I watched my university’s Match with great anticipation. As a member of the military, I’m required to apply for military residency at the beginning of my fourth year. While the Air Force does grant deferrals to attend civilian programs, the military residencies have first dibs on the applicants.
I took some numbers from last week’s Match in emergency medicine and came up with the following:
1,235 U.S. seniors applied for 1,475 spots in emergency medicine nationwide. Of these seniors, 1,128 matched (91%), and an additional 22 seniors went into combined programs such as internal medicine/emergency medicine. 30 residency spots went unfilled.
Further, I went through the AAMC’s data on the applicants to EM programs. The average STEP I score was 220, half of the applicants did not have publications, and the vast majority did not belong to AOA.
In conclusion, looking over the board scores and other application data from last year, I’m reasonably sure that if I were a civilian, I would have no problem matching into EM.
But I’m in the military—which means that I only have a 30-50% chance of matching when I apply next year. That’s something the recruiters never told me when I took the HPSP scholarship. More likely, I will be forced to into a one-year internship and then released into the world as a flight surgeon. Just think, my career goals are about as far removed from primary care as they can get. And so what is the Air Force going to do? Force me into primary care along with 70 other fourth year medical students who had other dreams.