Press Release: NRMP 2021 Fellowship Results and Data Report

More than 10,400 fellowship positions filled through NRMP Specialties Matching Service.

Washington, D.C., March 1, 2021 – The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) has released Results and Data Specialties Matching Service®, 2021 Appointment Year, an annual report of physician Fellowship Matches conducted by the NRMP Specialties Matching Service (SMS®). The report shows 12,925 active applicants with rank order lists of programs competed for 11,767 fellowship positions offered by 5,110 programs, making the 2021 appointment year the largest on record.

“The total number of active applicants in the SMS has grown more than 24 percent since 2017, and graduates from DO-granting medical schools have increased by 72 percent. I am pleased to see continued growth in applicants, positions, and specialties in the Specialties Matching Service and am honored the specialty societies trust NRMP to oversee their matches,” said NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN.

The SMS report includes data on 68 subspecialties in 22 separate Matches conducted in 2020 and early 2021 and provides valuable insight into physician workforce trends. Five-year trend data by specialty, a state-by-state breakdown of participating programs, and match rates by applicant type also are included.

Program Highlights

One new specialty joined the SMS for 2021 appointments: Complex Family Planning in the Obstetrics & Gynecology Fellowship Match.

Other highlights:

  • Of the 11,767 positions offered through the SMS, 10,433 (88.7%) were filled.
  • Of the 5,110 participating programs, 4,169 (82.0%) filled all positions.
  • Of the 68 participating subspecialties, 38 filled 90 percent or more of the positions offered (9 more than last year); 17 filled less than 75 percent (4 less than last year).
  • The most competitive specialties among those that offered at least 30 positions were Gynecologic Oncology, Pediatric Surgery, Reproductive Endocrinology, and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. All filled at least 95 percent of the positions offered, and more than 80 percent were filled by U.S. MD medical school graduates.
  • Geriatric Medicine, Medical Genetics, and Pediatric Infectious Disease all filled less than 60 percent of the positions offered, and less than 55 percent were filled by U.S. MD graduates.

Applicant Highlights

  • The number of active U.S. MD medical school graduates totaled 6,822, 360 more than last year and a 5.6 percent increase.
  • The number of active U.S. DO medical school graduates totaled 1,730, 162 more than last year and a 10.3 percent increase.
  • The number of active U.S. citizen graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) totaled 1,667, 78 more than last year and a 4.9 percent increase.
  • The number of active non-U.S. graduates of international medical schools totaled 2,646, 281 more than last year and a 11.9 percent increase.

View full Match report.

The NRMP Match
The Match uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of program directors in order to fill training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Research using 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®), or The Match®, 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 42,000 registrants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 65 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).