Increasing the Numbers for the Match
Radiologists across the country were surprised to see 13.7 percent of diagnostic radiology residency positions go unfilled in the 2015 match, despite the specialty having one of the most competitive residency tracks in the United States for many years.
There are many possible reasons for the unfilled positions —perceived declines in reimbursement, misconceptions about the lack of direct patient care, fear of radiation, minimal exposure to radiology in the medical school curriculum, insufficient mentoring, and a distaste for physics, just to name a few.
Created in part as a response to concerns over the declining number of matches, the ACR RFS Medical Student Task Force arose during the 2015 ACR annual meeting. The task force has three main goals: investigate the cause of medical students’ declining interest in radiology, improve medical student access to ACR resources, and encourage medical student participation in the ACR.
Current projects include the creating an institutional review board–approved medical student survey, reworking the medical student application for ACR membership, and establishing a national radiology student interest group database. Our task force members have been working diligently over the past year, and a great deal of work remains to be done.
Despite the numbers in 2015, the 2016 match saw an improvement in radiology statistics, with 96.4 percent of residency positions filling. We believe that the future of radiology is bright and is made all the better by a continued influx of talented, inquisitive trainees. With your help, we hope to keep this trend headed in the right direction.
If you’re a medical student, please take our quick survey to tell us about your residency decision.
By Ashley Prosper, MD, PGY-5 radiology resident and nuclear medicine fellow at the University of Southern California