Whether it's months or years away, your own Match day is something you probably think about often. The Match is complex, but making it work for you doesn't have to be. Educate yourself now about what to look for a residency program, what to expect as you plan for your match, how to stand out from the get-go, and how to make decisions throughout the nearly year-long process.
Navigate the Match process and get tips on applying to and ranking for programs with this free AAFP resource.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, including the Match. Your questions about this season, answered.
The Match process is a uniform system by which residency candidates and residency programs simultaneously “match” to fill first-year and second-year post-graduate training positions accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The National Resident Matching Program®(NRMP®) instituted and maintains The Match system.
Almost all first-year positions in ACGME-accredited training programs participate in The Match. Candidates for residency positions in some subspecialty programs will participate in other matches. However, these candidates must also participate in the NRMP in order to secure a preliminary position for each of those specialties.
All students seeking a residency position should enroll in The Match. Once enrolled, you are bound to abide by the terms of the NRMP process. However, if you are offered a position by an institution not participating in The Match (such as an osteopathic position or an unaccredited position) your dean of student affairs can withdraw you before The Match deadline for changes.
Keep in mind that if at least one of the institution’s residency programs participates in The Match, all programs in that institution must offer positions to U.S. allopathic medical school seniors only through the NRMP or another national matching program.
Hosted by guest experts who have guided hundreds of students through the Match and into residency, this webcast will help you:
Now is the time to begin learning about the details of The Match, the tasks you'll need to complete, and how to make the most out of this milestone in your career.
The student resources in AAFP's app were designed specifically to simplify your residency search. Research programs, create a customized scorecard to evaluate what matters most to you, track your application process, and more.
On Monday of Match week, you'll learn if you matched and to which program(s). If you didn't match immediately, there's still an opportunity to match to a program through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program®(SOAP®).
The SOAP is an NRMP-run program that takes place during Match week to match any unfilled residency positions with unmatched applicants.There are eight rounds of offers in the SOAP from Monday through Thursday of Match week. SOAP matches are announced along with applicants who matched in the Main Residency Match on Friday. Positions fill quickly in the SOAP, and accepted offers create a binding commitment. If you participate in the SOAP, be honest, thorough, and critical in your assessment of programs and their offers before accepting.
Not everyone will match to a position, and it is not true that only “bad” programs do not fill. A program may not fill if its rank list is at odds with the applicants who ranked it, or if it is too short. There will likely be several programs with unfilled positions that you would find desirable. In some cases, it may mean accepting a position in another specialty that you were considering as a second choice or were considering as preparation for the next year’s Match. Your dean’s office is prepared to counsel students who do not match.
Learn more about the SOAP process on the NRMP website.