Are we training too many doctors, or too few? The challenge of the increased residency slots
To the Editor,
In Italy, after graduation in Medical School, a physician may opt for a residency training program or become a general practitioner. In the last 10 years, residency slots have been insufficient compared to the number of new graduated medical doctors, creating an imbalance between supply and demand for residency training programs. In this way, access to residency have become increasingly difficult. Also, the increased slots for access to the Medical School course, has amplified the phenomenon of the training funnel, that is the difference between the number of admissions to the degree course and the number of residency slots.
It is important to remember that the “limited slots” available for the Medical School course has a dual purpose: 1) to ensure the quality of the training based on settings and facilities and 2) to guarantee employment after graduation. On the other hand, any change in the number of admissions to the Medical School degree leads to a consequences in 10-12 years. Given the number of available residency slots each year, has been estimated that in the 2024 there will be over 20,000 graduated doctors without the possibility to get into a residency training program.