By the end of the decade, the U.S. may not have enough medical residencies for all the medical school graduates.
For current undergrads, the path to getting to that spot may become even more competitive. The number of residency positions was frozen by the Balanced Budget act of 1997, when it was projected there would be a surplus of doctors. Today, many say there will be a shortage, so medical schools are growing.
"By 2018-2019, sometime by the end of the decade, we're going to have several hundred more students graduating from U.S. medical schools than we'll have first year residency training spots for them," said Dr. Atul Grover of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The president's 2013 budget would cut money that's used to fund residencies by 10 percent. The Affordable Care Act allowed hospitals to pick up residency spots that other hospitals no longer need. Governor Romney has said he would repeal Obamacare, but it's otherwise unclear what his healthcare plans mean for medical residencies.