Family Medicine Residency

Family Medicine Residency Match - Learning about the specialty

Learning about the specialty

Family medicine is a specialty in which all medical students rotate during the third year of medical school. If you suspect primary care or family medicine might interest you, we recommend trying to schedule your core family medicine rotation as early in the third year as possible. Since many medical students often have choices about where to rotate, we suggest completing the family medicine rotation at the student’s most prestigious family medicine clerkship location and preferably at a location that has a residency program. By the same token, it is important to schedule your family medicine sub-internship early in the fourth year and also at your medical school’s most prestigious site.

Family medicine residency starts in the PGY1 year and is three years in total. The vast majority of family medicine graduates do not complete fellowship training. The top family medicine programs are very competitive so it is important to understand what your target programs will be. The majority of U.S. allopathic seniors match in family medicine, but, the specialty remains competitive for international and osteopathic applicants.

Family Medicine Residency Match - What criteria are most important to match in family medicine?

What criteria are most important to match in family medicine?

Understanding what criteria are most important to family medicine program directors and admissions committees will allow you to position yourself as well as possible to match in the specialty. It is important to know how competitive you are for family medicine by reviewing data published by the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). This data includes the 2018 Program Director’s Survey and Charting Outcomes in the Match for all three applicant types (allopathic students, osteopathic student and international students). By summarizing this data, together with our own knowledge of what makes a successful applicant, we will outline what you should do to match!

Family Medicine Residency Match

Family Medicine Residency Match

In 2018, there were a total of 3,629 family medicine positions offered in the NRMP match and a total of 4,402 applicants for those positions.

Family Medicine Elective/Audition Rotations

Interestingly, family medicine is not a specialty that whole heartedly recommends audition rotations. In 2018, 66% of program directors surveyed felt this was an important factor when deciding whom to interview. There may be some program directors at more competitive programs who feel more strongly that audition electives as a way to gain exposure to another institution, prove yourself on another “turf” and to have letters of reference from somewhere other than your home institution. Where to complete audition electives will largely depend on your competitiveness as an applicant and geographic preferences. Ideally, audition electives should be completed by October of the application year. For family medicine in particular, it is important to discuss the possibility of doing audition rotations with an advisor or mentor from your home medical school. For most medical students, away rotations are not necessary regardless of where you hope to match.

Family Medicine Letters of Reference

Letters of reference from academic family medicine physicians with whom you have worked directly are the most important letters in your profile. If possible, strong letters of reference from leaders within an academic family medicine department, such as a chair, program director, or clerkship director will also bolster your overall candidacy. Since perceived commitment to family medicine is of the utmost importance to family medicine program directors, having letters that can communicate your commitment is vital. If you have done any family medicine or public health research, a letter of reference from the principal investigator with whom you worked is also valuable. We recommend a minimum of two letters from academic family medicine physicians with other letters of reference from primary care academic physicians or researchers with whom you have worked.

Family Medicine Residency Match - Allopathic US Senior Medical Students

Family Medicine Residency Match Statistics

Allopathic US Senior Medical Students

Cumulatively, 4,402 applicants applied for 3,629 family medicine residency positions in 2018. Of those 4,402 applicants, 1,635 were U.S. senior medical students. A mere 77 U.S. senior family medicine applicants did not match in to family medicine residencies last year. Therefore, 4.7% of allopathic U.S. senior family medicine applicants did not match making family medicine one of the least competitive specialties based on the data. Keep in mind, however, that the most desirable family medicine programs are extremely competitive.

This is the data for those U.S. senior medical students who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 11.4
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.1
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 220
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 237
  • Mean number of research experiences: 2.1
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 3.0
  • Mean number of work experiences: 3.3
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 7.7
  • Percentage who are AOA members: 7.3
  • Percentage who graduated from one of the 40 U.S. medical schools with the highest NIH funding: 27.7
  • Percentage who have Ph.D. degree: 1.0
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 17.6
Family Medicine Residency Match - Osteopathic Medical Students

Osteopathic Medical Students

Cumulatively, 4,402 applicants applied for 3,629 family medicine residency positions in 2018. There were 673 osteopathic applicants. Of those, 610 matched. Therefore, 91% of osteopathic medical student family medicine applicants matched in family medicine.

The data for those osteopathic students who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 9.1
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.1
  • Mean COMLEX-USA Level 1 score: 506
  • Mean COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE score: 537
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 217
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 CK score: 233
  • Mean number of research experiences: 1.4
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 1.8
  • Mean number of work experiences: 3.3
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 7.2
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.2
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 22.6

Family medicine is one of the less competitive specialties for osteopathic medicine students. Average COMLEX and USMLE scores for applicants who match are significantly lower than in other specialties.

