Fellowship Applicants: How a Match Works

The NRMP Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®) encompasses multiple Fellowship Matches representing more than 50 subspecialties. Each SMS Match maintains its own schedule of dates.

The process of securing a fellowship position includes applying to programs, interviewing, and participating in the Match.

1. Apply to Programs

The NRMP is not an application service or a job placement service. Applicants must apply directly to fellowship programs in addition to registering for the Match. Check with the programs to find out how they want to receive applications. Some fellowships use AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®). Others use their own application. Applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to participate in the services of each organization.

2. Select and Register for a Match

SMS Matches are conducted throughout the year, and applicants must complete the registration process in NRMP’s Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system, electronically sign the Match Participation Agreement, and pay Match fees. Applicants also must meet the prerequisites for training that are specific to their preferred specialty.

3. Complete Interviews

Interview dates are set by programs. NRMP policy requires applicants to provide complete, timely, and accurate information to programs during the application and interview process. In addition, programs are expected to provide complete, timely, and accurate information to applicants, including a copy of the contract the applicant will be expected to sign if matched to the program and all institutional/program policies for appointment to the position.

4. Enter and Certify Your Rank Order List

After completing interviews, a rank order list (preference list of programs) must be created and certified in the R3® system. Each SMS Match has its own Rank Order List Deadline. A rank order list must be certified by the deadline to be used when the matching algorithm is processed. Withdrawals from the Match also MUST be completed by the Rank Order List Deadline.

5. Match Day!

On Match Day for each SMS Match, applicants can log in to the R3® system at 12:00 p.m. ET to learn where they matched or, if necessary, to view the List of Unfilled Programs. A List of Unmatched Applicants also is available for programs that do not fill all positions.