THURSDAY, July 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Family medicine (FM) residency graduates continue to practice in the field after residency, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Mingliang Dai, Ph.D., from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) in Lexington, Kentucky, and Lars E. Peterson, M.D., Ph.D., from University of Kentucky in Lexington, characterized graduates of FM residencies (from 1994 to 2017) using the 2017 American Medical Association Physician Masterfile linked with administrative files of the ABFM.

The researchers found that 66,778 residents completed training in an accredited FM residency, averaging 2,782 graduates per year. The peak of FM residency graduates was in 1998 to 2001, averaging 3,053 each year. During the past 24 years, there was diversification in the composition of FM residents with large increases in Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, international medical school graduates, and female graduates. In 2017, of all the FM residency graduates, 91.9 percent claimed FM as their primary specialty and 81 percent were certified with ABFM. The most common non-FM primary specialties reported included FM/sport medicine (2.1 percent), FM/geriatric medicine (0.9 percent), internal medicine/geriatrics (0.8 percent), and emergency medicine (0.7 percent).

“With nine in 10 graduates of family medicine residencies designating FM as their primary specialty, FM residency programs not only train but supply family physicians who are likely to remain in the primary care workforce,” the authors write.

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