 

 

 

Family Medicine Residency Match - United States International Medical Student Graduate (IMG) Data

United States International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data

Cumulatively, 4,402 applicants applied for 3,629 family medicine residency positions in 2018. There were 1,166 U.S. IMGs who applied for family medicine. A total of 600 matched. Therefore, 51% of U.S. IMG family medicine applicants matched.

Below is the data for those US IMG applicants who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 6.1
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.3
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 211
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 225
  • Mean number of research experiences: 1.4
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 1.4
  • Mean number of work experiences: 3.8
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 4.6
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 0.0
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 24.2

Because approximately half of all U.S. IMG applicants to family medicine match successfully, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program.

Family Medicine Residency Match - Non-US International Medical Student Graduate (IMG) Data

IMG Family Medicine Residency Match

Non-US International Medical Student/Graduate (IMG) Data:

Cumulatively, 4,402 applicants applied for 3,629 family medicine residency positions in 2018. A total of 679 non-US IMGs applied and 267 matched. Therefore, a total of 39% of non-US IMG family medicine applicants matched in family medicine.

Below is the data for those non-US IMG applicants who matched successfully:

  • Mean number of contiguous ranks: 3.8
  • Mean number of distinct specialties ranked: 1.4
  • Mean USMLE Step 1 score: 220
  • Mean USMLE Step 2 score: 231
  • Mean number of research experiences: 1.9
  • Mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications: 2.7
  • Mean number of work experiences: 5.8
  • Mean number of volunteer experiences: 4.8
  • Percentage who have a Ph.D. degree: 1.3
  • Percentage who have another graduate degree: 22.6

Because less than half of all non-U.S. IMG applicants to family medicine match successfully, we suggest applying as broadly as possible and being honest about how competitive you are. When reviewing Doximity residency rankings on Doximity Residency Navigator, pay attention to “feeder” schools for each program.

Family Medicine Residency Match - Family Medicine Residency Interview - Who is invited?

Family Medicine Residency Match 2019

Family Medicine Residency Interview: Who is invited?

Based on the 2018 Program Director’s Survey published by the NRMP, there are many factors that are important in deciding whom to invite for an family medicine residency interview. What is most interesting about family medicine is that standardized test scores, personal statement, and perceived commitment to the specialty are the most important factors in deciding whom to interview. Below we discuss these factors further.

1) USMLE Step 1/COMLEX Level 1 score and Step 2 CK/COMLEX Level 2 CE Score

It is a fact of life that your performance on Step 1 or COMLEX 1 will impact the likelihood that your application is “screened in” and that you will be invited for an interview. The 2018 Program Director’s Survey indicated that 62% of programs require a “pass only” on the USMLE Step 1 and only 38% have a target score. The average number for that cutoff or “target score” is 205. Fifty percent of programs will often consider applicants with a Step 1 failure. By the same token, some programs automatically grant interviews for students with scores above a certain threshold. That threshold varies but is typically 220 or higher for Step 1. Keep in mind that not all programs offer automatic interviews. If you don’t do as well on Step 1 as you would have liked, take Step 2 CK early in the fourth year and do as well as you can!

Your score on Step 2 CK/COMLEX Level 2 CE score is also very important for program directors when deciding whom to interview. Therefore we suggest that most applicants take this exam early in the fourth year. Similar to Step 1, 40% of program directors indicated they require a “pass only” on the exam.

Your score on Step 3 (if you have already graduated from medical school) really doesn’t influence much as 95% of programs don’t use this score.

2) Personal Statement, Perceived Commitment to Family Medicine and Letters of Reference

In contrast to other specialties, the personal statement and perceived commitment to the specialty take priority in deciding whom to interview. How does a program director glean your interest in the specialty? This is largely based on your personal statement content, demonstrated interest based on rotations in the specialty and letters of reference. Other specialties in medicine are very “numbers-focused” yet family medicine is not one of them. Program directors want to know that you are committed to primary care and the diverse nature of practice. Strong endorsements of your candidacy are also extremely influential in deciding who receives interviews.

Family Medicine Residency Match - When should you apply?

Family Medicine Residency Application

When should you apply?

29% of programs extend family medicine interviews before October 1st and 41% extended them during the month of October. Therefore, it is important to send your ERAS application in early!

Now, assuming you are selected for an interview, what factors influence how (and if) you are ranked?

Here’s the list:

  • Interactions with faculty during interview and visit
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Interactions with housestaff during interview and visit
  • Feedback from current residents
  • Perceived commitment to the specialty

As you can see, after the interview, it is your “interview performance,” interpersonal qualities, and how you are perceived by anyone and everyone you meet that will influence how you are ranked (and even if you are ranked) the most. This is why, no matter how strong an applicant you are, it is important to be comfortable with the interview process. It is also valuable to know yourself; are you an introvert or more of an extrovert? What types of social situations make you comfortable or uncomfortable? During residency interviews you will be meeting many new people and having numerous conversations with strangers. You also need to clearly convey your commitment to family medicine. Be prepared!

