Pediatrics is a primary care specialty. Usually, primary care spots are easy to match into. Does pediatrics keep up the trend? We’ll dig into their data.
The reason for this episode is to give you an idea as to how hard or easy it is to match into a specific specialty. I’m getting all of this data from the NRMP Match Results and Data for 2017.
An overview: When you’re in medical school, you apply to match into residency in the U.S., through an algorithm-based system. The three people who created this algorithm won a Nobel Prize for it.
It’s not a usual job application where you apply to 40 places, get interviewed in all of them. Then whoever wants you offer you something you say yes or no. With residency matching, you rank based on what programs you like. And the programs will also rank based on who they like. And the magic happens.
[02:47] General Summary of the NRMP Match Results and Data for 2017
Table 1 of the NRMP Match Results and Data for 2017 shows the general summary. Pediatrics for categorical slots have 204 programs and there are 2,738 different positions available.
They have a pediatrics preliminary (PGY-1) slots. So maybe for those who didn’t match into a categorical, you can apply for a preliminary slot to make sure you’re going somewhere. In this episode, we’re covering mostly categorical.That means you’re applying to one program for all three years for your pediatric residency.
Comparing it with other specialties, Family Medicine has 520, Internal Medicine has 467, Psychiatry is 236. So there are more psychiatry programs than there are pediatric programs. Surgery is 267.
Number of unfilled programs based on Pre-SOAP. SOAP is the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program. The students who match in SOAP are not counted in this chart here. There were 13 programs that went unfilled in the 2017 match. That means they have at least one spot left.
Out of 2,738 positions offered, there were only 2,056 U.S. Seniors applying for those programs. So almost 700 spots available for U.S. Seniors assuming your qualified for the spot. This does not count the number of DO students applying for these programs or the number of international medical graduates. The total number of applicants is 3,763 so there are a thousand more applicants than there are spots available and about 700 less Seniors. This implies that there are a lot of international graduates likely applying for the spots.
Of those that matched, there were 1,849 U.S. Seniors. There are still 200 U.S. Seniors that applied and did not match. Why? There could be several different reasons for that. Their board scores were terrible. Pediatrics is not a board-heavy specialty but it doesn’t mean you can bomb your boards and match. Or maybe they’re a bad interviewer or didn’t apply to enough programs.
Again, 700 fewer U.S. Seniors were applying for the spots but a thousand more total applicants than there were spots available.
[08:50] Table 2: Matches by Specialty and Applicant Type
Table 2 of the NRMP Match Results and Data for 2017, out of 2,738 positions, number filled 2,693. That’s 45 spots that went unfilled. U.S, Seniors that matched were 1,849. So there were 889 left for other applicants. 24 went to U.S. Grads.
Again for this data, U.S. Seniors are students who are currently at an allopathic medical school. A U.S. grad is somebody that’s already graduated from an MD-granting medical school. These could be students who didn’t know what they wanted to do so they did more shadowing or research. Or these could be former students who didn’t get in previously.
Moving on, there were 361 allopathic students that got into a Pediatrics (Categorical) residency and two students were Canadian. It doesn’t mean a Canadian at a U.S. school means a Canadian graduate. When you look at the overall numbers, only 7 total Canadian graduates got into a PGY-1 position and two of them went into Pediatrics.
There were 204 U.S. IMGs (International Medical Graduates). This is somebody who’s a U.S. citizen who went to an overseas school – the Caribbean, Israel, Australia, Scotland, or wherever that may be. And 253 were non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates. Lastly, there were 45 spots that went unfilled for the Pediatrics (Categorical) rotation.
[12:13] Trends in the Match Program (2013-2017): Growth, PGY-1, Osteopathic Students
Pediatrics is growing pretty substantially to about 10% every year from 2013 to 2017. 2013 started off at 2,616 and there were 2,738 in 2017. It’s between 9.5% and 10% growth year after year.
Figure 5 of the NRMP Match Results and Data for 2017 shows just how big Pediatrics is. Internal Medicine has the most positions offered followed by Family Medicine and Pediatrics is third at 2,821 and 2,775 of those were filled, and 1,880 were filled by U.S. Allopathic Seniors.
Table 8 shows the Percent Filled by U.S. Students and All Applicants. In 2017, 67.5% were filled bu U.S. Seniors. And in 2013, 70.2% were filled. It has gone down a little bit for the last couple of years. It’s not a huge shift but it’s showing you that it’s roughly the same every year.
Table 9 shows that 9.7% of all applicants matching into a PGY-1 specialty are categorical Pediatrics. Just for comparison, Family Medicine is 11.6%, Internal Medicine is 25.6%, OB/GYN is 4.7%.
Table 11 shows that 12.3% of all osteopathic students an allopathic PGY-1 position program match into Pediatrics. Family Medicine is 19.6%. 23.5% of osteopathic students match into Internal Medicine.
