Match Day 2021: Interest in Family Medicine Remains Strong

Richard Franki

March 31, 2021

In a record year for the Match, family medicine residencies filled 92.7% of their available positions in 2021, which were up 3.5% over last year, according to the National Resident Matching Program.


"Rather than faltering in these uncertain times, program fill rates increased across the board," the NRMP said in a written statement. Overall, the 2021 Main Residency Match offered (35,194) and filled (33,353) more first-year (PGY-1) slots than ever before, for a fill rate of 94.8%, compared with 94.6% the year before.

Family medicine offered 4,823 positions in this year's Match, up by 3.5% over 2020, and filled 4,472, for a 1-year increase of 3.7% and a fill rate of 92.7%. Just over 63% (3,046) of the available slots were given to U.S. seniors (MDs and DOs), while 25.4% went to international medical graduates. The corresponding PGY-1 numbers for the Match as a whole were 70.4% U.S. and 21.1% international medical graduates, based on NRMP data.

"In the last five years, the Main Residency Match has seen sizable increases in the number of positions offered" in family medicine — up by 1,467 (43.7%) since 2017 — and such growth over time may "be a predictor of future physician workforce supply," the NRMP said. Family medicine also increased its share of all available residency positions from 11.6% in 2017 to 13.7% this year.

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

"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," said Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, who is president and CEO of the NRMP.

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


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