More U.S. medical school graduates are choosing family medicine, according to a residency census conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The AAFP reports that more than 67% of family medicine residents this year graduated from U.S. allopathic or osteopathic medical schools. That rate has been rising since 2009, when it was at 58%.
“This is another indicator that medical students realize primary care
is the foundation of healthcare,” Dr. Perry Pugno, AAFP's VP for medical education, said in a news release
. “The number of students choosing family medicine in the (annual residency match) continues to increase, and the attendance at the AAFP's National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students has really increased. All of these point to a trend toward primary-care careers.”
For the fourth consecutive year, residents matching to family medicine positions increased. According to the 2013 National Residency Matching Program results released in March
, 2,938 students entered family medicine training programs, up from 2,611 in 2012. And attendance at the national conference was at 3,542 in 2013, up from 3,370 in 2012.
“Taken together, these show the ship may be turning,” Pugno said in the release. “But it isn't turning fast enough to meet future needs, given the demand that will grow as a result of the Affordable Care Act's expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of our population.”Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden