positions, officials there said, and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center filled 113 of its 117 openings. That’s a welcome change from 2006, the year after Hurricane Katrina, when both programs struggled to fill residency positions in the devastated city.
More Than One Kind of Match
The matching program uses a computer algorithm to match, as closely as possible, the choices entered by both applicants and the directors of teaching hospitals’ training programs.
For one medical-school senior, Match Day was especially memorable. Julie Contes, a senior at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, stepped forward when her name was called and opened her envelope as her parents and friends looked on. Instead of her placement, it contained a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Johnny Gibbs, a medical resident in Fort Worth who had traveled to the ceremony to surprise her.
“I was crying and shaking, and I dropped the paper,” Ms. Contes said. Then, when he emerged from the crowd and got down on his knees, she said yes.
A few minutes later, she was handed another envelope, which informed her that she had been placed in a residency program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. “It was the only anesthesiology position that would allow me to be near him, and it was my top choice," she said. "What an unbelievable day.”