Family medicine takes in to account not only your interview performance, but, they want to know what current residents thought of you, too!

Family Medicine Residency Match - What if you don’t match or you feel you need personalized help?

What if you don’t match or you feel you need personalized help?

Applicants often feel lost, confused and overwhelmed by the residency application process. This is where MedEdits can help. We have helped hundreds of applicants match successfully. Whether you need a fourth year planning strategy, help with your personal statement, interview help, or any other guidance related to the residency match, we will make sure you are positioned as well as possible to match well!

Looking for an Family Medicine Residency program?

Check out our state by state list below.

Top Family Medicine Residency Programs 2018-2019

Clinica Sierra Vista – Bakersfield Program
Kern Medical Center Program
OPTI West/Chino Valley Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Scripps Mercy Hospital Program
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Program
OPTI West/PIH Health Hospital Downey Program
St Joseph Hospital-Eureka Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Fontana) Program
San Joaquin General Hospital Program
University of California (San Francisco)/Fresno Program
Valley Health Team, Inc. Program
Adventist Health Glendale Program
Adventist Health Hanford Program
Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Program
Loma Linda University Health Education Consortium Program
Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Program
California Hospital Medical Center (Dignity Health) Program
Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, College of Medicine Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Los Angeles) Program
White Memorial Medical Center Program
Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Program
Mercy Medical Center (Merced) Program
Valley Consortium for Medical Education Family Medicine Program
OPTI West (Montclair) Program
Riverside University Health System/University of California Riverside Program
Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center Program
University of California (Irvine) Program
University of California Riverside School of Medicine Program/Desert Regional Medical Center Program
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Program
Eisenhower Medical Center Program
Mercy Medical Center (Redding) Program
Shasta Community Health Center Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Riverside) Program
Riverside Community Hospital/University of California Riverside School of Medicine Program
Dignity Health Methodist Hospital of Sacramento Program
Sutter Health Program
University of California Davis Health Program
Natividad Medical Center Program
Family Health Centers of San Diego Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (San Diego) Program
University of California (San Diego) Medical Center Program
University of California (San Francisco) Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (San Jose) Program
Stanford Health Care-Sponsored Stanford University Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Anaheim) Program
Marian Regional Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine/UCLA Medical Center Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Santa Rosa) Program
Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital/University of California (San Francisco) Program
St Joseph’s Medical Center Program
Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Program
Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Napa-Solano) Program
OPTI West/Community Memorial Hospital Program
Ventura County Medical Center Program
Kaweah Delta Health Care District (KDHCD) Program
John Muir Health Program
Citrus Valley Health Partners Program
Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Program
Kaiser Permanente Southern California (Woodland Hills) Program
MedStar Health/Franklin Square Program
University of Maryland Program
University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center Program
Michigan State University Program
University of Michigan Health System Program
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine (Battle Creek) Program
St Joseph Mercy Livingston Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Henry Ford Macomb Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University (Sinai Grace) Program
Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University Program
St John Hospital and Medical Center Program
Beaumont Health (Farmington Hills) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
McLaren-Flint Program
Genesys Regional Medical Center Program
Mercy Health Grand Rapids Program
Spectrum Health/Michigan State University Program
Beaumont Health (Grosse Pointe) Program
Henry Ford Allegiance Health Program
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Sparrow Hospital/Michigan State University Program Osteopathic Recognized!
St Mary Mercy Hospital Program
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
U P Health System-Marquette Program Osteopathic Recognized!
MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland Program
ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital Program
McLaren Oakland (Macomb) Program
Mercy Health Program
McLaren Oakland Program
Oakland Physicians Medical Center Program
Wayne State University School of Medicine Program
Central Michigan University College of Medicine Program
Providence-Providence Park Hospital/MSUCHM Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Lakeland Health Program
Beaumont Health (Troy) Program
Munson Medical Center Program
Beaumont Health (Wayne) Program
Metro Health University of Michigan Health (Metro Health) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Albany Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Rochester General Hospital Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Southside Hospital Program
Our Lady Of Lourdes Memorial Hospital Inc. Program
Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program
Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program
Brooklyn Hospital Center Program
New York University School of Medicine/Brooklyn Campus Program
SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn Program
University at Buffalo Program
University at Buffalo Rural Program
University at Buffalo School of Medicine Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Arnot Ogden Medical Center Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Glen Cove Hospital Program
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program
United Health Services Hospitals Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Institute for Family Health (Mid-Hudson) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
NYCOMEC Program
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Downtown) Urban Program
Institute for Family Health (Harlem) Program
New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) Program
