Press Release: NRMP Medical Specialties Matching Program Matches More Than 4,500 Applicants to Fellowship Positions

MSMP 2019 appointment year sets record highs in number of applicants, programs, positions, and positions filled.

Washington, D.C., December 6, 2018 – The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) has released the results of the 2018 Medical Specialties Matching Program (MSMP). The MSMP encompasses nearly all Internal Medicine subspecialties, and the 2018 Match surpassed the records set in the 2017 Match to become the largest in history with 5,881 active applicants (a 7.1% increase), 1,839 programs (a 11.0% increase), 5,215 positions, and 4,579 positions filled (both 7.9% increases).

Launched in 1991 with only three Internal Medicine subspecialties, the MSMP has grown to include fifteen subspecialties and two sub-subspecialties (medical fields that require completion of a core residency and subspecialty training). For most MSMP subspecialties, completion of a core residency in Internal Medicine is required, but a few also accept applicants who completed residencies in Pediatrics or Family Medicine. Growth in the MSMP has been significant: since the 2015 appointment year; the number of participating programs has increased by 53.8 percent, the number of applicants by 33.9 percent, the number of positions by 44.8 percent, and the number of positions filled by 38.5 percent. The growth has been driven in part by the addition of Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine.   Allergy and Immunology and Geriatric Medicine transitioned from independent Fellowship Matches to join the MSMP beginning with the 2016 appointment year.

“Pursuing advanced training is a major life decision, and the popularity of Internal Medicine subspecialty training is evidenced by the growing numbers of applicants and positions in the Match,” said NRMP President and CEO Mona Signer.

Program Highlights

  • Of the 5,215 positions offered through the MSMP, 4,579 (87.8%) were filled.
  • The most competitive subspecialties among those that offered at least 30 positions were Allergy and Immunology, Cardiovascular Disease, Gastroenterology, Hematology and Oncology, Pulmonary/Critical Care, and Rheumatology. All filled at least 97 percent of the positions offered, and more than 50 percent of the positions were filled by graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools.
  • The least competitive subspecialties among those that offered at least 30 positions were Geriatric Medicine and Nephrology. Both filled less than two-thirds of the positions offered, and less than 35 percent were filled by U.S. allopathic graduates.
  • Subspecialties that saw the greatest percent increase in positions filled over the past five years include Infectious Diseases (69.7% – 81.3%) and Rheumatology (91.7% – 98.7%).

Applicant Highlights

  • Of the 5,881 applicants who submitted rank order lists of programs (active applicants), 4,579 (77.9%) obtained positions.
  • The number of active U.S. allopathic medical school graduates totaled 2,661— 4.5 percent more than 2018 and 43.2 percent more than 2015.
  • The number of active U.S. osteopathic medical school graduates totaled 594— 17.2 percent more than 2018 and nearly double the number in 2015.
  • The number of active U.S. citizen graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) totaled 958 — 16.4 percent more than 2018 and 37.4 percent more than 2015.

Read the 2018 MSMP Match Results Statistics Report for more data on Internal Medicine fellowship appointments that begin in July 2019.

The Match Process

For applicants, the Main Residency Match process begins in the fall during the final year of medical school, when they apply to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for awarding The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2012.

About NRMP

The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism for matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors. In addition to the annual Main Residency Match® for more than 43,000 registrants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 60 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).

To schedule an interview with NRMP President and CEO Mona M. Signer, contact To receive an embargoed copy of the Advance Data Tables on Thursday, March 15, reporters should contact with their name, outlet, email address, and phone number. Reporters should contact local medical schools and hospitals directly for details on their Match Day ceremonies and residency program activities.