Match Day Celebrations Highlight Physician Workforce Needs

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the results of the 2018 Main Residency Match®:

“The AAMC congratulates the more than 31,000 future doctors who today matched to residency training positions at teaching hospitals around the country. This year, the National Resident Matching Program® reports that 94.3% of U.S. MD applicants matched, with 77.3% matching to one of their top three choices.

Match Day is an exciting time on medical school campuses across the nation and an important turning point for medical students and graduates on their journeys to becoming practicing physicians. Today, along with graduation, is the culmination of an average of four challenging years of medical school, and represents the transition from medical student to physician, which is realized during the Match Day ceremony.

The excitement of Match Day, however, is tempered by the fact that the United States faces a shortage of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030. As a result, the AAMC has initiated a multipronged strategy to optimize graduate medical education and educate a physician workforce that is better prepared than ever before to meet the health care needs of the nation.

As part of this strategy, the AAMC has endorsed legislation to provide a modest increase in the number of federally supported residency positions, which was frozen by Congress in 1997. The nation’s medical schools have increased student enrollment by 30% since 2002, and, along with their partner teaching hospitals, they are increasing interprofessional education and training in team-based care and pioneering innovative programs to make care more efficient.

We also remain concerned that uncertainty surrounding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and physician immigration introduced new challenges into this year’s residency application process, as evidenced by a 22.7% drop in applicants from countries named in the three immigration executive actions last year. We urge the administration and Congress to increase federal support for the physician pipeline, support a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers, and ensure academic medicine’s ability to meet the increasing health care needs of a growing, aging population.

We congratulate the thousands of future doctors who matched today and wish them the best as they begin the next phase of their training. The AAMC looks forward to supporting the next generation of physicians throughout their careers in medicine.”

For more information about how the AAMC is working to improve medical students’ transition to residency, visit aamc.org/T2R.


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 151 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their more than 173,000 full-time faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.