Columbia University Missed Deadline to Match Heart Surgeons

Marcia Frellick

March 14, 2017

New York–Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City has acknowledged that because of an administrative error, it will not be able to select residents on Match Day for cardiothoracic surgery.

The center missed the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) date to submit its ranking list for residents in the specialty.

In a statement, the hospital told Medscape Medical News that it is "committed to all of our graduate medical education programs and we have implemented a process so that this does not happen again."

Mona Signer, president and chief executive officer of NRMP, told Medscape Medical News that the thoracic surgery program will still have a chance to participate in the NRMP's Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), through which programs look for candidates for their unfilled positions. SOAP decisions are made by Thursday.

"For a program this competitive, I assume they will be able to fill their positions in SOAP," she said.

As to whether this has happened to other programs hoping to match, Signer acknowledged that others have not submitted ranking lists, but it's impossible to tell whether or not that was done inadvertently.

"Sometimes, programs don't find applicants they want to rank in the Match, so they participate in SOAP," she said.

Match Week began Monday when applicants learned if and where they have matched. Final decisions are made by Friday, when ceremonies begin at noon Eastern Standard Time nationwide.

The NRMP expects this year's match to be the largest in history, surpassing the more than 42,000 applicants who registered for the 2016 Match and the more than 4800 residency programs across the country that offered more than 30,000 positions.

The mistake follows another by Columbia University last month, when the university accidentally sent acceptance letters to 277 students and then called to withdraw the acceptance, according to news reports.

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