One day after medical student Raymond Tsai penned for Scope a popular and widely shared blog entry (1,750 Facebook shares and counting!), he found out he would be doing his residency in family medicine at UCLA. As it turns out, and as reported by a colleague who covered Friday's Match Day activities here, Tsai wasn't the only Stanford graduate-to-be to choose this area of medicine:
"[The day] was... somewhat unique in that almost half matched in an area of general medicine — pediatrics, general surgery, ob/gyn," [Charles Prober, MD, senior associate dean for medical education] said. "Eight students are going into family medicine. (The annual average at Stanford since 2007 has been just two to three.) Each of them are very interested in changing the way medicine is practiced in the U.S. from the grassroots level up."
Prober was referring to a new and growing emphasis on primary care within the medical field as a whole, spurred by a variety of factors, including a nationwide shortage of primary care physicians, the Affordable Care Act leading to millions of newly insured patients and the crisis in burgeoning health-care costs. Through the new health-care law, the federal government has increased financial incentives to make training in primary care, which traditionally pays significantly less than specialty medicine, more attractive.
"The writing is all over the wall that we as a country need primary care, and family medicine is really where most primary care doctors come," said Erika Schillinger, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine and director of predoctoral education for family medicine, who was thrilled that eight students matched in family medicine this year.
Previously: Image of the Week: Match Day 2013, My parents don’t think I’m smart enough for family medicine: One medical student’s story, Match Day 2012 decides medical students’ next steps, A match made in heaven? Medical students await their fate and Who got matched? A breakdown of Match Day 2011
Photo of Raymond Tsai and Dr. Erika Schillinger