The NRMP is aware of the recent announcement made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) regarding a new application service for OB/GYN applicants and programs beginning with the 2024-2025 residency application cycle. This announcement joins the ongoing efforts of the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons (ACAPS) to utilize their own application for Plastic Surgery applicants and programs (Residency Central Application). While application services are changing, all applicants and programs will continue to participate in the Main Residency Match®, ensuring optimal outcomes for all participants.
The announcement by ACOG afford the NRMP the opportunity to partner with ACOG and its chosen application service (Liaison International), to ensure that all applicants and programs who want to participate in the Match can in the most efficient way. The core of the NRMP’s mission is to promote a matching process that is fair, equitable efficient, transparent, and reliable. To achieve that mission, the NRMP routinely evaluates how its matching services and how other services and organizations involved in the transition, are evolving to meet the needs of constituents and the changing landscape of the transition to residency. To support the needs of the OB/GYN specialty, the NRMP has addressed policy issues pertaining to the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP), has begun working with Liaison International to ensure efficient processes and data transfer when needed, and has begun working with OB/GYN leadership to ensure transparency and clear communication. This work will be ongoing for the next 6-12 months as the NRMP and the specialty prepare for the transition.
We appreciate the UME and GME communities likely have many questions about the pending change for OB/GYN, and we have compiled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help illuminate how changes in utilization of residency application services, like those initiated by ACOG, align with Match policies and processes. We will continue adding to this list as more guidance and clarity is needed, and we encourage you to refer to these FAQs regularly to gain a comprehensive understanding of the adjustments and how they will impact the Match process. The NRMP will also update the community as we learn more about the application service provided through ACAPS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will ACOG’s decision to utilize a different application service affect how I participate in the application, recruitment, and matching processes for the 2024 Main Residency Match?
No. The application, recruitment, and matching processes for the 2023-2024 transition cycle will not change for any participant in the Main Residency Match.
How will I know which application service to use?
There is no change to application service or process for the 2023-2024 transition cycle, so applicants and programs will apply to and recruit for residency positions as they have in the past. Beginning with the 2024-2025 transition cycle, ACOG will communicate requirements specific to the application. However, it will be imperative that programs disclose to applicants, at the start of recruitment, the application service or process they will require for the Main Residency Match and Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). Programs should consider how best to share their preferred application service or process to applicants at the start of the recruitment season, including making information available on the program’s website or placing the information prominently in recruitment materials. The NRMP will work with ACOG and the community to ensure that communications are aligned and consistent with Match policy.
Will NRMP require a different registration for me if I use the OB/GYN application service?
At this time, no. The NRMP registration process will remain the same for all participants in the Match. Applicants and programs will continue to register separately for the application service and the Main Residency Match, regardless of the application service that is used. However, the NRMP and Liaison International are seeking ways in which these processes may be streamlined and we will communicate any changes in process as they develop.
Will the NRMP revise its Match Participation Agreement for the Main Residency Match to reflect changes to the application process?
Historically, the NRMP has shown no preference for, or mandated applicants or programs using a particular application service or process. With the onset of the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) in 2012, the NRMP modified its Match Participation Agreements to identify the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) as the required application service during Match Week specifically to reduce the stress and chaos associated with applying to and communicating about unfilled positions via fax, phone, and email. Since ACOG has announced its intention to utilize a different application service, the NRMP has broadened its Match Week policies to allow for the use of other application services or processes that a program requires during SOAP.
How will applicants who apply to OB/GYN during the algorithm phase of the 2025 Match, and go unmatched, apply to programs during SOAP?
Applicants will utilize the application service or process designated by the specialty or the program. Any residency application service that supports programs participating in the Main Residency Match will work with the NRMP to establish and/or maintain a seamless exchange of applicant information so applicants are able to move through the Match Week and SOAP experience efficiently.
Will the NRMP continue to require the use of ERAS application service for SOAP in 2025?
No. ERAS will be recognized and supported as one of the application services utilized for the submission of residency applications when SOAP occurs in March 2025.
Do I have to participate in the Match if I am applying to OB/GYN?
Yes. Regardless of the application process or service required by programs, applicants applying to OB/GYN will still participate in the Main Residency Match to obtain their residency positions.
Do programs have to disclose the application process they intend to use for both Main Match and SOAP to applicants?
Yes. Although changes to the application and recruitment process will not begin until September 2024, NRMP policy requires that all programs inform applicants about the specific application service or process they intend to use beginning with the 2024 Main Residency Match and for SOAP. In addition, the NRMP’s Registration, Ranking, and Results system (R3) will be updated for the 2024 Main Residency Match to require programs to identify all of the application services they will accept for the transition cycle. This will ensure transparency and allow applicants to prepare accordingly, regardless of the application process the programs require.
Can programs use more than one application service?
NRMP policy does not prohibit programs from utilizing more than one application service or process. NRMP will require programs to notify applicants, at the beginning of the application and recruitment season, which application service or process they intend to use for both Main Residency Match and SOAP.
How will I know which application service to use if I register to participate in SOAP only?
Programs will be required to disclose to applicants, at the start of recruitment, the application service or process they will require for the Main Residency Match and Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). The NRMP R3 system also will identify the program’s selections and expects programs to clearly communicate that information and make it readily available to applicants as they prepare for their participation in the Main Residency Match and/or SOAP. Programs should consider how best to share their preferred application service or process to applicants at the start of the recruitment season, including making information available on the program’s website or placing the information prominently in recruitment materials.
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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 48,000 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.