Navigating the Process

The "Match" is a process that predominately matches fourth-year medical students with medical residency programs. Other groups of applicants are also eligible to compete for any vacant medical residency positions. All graduated medical students must complete additional training beyond medical school to receive their medical license. Since residency training spots are limited due to government funding, an impartial process was developed to pair student residency choices with residency-training program preferences.

Match programs include:

  1. Military
  2. San Francisco or “Early” (Ophthalmology only beginning in 2012.)
  3. Urology
  4. National Residency Matching Program (NRMP)
  5. American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  6. Canadian Residency Matching Service ( CaRMS) 

Here are some ground rules for the “Match” that you will want to know early on:

A student chooses one of the above match programs when applying for a residency training position.

  • Unless a student is in the military medicine career path, wants to practice in Canada, or wants to apply for an osteopathic residency program, the match program the student selects will depend on the specialty of choice.
  • Early match and urology match applicants usually are required to register with the NRMP for the first year of general training in addition to their primary match registration.
  • Only the NRMP has a provision for a couples match.
  • There is one fee for match registration and a separate fee for application processing.
  • Each match has its own timeline, application service, regulations, and method of operation.
  • Rules that apply to one match do not necessarily apply to another.
  • Penalties are enforced if rules are broken.
  • Match results are as binding as a contract.

Graduates of allopathic medical schools are expected to participate in the match process unless they find one of the rare training positions that does not participate in any match, or they enter the program at an off time (other than July 1 of the match year).

For statistical data on the National Residency Match Program, visit the Advanced Data Tables.

Match Preparation

Each year, our fourth-year medical students continue to match in competitive residency programs and specialties, exceeding the national average. One way we ensure your success in achieving the ideal residency is through preparation of the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), a comprehensive assessment of your performance in achieving the educational objectives of our medical school curriculum. We’ll also guide you through the requirements and processes for completing your residency choices through one of four matches: National Residency Matching Program, San Francisco Match, American Urological Association, and Military Match. It can even be beneficial to check out the USMLE scores and specialty selection as well as where the current class of graduating seniors will be pursuing their residencies.

NRMP Charting Outcomes

The first edition of the National Resident Matching Program's "Charting Outcomes in the Match" was published in July 2006 in response to requests from students and their advisors for data casting some light on how applicant qualifications affect match success.

View the latest edition

More about the Match