Residency Match Day 2017 Sets More Records

Megan Brooks

March 17, 2017

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) celebrated its largest Residency Match Day ever today.

A record-high 35,969 US and international medical school students and graduates vied for 31,757 positions, the most ever offered for Match Day. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions increased to 28,849 — 989 more than in 2016.  The total number of positions filled was 30,478, up 906 from last year, and the total number of PGY-1 positions filled was 27,688, an increase of 852 over 2016.

Celebrated around the world, Match Day is when applicants learn the location and specialty of the US residency programs where they will call home for the next 3 to 7 years.

This year, "a number of the results stand out," Mona M. Signer, NRMP president and CEO, told Medscape Medical News. 

"The number of US allopathic seniors who submitted program choices is an all-time high. The number of students/graduates of osteopathic medical schools who submitted program choices, as well as their match rate, are all-time highs," she noted.

The number of US seniors entering family medicine also continues to rise, "a good sign for primary care," said Signer.

Program Positions (n) Increase Over 2016 (n) Positions Filled, n (%) Positions Filled by US Allopathic Medical School Seniors, n (%)
Internal medicine 7233 209 7101 (98.2) 3245 (44.9)
Family medicine 3356 118 3215 (95.8) 1513 (45.1)
Pediatrics 2738 49 2693 (98.4) 1849 (67.5)

Emergency medicine offered 2047 first-year positions, 152 more than in 2016, and filled all but 6 slots. The overall fill rate was 99.7%; 78.2% were filled by US seniors. Since 2012, the number of emergency medicine positions has increased by 379, or 23%, the NRMP notes.

Psychiatry offered 1495 first-year positions this year, 111 more than last year, and filled all but 4. The overall fill rate was 99.7%; 61.7% were filled by US seniors. The number of psychiatry positions has increased by 378, or 34%, since 2012, and the number of positions filled by US allopathic seniors has increased by 307.

Specialties with more than 30 positions that achieved the highest percentages of positions filled by US allopathic seniors, which is a key measure of competitiveness, were integrated plastic surgery (93.1% US seniors), orthopedic surgery (91.9% US seniors), and otolaryngology (91.5% US seniors).

Dip in International Applicants

While the 43,157 Match registrants set a record this year, the increase was due largely to growth in US allopathic medical school seniors and students/graduates of US osteopathic medical schools, the NRMP says.

The number of US allopathic medical school senior registrants was 19,030, 362 more than last year; of those, a record-high 18,539 submitted program choices, and 17,480 (94.3%) matched to first-year positions. The 94% PGY-1 match rate for US seniors has held steady for several years.

The number of US osteopathic medical school applicants this year was a record high 5000, with 3590 submitting program choices, an increase of 608 over 2016; 2933 (81.7%) matched to PGY-1 positions, also a record high.

This year, the number of US citizen international medical school students and graduates (IMGs) who submitted program choices declined by 254 to 5069; however, 2777, or 54.8%, matched to PGY-1 positions, the highest match rate since 2004.

The number of non–US citizen IMGs who submitted program choices also went down, from 7460 in 2016 to 7284 this year, but 3814 (52.4%) matched to first-year positions, 45 more than in 2016 and the highest match rate since 2005.

"Although the numbers of US citizen and non–US citizen IMGs declined, their match rates were the highest in more than a decade," Signer told Medscape Medical News.

"We do not know whether the declining number of non-US IMGs resulted from the executive order [by President Trump] because NRMP does not collect citizenship information during the Match registration process," she said.

Applicants who did not match to a residency position could participate in the NRMP's Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). This year, 1177 of the 1279 unfilled positions were offered during SOAP. The SOAP results will be unveiled in the full Match report published in May.

More information on the results of Match Day 2017 are available on the NRMP website.

For more news, join us on Facebook and Twitter


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.