The Match: Why do we have a system that creates unemployed physicians?

The Match is an algorithm that pairs medical school graduates with a residency so they can begin practicing as a physician.

It was invented in 1952 when there were far more residency positions available than students graduating.

Now, the opposite is true. Yet we use the same algorithm.

The result? A significant portion of medical school graduates are left unemployed and with no place to go once they complete school (and have hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt).

They’re doctors, yet they are prohibited from seeing patients. There is no way to continue their career without going through The Match, which is held once per year. They might find temporary work until next year’s cycle (some report waiting tables); or they might choose a different career path altogether.

Why do we have a system that creates unemployed physicians in a society where there is already a physician shortage?

Why are we still using a system from 1952?

Jamie Katuna is a medical student.  She can be reached on Facebook.

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