Main Match is done through the National Resident Matching
The Main Match is conducted by the
National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), and independent
organization governed by a Board of Directors. There are thousands
of applicants each year competing for residency positions in
dozens of different medical specialties. In order to facilitate
the application process, the National Resident Matching Program
(NRMP) or "Match" was created.
a nutshell, the Match works like this: students apply to
residency programs either through the Electronic Residency
Application Service (ERAS) or through traditional paper applications,
depending on the specialty. Programs invite students for
interviews during fall and winter of senior year. After interviews,
students submit a rank list of programs they would like to
attend, while programs enter a rank list of students they
would like to accept as new interns. From there, the Match
algorithm is processed electronically, and the results are
announced on Match Day, always on a Thursday, the third week
in March. In 2005, Match results will be announced at 1:00
p.m. EST on March 17.
Students who do not Match can "Scramble" for unfilled
positions. Students are notified on Monday of Match Week,
three days prior to Match Day, whether—but not to which
program—they matched. Unmatched applicants then can
compete for remaining unfilled positions until those are
Some specialties participate in their own independent
match programs. These programs hold their match days on different
days thru the SF Match.
These specialties are neurology (PGY2), neurosurgery, opthalmology,
otolaryngology. These programs participate in a separate matching
program and do not participate with the NRMP Match or ERAS.
Students may apply in both a specialty match and an NRMP Match
for specialties that require a preliminary internship year
before beginning specialty training (e.g., opthalmology). Other
students may apply to a specialty match and use the NRMP Match
as a back-up in the event that they go unmatched in their specialty
The NRMP also allows any two people (married or not) to apply
as a pair by linking their rank order lists when the Match
algorithm is run. This allows couples the flexibility to match
in geographic areas together. Couples enter paired rank lists
that specify that if partner A matches in a particular program,
then partner B may match only in programs they have decided
on together. Couples may match in different specialties, select
different geographic locations, or decide that one partner
can go unmatched if a match is not possible.
The NRMP also allows two people to split the responsibilities
of one residency position. The pair uses one NRMP applicant
code, interviews as a pair, and enters only one rank list.
This allows residents to share the duties of a residency with
another person and allows time to pursue other interests (e.g.,
family, research). Contact the NRMP for more details.
An osteopathic match program is conducted by the National Matching
Services (NMS), and is called the Intern
Registration Program. Applicants must register for this
match in June of the senior year, and match results are
in February of the senior year. For more information, contact
the National Matching Service.
First Aid for the Match NEW Edition Designed
to help students make the most of their limited time,
money, and energy. Draws on the advice and experiences
of medical students who have successfully gone through
the Match and are now training in the programs of