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September 10, 2008

Future Salary and US Residency Fill Rate Revisited

JAMA. 2008;300(10):1131-1132. doi:10.1001/jama.300.10.1131

To the Editor: In 1989, a study described a linear correlation between the median income of physicians in a specialty and the percentage of residency positions for that specialty filled with US graduates (r = 0.85).1 Since that time, decreasing numbers of graduates of US medical schools are choosing primary care specialties (family medicine, pediatrics, and general internal medicine), the disparity in income between primary care and subspecialties persists, and student debt has risen to a median of $140 000 for the class of 2007.2 Because of these trends, this study examined whether there is an association between specialty selection and anticipated income using contemporary data.

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