At-A-Glance Program Director Survey

NRMP is pleased to announce the availability of a new data tool to assist Main Residency Match applicants in determining their goodness of fit for specialties.  The At-A-Glance Program Director Survey uses data visualization software and draws from the same data source as the NRMP’s publication Results of the 2018 Program Director Survey.  This tool provides a snapshot of program director responses to the survey questionnaire; a PDF copy of the complete report can be viewed on the NRMP’s Residency Data and Reports page.


The At-A-Glance Program Director Survey is best viewed on a desktop computer or tablet.


  • Transitional Year programs and programs in 23 specialties with 10 or more responses from program directors are included.
  • The overall response rate to the 2018 survey was 29.2 percent. Specialty-specific response rates can be found in the complete report.
  • Not all program directors responded to all questions; accordingly, missing data exist in all sections.

USE GOOD JUDGMENT. This tool is NOT designed to predict an applicant’s success or failure in the Match.


The initial view shows results for programs in all specialties. To narrow the results to a single specialty, select the specialty from the drop-down box:

**The drop-down box allows for quick, seamless comparison of data across specialties**

The tool provides views of criteria that program directors use to make interview and ranking decisions, including:

  • “Top 10”: The factors identified most by program directors in the specialty to select applicants for interview and ranking (and the scaled importance from 1=“not important at all” to 5=“very important” of that factor).
  • USMLE and COMLEX Score Requirements: The percentages of program directors in the specialty who required “Pass Only”, a “Target Score”, or for whom scores were “Not Required” when considering applicants for interviews.
  • Target USMLE and COMLEX Scores: For programs that required target scores, USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK and COMLEX-USA Level 1 and Level 2-CE examination data are presented in box-and-whisker plots. For each exam, two plots are displayed: (1) scores below which programs generally do not grant interviews (left plot in blue) and (2) scores above which programs almost always grant interviews (right plot in green). The middle section of each plot between the upper and lower “hinges” (the interquartile range, or IQR) is called the “box,” and the lines extending parallel from the boxes are known as the “whiskers.” Whiskers are 1.5 times the IQR away from the “hinges.”  Data outside upper and lower whiskers are outliers.

More detailed explanations about the box-and-whisker plot can be found online. For example:

Note: COMLEX-USA charts are blank for specialties that have not matched a sufficient number of osteopathic applicants to provide reliable data.

  • Exam Failure: The percentages of program directors in the specialty who “Never”, “Seldom”, or “Often” considered applicants who failed an examination on the first attempt, aggregated by applicant type.
  • Positions, Applications, Interviews, and Ranks: The mean numbers of positions in the Match, applications reviewed, interview invitations sent, applicants interviewed, and applicants ranked by programs in the specialty.
  • Interview Schedules: The percentages of interview invitations sent and interviews conducted monthly by program directors in the specialty.
  • Resident Success: A list of factors rated by program directors in the specialty in determining resident success in the program. Average rating is on a scale of 1=”not important at all” to 5=”very important”.

A pop-up window “tooltip” provides basic information and is accessible any time the computer mouse hovers over a data point.