April 2024 Illuminator

Shining a Light on Match News that Matters

This issue of the Illuminator includes:

  • NRMP celebrates Match Day for the 2024 Main Residency Match
  • NRMP’s Transition to Residency conference
  • Policy reminders about waiver and deferral of Match results
  • USMLE/COMLEX score verification for medical schools
  • Upcoming deadlines
  • Careers

NRMP® Celebrates Match Day for the 2024 Main Residency Match®, Releases Results for Over 44,000 Applicants and Almost 6,400 Residency Programs

The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP) celebrated Match Day for its 2024 Main Residency Match on March 15 and released key results for educators, stakeholders, and policymakers focused on graduate medical education. Match Day, a time-honored tradition, signifies a pivotal moment in an aspiring physician’s medical education journey. After months of applications and interviews, applicants across the world learned where and in what specialties they will train. This year’s Match included 44,853 applicants who certified a rank order list (“active applicants”) and 41,503 certified positions in 6,395 residency training programs.

“The NRMP is proud to deliver the results of another successful Main Residency Match, and we congratulate all future physicians and training programs on this momentous occasion,” says NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN. “We are especially proud of applicants this year, many of whom began medical school the fall before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to quickly adapt to and thrive in a radically changed academic and training landscape. Their experiences and success speak to a remarkable resilience and dedication they will carry with them into practice.”

A total of 50,413 applicants registered in the 2024 Main Residency Match, an all-time high and increase of 2,257 or 4.7 percent over last year. The rise in applicants was driven largely by an increase of 1,986 non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates (IMGs) and 623 osteopathic (DO) seniors over last year.

Among all registrants, 44,853 certified a rank order list of training preferences, the highest number on record and an increase of 1,901 or 4.4 percent over last year. Of the applicants who certified a rank order list, 35,984 matched to a post-graduate year 1 (PGY-1) position, an increase of 1,162 applicants from last year. The PGY-1 match rate was 80.2 percent.

Match rates remained steady among each of the four main applicant types with less than a one percentage point difference compared to the 2023 Main Residency Match.

  • U.S. DO seniors achieved a 92.3 percent match rate, an all-time high and an increase of 0.7 percentage points over last year. Since 2019, the DO senior match rate has increased 4.2 percentage points.
  • U.S. MD seniors realized a 93.5 percent match rate, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from last year. The U.S. MD senior match rate remains within the historic 92 – 95 percent range that has been steady since 1982.
  • U.S. citizen IMGs realized a 67.0 percent match rate, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points from last year.
  • Non-U.S. citizen IMGs realized a 58.5 percent match rate, a decrease of 0.9 percentage points since last year.

Read the full press release and view the Advance Data Tables and Match by the Numbers document.

NRMP Gearing Up for its Fall Stakeholder Conference!

The NRMP is pleased to convene its 2024 stakeholder conference, Transition to Residency: Conversations Across the Medical Education Continuum, October 3 – 5 in Louisville, Kentucky, the “Gateway to the South”!

This year’s theme is Expanding the Conversation: Ways to Strengthen the Transition to Residency, Fellowship, and Practice. We want to engage with the community to inform, improve, and challenge current practices so we collectively can build a stronger physician workforce.

For its part, the NRMP is focusing on programming that addresses:

  • Innovation – how the UME and GME communities stay attuned to changes in curriculum, the transition, and clinical practice and leverage new ways to manage change that positively affects the success of young physicians during and beyond training.
  • Technology – how new data-driven and information environments and systems interact with and enhance medical education, training, and practice.
  • Wellness – how learner and educator experiences with burnout, isolation, and poor mental health can inform new programming and initiatives that foster better physician well-being.
  • Advocacy – how shifts in the political landscape and development of new health care policy impact efforts to refine training curricula, build trainee diversity, and inform student choices of specialty and career path.

We look forward to interacting with medical school deans and leaners as well as residency and fellowship program directors staff, and institution and association leadership. More details will follow, including instructions for the abstract submission process which opens this month. Be sure to check your inboxes!

Policy Corner: Waiver and Deferral of Match Results

The 2024 Main Residency Match has concluded, and as matched applicants and programs pivot toward onboarding activities, there are a few policy reminders.

All matched positions and positions offered and accepted through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) constitute a binding commitment. If for any reason an applicant or program cannot or will not honor the binding commitment, a waiver or one-year deferral must be obtained from the NRMP. Here are some key elements regarding the NRMP’s policies on waivers and deferrals:

  • Neither applicants nor programs may release each other from a binding commitment. A waiver or deferral of the binding commitment may be requested only from the NRMP.
  • A deferral is not a waiver. A deferral allows for a one-year delayed start to training and requires mutual agreement between the applicant and program.
  • Applicants cannot apply, interview, or accept another position until granted a waiver, even if a waiver/deferral has been requested.
  • Programs cannot discuss, interview for, or offer the matched position to others until a waiver/deferral is granted.
  • Waivers may be requested for unanticipated serious and extreme hardship, applicant change of specialty, applicant ineligibility, applicant visa issues, or program closure/loss of accreditation. Waivers based on change of specialty apply only to applicants with an advanced position that begins the year after the Match or those with a fellowship position.
  • If a waiver is not granted, the applicant and program are expected to honor the binding commitment.

For more information and to review a copy of the Waiver/Deferral Policy, please visit the NRMP policies page on the NRMP website. Questions regarding the Match Waiver and Deferral Policy or other NRMP policies should be sent to policy@nrmp.org. We are happy to provide whatever assistance and support you need.

Medical School USMLE/COMLEX Score Verification Opens on April 15

The NRMP asks medical school officials and administrators to verify, and update if necessary, the USMLE and COMLEX pass status and scores of students and graduates who participated in the Main Residency Match by May 15, 2024 at 5 p.m. ET. Verification in the R3 system ensures that we possess the most accurate applicant data for our reports and publications, including Charting Outcomes in the Match.

Although verification is voluntary, each school that completes the verification process will receive a Characteristics of Matched Seniors report this fall comparing the characteristics of the school’s matched senior students with national percentile information.

View our support guides for step-by-step instructions on how to verify:

MD Medical Schools
DO Medical Schools

To address confidentiality concerns, the Match Participation Agreement states that applicants authorize their medical schools to release, verify, and transmit COMLEX and USMLE test scores to NRMP. In addition, during the Match registration process, applicants may elect not to enter their scores in the R3 system and/or opt out of having their scores used for research.

Upcoming Deadlines

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

  • April 3, 11:59 p.m. ET: Quota Change Deadline

Radiology, Surgical Oncology

  • April 17, 12:00 p.m. ET: Rank Order List Opens

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

  • April 17, 9:00 p.m. ET: Rank Order List Certification Deadline

Epilepsy & Clinical Neurophysiology, Hand Surgery

  • April 17, 11:59 p.m. ET: Quota Change Deadline


NRMP is growing to meet the needs of the community. We currently have three positions open:

  • Client Support Specialist
  • Director, Match Policy and Compliance
  • Executive Assistant

For more information, please visit our Careers page. NRMP is an equal opportunity employer.