[16:37] % of Unmatched U.S. Seniors and Independent Applicants and SOAP
For this data, independent applicants refer to IMGs and osteopathic students. For Pediatrics, the total unmatched is 12.4%. The unmatched independent applicants is 30.5%. It’s very heavy with independent applicants. Unmatched U.S. Seniors is only 2.3%.
In comparison with other specialties, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics shows 0.5% of U.S. Seniors are unmatched. Surgery (Prelim) is 1.3%. Surgery-General is 9.6%. Neurosurgery at 10.4%; Orthopedics at 15.1% for unmatched U.S. Seniors. So pediatrics is relatively low as you would expect.
Table 18 shows the programs and positions filled in the SOAP program. SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program) is for students who didn’t match in the first go round. This used to be called Scramble.
There were 12 programs in Pediatrics that did not fill and participated in the SOAP program. 44 positions were available and all spots were filled through the SOAP program.
[18:44] Charting the Outcomes in the Match 2017: Apply Broadly
Now, we dig into the Charting the Outcomes in the Match for U.S. Allopathic Seniors in 2016. It displays the information a little bit different so it’s very interesting to look at.
Chart 4 shows the Median Number of Contiguous Ranks for U.S. Allopathic Numbers. For Pediatrics, students who did not match only have 3 programs contiguously ranked. While those that matched ranked 12 programs.
This being said, you cannot be super selective with programs where you’re applying to match. You have to apply broadly. Just like medical school where the average number for the AMCAS applications is 14-15 as well as for DO schools. The same goes for your rank list when applying for residencies. The biggest mistake you can make is not ranking enough programs.
Chart 8 looks at the Mean Number of Research Experiences for U.S. Allopathic Seniors that matched and did not match. The numbers are almost identical – 2.4 for those who did not match and 2.5 for those that matched.
Chart 12 shows the percentage of U.S. Allopathic Seniors who are members of the AOA. In pediatrics, 16% of the Seniors that matched are members of AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha), the U.S. MD Premed Honor Society for Medical Students. In comparison with other specialties, Dermatology is 53%, Plastic Surgery at 52%, and ENT at 45%.
[22:44] Mean Number of Contiguous Ranks, USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Scores
Still looking into the Charting the Outcomes in the Match for U.S. Allopathic Seniors in 2016, PD-1 (Page 159 of 211) shows the summary statistics on U.S. Allopathic Seniors for Pediatrics.
The mean number of contiguous ranks for those that matched is 11.9 and for those that did not match is 4.0. Again, you have to rank enough programs.
Mean USMLE Step 1 Score is 230 for those that matched and 207 for those that did not. Mean Step 2 Score is 244 for those that matched and 224 for those that did not match.
Graph PD-1 (page 161 of 211) shows the curve of the probability of matching which is around 64% if you only ranked one program. 70% for two programs. Roughly 75% for three programs. 83-84% for four programs. The more programs you rank, the better your chance will be, even up to a 100% of matching at around 13 programs ranked.
[24:14] Medscape Lifestyle and Physician Compensation Reports 2017
The Medscape Lifestyle Report 2017 looks at which physicians are most burnt out. Slide 2 shows that Pediatrics is right above the halfway point at 51% with Emergency Medicine as the highest at 59%.
As to how sever the burnout is, Slide 3 shows that Pediatrics is on the lower end at 4 on a scale between 1 as the lowest and 7 as the highest. Which physicians are the happiest? Slide 18 shows Pediatrics is higher up at 36% happiest at work and 70% happiest outside of work.
Based on the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017, Slide 2 shows that overall, Specialties earn $316k while Primary Care (where Pediatrics is a part of) is $217k. Who has the highest average annual physician compensation? Slide 4 shows that Orthopedics is at $489k and Pediatrics is the lowest at $202k.
If you’ve listened to our previous episodes where we talked to pediatric specialists, on average, they say they’re always paid less than their adult counterparts. It’s still a great salary though.
Slide 5 shows Who’s Up, Who’s Down and Pediatrics is the only one that went down by 1%. Interestingly, even though Pediatrics is the lowest paid specialty, more than half of the physicians feel compensated at 52% as presented in Slide 18. In Emergency Medicine, 68% of them feel fairly compensated while Nephrology is the lowest at 41%.
Would you choose medicine again? Slide 38 of the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2017 shows that the highest is Rheumatology at 83% and the lowest is Neurology at 71%. Pediatrics is at 78%, right in the middle of the pack with everybody else.
Slide 39 shows who would choose the same specialty again. Dermatology is the highest at 96% where they say they would choose the same again and Internal Medicine is at the lowest at 64%. For Pediatrics, 81% of them say they would choose the same specialty again.
[27:44] Final Thoughts
If you’re interested in going into Pediatrics, these are great information to figure out what you want to do with your career moving forward.
Additionally, if you know a physician that you want me to talk to, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’m always looking for a guest for this podcast. If know someone on Facebook or Instagram, reach out to them and let them know about me. Put us in contact.
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