NRMP Medical Specialties Matching Program Matched More Than 7,000 Applicants Into Advanced Training Positions

Washington, D.C., December 2, 2021 – On December 1st, the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) released results for the 2021 Medical Specialties Matching Program (MSMP), the organization’s largest Fellowship Match comprised primarily of Internal Medicine subspecialties. This year’s MSMP was the largest on record: there were 7,435 active applicants (those who submitted rank order lists), 588 (8.6%) more than last year. There were 2,277 programs that submitted rank order lists, an increase of 235 (11.5%) over last year, and with 6,368 positions offered, the positions in the MSMP increased by 11.1% (634). This year, 5,759 positions (90.4%) filled.

The MSMP includes 16 subspecialty fellowships and four sub-subspecialties. A sub-subspecialty fellowship requires completion of both a core residency and subspecialty fellowship training. For most MSMP subspecialties, completion of a core residency in Internal Medicine is required, but there are several multidisciplinary specialties that also accept applicants who complete core residencies in various specialties, most commonly Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, or Pediatrics. The noted increase in the number of positions offered this year is due largely to the onboarding of Critical Care Medicine, the latest subspecialty to join the MSMP. All positions commence in July 2022 for training.

“The 2021 MSMP matched a record number of applicants to subspecialty training programs for positions set to begin July 2022,” said NRMP President and CEO Dr. Donna L. Lamb. “It’s rewarding to watch the MSMP grow, not only in terms of applicant interest, and available training positions, but also from its launch 20 years ago with only three Internal Medicine subspecialties.”

Data Highlights for Programs Offering 30 or More Positions

  • Allergy and Immunology, Cardiovascular Disease, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology and Oncology, Pulmonary/Critical Care, and Rheumatology filled at least 95 percent of positions offered.
  • The newest subspecialty, Critical Care Medicine filled 157 positions (98.1%) of the 160 offered in its first year in the MSMP.
  • Of the positions filled, Allergy and Immunology, Gastroenterology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and Pulmonary and Critical Care filled at least 65 percent with U.S. graduates.
  • Of the positions filled, Clinical Care Electrophysiology, Endocrinology, Interventional Pulmonology, and Nephrology filled at least 45 percent with U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen (IMGs).

Data Highlights for Applicants by Type

  • The number of active U.S. MD graduates totaled 3,139, 7.0 percent more than in the 2020 MSMP Match. Of those, 2,807 (89.4%) matched, an 8.3 percent increase over last year.
  • The number of active U.S. DO graduates totaled 1,040, 21.6 percent more than in the 2020 MSMP Match. Of those, 779 (74.9%) matched, a 27.1 percent increase over last year.
  • The number of active U.S. citizen graduates of international medical schools (USIMGs) totaled 1,234, 13.5 percent more than in the 2020 MSMP Match. Of those, 757 (61.3%) matched, a 19.8 percent increase over last year.
  • The number of active non-U.S. citizen graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) totaled 2,013, 2.5 percent more than in the 2020 MSMP Match. Of those, 1,408 (69.9%) matched, a 3.2 percent increase from last year.

The 2021 MSMP Match Results Statistics Report is available and provides additional findings and key data on the Internal Medicine fellowship appointments.

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The Match Process
Applicants submit to the NRMP their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training programs. The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs using the preferences expressed on their ranked lists. 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 501(c)(3) 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 48,000 registrants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 70 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).