Family Medicine Recruits Hit All-time High in 2017 Match

On March 17, when the National Resident Matching Program announced the results of the 2017 Main Residency Match—“The Match”—more than 30,000 future allopathic physicians learned where they will begin their residency training in July. Among those, 3,237 matched into a Family Medicine residency program (read more AAFP)—setting an all-time high of graduating medical students choosing the specialty of Family Medicine!

“On behalf of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, congratulations to all of the new resident physicians. We are excited to learn who our state’s newest future Family Physicians are, and we welcome you to the Michigan Family Medicine community, which is over 4,200 strong,” said MAFP Chief Executive Officer Debra McGuire, MBA, IOM, CAE.

Michigan’s 2017 Match Results

Central Michigan University College of Medicine: In its first-ever Match (this year marked CMU College of Medicine’s first graduating class), all 62 graduating medical students matched into a residency program; 11% chose Family Medicine and 47% matched to residency programs in Michigan.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine: 200 students matched; of those, 42.5% will be entering a Family Medicine residency program.

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine: 88 students matched—approximately 30 who selected a primary care residency—with 29 headed to a residency program in Michigan and 8 matching in Family Medicine.

University of Michigan Medical School: Nearly 99% of students matched, with 45% entering primary care and 30% doing their residency training in Michigan.

Wayne State University School of Medicine: 97% of graduates matched; of those, 55% are staying in Michigan and 39.7% will enter primary care residencies, including 28 in Family Medicine.

Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Michigan: Accepted its first class in 2014, which will graduate next year.

AOA Match

On February 6, results of the 2017 American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Match were announced. The AOA Match, more formally known as the AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program, places medical students who are graduating or already graduated from a school or college of osteopathic medicine with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree into osteopathic Graduate Medical Education positions across the country.

Nationally, nearly three in four osteopathic medical students and graduates matched into residency programs this year, with 1,188 primary care residency matches and, more specifically, 610 Family Medicine residency matches (that's 28% of all matches). (Source: Becker's Hospital Review)

Ninety-eight percent of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine's 2017 class of 300 students matched, with 88% matching to residency programs in Michigan; just eight students will be going out-of-state to do their residency training, and one said, "Ya to the UP" and is going to Marquette. Of the 2017 class, 69 students matched in Family Medicine, six through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Match and the rest through the AOA Match.

More Family Physicians Needed

The 2017 Match marks the eighth consecutive year the number of students entering Family Medicine has increased slightly.

"While this is definitely a reason to celebrate, Michigan and our country need more physicians, especially more Family Physicians, to care for the growing, aging population,” said MAFP President Robert J. Jackson, MD, MMM (Allen Park).

Just last week, new estimates released by the Association of American Medical College project the U.S. will be between 40,800 and 104,900 physicians short within the next 10 years.

As AAFP President John Meigs, Jr., MD, FAAFP said regarding the continued increasing interest in Family Medicine relative to the persistent primary care shortage, “We’ve seen a slow and steady upward trend for eight years now, but slow is not good enough. Slow is not going to cut it.”

More Resident Positions Needed

“In addition to the need for more physicians, the U.S. also needs more Family Medicine residency programs,” said Dr. Jackson.

In the past five years, 60 new programs have launched nationwide to help train more Family Physicians. Most recently in Michigan, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine announced that, in collaboration with Bronson Healthcare and Grace Health, it is starting a new Family Medicine residency program in Battle Creek that will create 18 new Family Medicine resident positions. Training of the program’s initial class of Family Physicians is expected to begin in summer 2018.

GME Funding and Reform Needed

Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding—the vast majority of which comes from the federal Medicare program, with a smaller amount from the Medicaid program—has been stagnant for more than 20 years. In 1997, Congress instituted a funding cap, still in place today, that limits the number of residency training positions in the U.S.

GME represents the largest public investment in healthcare workforce development and plays a vital role in ensuring our future workforce is adequate to deliver efficient, effective, quality healthcare. Due to its critical importance, increasing funding for and reforming GME has been a long-standing policy priority of MAFP.

“More primary care residency training positions are needed in Michigan and all across the country so we can produce enough physicians to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services,” said MAFP Director of Government Affairs Christin Nohner, MPP. “MAFP advocates for dedicated investments in primary care training, specifically in community-based settings. We are supportive of models such as Teaching Health Centers, which help ensure our future workforce can meet the growing demands we face while addressing our collective goals of better care, better health and lower cost.”