Infectious Diseases and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Match

Here we go again. Another internal medicine subspecialty “match day” and another record (bad) day for ID. How bad? The previous record (set last year) for unfilled ID programs was 54. This year 70 programs went unfilled, meaning that for the first time ever there were more programs that didn’t fill than that did. Almost 100 funded ID training positions unfilled in a single year!

We’ve blogged about this trend before, here and here, and discussed some of the reasons that ID is in decline as a specialty (along with some suggestions for how to turn this around). I don’t have any new insight, except to make the point that this is now beyond a crisis situation for our specialty. It’s a dumpster fire.


  1. As a 1st year ID fellow, I would say that it's multifactorial but it's going to take a lot more effort/investment from everyone to turn this crisis around.

  2. There is a nice commentary in the December 1 CID by Chandrasekar et al. that describes the possible reasons for the decline in ID applicants and possible solutions.

    CID Full Text

  3. Thanks, Eli, I completely missed that piece. It is amazing how pronounced the trend line is when you add this year's match. The good news for ID fellows is that there should be plenty of demand! Who knows, maybe in 10-15 years ID docs will be making more than dermatologists? Crazy thought, I know….

  4. I do wonder how much of it has to do with pure salary... if ID doctors made $400,000 and GI doctors made $100,000, doing the exact same work we do right now, how many IM residents would be going into ID instead of GI?


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