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Influx of applicants to OHSU residency program shows need to increase Oregon’s GME slots

OHSU received 4,900 applications for just 69 primary care training slots

Don Girard, MDOregon Health & Science University’s Graduate Medical Education (GME) program continues to be highly desirable to medical students from across the country and beyond, according to data from the National Residency Matching Program. Despite a similar number of open slots compared with 2010, the number of applicants rose by more than 4 percent, making OHSU training increasingly competitive. More than 11,300 graduates applied for one of 152 open slots.

Graduate Medical Education, also known as a “residency,” is the next phase of training for a student who has completed medical school. All new graduates pursue a residency in primary care or another specialty.

At the OHSU School of Medicine, the primary care specialties — general internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics — attracted the most attention, with more than 4,300 applications for 69 slots. General internal medicine’s 33 available GME slots were sought by 1,580 applicants, an increase of 137 applicants over last year. Pediatrics saw a similar jump in interest, with 798 applications to interview 164 candidates for 16 slots. While formally categorized as primary care by the Association of American Medical Colleges and other national groups, many general internal medicine and pediatrics residents will go on to sub-specialize.

More than a thousand applicants vied for 12 slots in family medicine (an increase of 18 percent over 2010’s applications) and the OHSU Cascades East Rural Family Medicine Residency program in Klamath Falls, Ore., received 937 applicants for eight slots. A combined family medicine/preventive medicine program, based in Portland, attracted 28 applicants for two slots. Family Medicine residents will almost certainly all remain in primary care.

The complete OHSU media release is available online.

Pictured: Don Girard, MD, Associate Dean, Continuing Medical Education & Graduate Medical Education

Additional reading: An incoming resident's perspective

Eric Chen, a University of Chicago medical student who will be doing his residency at OHSU, said that “dialogue about health reform” was a big reason he wanted to go into family medicine. “There are a lot of high-level thinkers that are trying to rethink health-care delivery, and I want to be part of those conversations,” said Chen.

The complete article "More young doctors choosing careers in primary care" is available at the

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