Saturday, March 16, 2013

Match Day Matters - Primary Care Up

My opinion: Many people already know about the doctor shortage, but the good news is that more doctors are enrolling in primary care - well, at least a bit.  I've heard that med schools are now using creative techniques to convince students to go into primary care.  For example, they may ask students to write essays about it, in hopes that the students will become more acquianted with it and like it better.  Not sure if this is all that ethical, but at this point, with the projected shortage, med schools seem to be desperate.  On another note, I'm upset that the article didn't focus on those who weren't matched.  Arguably, this is the worst aspect of the shortage - even if more students wanted to go into primary care, they wouldn't be able to find their residencies.  And even after the residencies, sometimes they have trouble getting their licenses in a short period of time (due to state budget cuts).  I guess the sequester really is hitting hard, but not everyone is going to get what they want, although I personally think this might be more of a priority than others.  Without healthcare, what are the stats for projected deaths in the future?  I think this needs to become clear in order to gain support.  Also, just wondering why med schools often accept in-state students in hopes of having more doctors in state, yet students are sent away for their residencies?  Won't students stay out of state in their residency location? I've heard some return home afterward, but not sure if a substantial number of them do.  Feel free to comment.

From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/15/doctors-medicine-match-residents/1990549/

The number of medical students committing to primary care rather than specialties increased for the fourth straight year in the largest "match program'' in history, a report says.

The number of medical students committing to primary care rather than specialties increased for the fourth straight year in the largest "match program'' in history, a report out Friday says, but medical experts warn a severe shortage of doctors will still exist.
The numbers were announced as part of the Match Day event in which graduating medical school seniors find out where they will spend their residencies -- the next three to seven years of their medical careers.
About one-quarter (11,762) of the applicants matched to resident positions that train doctors to be on the front line of care — in the areas of internal medicine, pediatrics and family medicine — where serious shortages exist. These physicians diagnose physical illnesses, manage chronic ones, teach prevention and detect mental illnesses. Though more physicians will be needed in all fields, a shortfall of 9,000 primary care doctors as of 2010 will soar to 65,000 by 2025.

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