Institutions and Programs
About Applicants in the NRMP
All applicants participating in the NRMP Main Residency Match are either (1) U.S. seniors or (2) independent applicants. The latter fall into the following categories:
Independent applicant categories:
Verification of Applicant Status
In accordance with Section 2.3 of the Match Participation Agreement, the NRMP will contact Canadian medical schools, osteopathic medical schools, and Fifth Pathway programs to verify enrollment or graduate status of those independent applicants. The NRMP also will confirm with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) that graduates and students of foreign medical schools have passed the examinations necessary for ECFMG® certification. Fifth Pathway applicants must pass the required medical science examinations.
Registered independent applicants who have taken the required ECFMG® examinations and are awaiting confirmation from ECFMG® that they have fulfilled the requirements for certification are allowed to remain active in The Match and submit rank order lists. Many of those applicants will receive notification before the rank order list deadline that they have fulfilled their requirements. Those who do not fulfill the ECFMG® requirements by the rank order list deadline are automatically withdrawn from The Match by NRMP. Therefore, program directors do not risk being matched to an ineligible foreign-trained applicant.
The eligibility of U.S. seniors to participate in the NRMP is determined by their deans for student affairs. The NRMP confirms the graduate status of prior graduates with their respective US allopathic medical schools.
Program directors have an obligation to inform applicants of all relevant institutional and employment policies, including visa requirements. It is expected that interviewees will be provided complete and accurate information, including a copy of the contract the applicant will be expected to sign if matched to the program and all institutional policies regarding eligibility for appointment to a residency position. The NRMP does not verify visa status.
Two individuals can attempt to be matched into a particular combination of programs that would allow them to work in reasonable proximity to each other. They can be matched into positions at the same institution or at different institutions. Each partner should be recognized as an individual applicant, and program directors should rank each partner according to preference. The fact that certain applicants are applying as a couple should not influence the selection decisions made by program directors. The information presented below is provided to assist program directors in answering applicant inquiries.
Each partner of a couple registers individually in The Match and indicates his/her intention to participate as a member of a couple by providing the AAMC ID of the other partner in the NRMP's secure, web-based Registration, Ranking, and ResultsSM (R3SM) system.
The NRMP lets couples create pairs of choices only on their primary rank order lists, which are then considered together in The Match. The couple will match to their most preferred pair of programs, as indicated on their rank order lists, where each partner has been offered a position.
Couples can be matched into the particular combination of programs that is best suited to their personal needs. In creating pairs of programs, couples can mix specialties, program types (preliminary or transitional, categorical, and advanced), and geographic locations. The partners can be matched into positions in the same institution or in different institutions.
Each partner must rank the same number of programs. Each ranked program must be paired with an active program or an indication of "No Match" by the other partner. "No Match" means that a partner is willing to go unmatched if the other can match to a position at that rank.
Each partner who ranks an advanced position also must prepare a separate supplemental rank order list for that program unless the required first-year program already has been completed by that individual. Supplemental list program choices should be geographically acceptable to both partners since supplemental lists are not linked as a couple but are instead matched separately.
If one partner withdraws from The Match, the other partner's rank order list will remain in the system and will be treated in The Match as a single candidate.
Note: Partners who are linked as a couple are treated by the system as a couple only. If they do not initially obtain a match as a couple, the system will not run their lists separately to find a possible match for each individual.
A program can indicate a willingness to allow two residents to share one full- time position in cases where applicants are seeking part-time residency training. Programs indicate their intent to offer shared-residency positions by setting the Accept Shared Pair button on the Maintain Program Information screen. The report Programs Accepting Shared Pairs, found under the menu item My Reports, provides a complete listing of programs offering this option. The information below is provided to help program directors answer applicants' questions.
Each applicant seeking a shared schedule residency position initially registers individually in The Match. They then notify NRMP of their intention to participate in The Match as a "shared pair" and their "individual" registrations are withdrawn. The pair then will be assigned a single AAMC ID and will be included in the NRMP Search Applicants listing as a combined name (e.g. Jones/Smith Mary/John). Alphabetic placement is determined by the first of the two last names.
The shared pair will submit only one rank order list in the R3 system, and it should include all of the acceptable shared positions to which both applicants agree to be matched. If the pair is matched to a full-time position, both individuals are bound to accept it according to the terms of the Match Participation Agreement.