The toughest fields for Match Day 2019

The latest crop of medical residents on Friday learned where they'll be completing their residency, and according to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the most competitive fields were in radiology, plastic surgery, neurological surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Your physician recruitment toolkit: How to successfully attract and onboard new physicians

A record-setting match

On Match Day last week, a record 33,417 medical school graduates and seniors were matched to first- and second-year positions, according to the American Hospital Association. According to NRMP, a record-high 38,376 active applicants submitted choices for 35,185 positions.

The most competitive specialties

To determine the competitiveness of different specialties, NRMP measured the percentage of available positions filled overall as well as the percentage filled by senior students from allopathic medical schools.

According to NRMP, the specialties with more than 30 positions that filled 100% of available positions overall were:

  • Interventional radiology;
  • Otolaryngology;
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation;
  • Integrated plastic surgery;
  • Surgery (Categorical); and
  • Thoracic surgery.

The specialties with more than 30 positions that filled more than 90% of positions with allopathic seniors were:

  • Otolaryngology (93.9%);
  • Integrated plastic surgery (91.9%);
  • Thoracic surgery (91.9%);
  • Neurological surgery (91.8%); and
  • Orthopedic surgery (91.8%).

The specialties with more than 30 positions that filled less than 45% of available positions with allopathic seniors were:

  • Internal medicine (41.5%);
  • Pediatrics - primary (40%);
  • Family medicine (39%);
  • Pathology (33.4%); and
  • Surgery - Preliminary (23.9%).

Primary care trend

Of the 32,194 first-year positions offered, 15,946 were offered in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics—a 7.8% increase since last year. Of these positions, 96.3% were filled overall. Within primary care, the most competitive fields were: 

  • Internal medicine, with 97.2% of positions filled;
  • Pediatrics, with 97.6% of positions filled; and
  • Family medicine, with 93.2% of positions filled (AHA release, 3/15; NRMP release 3/15; AAMC release, 3/15).

Win the war for physician talent

Physician recruitment is not a new problem. But generational changes and rising expectations for physician performance make competition for physician talent feel increasingly intense today.

Though recruitment challenges are deep-rooted, organizations can take steps to ensure their physician recruiting process is as effective as possible. Read the report to learn the four requirements for successful recruitment in today’s competitive market.

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