AAMC Recognizes Successful Match Day Amid Physician Shortage and Immigration Concerns

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement about the results of the 2017 Main Residency Match:  

“Match Day is both a celebration and rite of passage for medical students across the nation and around the world. The AAMC congratulates the more than 30,000 future doctors who today learned where they will complete the next step of their medical training as they become resident physicians based at the nation’s teaching hospitals. Every doctor must complete a residency in order to treat patients in their communities.

U.S. medical schools advise students on their residency choices to help them narrow their interests among dozens of medical specialties and thousands of residency programs. This increases the likelihood of successfully matching to a program that meets the students’ interests and skills, and helps build a physician workforce that can address patient care needs. While the process is highly competitive, we are pleased that 94% of U.S. applicants matched to residency positions, including 78% who matched to one of their top three choices. This is encouraging news given that the nation faces a physician shortage of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030, according to new projections.  

While U.S. medical schools have increased enrollment by nearly 25 percent since 2002, a cap placed on federal support for residency positions imposed by Congress more than 20 years ago continues to limit further growth in the number of physicians. In order to meet the increasing health care needs of a growing, aging population, Congress must act to ease this cap and help teaching hospitals increase the number of available residency training positions and produce more physicians.

In addition, the recent presidential executive orders on immigration have introduced new and challenging uncertainty into this year’s Match process, which annually includes thousands of international medical school graduates. The AAMC is greatly concerned that visa delays may obstruct foreign students who successfully matched to residency programs today from starting their training and treating patients on or around July 1, 2017. Physicians from other countries provide a substantial portion of U.S. patient care, especially in rural and other underserved communities, and play a critical role in the health security of our nation.

On behalf of America’s patients, the AAMC urges the administration and Congress to both increase federal investment in physician training and ensure international medical graduates can train and practice in the U.S. so that current and future patients will have access to the care they need.” 

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 154 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.