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General pediatrics residencies enjoy modest gain. (Match Day 2003).

General pediatrics fared slightly better than other pediatric categories in attracting graduating seniors to residency programs in 2003.

Continuing on a 5-year trend of offering more positions in the match, general pediatrics residency programs filled 2,099 of 2,237 positions. The number of positions offered has increased by 28 since last year and by 133 since 1999.

According to the National Resident Matching Program, general pediatrics had an overall fill rate of 93.8%.

This is a 3.6% increase from 2002, when the total fill rate for this 3-year residency fell to its lowest level in 5 years.

The number of U.S. seniors entering general pediatric residency programs also increased slightly from 1,563 in 2002 to 1,596 in 2003.

Dr. Errol Alden, deputy executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the academy was "quite encouraged" that the numbers went up from last year.

Not only did pediatrics place more positions in the match, "several new residency programs have started up," he said in an interview.

Other categories in pediatrics varied in match results.

Only 86 positions were offered for the pediatric primary care category; 24 less than in 2002, and 11 fewer U.S. seniors filled slots for primary care pediatrics. Nevertheless, the fill rate for this category increased from 94.5% in 2002 to 97.7% in 2003.

Fewer U.S. seniors are choosing hospital-based work such as pediatric emergency medicine and pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation. Although the overall fill rate for the two residency programs remained at 100% for the fourth year in a row, the fill rate for U.S. seniors dropped from 100% in 2002 to 66.7% in 2003 for both categories.

The internal medicine med-peds category isn't roping in the numbers, either. In 2003, med-peds residency programs offered 385 positions, 14 less than last year. The overall fill rate was 83.3%, a 2.9% drop from 2002. The fill rate for U.S. seniors filling med-peds positions also decreased from 73.2% in 2002 to 67% in 2003.

The "triple board" pediatric/psychiatry/child psychiatry category attracted 16 U.S. seniors--the same as last year, although child psychiatry for the second year in a row failed to offer or fill any positions.

In other medical specialties, family practice continued on its downward slope, filling 115 fewer residency positions than last year. Internal medicine's overall fill rate was 95.1%, a slight increase from 2002, although the fill rate for U.S. seniors dropped by 3.5%, to 55.2%. Obstetrics-gynecology offered 1,151 positions--13 more than in 2002, but filled only 1,050 positions, 17 less than last year.

General surgery emerged as a big winner this year, increasing its overall fill rate of 94.4% in 2002 to 99% in 2003, with U.S. seniors filling 82.7% of the slots. Anesthesiology also did well, accruing 40 more matches than last year, with a fill rate of 96.3% for first-year residency positions and a 95.6% fill rate for second-year residency positions. The fill rate for pathology was 90.1%, a 6.4% increase from last year.

The National Resident Matching Program reports that 23,965 applicants participated in the match, 500 more than last year. Of those active applicants, 14,332 were U.S. medical school seniors. A record number of residency positions was offered and filled in 2003--although there were 17 fewer residency programs participating in the match.
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Author:Silverman, Jennifer
Publication:Pediatric News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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