The woman went into the restroom of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center a few weeks ago and cried.
She was due back at her $11-per-hour job as a medical scribe, a note-taking shadow of the doctor that she could have been. But she needed a few minutes to compose herself after an outright rejection from the director of internal medicine for a chance to apply for his residency program.
At least he was honest, she says. It was for the same reasons she had heard hundreds of times, the program was "highly competitive" and she "wasn¹t the right fit."
She graduated from Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in 2013, but despite years of desperate searches and all-or-nothing gambles, she has not been able to land a residency, making her degree worthless.
The Portland Tribune reported that we now have about 1000 "more" American trained MD/DO graduates, than we have resident positions open for them every year. For decades it was the reverse, and the deficit was filled with the best and brightest foreign medical graduates. Since the training is very expensive, and the new graduate cannot be licensed to practice without a residency, we can presume that the Medical/Osteopathic Schools have joined the ranks of other "for profit" trade schools, taking in billions of student loan dollars, while knowing many will not have even the hope of a job in the future. I would have expect better from these mostly venerable institutions.
Collectively they must immediately cut back the number of students admitted yearly, such that it is equal to the number of available residency openings. It is understood that the Federal Government mostly controls the number of PGY-1 openings, but that is no reason for this imbalance to exist. OHSU cut back their MD program enrollment from 115 students, down to 90 the year I started there in 1982. They can do that again just as easily.
Dr Nick Benton