Psychiatry Is Continuing to Make Modest Gains: Of U.S. Seniors, 4% Chose the Specialty. (Match Day 2003)

Article excerpt

Psychiatric residency programs continued their steady climb in this year's Match Day results.

The National Resident Matching Program reports that 916 graduating seniors filled 986 positions in general psychiatry in 2003. The tally includes 597 U.S. seniors, a gain of 33 positions from last year.

The overall fill rate for general psychiatry was 92.9%, a decrease of 1.9% from last year, although it should be noted that 29 additional positions in general psychiatry were offered in 2003 than a year earlier.

Taking into account all of the psychiatry categories, U.S. seniors in 2003 filled 649 positions, 22 more than last year, a number that is not statistically significant when compared with the more than 16,000 U.s. medical students who graduated this year, said Dr. Sidney Weissman, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Northwestern University, Chicago. It simply means that 4% chose psychiatry, said Dr. Weissman, who has been analyzing psychiatric resident work and recruitment issues for more than 25 years.

The representation of U.S. seniors becomes more significant if you go back 4 or 5 years, he continued. Since 1998, the percentage of U.S. seniors entering psychiatry residency programs has increased by about 35%--a gain of about 160 to 170 physicians.

This would indicate that fewer foreign students are choosing psychiatry as their residency program, he said.

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.

No seniors matched with the psychiatry/neurology category either, which in Dr. …