Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resident Match Results Disappointing for Psychiatry

Despite an often-cited need for more psychiatrists in the United States, especially child psychiatrists, the latest numbers from the National Resident Matching Program show that fewer U.S. medical school seniors have chosen a career in psychiatry, continuing a generally downward trend over the last six years. Reacting to the match results, APA President John Oldham, M.D., said, "We need to reach out to medical students in more effective ways than simply exposing them to a four-week clerkship on an inpatient unit, with no follow-up of the patients they have cared for. Establishing and maintaining ongoing relationships with patients is one of the key factors that makes psychiatry such a fulfilling career." As for possible reasons behind the decline, APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D., noted that psychiatry is in a very exciting time "when we have more scientific developments in the field than ever before, but this means that the field is evolving in ways in which the outcome is unknown." Another potential deterrent is the massive student debt facing many medical school graduates, driving them to choose more lucrative specialties such as surgery.

Look for much more detail about this year's match results in an upcoming issue of Psychiatric News. Read about the results of last year's resident match here.

(image: auremar/Shutterstock.com)


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