Once again, family medicine has topped its own record! Recruits to the specialty hit an all-time high in the 2017 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), with 3,237 medical students and graduates choosing family medicine residency programs today.
That's right. Numbers are just in from this annual event, commonly referred to as the Match, and the record-breaking total represents an increase of 132 positions filled in family medicine compared to 2016 figures.
Notably, this marks the eighth consecutive year that the number of students entering family medicine has increased. AAFP Match calculations have always included students matching into traditional family medicine residency programs, as well as programs that combine family medicine education with other focused training.
Those additional programs are family medicine/emergency medicine, family medicine/preventive medicine, family medicine/medicine and family medicine/psychiatry.
The number of positions offered in 2017 went up, as well. This year's Match saw 3,378 family medicine positions offered, or 118 additional spots compared to last year. The 2017 fill rate -- that is, the percent of offered positions that were filled -- was 95.8 percent, a slight uptick from 2016.
When looking at U.S. seniors, the upward trend continues; 1,530 chose family medicine in the 2017 Match, an increase from 1,481 last year.
"First and foremost, today is a time of celebration for these new family medicine recruits," said AAFP President John Meigs, M.D., of Centreville, Ala., in an interview with AAFP News. "The AAFP applauds their accomplishments and welcomes them. These new residents have accepted the challenge to commence the most complex medical specialty training around.
"By joining the ranks of family physicians, they will learn to provide the comprehensive, compassionate and continuous care that leads to better health, better care and the wisest use of resources," said Meigs. "Communities all across the country will benefit when these family medicine residents arrive for training."