After two years of increase, the number of US medical students entering internal medicine has leveled off. This is according to a new report by the 2012 National Resident Matching Program. This is concerning, considering the high need for internal medicine focus, especially within general care. Only 20-25% of the 2,941 students who matched in internal medicine are expected to go into general care. Just 14 years ago that percentage was closer to 54%. The future does not look bright for this area of medicine.
"We remain concerned about the need to significantly increase the
nation's internal medicine and primary care physician workforce to meet
the needs of an aging population requiring care for chronic and complex
illnesses." ~ Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP (President of the American College of Physicians)
With changes in the medical system, creating a higher number of new patients entering the marketplace once healthcare reform comes into full effect, the need for physicians in internal and primary care remains a high priority. Medical schools must work to increase these areas, focusing more attention on the benefits of these career choices as well as promoting advantages for these areas of medicine.