Welcome to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP®) Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®). The SMS encompasses multiple Fellowship Matches representing more than 60 subspecialties. Each Fellowship Match maintains its own schedule of dates. This toolkit provides the information needed to successfully navigate the Match season and achieve the best Match experience possible.
Primary components of the Match include registration, creating and certifying a rank order list, and accessing Match results and reports. Participants complete tasks using our secure and confidential Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.
Programs New to the NRMP
Important Match Preparations
To be eligible to offer positions through a Fellowship Match, programs in a specialty must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- accredited by the ACGME or another entity deemed acceptable to NRMP;
- affiliated with an ACGME-accredited program in the primary discipline; or
- lead to certification or endorsement and oversight by a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS®).
Application Review & Scheduling Interviews
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. Some fellowships use AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®). Others use their own application. Remember to use the Applicant Match History in the R3 system to determine whether applicants have Match commitments or are eligible for appointment before offering interviews. The Applicant Match History also will indicate whether an applicant has received a waiver or an active sanction.
NRMP policy requires applicants and programs to provide complete, timely, and accurate information during the application, interview, and matching processes, including a copy of the contract the applicant will be expected to sign if matched to the program. Institutional officials and program directors are responsible for ensuring all staff involved in the interview and matching processes understand and adhere to the terms of the Match Participation Agreement.
- Communication Code of Conduct
- Statement on Professionalism
- Information Programs Must Share With Interviewees
- FAQs on New Communication Policy
Institution Activation and Program Registration
When the Match opens, program directors and coordinators, as well as institutional officials will receive an email providing either a registration token for new users or the username for returning users. The institutional official MUST activate the institution’s programs for Match participation before program directors and coordinators can update any information. New programs can be added to the Match, and non-participating programs can be marked as not participating so that no Match fee will be charged. The program director and coordinator, if applicable, also must complete the registration process and the registration portion of the program checklist.
Specialties Matching Service Match sponsors may voluntarily implement the All In Policy for a Fellowship Match, which requires programs to attempt to fill all positions in the Match if they register for the Match.
Please note that institutional officials, program directors, and program coordinators must use their own accounts to access the R3 system. Sharing login information and using someone else’s account to access the R3 system is a breach of the Match Participation Agreement and could result in penalties
- R3 System Overview
- How to Register for a Match
- Participant Roles and Responsibilities
- Match Fees
- How to Create Reversions
- Match Participation Agreements
- Fellowship Matches Voluntarily Implementing the All In Policy
Quota Changes and Program Withdrawal
Program quotas (the number of positions offered in the Match) and program withdrawals must be finalized by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day of the Quota Change Deadline. All changes must be approved by the institutional official by that time. Please note that programs cannot certify a rank order list until changes have been approved.
NRMP will change quotas after the Quota Change Deadline only in cases of extreme emergency, such as loss of funding or loss of accreditation, or if an increase in fellowship complement has been approved. Requests for those exceptions must be made in writing by the institutional official and sent to the attention of the NRMP President and CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rank Order Lists
By 9:00 p.m. ET on the day of the Rank Order List Certification Deadline, a program’s certified rank order list MUST be in the R3 system for it to be used when the matching algorithm is processed. The Rank Order List Certification Deadline also is the deadline for creating reversions and for institutional officials to approve them. A program director cannot certify the rank order list if the program has change approvals pending; accordingly, institutional officials are encouraged not to wait until the last minute to approve changes.
Match Day Preparation
Ahead of Match Day, program directors should review and update the program contact information in the R3 system in case their programs do not fill all positions when the matching algorithm is processed. Institutional officials should update their institution’s billing contact information to ensure timely receipt of the Match invoice and thus avoid late fees.
On Match Day for each Fellowship Match, institutional officials and program directors and coordinators can log in to the R3 system at 12:00 p.m. ET to learn if all positions were filled and to access the programs’ Confidential Roster of Matched Applicants and other Match reports. Join the celebration by sharing on social media a photo of your team or new class of residents using #FellowMatch.
Programs with unfilled positions can access the List of Unmatched Applicants in the R3 system and begin contacting them about a position. Programs should utilize the Applicant Match History in the R3 system to determine an applicant eligibility prior to offering an interview. As positions are filled, please update the Current Unfilled positions for your program.
- Upload celebratory messages and photos to NRMP’s Facebook page
- Tweet celebratory messages and photos to #FellowMatch and @TheNRMP
- Visit the #FellowMatch Tagboard
If for any reason an applicant or program cannot or will not honor the binding match commitment, a waiver must be obtained from the NRMP. Applicants and program directors cannot release each other from the binding commitment, and programs are prohibited from discussing, interviewing for, or offering a position to another applicant until the NRMP has granted a waiver. Failure to abide by that requirement will result in an investigation to determine whether the applicant and program have violated the Match Participation Agreement.
Printing Reports Before the Match Closes
NRMP recommends that program directors and institutional officials print and archive Match reports on Match Day so they can be used for Medicare cost reports, institutional and program accreditation, and other purposes. Reports should be stored in a location that can be accessed easily by others in the event a staff transition occurs. NRMP charges $200 per report for Matches closed in the R3 system, and only Match Results by Ranked Applicants and Characteristics of Matched Applicants reports will be available.