February 2024 Illuminator

Shining a Light on Match News that Matters

This issue of the Illuminator includes:

  • 2024 Main Residency Match ranking opens February 1 at 12 p.m. ET
  • 2024 Main Residency Match Rank Order List Certification Deadline is February 28 at 9 p.m. ET
  • Policy reminders about certifying rank order lists
  • Important dates and reminders for the Main Residency Match
  • Program director and applicant surveys distributed later this month
  • Mark your calendar! NRMP’s Transition to Residency conference
  • Introduction to the Fellowship Match webinar scheduled
  • Upcoming deadlines

Main Residency Match Ranking Opens on February 1 at 12 p.m. ET

Rank Order List Certification Deadline is February 28 at 9 p.m. ET

As ranking opens, explore NRMP’s support guides, videos, and helpful resources about entering and certifying rank order lists for programs and applicants. There is also a recording of the ranking webinar for programs on our website.


  • Programs should rank applicants in order of true preference, not how they think applicants will rank their program.
  • The Match commitment is binding so programs should rank only applicants deemed acceptable to train and applicants should rank only programs at which they are willing to train.
  • Changes can be made to a rank order list after it has been certified up and until the Rank Order List Deadline; however, any changes require the rank order list be re-certified with each change. Once the Rank Order List Certification Deadline passes, no additional changes may be made to a rank order list.
  • Only certified rank order lists will be used in the Match.

Assistance with ranking is available from the NRMP Support Team Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET by emailing support@nrmp.org or calling 866-653-NRMP (6767). To offer the highest level of customer service, on February 28, the Rank Order List Certification Deadline, staff will be available until 9 p.m. ET to answer questions you may have during the final deadline hours.

Policy Corner: Rank Order Lists

Ranking opens today, February 1, at 12 p.m. ET, for the 2024 Main Residency Match, and we want to be sure programs and applicants understand key elements around the submission of a rank order list.

Please visit the Match Policies page on the NRMP website for access to Match Participation Agreements and best practices during recruitment and ranking as outlined in the Codes of Conduct.

Important Considerations for Programs:

  • Ensure each applicant placed on your rank order list meets requirements for licensure, as published by the program’s state Licensure Board.
  • Confirm an applicant’s eligibility for training by accessing the Applicant Match History available through the Registration, Ranking, and Results (R3) system to determine if an applicant has a pre-existing match commitment or sanctions that would limit the applicant’s ability to join a residency program.
  • For programs ranking international medical graduates, confirm your institution’s willingness and/or ability to sponsor the visa type requested or intended by any non-U.S. citizen applicant ranked.
  • Communicate, in writing, all institutional policies regarding eligibility criteria (e.g. expected credentials, pre-employment screenings, background checks, etc.) applicants must meet if matched to the program. Programs shall obtain signed acknowledgment from interviewees that all pertinent information has been provided.
  • Program coordinators can create and edit rank order lists, but they cannot certify the rank order list on behalf of the program director. Use of the program director’s username and password by the program coordinator to access the R3 system is a breach of the Match Participation Agreement.

Important Considerations for Applicants:

  • Applicants should ensure they have an understanding of and alignment with specific program eligibility requirements before ranking a program.
  • Remember that programs are not permitted to request that applicants reveal any information about the programs or specialties to which they have applied or solicit information about ranking intentions and preferences.
  • The deadline for applicants wishing to withdraw from the Match is February 28 by 9 p.m. ET. As a reminder – independent applicants can withdraw by logging into the R3 system and completing the withdrawal process; however, sponsored applicants (U.S. MD and DO seniors) must be withdrawn by their school official.

For questions regarding Match policies, please contact NRMP Policy at policy@nrmp.org. We are here to help and look forward to supporting you throughout the 2024 Main Residency Match.

Main Residency Match Important Dates and Reminders

Medical School Officials:

  • Please track your students in the R3 system and contact those who have yet to complete the registration process. The late registration deadline for applicants who intend to participate in the Main Residency Match or SOAP is February 28 at 9 p.m. ET and the cost is $120 ($70 standard registration fee and $50 late registration fee). Programs cannot see or rank applicants who are not registered for the Match.
  • Beginning on February 1, at 12 p.m. ET, medical schools can log into the R3 system to verify the graduation credentials of their students and graduates. A support guide and step-by-step instructions on how to complete this process is available on the NRMP website. Schools must complete the graduation verification process by February 28 at 9 p.m. ET.

Institutional Officials:

  • Programs with outstanding change approvals will not be able to certify a rank order list until the changes are approved by the IO. IOs can log into the R3 system to complete the approval process. The deadline for reversions to be finalized in the R3 system and for approval of all program changes is February 28 at 9 p.m. ET.
  • Institutional officials (IOs) should confirm their active program list in the R3 system to ensure programs participating in the Match are listed correctly, that program staff have registered, program quotas are correct, and that contact information is accurate.

Need additional help? Assistance is available from the NRMP Support Team Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET by emailing support@nrmp.org or calling 866-653-NRMP (6767). 

Coming February 29! Main Residency Match Program Director and Applicant Surveys

The NRMP will administer both the Program Director and Applicant Surveys to Main Residency Match participants this year! Keep an eye on your inboxes for invitations to complete these surveys, which will be accepting responses from February 29 to March 10.

The information gathered through these surveys will help inform the decision-making processes of future Match applicants and help NRMP and other GME organizations improve the transition to residency process. The more survey responses we get, the better we can inform the community.

Previous NRMP survey reports can be found on the website. If you work with applicants directly, please remind them to mark their calendars for February 29. For questions, please reach out to research@nrmp.org.

Mark Your Calendar! NRMP’s Transition to Residency Conference

NRMP is thrilled to announce its annual stakeholder conference, Transition to Residency: Conversations Across the Medical Education Continuum, will take place October 3-5, 2024, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Stay tuned in the upcoming months for more details on registration, proposal submissions, conference speakers, and more!

Educational Webinar for Fellowship Program and Institution Staff

The NRMP is hosting an Introduction to the Fellowship Match webinar on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 1 p.m. ET.

In this webinar, Jeanette Calli, Chief of Match Operations, and David Dojcsak-Sparks, Senior Manager of Policy and Compliance, will provide an overview of Match processes and policies, program staff roles and responsibilities, managing the program’s participation in the Match, ranking applicants, and policy information.

This is a biannual webinar. An email with additional details and a registration link has been emailed to fellowship program and institution staff associated with a Fellowship Match that has a Match Day through September.

A second session will be hosted on Tuesday, July 16, at 1 p.m. ET, for programs associated with a Fellowship Match that has a Match Day through the end of the year.

Upcoming Deadlines

Main Residency Match

  • February 1, 12:00 p.m. ET: Ranking Opens

Forensic Pathology, Laryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery, Vascular Neurology

  • February 7, 12:00 p.m. ET: Registration Opens

Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology, Hand Surgery

  • February 14, 12:00 p.m. ET: Registration Opens

Main Residency Match

  • February 28, 9:00 p.m. ET: Rank Order List Certification Deadline