March 2016 set the latest record for matching medical students and graduates with family medicine, selecting 3,105 graduating medical students who wanted to be in family medicine with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
This is the first time such a record has been met in the history of this medical specialty. This is the seventh year in a row that there has been a rise in the number of family medicine matches for students.
This increase is important, but it still does not meet the rising demand for family medicine professionals. Experts at the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care expect there to be a 33,000 shortage of physicians involved in primary care by the year 2035.
In addition, Merritt Hawkins, a national health care search firm, states the U.S. health care system has recruited more family physicians than other systems for the last nine years in a row.
"The bump up this year is the largest in the last several years for family medicine," Stan Kozakowski, director of the AAFP Medical Education Division, said. "While this news is heartening and a step in the right direction, we should not be satisfied with these rather modest results. Far too few students are choosing family medicine to meet the needs of our nation."