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Is Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Competitive in 2023?

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by Blen Tesfu in Residency

Is internal medicine/pediatrics competitive? How important are the USMLEs, research, med school reputation, and AOA membership for matching into internal medicine/pediatrics? Is internal medicine/pediatrics IMG-friendly? And what is the DO match rate for internal medicine/pediatrics programs?

In this article, you’ll learn everything about internal medicine/pediatrics’ competitiveness in 2022. In the process, you’ll learn what to focus on – and what not to – to maximize your chances of matching into this desirable specialty.

Summary:

  • Internal Medicine/pediatrics Overall Competitiveness: Moderate
  • Research Importance: Low
  • USMLE Importance: Moderate
  • Importance of Attending Top 40 Med School: Low
  • Importance of Class Rank / Obtaining AOA (Med School Honors): Moderate

Table of Contents

Is Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Competitive in 2022?

One way to assess the competitiveness of a specialty is to look at the match rate – the % of people who apply who end up matching into their preferred specialty.

Among US Seniors, the unmatched percentage for internal medicine/pediatrics was 9.6%, making it a less competitive US residency. The match rate for internal medicine/pediatrics is considerably better than the most competitive specialties like plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, or otolaryngology. However, internal medicine/pediatrics is more competitive than psychiatry, emergency medicine, child neurology, or even radiation oncology in the 2022 match.

For more on the most competitive US specialties, see this article.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics US Senior Unmatched Percentage 2022 Match

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Rate

What is the internal medicine/pediatrics match rate for US seniors, DO seniors, and IMGs? The “match rate” is the % of people who applied to a particular specialty as their preferred specialty who successfully matched into the specialty.

  • US Senior Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Rate (2022 Match): 90.4%
  • DO Senior Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Rate (2022 Match): 74%
  • US IMG Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Rate (2022 Match): 50%
  • Non-US IMG Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Rate (2022 Match): 43%

See below for more on matching into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics as a DO or IMG.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Match Statistics 2022

In 2022, there were 392 internal medicine/pediatrics positions available in the NRMP match. A total of 458 applicants listed it as their preferred specialty.

In the 2022 Match, internal medicine/pediatrics ranked #16 for the most total positions offered with 392 positions, the top six were:

  • Internal medicine: 9,809 positions
  • Family medicine: 4,916 positions
  • Pediatrics: 3,016 positions
  • Emergency medicine: 2,921 positions
  • Psychiatry: 2,047 positions
  • Anesthesiology 1,969 positions

How many people matched into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 2022

How Many Applicants Receive Interviews in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics?

According to the 2021 Program Director survey, each internal medicine/pediatrics program received 256 applications on average. Other data include:

  • Applications received (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 256
  • Applications rejected based on standardized screen (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 66
  • Applications receiving holistic review (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 194
  • Interview invitations sent (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 84
  • Applicants interviewed (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 75
  • Applicants ranked (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics): 73

Looking at the percentages, we can see that for the 2021 Match:

  • 26% of internal medicine/pediatrics applications were rejected via standardized screen,
  • Only 76% of internal medicine/pediatrics applications received a holistic review,
  • 33% of internal medicine/pediatrics applications received an interview invitation, and
  • 29% of all internal medicine/pediatrics applicants were ranked to match

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics application outcomes 2021 program director survey

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is Reliant on Screens

Internal medicine/pediatrics relies on standardized screens to weed out applicants. In the 2021 Program Director Survey, internal medicine/pediatrics PDs respondents reported that 26% of applications were rejected via a standardized screen. This ranked near the lower end of residencies.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Applicants Screened Out and Interviewed 2021 PD Survey

USMLE Scores for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Step 1 scores for internal medicine/pediatrics for matched US seniors reflect its moderate competitiveness.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Step 1 Scores (Matched Applicants in 2022 Match):

  • 25%ile: 226
  • Median: 237
  • 75%ile: 248
Step 1 Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Scores (2022 Match)

Step 1 Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Scores Are Middle of the Road (2022 Match)

Similarly, Step 2 CK scores for internal medicine/pediatrics for matched US seniors reflect its moderate competitiveness.

Internal medicine/pediatrics Step 2 CK Scores (Matched Applicants in 2022 Match):

  • 25%ile: 241
  • Median: 250
  • 75%ile: 259
Step 2 CK Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Scores (2022 Match)

Step 2 CK Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Scores Are Middle of the Road (2022 Match)

See this article for more on USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK percentiles for each specialty and the overall percentiles.

Matching into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics as a DO

Matching into internal medicine/pediatrics as a DO is moderately competitive, with a 74% match rate and only 9% of spots filled by DO Seniors in the 2022 Match. In 2022, 50 DO seniors applied for internal medicine/pediatrics; 37 matched.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is Moderately DO-Friendly (2022 Match)

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is Moderately DO-Friendly (2022 Match)

For more on the most DO-friendly specialties, see this article.

Is Internal Medicine/Pediatrics IMG Friendly?

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is not an IMG-friendly specialty, with an overall 46% match rate and only 5% of spots filled by IMGs in the 2022 Match. In 2022, 18 US IMGs and 21 non-US IMGs applied to Internal Medicine/Pediatrics; 9 US IMGs and 9 non-US IMGs matched.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is Moderately IMG-Friendly (2022 Match)

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics is Moderately IMG-Friendly (2022 Match)

We can see that US IMGs had a slightly higher match rate (50%) than non-US IMGs (43%) in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics.

