Is Obtaining Medical Residency Becoming More Difficult?

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.

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.

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!