Los Angeles, California, Nov. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, around 21,000 applicants were accepted to U.S. medical schools in 2018-2019. Medical admissions continue to rise. However, residency programs are not growing at the same rate.
The Residency Problem
Data from the National Resident Matching Program shows that thousands of medical students fail to match with a residency program every year. Failing to match can be the biggest disappointment in your medical career. After all the hard work and the thousands of dollars that have been spent in pursuit of medical education, it can be depressing when you learn that you failed to match with a residency program.
For the last few years, the number of graduates has exceeded the number of residences available. The residency shortage is because of funding restrictions. The Medicare program provides funds for residencies at $10 billion each year. This allocation was determined by Congress in 1997. Since then, it has not been revised. There have been efforts to pass bills to increase the allocation, without success.
The Residency Shortage & Physician Shortage
U.S Census data predicts that by 2025 there will be a shortage of over 130,000 doctors. A third of all doctors are expected to retire in the next decade. In the face of this looming shortage, there has been an increasing demand for doctors because of an aging population and the increase in insured people due to the Affordable Care Act.
The shortage of residency positions will present public health problems. When qualified doctors are not matched, it delays opportunities for them to practice and this hinders efforts to combat the projected physician shortage.
The Residency Shortage Means That Some Graduates Will Not Be Matched
It is all about supply and demand. Because there are limited positions, these positions will go to the best candidates. That matching process has become very competitive. In an ideal situation, each graduate would get a residency. However, this is not the case.
If you apply for a competitive residency such as dermatology or emergency medicine, you might fail to get a match if you didn't have high scores.
Most graduates are applying for residencies in big cities. Therefore, it is easy to miss a spot if you apply for a residency in a city hospital. Contrary, applying for a position in a rural hospital increases the chances of qualifying. That will also help in addressing the medical needs of disenfranchised rural communities.
What Should You Do if You Don't Match?
Don't panic. You should remember that you are not the first and you will not be the last medical student not to match with a resident program. Many students who failed in the first attempt succeeded in subsequent trials.
Failing to match doesn't mean that you are incompetent. The fact that you were admitted to medical school and you completed your studies shows you are qualified. A big part of the problem is the shortage of residency positions versus the high number of graduates.
It is normal to feel depressed. Therefore, you should find a support network. This can be your family members or friends. If you start having symptoms of clinical depression, you should seek professional help.
You might want to evaluate whether to continue in clinical medicine or to pursue other healthcare careers. If being a doctor is a dream that you can't brush away, you need to figure out why you didn't match. At this stage, you require mentorship and support.
Get the Mentorship You Need from Residents Medical
Qualifying for residency in these competitive times has less to do with your academic qualifications and more to do with other factors. Residents Medical will mentor you on how to navigate the murky world of residency admission. You will be empowered with skills that you cannot learn in class. These skills include:
• Soft skills
• Sound judgment
• Physical and mental stamina
• Empathy for others
• Emotional stability
• Learning and functioning in various settings
With Residents Medical, a mentor will guide you by hand until you are matched. For more information, visit https://residentsmedical.com/.