Family medicine, which recognized its 50th anniversary as a specialty in February, has another reason to celebrate this year. On March 15, more students than ever matched into the specialty, marking a decade of year-over-year growth for family medicine.

While the numbers are mostly positive, a decline in the match rate of U.S. seniors at allopathic medical schools raises some concern. The AAFP has published a news article and a detailed analysis that delve into the 2019 results and historical trends.

Highlights from the 2019 Match include:

  • 3,848 medical students and graduates matching into family medicine, 313 more than in 2018
  • 474 more family medicine residency positions offered in 2019 than 2018
  • 1,617 U.S. MD seniors matching into family medicine programs, 31 fewer than last year

All numbers reported are based on data provided by the National Resident Matching Program.

Looking ahead, the AAFP is championing major reform to achieve more rapid growth for the specialty in the decade to come. Through the America Needs More Family Doctors: 25×2030 Collaborative, the AAFP and the family of family medicine are calling for 1 in 4 medical students in the US to match into the specialty. Today, approximately 1 in 8 of these students enter a family medicine residency each year. Achieving the goal of 1 in 4 would mean more cost-effective, life-saving, accessible care for patients in the US, and it will take major cultural and systemic shifts for this outcome to be realized.