• Recruiting Match Applicants to Your Residency Program

    In a crowded Match field—some 700 family medicine residencies await U.S. students—communicating the quality of your faculty, facilities, curriculum, and culture is vital to your recruiting success. How can you tell your institution's story and stand out among the competition? The AAFP offers resources that will help put you in front of future talented family physicians.

    COVID-19 Update: The AAFP and others strongly endorse an exclusively virtual interview process for the 2020-2021 Match season.

    Conferences can show you how to recruit more effectively.

    • The AAFP’s Residency Leadership Summit offers workshops—including on-demand content—to help program directors and coordinators make the most of their recruiting efforts.
    • The AAFP's National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students draws some 2,000 students who are deciding where to take the next step in their training. Your booth there is a prime opportunity to meet students, show off your current residents, and talk about your program's opportunities and advantages.

    Your online presence is critical.

    • Beyond the basic details applicants are looking for, such as general information about your faculty and curriculum, application instructions, and details on residents and salary and benefits, what should your website tell potential applicants? Showcase strengths and culture of your institution, and details about its community or region. Prominently featuring faculty and residents and providing deeper views into curriculum and training opportunities can also perk interest. Some programs have the flexibility to make these changes in collaboration with their sponsoring institution. Others might invest in standalone websites that allow them to go deeper. In a process that is becoming increasingly virtual, promoting your culture and offering more than just a glimpse into life in your community are gaining importance, especially for rural programs and others without big-city name recognition.
    • Use social media to share news from your program, show what it’s really like to train there, highlight what your community has to offer, and answer questions. (Make sure you know your institution’s rules for social media.) 

    Cast a wide net, but don't forget your own backyard.

    There are nearly 200 family medicine interest groups across the country. Get involved with FMIGs in your community or region by reaching out to faculty and FMIG leaders locally. Make connections with students by hosting lectures and clinical skills events in partnership with the FMIG.

    Keep your information up to date.

    You can help students make informed decisions about where they apply and interview by keeping your information up to date in the AAFP's residency directory. It allows programs to self-define their characteristics, and it’s available to students in the AAFP app, as well as on the website.

    Always be prepared.

    Be ready to recruit in any setting, whether it’s an in-person dinner, a casual conference happy hour, or a virtual meeting with potential applicants. Remember that your current residents are among the best advertisements for your program. Have answers to students’ basic questions ready and know how to communicate your program’s unique values and training aspects.