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Is Obtaining Medical Residency Becoming More Difficult?

The graph above, with information collected by the National Resident Matching Program, clearly indicates this bottleneck effect. As can be seen in the 2018 results column, just 30,232 PGY1 Positions were offered this year compared to the nearly 44,000 applicants in the Main Residency Match.

Is it true that obtaining a Medical Residency is increasingly difficult?

Numerous studies have shown that there are way more medical residency candidates than there are residency spots. This is called a Residency Bottleneck, and it is as real as sky is blue in the summer. There is also the fact that the United States is facing a severe shortage of doctors, as the recently published article linked below details.

It is also important to note that US Medical School first year enrollments are projected to increase by 30 percent, according to an AACM survey. This does not include the vast number of International Medical School graduates applying for a medical residency.

The number of federally supported residency positions were capped in 1997. That’s over 21 years ago, and a lot has changed in Graduate Medical Education in 21 years. The federal government’s medical public program is the largest single public program that provides funding for GME, covering about a quarter of direct training costs.

In addition, there are a multitude of area- and institution-specific limitations on the number of residency spots that Medicare will fund.

 The Everest Foundation is doing something to help mitigate this problem: finding GME initiatives and funding residency spots to alleviate the residency bottleneck (Residents Medical and Everest Foundation have shared ownership). However, the problem is vast, and public resources are needed. As a candidate, you need to position yourself to increase your chances amidst the fierce competition. Residents Medical has pioneered the fields of residency preparation and placement. Check out our website for more details and how you can achieve your Dream Residency!

How can I maximize my scoring potential on the USMLE Exams?

When should I begin studying? How long should I study for? How often should I be studying? What are the best resources to use when studying for USMLE Step 1? These are questions every medical student runs through their head when preparing for their first USMLE exam. Yes, the USMLE Step 1 exam requires the memorization of a lot of information, but, remember you are not in this alone. Here are some quick and easy tips to think about when creating your study schedule:

  1. Move around! The library or your kitchen table might seem like most appropriate place to study however, studying in new locations can improve your study regimen. Your brain will make new associations in these new locations, making it easier to remember this information when it comes time to your exam.
  2. No more cramming! You may have gotten through high school, undergrad and maybe even medical school, cramming for exams. But cramming is definitely not the best approach when it comes to the USMLE exams. It might seem productive to schedule long intensive study sessions, however, you are most likely spending more energy on concentrating than actually learning the information. Additionally, by studying a topic in one sitting you aren’t signaling to the brain that the information is important. It takes many study sessions over a period of time for the information to stick.
  3. Talk about it! It is easy to curl up with your First Aid textbook and detailed notes from medical school and read them over and over again hoping that the information will stick, but talking to someone out loud is another way to signal to the brain that the information is very important. Find a tutor to talk through these challenging concepts and have them test you on material you have already reviewed on your own.
  4. Make sure to get enough sleep! “Sleep is the finisher of learning. The brain is ready to process and categorize and solidify what you’ve been studying. Once you get tired, your bran is saying it’s had enough.” – Benedict Carey, Science reporter for the New York Times.

Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to develop a study plan and schedule to follow. A competitive USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 score will greatly improve your application for residency. As an International Medical Graduate (IMG) or Foreign Medical Graduate (FMG) it can be very difficult to compete with the scores of US Gradates since most US Medical Schools incorporate USMLE guidance as a part of their curriculum.

How can Residents Medical help maximize my scoring potential?

  • Residents Medical USMLE tutoring is the very best in the country. Each student has unique needs, therefore, Residents Medical has a customized approach and curriculum depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the student. We offer one-on-one and small group tutoring via skype in order to enable each student to maximize their scoring potential.
  • Our tutors have scored 250 or better on their step exams and have graduated from Ivy League or top medical schools around the country. With extensive one-on-one tutoring sessions our students average a 50 point increase on their Step 1 and Step 2 USMLE exams.