This year 5.5% of U.S. medical school seniors were unmatched for residency. This is a very concerning number.
For those who aren’t aware, many medical schools have been rapidly increasing class sizes. Some have done this for financial reasons. But many state subsidized schools have done this to match the growing demand for physicians. Unfortunately residency spots are funded by the U.S. government. The government, under budget constraints, has not increased the amount of residency spots it offers. Here is an graphical representation from NRMP.org
For better or worse, this has mostly affected international applicants. By that I mean that most U.S. grads would match, but the number of extra slots available to international graduates began to shrink. However, this year we saw a shift with many U.S. medical students not matching at all. In essence they have to take a year off and try again.
So let’s look at this from a longitudinal standpoint. If we didn’t have enough spots this year, are we likely to have enough spots next year, without increasing them? The answer is obviously no. Then lets imagine that schools are still increasing their class sizes, which they are. Now lets add to that the fact that the students who didn’t match this year are likely to attempt to match next year, further increasing the number of applicants.
Before long the match is going to be like the hunger games.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
So what can you do? Well it just so happens that some students have put together a website to help with just that. There you will find more stats and statistics as well as ways to help; most of these will involve contacting your local congressmen (and congresswomen).
Here is the website: http://savegme.org
Here is a link to the National Resident Matching Program report for 2013: http://www.nrmp.org/data/advancedatatables2013.pdf
Wether you are right leaning, left leaning, forward leaning, or even just sitting down, you must recognize this is a serious problem with potentially devastating effects for medical students, the medical community and U.S. healthcare. Please be vocal. Please get involved.