Allopathic medical students don’t like to match in family medicine. The match data for the last 10 years has shown this conclusively. The average Step 1 and 2 scores for students matching into family medicine are significantly lower than the more lucrative specialties. The reasons for this aversion to family medicine are interesting. The 2 main reasons for this trend are a lack of money and a lack of “sexiness”. Family medicine is seen as boring and relatively low paying. Osteopathic and Foreign medical students gladly fill in the family medicine vacuum left by Allopathic students.
I can’t blame Allopathic medical students for not embracing family medicine. When you have your pick of specialties, family medicine seems very dull. Family medicine is vitally important but most of it is routine check ups. In the future family medicine physicians will have to compete with mid-level providers like Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. Both can provide similar services ( with less expertise) at a cheaper cost. Salary is also a huge factor. Most people get into medicine for the money. Family medicine physicians make a lot less than other specialties. Why be a family practice doctor making $180,000 a year when you can be an Orthopedic surgeon making $500,000 a year?
This trend is beneficial to Osteopathic graduates and FMG’s. Osteopathic students embrace Primary Care/ Family Practice because it is a cornerstone of their training. FMG’s embrace Family medicine because they really cant be too picky. I predict that in the future Family Medicine will be a field dominated by DO and FMG’s while the other specialties experience a glut of Allopaths.
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