Residency Opportunities Lacking for Young Doctors

Aug 19, 2014

Medical schools are accepting more applicants into their programs, but training programs for doctors after medical school aren't keeping up. 

The Affordable Care Act is increasing the demand for physicians, and by extension, the number of medical students. Dr. J.D. Polk, Dean of Des Moines University’s Medical School, says the lack of residencies creates a mismatch. There are around 26,000 first year residency slots for about 37,000 medical school graduates in the United States. 

The number of residencies available for medical school graduates has been capped in Iowa since 1997. Polk attributes the lack of expansion to lack of funding. Most medical residency programs in Iowa are funded through Medicare dollars.

Hear the full interview with Dr. Polk and Katie Eggerman, a student at Des Moines University, below.