Match Day 2021: Pediatrics Experiences Slow, Steady Growth

Lucas Franki

March 25, 2021

Match Day 2021 was another record breaker, despite the pandemic, and pediatrics played its part, adding nearly 40 more slots than 2020 and filling nearly 50 more, according to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

"Rather than faltering in these uncertain times, program fill rates increased across the board," the NRMP said in a press release. Overall, 35,194 first-year (PGY-1) slots were offered and 33,353 were filled, both more than ever before, for a fill rate of 94.8%, a slight increase from the 94.6% fill rate last year.

Pediatrics offered 2,901 slots in 2021, up from 2,864 in 2020, though the proportion of pediatrics slots in the overall total fell slightly to 8.2% from 8.4% in 2020. Of those 2,901 slots, 2,860 were filled, for a fill rate of 98.6%, up from 98.2% last year. Of those filled positions, 60.3% were filled by MD seniors, and 78.2% were filled by U.S. graduates.

Since 2017, pediatrics has offered more slots every year, rising from 2,738 in 2017 up to the 2,901 in 2021, an overall growth rate of just under 6%.

"Concerns about the impact of virtual recruitment on applicants' matching into PGY-1 positions were not realized, [as] growth in registration was seen in every applicant group," the NRMP noted. Rank-order lists submissions in 2021 were up by 2.8% for U.S. MD seniors, 7.9% for U.S. DO seniors, 2.5% among U.S.-citizen international medical graduates, and 15.0% for non–U.S.-citizen IMGs, compared with 2020.

"The NRMP is honored to have delivered a strong Match to the many applicants pursuing their dreams of medicine. ... The application and recruitment cycle was upended as a result of the pandemic, yet the results of the Match continue to demonstrate strong and consistent outcomes for participants," Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN, NRMP President and CEO, said in the press release.

This article originally appeared on, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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