Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Stream is VERY Full!

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. when you are in the match, everyone around you looks like a match applicant.


Recent article in the news applauded medical schools for increasing the number of first year medical students; Up almost 2,000 slots this year. That means in 4 years there will be 2,000 more students in the match process for residency positions.

But once again, the truth of the news is lost in the tragedy of the ineffectiveness of the process in the U.S. There were NOT 2,000 more residency slots created to accommodate those graduates. Add to that number the increase in foreign medical graduates like me, and the number of immigrant physicians who want to practice in the U.S. (all required for the most part to do residencies) and you see the bottleneck.

The fact is that there is a rapidly expanding disconnect between graduate medical education (residency) and the medical school "feeder" system. There is much money in expanding medical school and ERAS residency application slots, but not much made available to programs to expand residency positions. This is only going to get worse in the coming years as the new medical students graduate. It's a real problem as the U.S. tries to solve the primary care crunch as the baby boomers age.

I just want to practice "hang the shingle" primary care adult medicine. Why is this so hard? It shouldn't be at this stage.