Today the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) celebrates Match Day with the applicants, medical schools, and residency training programs participating in the 2022 Main Residency Match®. Match Day is when domestic and international medical school students and graduates learn in which U.S. residency programs they will train. Match Day marks the end of Match Week and is a widely embraced, ceremonial opportunity for participants to join friends, family, and peers and reflect on their accomplishments as they begin the transition to careers as young physicians.
“The NRMP is honored to have delivered another strong Match for the many applicants pursuing their dreams of becoming physicians. The 2022 Match realized many significant milestones including a record number of U.S. MD and U.S. DO senior applicants and the largest number of total and first-year positions offered,” said Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN, NRMP President and CEO. “What’s more, while all categories of applicants saw improvements over 2021, U.S. DO seniors achieved a 91.3 percent match rate, a 2.2 percentage point increase over last year, the highest on record for that group of applicants, and a rate on par with the match rate achieved for U.S. MD seniors.”
Program and Position Participation, Fill Rates Remain High
The 2022 Main Residency Match included 39,205 total positions, the largest number on record. Of those, 36,277 were first-year (PGY-1) positions, also the largest on record and a 3.1 percentage point increase over last year. The growth in PGY-1 positions was supported in part by an increase in the number of programs offering PGY-1 positions, 177 or 3.4 percent, in the Match.
Growth in the number of PGY-1 positions was most visible in Emergency Medicine (n=81), Family Medicine (n=93), Psychiatry (n=140), and Internal Medicine categorical positions (n=356). As a percentage of positions filled based on positions offered, Family Medicine saw a 2.7 percentage point decrease this year compared to last, and Internal Medicine saw a 0.7 percentage point decrease. Psychiatry saw a 0.6 percentage point decline. Emergency Medicine had 219 unfilled positions in the 2022 Match and saw a 7.0 percentage point drop in positions filled based on positions offered compared to last year. The number of unfilled positions, driven in part by the decreased number of ranks submitted by U.S. MD and DO seniors for Emergency Medicine, could reflect changing applicant interests or projections about workforce opportunities post residency. Emergency Medicine has grown considerably over time, having added 643 positions since 2018, an increase of 28.2 percent.
Out of the 39,205 total positions offered, 36,943 filled for a rate of 94.2 percent, and of the 36,277 first-year positions offered, 34,075 filled for a rate of 93.9 percent. Both fill rates represent a less than one percentage point decline from last year. Of the 6,087 total certified programs, 5,367 filled at 88.2 percent, a slight decrease over last year.
Applicant Participation, Match Rates Higher for Nearly All Groups
There were 47,675 total applicants registered in the 2022 Main Residency Match, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from last year. While the number of U.S. MD and DO seniors increased (78 and 234, respectively) to all-time highs, there were 1,433 fewer U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates who registered for the Match. Sustained concerns about travel regulations and possible variant strain outbreaks related to the COVID-19 pandemic could explain these lower participation rates.
There were 42,549 active applicants (those who submitted certified rank order lists) in the 2022 Main Match, and 34,075 of those matched to PGY-1 positions at a rate of 80.1 percent, a 1.6 percentage point increase over last year.
Even with the record number of U.S. MD and U.S. DO senior applicants, PGY-1 match rates increased for those and other applicant types. The percentage of U.S. MD seniors matched to PGY-1 positions increased slightly from 92.8 to 92.9 while the percent of U.S. DO seniors matched to PGY-1 positions increased from 89.1 to 91.3. The PGY-1 match rate for U.S. citizen international medical graduates increased 1.9 percentage points to 61.4 percent and for non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates the match rate increased 3.3 percentage points to 58.1 percent.
The 2022 Main Match also saw record gains in the PGY-1 match rates for U.S. MD and DO graduates. The percent of U.S. MD graduates matched to PGY-1 positions increased from 48.2 to 50.5 while the percent of U.S. DO graduates matched to PGY-1 positions increased from 44.3 to 53.6. These are the highest percentages on record for both applicant types.
Applicants who did not match to a residency position participated in the NRMP Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) to obtain an unfilled position. This year, 2,262 positions were unfilled after the matching algorithm was processed, 335 more than last year. Of those, 2,202 (97.2%) were first-year positions. There were 370 more positions available during Match Week this year for unmatched and partially matched applicants, an increase of 19.6 percent. SOAP results will be available in the full Match report published in early May.
Strength of Specialties Visible in Senior Match Rates. The results of the Match can indicate the strength or competitiveness of specialties, as measured by the percentage of positions filled overall and the percentage filled by senior students (MD and DO combined) in U.S. medical schools.
- Specialties with 30 positions or more that filled all available positions were Medicine – Emergency Medicine, Medicine – Pediatrics, Interventional Radiology (Integrated), Neurological Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Physical Medicine & Rehab, Plastic Surgery (Integrated), Radiology – Diagnostic, Thoracic Surgery, and Vascular Surgery.
- MD and DO seniors were Medicine – Emergency Medicine (100%), Medicine – Pediatrics (94.6%), Interventional Radiology (Integrated) (92.9%), Orthopedic Surgery (93.3%), and Otolaryngology (93.3%).
Pathology was the one specialty with 30 positions or more that filled less than 50 percent with U.S. MD and DO seniors. However, the specialty achieved an overall fill rate of 98.1 percent, 1.7 percentage points higher than last year.
Primary care sees growth. The 2022 Main Residency Match saw a record number of positions offered in primary care. Of the 36,277 first-year positions offered, 18,133 (50.0%) were in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine (categorical), Medicine – Pediatrics, Medicine – Primary, Pediatrics, and Pediatrics – Primary, an increase of 484 positions (2.7%) over the number offered in 2021.
Of the primary care positions offered in 2022 Main Residency Match,17,116 (94.4%) were filled and 11,061 (64.6%) of those were filled by U.S. seniors. Although the percent of primary care positions filled by U.S. seniors in 2022 represents a slight decline (0.7%) from the prior year, U.S DO seniors saw a gain in number matched in Family Medicine (54 positions, 3.6% increase), Internal Medicine (120 positions, 8.1% increase) and Pediatrics (61 positions, 11.8% increase) in 2022.
View the Advance Data Tables, Match by the Numbers, and Match infographic for additional data and information.
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The Main 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 true preference and submit the rank order 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.
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 47,000 registrants, the NRMP also conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 70 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).
To schedule an interview with NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, contact email@example.com. Reporters should contact local medical schools and hospitals directly for details on their Match Day activities and residency program activities.