South Nassau Communities Hospital Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Plainview Hospital Program
University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Peconic Bay Medical Center Program
University of Rochester/Highland Hospital of Rochester Program
Ellis Hospital of Schenectady Program
Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell at Phelps Hospital Program
Stony Brook Medicine/Southampton Hospital Program
St Joseph’s Health/SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse Program
St Elizabeth Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Samaritan Medical Center Program
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center Program
New York Medical College at St Joseph’s Medical Center Program
Akron General Medical Center/NEOMED Program
Summa Health System/NEOMED Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Summa Health System/Barberton Campus Program
Kettering Health Network/Indu and Raj Soin Medical Center Program
St Elizabeth Boardman Hospital Program
Aultman Hospital/NEOMED Program
Adena Regional Medical Center Program
Christ Hospital/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Program
TriHealth (Bethesda North Hospital) Program
Case Western Reserve University (MetroHealth) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Program
Doctors Hospital/OhioHealth (Columbus) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Grant Medical Center (OhioHealth) Program
Ohio State University Hospital Program
Riverside Methodist Hospitals (OhioHealth) Program
Western Reserve Hospital Program
Kettering Health Network/Grandview Medical Center Program
Wright State University/Dayton Community Hospitals Program
Dublin Methodist Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Cleveland Clinic Foundation Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Memorial Health System Program
St. Luke’s Hospital Program
University Hospitals Osteopathic Consortium (UHOC/Richmond Heights) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Firelands Regional Medical Center Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Mercy St Vincent Medical Center/Mercy Health Partners Program
University of Toledo Program
Ohio State University Hospital Rural Program
Mount Carmel Health System Program
University Hospitals Osteopathic Consortium (UHOC/Westlake) Program
St Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital/NEOMED Program
Western Reserve Health Education/NEOMED Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Lehigh Valley Health Network/University of South Florida College of Medicine Program Osteopathic Recognized!
St. Luke’s Hospital/Sacred Heart Program
UPMC Medical Education (Altoona Hospital) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Heritage Valley Health System Program
St Luke’s Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Main Line Health System/Bryn Mawr Hospital Program
Clarion Hospital Program
Suburban Community Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Allegheny Health Network Medical Education Consortium (SVH) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center/Hershey Program
Abington Memorial Hospital Program
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Program
Lancaster General Hospital Program
Jefferson Health Northeast Program
Latrobe Area Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Wellspan Health Program
Geisinger Health System (Lewistown) Program
UPMC Pinnacle Lititz Program Osteopathic Recognized!
UPMC Medical Education (McKeesport Hospital) Program
Allegheny Health Network Medical Education Consortium (FH) Program
Mountain State Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions, Inc. (MSOPTI) (CornerStone Care Teaching Health Center) Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network Program
Chestnut Hill Hospital Program
Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital Program
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University/TJUH Program
University of Pennsylvania Health System Program
UPMC Medical Education (Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital) Program
UPMC Medical Education (St Margaret Hospital) Program
Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center Program
Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Program
Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education (Kingston) Program
Crozer-Chester Medical Center Program
Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center/State College Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Washington Health System Program
Reading Hospital Program Osteopathic Recognized!
Geisinger Health System Program
UPMC Medical Education/Susquehanna Health System Program Osteopathic Recognized!
York Hospital Program
University of Puerto Rico Program
Hospital Dr Alejandro Otero Lopez Program
Bella Vista Hospital Program
Dr Ramon E Betances Hospital-Mayaguez Medical Center Program
Texas Tech University (Amarillo) Program
University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School Program
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine Program
Conroe Medical Education Foundation Program
Christus Health/Texas A&M College of Medicine/Spohn Hospital Program
Methodist Health System Dallas Program Osteopathic Recognized!
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Program
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-PLFSOM Program
John Peter Smith Hospital (Tarrant County Hospital District) Program
Medical City Fort Worth Program Osteopathic Recognized!
University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals Program
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Garland Program
Valley Baptist Medical Center Program
Baylor College of Medicine Program
Methodist Hospital (Houston) Program
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Program
Texas Institute for Graduate Medical Education and Research (TIGMER)/Laredo Medical Center Program
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Lubbock Program
University of Texas RGV (DHR) Program
University of Texas RGV (MMC) Program
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Knapp) Program
Texas Tech University (Permian Basin) Program
University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler Rural Program
Texas A&M College of Medicine-Scott and White Medical Center (Round Rock) Program
Christus Health/Santa Rosa Program
Texas Institute for Graduate Medical Education and Research (TIGMER) Program
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Joe and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine Program
Memorial Hermann Health System Program
Texas A&M College of Medicine-Scott and White Medical Center (Temple) Program
University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler Program
DeTar Healthcare System Program
McLennan County Medical Education and Research Foundation Program
North Central Texas Medical Foundation Program
McKay-Dee Hospital Center Program
Utah Valley Hospital Program
University of Utah Program
Utah HealthCare Institute-St Mark’s Family Medicine Program

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