The purpose of the SMS is to provide a uniform time for both applicants and program directors to make their selections for fellowship training without pressure. Through SMS Matches, applicants may be “matched” to programs using the certified rank order lists of the applicants and programs. SMS Matches are managed through the NRMP’s Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.
The NRMP seeks to maintain the highest professional standards in the conduct of the Specialties Matching Service and in its interactions with all participants: applicants, program directors, institutional officials, and student affairs deans. All participants in the Specialties Matching Service must conduct their affairs in an ethical and professionally responsible manner and respect the right of applicants to freely investigate program options prior to submission of their rank order lists.
APPLICANTS: To qualify for positions in fellowship programs, applicants must have completed a core residency training program.
Applicants also must meet all of the requirements for entry into GME as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®) if the program is accredited by the ACGME. Each sponsoring institution (e.g., a teaching hospital) may have additional eligibility requirements.
PROGRAMS: The NRMP may be selective in determining which programs are eligible to participate in an SMS Match. Only programs in a specialty for which an SMS Match is being conducted may offer positions through the SMS.
To be eligible to offer positions through an SMS Match, a program must be either:
(a) accredited by the ACGME, or
(b) affiliated with an ACGME-accredited program in the core discipline, or
(c) lead to certification or endorsement and oversight by a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS®).
SPONSORS: The SMS is available to program directors’ groups (i.e., associations of training program directors) that serve as sponsors of an SMS Match. To qualify for matching services, sponsoring organizations must identify an individual to represent the organization. Each specialty must verify annually that:
- at least 75% of the programs with available positions for the appointment year will be registered for the Match,
- those programs will actively participate by submitting rank order lists, and
- at least 75% of the available positions within the specialty will be registered with the NRMP.
The NRMP is not an application service or a job placement service. Applicants must apply directly to residency programs in addition to registering for the Match. Many programs participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®), which transmits applications to program directors. Applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to participate in the services of each organization.
- Reminder! The “75% rule” applies to an SMS® specialty as a whole. The rule requires organizations that sponsor an SMS Match to verify annually that at least 75% of the programs with available positions in a given year will be registered for and actively participate in the Match, and that at least 75% of the available positions within the specialty will be registered with the NRMP. The “75% rule” does NOT apply to individual programs and how many positions they must place in a Match.