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What should you know about the "Match?"

Updated: Dec 25, 2023


What should you know about the "Match?"
What should you know about the "Match?"

What should you know about the "Match?"


The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), often referred to as "The Match," is a system in the United States that helps match medical students with residency programs. Here are some key points about the NRMP and The Match:

Matching Process:

The Match is a computerized algorithm that pairs medical students with available residency positions at participating institutions across the country.

The process occurs annually and is used for various medical specialties.


Participation:

Medical students and graduates from both U.S. and international medical schools participate in The Match.

Residency programs in the United States, including those in various medical specialties, participate in the Match.


Timeline:

The Match process typically begins in the final year of medical school, with students applying to residency programs.

Interviews are conducted, and both applicants and programs submit their preferences to the NRMP.

Match Day, when applicants find out where they have matched, usually occurs in March.


Rank Order List:

Applicants and programs submit their rank order lists to the NRMP, indicating their preferences for where they would like to train or whom they would like to have in their program, respectively.


Algorithm:

The NRMP utilizes a complex algorithm to match applicants with programs based on their rank order lists.

The algorithm aims to optimize the preferences of both applicants and programs as much as possible.


Binding Commitment:

The Match is a binding commitment. Once participants are matched, they are expected to honor that commitment and proceed with the residency program.


SOAP (Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program):

The SOAP is a process within The Match designed to help unmatched applicants find available positions and help unfilled programs fill their vacancies.


Post-Match Process:

After Match Day, unmatched applicants may pursue positions in programs that did not fill all their slots through the Post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).


Main Residency Match (Main Match) vs. Specialty Matches:

The Main Match is the primary process for the majority of residency positions. However, certain specialties, such as ophthalmology and urology, have separate matches.


Ongoing Changes:

The NRMP and The Match system evolve over time, with periodic updates and changes to the process.


It's important for medical students, graduates, and residency programs to be well-informed about the NRMP and The Match process to navigate the residency application and selection journey successfully.



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