Blog Archive

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Match Day 2018 Protest / Residency Shortage

The last blog gave an overview of the Indivisible Guide for public action.  I described how it could be utilized to bring the residency shortage to the Nation’s attention.  To many of you the idea of demonstrating or picketing might seem ludicrous.  Granted I would have felt the same way before I became aware of the residency shortage.  Yet, the direness of the circumstances of unmatched doctors calls for drastic measures.

 Normally, I am very much an optimist.  However, in this particular situation I have realized the futility of successive re-applications for residency slots.  I have “laid out” the reasons for this futility in many of my prior blogs.  The Nation is short 10,000 residency slots each year.  The demand for a residency given the current supply creates such a skewed application process.  The system will repeatedly favor the highest scoring candidates.  The result is that many fully qualified doctors graduates have to give up on a career in Medicine.

 So here are the specifics of what I plan to arrange for “peaceful activism” in Tampa on Friday, March 16, 2018, Resident Match Day.  I hope you will take these ideas and plans and use them at a Match Day celebration where you live.  You have 180 medical schools from which to choose…

  • Explore city permits for protests in my area (none needed if on public sidewalks and not obstructing traffic)
  • Contact family, friends and supporters to form a group of activists to “picket” at the USF Match Day party in Tampa, FL on March 16, 2018
  • Prepare public relation materials to hand out:  brochures and business cards (download these at my website:
  • Order 25 t-shirts with the NoMatchMD logo on them (doctors wear white coats)
  • Create protest posters to carry at the demonstration –
-“What About the Docs Who Don’t Match?”

-“Doctor Blindside”

-“Save Our Doctors!”

-“Discarded Doctors!”

-“Residency Shortage = Doctor Shortage”

-“Create More Residency Slots”

·        Reach out to media contacts, especially those who have written about the residency shortage.  Send them protest specifics and include reference links to this issue and a quote to use for a story.

I am going to make PR materials available for you to download on my website, (logo, brochure, business card, poster and sticker template).  Please use them to make your participation more probable.

I hope this will help you too, to get out of your comfort zone and help in the quest to correct the residency shortage.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

                                      NPR Broadcast / Residency Shortage
August 3, 2017, someone was listening….Julio Ochoa, editor for Health News Florida, broadcast a story about the residency shortage in Florida on NPR Radio, WUSF.  He started the story by talking with Dr. Michael Smith, a 2014 graduate from a Caribbean medical school, who has applied 3 years in a row for a residency in Medicine.  Each year Dr. Smith applied to hundreds of residencies at a cost of $5,000 per year with no luck.  He will re-apply for a 4th time in 2018.  Dr. Smith has accrued a medical school debt of about $350,000 to date, with the inability to work as a licensed physician to begin repayment.  To work in the US as a licensed physician requires a minimum 1 year post graduate training in a US residency.  In reality, the “real minimum” number of residency years is 3 years, for the ability to become board certified.  Doctors are really considered “employable” when they are board certified.

Mr. Ochoa broadcast this story one day before the beginning of the Florida Medical Association annual meeting.  The timing could not have been better!  Apparently, most of the meeting’s attendees did not hear this story.  A proposal to create the new license described in Mr. Ochoa’s story to preserve the unmatched doctors, failed to gain support from the membership.  They voted “no” on the proposal.  The objections raised dealt with the belief that a residency shortage does not really exist, that the doctor graduates were too selective in their choice for residency specialties and that is why they did not match, and that emphasis should be placed on increasing medical education (number of residency slots) and not on creating “short-term” licensing.  Each of these objections provides fodder for upcoming blogs.  The current situation of the residency shortage continues to wallow in the doldrums due to these very misconceptions.

By the way, that “someone” who was listening to Mr. Ochoa’s broadcast, offered Dr. Smith an immediate spot in a “Transitional Residency Program”.  Hopefully, this is “the foot in the door” that Dr. Smith has long awaited!  Congratulations Dr. Smith on your willingness to speak out about this travesty of the residency shortage.  It was never YOUR fault.  It was our Nation that broke its “Social Contract”!

Please listen to Mr. Ochoa’s story for yourself.  Here is the link where you will find it: