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July 1992

Declining Interest in Internal Medicine: Preliminary vs Categorical Residents as Role Models

Author Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine University of South Florida Tampa, FL 33612; University of Louisville Louisville, KY 40292

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(7):1374-1375. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400190016005

There has been a marked decline in the number of senior medical students choosing residency training and, subsequently, a career in internal medicine.1 The number of medical school graduates who have chosen categorical (full 3-year) programs in internal medicine has dropped from a high of 3884 in 1985 to 2686 in 1991.2 This represents the sixth consecutive year in which fewer graduates matched with these programs, and a 30.8% overall decline in positions matched for internal medicine (National Residency Match Program data, April 1991). This decline has been the focus of study by both the American College of Physicians and the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine, and was a major focus of the discussion in "The State of Internal Medicine—1991."3

There are many factors that influence the career choice of medical students. These factors have been outlined elsewhere, and include personality,4 life-style,5 medical