About the Main Residency Match®

Purpose

The purpose of the Main Residency Match is to provide a uniform time for both applicants and programs to make their training selections without pressure.  Through the Main Residency Match, applicants may be “matched” to programs using the certified rank order lists (ROL) of the applicants and program directors, or they may obtain one of the available unfilled positions during the Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program®.  The Main Residency Match is managed through the NRMP’s Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system.

Programs that participate in the Main Residency Match include:
Categorical-C: programs that begin in the PGY-1 year and provide the full training required for specialty board certification.
Primary-M:  categorical programs in primary care medicine and primary care pediatrics that begin in the PGY-1 year and provide the full training required for specialty board certification.
Advanced-A: programs that begin in the PGY-2 year after a year of prerequisite training.
Preliminary-P: or one-year programs that begin in the PGY-1 year and provide prerequisite training for advanced programs.
Physician-R: programs that are reserved for physicians who have had prior graduate medical education. Reserved programs offer PGY-2 positions that begin in the year of the Match and thus are not available to senior medical students.

Some specialties may offer both categorical and advanced type positions.  Examples are Dermatology, Anesthesiology, Neurology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Diagnostic Radiology.

The NRMP seeks to maintain the highest professional standards in the conduct of the Main Residency Match and in its interactions with all participants: applicants, program directors, institutional officials, and medical school staff.  All participants in the Main Residency Match 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.

Eligibility

APPLICANTS: To participate in the Main Residency Match, an applicant must meet all requirements for entry into GME as prescribed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®).  Each sponsoring institution (e.g., a teaching hospital) may have additional eligibility requirements.

Click here to review ACGME requirements

PROGRAMS:  To offer positions through the Main Residency Match, a program must be either

  • accredited by the ACGME, or
  • a combined program that is approved or recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS®), or
  • a combined program that is approved or recognized by the specialty board that is responsible for board certification of residents who successfully complete the combined program.

Program requirements must be met by the Rank Order List Deadline.

Application

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.  Most programs participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®), which transmits residency applications to program directors via the Internet. Applicants must register with both NRMP and ERAS to use the services of each.