False headline from USA Today

USA Today Headline:

Match Day: More medical graduates entering primary care

The article (and many others I have seen) from whence that headline came claim that more medical graduates are entering primary care; howerever, that is not necessarily true. The fact that they cite to support this is that more graduates matched to primary care residency positions, "internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine". But matching to those residency spots does not mean that they are going into primary care. Doing a residency in pediatrics or internal medicine is a requirement before becoming a specialist in such hot areas as GI and cardiology, and of course my speciality of rheumatology.

If a medical resident wants to be a pediatric rheumatologist, they will need to do a pediatric residency first, thus matching, but not necessarily going into, primary care.

In fact, the percentages of internal medicine residents who go on to specialize is increasing:

[D]ata obtained from questionnaires of internal medicine residents during their final year of training show that only about 20 to 25 percent of internal medicine residents now plan to enter general internal medicine, compared with nearly 55 percent in 1998.