US and Non-US IMG Match Rate 2022 Match

For Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, US IMGs had a slightly higher match rate (50%) than non-US IMGs (43%) in the 2022 Match

For more on the most IMG-friendly specialties, see this article.

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics-Friendly IMG Residency Programs

For a list of the most IMG-friendly internal medicine/pediatrics programs, see this article.

How Important is AOA for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics?

AOA – Alpha Omega Alpha – is the med school honors society. Each school may elect up to 20% of the graduating class of students.

Having an AOA membership confers a greater advantage to matching into some specialties more than others. Often this AOA advantage is greatest for the most competitive specialties.

AOA Membership Advantage for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 2022

AOA membership correlated with a 10% match rate advantage for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in the 2022 Match

In the 2022 Match, the match rate for US seniors with AOA membership was 10% greater than that of US seniors without AOA membership. AOA membership provided a moderate advantage to matching into internal medicine/pediatrics residency.

A number of schools do not have AOA chapters. Even in those schools, many of them rank students against each other. Regardless of AOA status, we can see that class rank is an important factor in successfully matching into internal medicine/pediatrics.

For more on AOA medical schools and the importance of class rank for matching, see this article.

How Many Publications for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency in 2022

Research is an important characteristics for matching into many specialties, particularly the most competitive. So, how many publications do you need to match into an internal medicine/pediatrics residency?

In 2022, the mean number of abstracts, presentations, and publications for US seniors who matched into internal medicine/pediatrics was 6.5. The mean number of research experiences was 3.5.

How many publications for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 2022
Do I Need an MD-PhD to Match Into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics?

You may wonder how much an MD-PhD helps with matching to internal medicine/pediatrics. It appears that having a PhD correlates with a modest advantage of 8% when applying to internal medicine/pediatrics. Specifically, the match rate for those with a PhD is 8% higher than for those without one when applying into internal medicine/pediatrics.

Should I get a PhD for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 2022

Having a PhD correlated with an 8% match rate advantage for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in the 2022 Match

Note that those with PhDs are relatively rare among internal medicine/pediatrics residents. In fact, only 2.2% of matched applicants into internal medicine/pediatrics had a PhD in 2022.

Should You Attend a Top Medical School to Match Into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics?

Does attending a top medical school help with matching into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics? According to the program director survey results above, 50% of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics PDs consider medical school reputation when considering whom to interview. The mean importance score was 3.9.

Similarly, we can look at the advantage of attending a school in the top 40 by NIH funding. In 2022, there was a 1% advantage in match rate for those attending a school in the top 40 for NIH funding vs. those who did not.

Top 40 med school Internal Medicine/Pediatrics match 2022

Graduating from a medical school ranked in the top 40 by NIH funding correlated with a 1% match rate advantage for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in the 2022 Match

Does an MPH or MBA Help Match Into Internal Medicine/Pediatrics?

Medical training is long. Despite this, many consider – or complete – other degrees, like MPHs or MBAs.

But how much of an advantage – or disadvantage – does an MPH (Master of Public Health) or MBA (Master of Business Administration) confer when applying to internal medicine/pediatrics? Not much, it turns out. In fact, the match rate for US seniors with other degrees was 3% lower than the rate for those with other degrees.

These statistics imply that having a second degree that isn’t a PhD doesn’t appear to help your chances of matching into internal medicine/pediatrics, and may even hurt them (slightly).

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics other degree MBA MPH advantage 2022

Having another degree like an MBA or MPH correlated with a -3% match rate disadvantage for Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in the 2022 Match

What Are the Best Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Programs?

While Internal medicine/pediatrics may be moderately competitive, the most desirable programs will always be extremely difficult to enter. So which are the best internal medicine/pediatrics residency programs?

Opinions will vary. However, some of the most desirable Internal medicine/pediatrics residency programs would include:

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale-New Haven Medical center(Waterbury)
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • UCLA Medical Center

Concluding Thoughts

So how competitive is internal medicine/pediatrics in 2022? Based on the statistics, moderately so. It is not among the most competitive specialties like plastic surgery or orthopedic surgery. Nor does it require huge amounts of research or extra credentials like an AOA membership or an Ivy League education to match.

That said, internal medicine/pediatrics is still competitive, particularly for the most desirable programs. While it is true for all specialties, USMLE scores – and particularly Step 2 CK – will be emphasized moving forward, particularly given how reliant internal medicine/pediatrics is on standardized screens to weed out applicants.

To learn more about how to master – not memorize – for impressive USMLE scores and higher class rankings, sign up for a free consultation. You can learn more about how Yousmle can help you to make the most of your time, to excel in your classes, Board exams, and the extracurriculars that are critical to matching.

Looking for an Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Advisor?

Looking for an internal medicine/pediatrics residency advisor? Want help writing your personal statement? Need effective strategies for interviewing? Do you have things on your application – e.g., low USMLE scores, failed USMLEs, no research, IMG status, or others – you need help overcoming?

Be sure to check out our Residency Advisor service.

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