Results from the military match

January 20, 2008 at 2:21 pm (Military medicine)

I finally got around to tallying all the numbers from this past December’s Air Force match:

Anesthesiology – 8
Emergency medicine – 15
Family medicine – 44
General surgery – 20
Internal medicine – 31
Neurology – 5
Neurosurgery – 1
Obstetrics and gynecology – 24
Ophthalmology – 3
Orthopedic surgery – 5
Otolaryngology – 7
Pathology – 4
Pediatrics – 29
Radiology – 4
Psychiatry – 7
Urology – 4

71 people were selected for one-year internships. My guess is that most of them will be forced into GMO/flight surgery tours. The Air Force continues to maintain that 98% of applicants got their top pick for specialty. I just don’t see how 1/4 of medical students would want to go into general practice.

I personally know one person who applied for emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery, yet was forced into a transitional year. He was prior service military. That makes me think that I have no shot at getting the specialty I want. Well, at least I’ll learn how to fly a jet.



  1. REO SpeedDealer said,

    Well, at least you’ll get to back dad’s VW down the driveway @ 600 mph. It is still fun even if you (we) aren’t allowed to takeoff and land.

  2. MSG said,

    One of my friends was forced into Peds rather than OB/GYN. They HATE pediatrics and can’t understand why they weren’t matched to OB when another person they knew wasn’t matched to Peds. I, for one, am glad to not have done a HPSP after learning more about the screwing that gets done.

  3. halfmd said,

    I think that there’s more to the story than than what’s being led on. The military cannot force someone into a specialty he does not want. If your friend, however, listed peds as a second choice, the military has every right to match him/her into pediatrics. It may not have been the residency he/she wanted, but if it’s listed, it’s fair game.

  4. CC said,

    The military can “invite” USUHS students to do specialties they don’t necessarily want to do. HPSP students cannot be forced into a specialty they do not list as their first or second choice. Listing a second choice is a bad idea if there is only one thing you would be happy doing.
    The AF is very primary care oriented. I did not know this going into HPSP and was surprised to learn how few specialty slots there are in some areas. If you like primary care, there is nothing wrong with that. If not, you may end up as a flight doc unless you are a highly competetive applicant. I was fortunate to get my first choice of specialty.

  5. Caroline said,

    Agreed. The military cannot force a person into a specialty he/she does not want. The vast majority of people I know from COT, military away rotations, etc. got their first choice in everything from peds to emed to ent. As a general rule of thumb, if you do well in medical school then you will have your pick of specialty training (excluding derm in this case). . . which is true of most things in life. Saying someone was “forced” into peds when he/she really wanted OB/GYN is a bit unbelievable. Did this person put peds on the second choice form? I am HPSP and the vast majority of my fellow HPSPers that I know got their first choice, with a few getting their second choice (not in specialty, but in location). Saying everyone gets screwed by the military match is just plain wrong. Believe me, I do have gripes with the military and HPSP, but the match does try to be pretty fair (excluding the year they made a ton of people go into flight surgery, but that was a crappy unusual case rather than the norm for the yearly match). In general, do well in school and nine times out of ten you’ll be happy when match day roles around. . .military or civilian.

    Half M.D.: I don’t recall saying that everyone gets screwed. Quite a few people do, though, particularly the ones seeking competitive specialties like emergency medicine. And yes, you can indeed be forced into a specialty you don’t want. There will be ~50 people thrown into flight surgery this year, most of whom do not want to be there.

  6. Cait said,

    Where can one find a list of this year’s (2009) military match results?

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