Results of 2016 NRMP Main Residency Match Largest on Record as Match Continues to Grow

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More than 18,000 U.S. allopathic medical school seniors and 17,000 other applicants vied for over 30,000 positions at more than 4,800 residency programs across the United States.

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We are delighted to be part of this life-changing day in the lives of young physicians, and we wish them success as they take the next step in their careers.

The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) announced today the results of the 2016 Main Residency Match® (“the Match”), the system through which United States and international medical school students and graduates obtain residency positions in U.S. accredited training programs. The 2016 Main Residency Match was the largest on record, encompassing 42,370 registered applicants and 30,750 positions. The number of United States allopathic medical school senior students grew by 221 to 18,668, and the number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 27,860, 567 more than last year.

The NRMP is celebrating Match Day today with U.S. medical school seniors and other applicants from around the world who matched to training positions. Match Day is an annual rite of passage for future physicians, a day set aside to recognize their years of hard work and dedication. Seniors at U.S. allopathic medical schools across the country participate in Match Day ceremonies where they learn the locations of the programs in which they will train for the next three to seven years. Their excitement is evident as they open their Match letters and celebrate the successful end of a long journey with friends, family, and advisors.

“Today we congratulate applicants and programs alike,” said NRMP President and CEO Mona M. Signer. “We are delighted to be part of this life-changing day in the lives of young physicians, and we wish them success as they take the next step in their careers.”

Follow the excitement on #Match2016 forums: NRMP Tagboard | AAMC Storify | AMA Storify

Position Fill Rates and Trends

Results of the Match are closely watched because they are predictive of future changes in physician manpower supply. Of the 27,860 first-year positions, 13,744 were in primary care specialties; of those, 13,484 (98.1%) were filled and 7,160 (52.1%) were filled by U.S. allopathic seniors. Since 2012, the number of primary care positions has grown by 2,512, a 22.4 percent increase.

  • Internal Medicine programs offered 7,024 positions, 254 more than in 2015; 6,938 (98.8%) of positions filled, and 3,291 (46.9 %) were filled with U.S. seniors.
  • Family Medicine programs offered 3,238 positions, 43 more than in 2015; 3,083 (95.2%) positions filled, and 1,467 (45.3%) were filled with U.S. seniors.
  • Pediatrics programs offered 2,689 positions, 21 more than in 2015; 2,675 (99.5%) filled, and 1,829 (68%) were filled with U.S. seniors.
  • Medicine-Pediatrics offered 386 positions and filled all but two. U.S. seniors filled 329 (85.2%) of the positions.
  • Of the 407 designated primary care positions in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, 404 (99.3%) were filled, and 244 (60%) were filled by U.S. seniors.

Other highlights:

  • Dermatology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Radiation-Oncology, and Vascular Surgery filled all available first-year positions.
  • Emergency Medicine offered 1,895 first-year positions, an increase of 74, and filled all but one.
  • Neurological Surgery, Otolaryngology, General Surgery, and integrated Plastic Surgery each had fewer than 5 unfilled first-year positions.

U.S. Allopathic Seniors

This year, 18,668 U.S. allopathic seniors registered for the Match, a 10.6 percent increase since 2012. Of those, 18,187 submitted program choices and 17,057 matched to first-year positions, achieving an overall match rate of 93.8 percent. The number of matched seniors, 125 more than last year, is an all-time high. Of the U.S. seniors who matched, 53 percent obtained their first choice for training and 79.2 percent obtained one of their top three choices.

Other Applicants

The number of students/graduates of U.S. osteopathic medical schools submitting program preferences increased to 2,982, an all-time, and they earned a record-high match rate of 80.3 percent. Growth also was recorded for international medical school students and graduates. The number of U.S. citizen students/graduates of international medical schools (USIMGs) who submitted program preferences was 5,323, an increase of 309 over 2015 and an all-time high. Since 2012, the number of USIMGs has risen by almost 25 percent. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs (IMGs) increased by 94 to 7,460. The 2016 match rates for both groups rose approximately one percentage point to 53.9 percent for USIMGs and 50.5 percent for IMGs.

Couples in the Match

The NRMP allows any two applicants to participate in the Match as a couple by linking their preference lists so they can match to a suitable pair of programs. A record-high of 1,046 couples participated in the 2016 Match, 11 more than last year, and 95.7 percent matched to first-year positions, the highest on record with the NRMP.

Unmatched Applicants

Applicants who did not match to a residency position participated in the NRMP Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®). During SOAP, the NRMP makes available the locations of unfilled positions so that unmatched applicants can apply for them using the AAMC Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®). This year, 1,097 of the 1,178 unfilled positions were offered during SOAP. SOAP results will be available in the full Match report this May.

View the Advance Data Tables, 2016 Main Residency Match by the Numbers, and infographic

The Match Process
The Main Residency Match process begins in the fall for applicants, usually in the final year of medical school, when they apply to residency programs at which they would like to train. Program directors review applications and conduct candidate interviews in the fall and early winter. From mid-January to late February, applicants submit to the NRMP their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training. The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs using the preferences expressed on their ranked lists. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for awarding The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2012.

About NRMP
The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism for matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors. In addition to the annual Main Residency Match® for more than 41,000 applicants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 60 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).

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Diane Greenhalgh
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