Our overarching mission is to ensure that every U.S. Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) medical graduate who has passed their required USMLEs is able to occupy space as a physician.
Goals to accomplish this mission
Goal 1 To unite unmatched doctors
We want to build trust and a support system within the community of unmatched doctors because trust is the bedrock that we must build upon to be successful. There is strength in numbers and the thousands of doctors who go unmatched every year no longer need to feel alone. Medicine is an extremely competitive and isolating field, so we need to exemplify the opposite of that status quo in order to unify these doctors. With that in mind, we are entirely staffed by volunteers – we do not take a membership fee and are an inclusive organization. We are non-partisan and engaged in working with all unmatched U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). We hope to grow this organization to represent and advance the goals of these talented physicians. To do that all of these voices need to be represented in one place. Unmatched and Unemployed Doctors of America also looks to collaborate with other unmatched doctor organizations.
Goal 2 To increase public awareness of unmatched doctors and how they are the solution for the physician deficit.
No matter where these U.S. Citizens and LPRs graduated from medical school, they have passed three 9-hour United States Medical Licensing Exams which “assesses a physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to demonstrate fundamental patient-centered skills, that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care (according to NBME on USMLE.org).” Thus, they deserve the right to finish their residency training equally and are functionally equivalent to one another. After completing residency, these physicians will have fulfilled all criteria necessary for licensure in the United States. Many of these tax paying citizens of the United States have taken out taxpayer guaranteed student loans [U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents] and deserve first choice for taxpayer funded residency positions.
Fully qualified doctors (n=7,409) by the standards of their medical institution and the medical licensing exams went unmatched in March of 2021 and could enter residency today if given the opportunity. In 2020 this number was 6,570 U.S. Citizen unmatched doctors so the issue is getting worse every year. Why isn’t the Association of American Medical Colleges advocating for these unmatched doctors? With 0.72 residency positions per applicant, doctors from this country are being sidelined without having alternative clinical paths to go down.
A potential solution to this is to prioritize U.S. Citizens and LPRs by performing two residency matching application cycles. The first cycle would be dedicated to placing U.S. Citizens and LPRs. The second cycle would match remaining positions with remaining applicants. Many countries select their residents by prioritizing their citizens. Shouldn’t we also? These doctors have ties to the communities where they are from, and their communities need them. UAUDOA feels that these doctors could be well used in Health Professional Shortage Areas and to help relieve the current doctor shortage of 33,000 physicians. If we train our culturally competent physicians in the communities that are underserved and/or underrepresented, we will be able to reduce disparities and provide improved healthcare to the areas that need it most.
Goal 3 To advocate for federal legislative reform that increases primary care residency training positions and recommend federal oversight of the matching process.
Residency positions are paid for by the tax payers through Medicare funding. We support and advocate for increasing residency positions through federal legislation such as H.R. 2256, The Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021.
Approximately $16 billion of Medicare funds go to pay for residency and fellowship training positions each year. Each training hospital employing a resident receives an estimated $100,000 per resident to train them per year. Each resident receives approximately $50,000 annually in pay. With only 31% of this $16 billion in funding going to primary care training positions, there needs to be a paradigm shift. Many countries devote at least 50% of their graduate medical education funding to primary care and the U.S. should seek to match this model. Therefore, we are also a proponent of increasing the ratio of primary care (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology) residency training positions to all other training positions.
- Helping to pass legislation that allocates more money for primary care residency training.
- We believe these new training positions should be dedicated to and located in medically underserved areas of the country.
- Repurposing some of the $16 billion in Graduate Medical Education Medicare funding from fellowships or procedurally heavy residencies (can pay for themselves) to fund more primary care residencies.
Goal 4 To support equal opportunity
As mentioned previously, the current system does not prioritize U.S. Citizens or LPRs. Existing immigration law states that residency programs should be doing their best to find suitable U.S. citizens before they begin utilizing non-U.S. citizen doctors to fill these federally funded taxpayer funded residency training positions (Workplace fairness). We are pushing for transparency on that issue from both the residency programs and the AAMC who allow this to happen.
The AAMC allows for the use of filters that automatically deletes applicants even though applicants pay to apply. If an application is not viewed, the applicant should not be charged to apply to that program and applicants that go unmatched should be able to apply for free in future years. Year of graduation filters should be removed to prevent ageism and since the application are only open once per year. If you are a U.S. Citizen or LPR, you have graduated from medical school, and you have passed your exams, we feel you deserve to finish your training. Unlike other countries where after you graduate you can apply for licensure, in the United States you are not allowed to apply for licensure until after you finish residency training.
Military service status should also be added to the application. We are in support of our nation’s veterans and urge that the Electronic Residency Application Service application begin to include the ability to select veteran status. Without the ability to select that you have served your country, veterans are being filtered out. This is against the law under USC Title 5.