Family Medicine Gains 133 U.S. Medical School Graduates in 2011 Residency Match

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6252

Family medicine residency training programs this year attracted 1,317 U.S. medical school graduates to the specialty — an increase of 133 over 2010 — according to the National Residency Matching Program results announced today.

Known as the Match, the program aligns graduating medical students with residency training programs in specialties they want to pursue. In this year’s Match, the total number of students choosing family medicine — which includes U.S. medical school graduates and international medical graduates — was 2,576, up from 2,404 in 2010. This year’s “fill rate” is a record 94.4 percent. Moreover, family medicine residency programs offered an additional 100 positions this year.

All of the increases suggest an upswing in interest among U.S. medical school graduates, according to Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Goertz attributed the 2011 Match results to greater appreciation of the importance of family medicine in our overall health system and an increased understanding of it as a good career choice for medical school graduates.

“This year’s results mark the second consecutive year of increased interest in family medicine,” Goertz said. “Although several factors likely contribute to the increase, we believe an important element is recognition that primary care medicine is absolutely essential if we are to improve the quality of health care and help control its costs. Of course, sustaining this interest will require continuing changes in the way America pays for and delivers health care to patients.”

Primary medical care has become more visible to medical students as a result of overall national and community discussions about needed health care reform, numerous reports on increasing student interest and reforming medical education, and consistent outreach through Family Medicine Interest Groups, according to Goertz.

Organized on all medical school campuses, FMIGs are student outreach groups that provide programs and information that may not be offered in the medical school curriculum. In addition to learning about the history and future of family medicine as a specialty, students are exposed to a range of clinical skills and procedures that are important to family medicine practice.

“Primary care has become much more visible as a result of the discussion about improving our health care system,” he said. “More people understand that if we’re to have high quality care at a controllable cost, we need to rebalance our system on a foundation of primary medical care.

Add in the heightened awareness through activities of the Family Medicine Interest Groups, and students began to understand that family physicians will be able to practice the kind of medicine they envisioned when they decided to become a doctor.”

Additional information about research into increasing student interest, reforming medical education and legislative initiatives to solve the primary care physician workforce are available at the following links:

# # #

Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit Follow us on Twitter,( and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,