2023 Specialty Match Day Results Show Continued Strong Appeal of Adult Rheumatology
December 6, 2023 | ACR News
Results Also Highlight Need to Increase Interest in Pediatric Rheumatology
ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is pleased with another successful recruitment season and welcomes this impressive pool of applicants to the field of rheumatology. Seventy-eight percent of the eligible applicants interested in adult rheumatology filled nearly all available slots, and 100 percent of eligible applicants interested in pediatric rheumatology were matched to fellowship programs for the 2024 appointment year as part of the annual National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The ACR welcomes these highly motivated and capable individuals to the specialty.
Rheumatology leaders again noticed a marked contrast when looking at the percentage of available adult and pediatric fellowship slots that were filled. Whereas the adult programs filled 98.9 percent of their available slots, the pediatric programs only filled 61.5 percent, signaling an ongoing need to increase interest in pediatric rheumatology.
“This application cycle showed a small increase in applicants for pediatric rheumatology fellowship positions, with 32 applicants filling a possible 52 total positions, up from 27 applicants filling 43 positions last year.” said Beth Marston, MD, chair of the ACR’s Committee on Training and Workforce Issues (COTW). “Pediatric rheumatology continues to lack sufficient applicants to address the current and anticipated workforce need, despite some recent gains including funding of loan reimbursement programs and an increase in training positions. Thought leaders in pediatric rheumatology, along with the ACR’s Workforce Solutions Committee, continue to work toward innovative solutions to better disseminate exposure to the specialty and its appeal to potential applicants.”
While the number of adult fellowship matches has seen a steady increase over the past five years, narrowing the gap between applicants and available positions, interest from candidates continues to exceed the number of available positions, suggesting a need to expand fellowship training opportunities. Making progress in these areas is important given the workforce shortage projections identified in ACR’s 2015 workforce study.
“Based on these match statistics, there is clearly a demand for additional training positions in adult rheumatology. Efforts to increase funding for rheumatology training and support for new and threatened fellowship programs, particularly in geographically underserved areas, will be important for the future of rheumatology care in the US,” said Marston.
In addition to increasing fellowship positions, the ACR is:
- Creating new mechanisms to increase rheumatology exposure earlier in training.
- Focusing on understanding the barriers to training in pediatrics and combined internal medicine and pediatrics rheumatology.
- Supporting programs and program directors as they navigate curricular and regulatory changes.
The NRMP, established in 1952 at the request of medical students, uses a computerized, mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants and program directors to fill training positions available at teaching hospitals in the United States. Full details of the 2023 Match Day results for adult and pediatric fellowships can be found on the National Resident Matching Program’s website.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.