The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) ensures high professional standards in the conduct of its Matching Program and expects all Match participants to conduct their affairs in an ethical and professionally responsible manner. To that end, this Code of Conduct should serve as a guide for residency and fellowship program directors and all members of the recruitment team participating in a Match.
To promote the highest ethical and professional standards, program directors and members of the recruitment team participating in a Match must:
- Accept responsibility for the actions of all recruitment team members
Program directors and other members of the recruitment team must comply with Match policies and ensure that all interactions with applicants are in an atmosphere that is safe, respectful, and free of harmful bias. Program directors accept responsibility for the actions of the entire recruitment team.
- Maintain ethical behavior during recruitment
Program directors and members of the recruitment team must provide clear expectations for the recruitment process to all applicants, whether conducted in-person or virtually. Programs may not require an interview be recorded. If the program intends to record applicant interviews, the program must make that information available to applicants before extending interviews, must allow the applicant to opt out of recording, and must obtain written consent from the applicant prior to the interview.
- Refrain from asking illegal questions
Program directors should work with their human resources and legal departments to understand and comply with state and federal regulations that govern recruitment and employment activities. Program directors also must ensure all recruitment team members are knowledgeable in the “do’s” and “don’ts” of recruitment questions and activities, including but not limited to race, national origin, and sexual orientation. All members of the recruitment team should focus their communication with applicants on the applicant’s interest in and alignment with the program’s mission, aims, and eligibility.
- Fully Disclose Pertinent Information to Applicants
Program directors and recruitment team members must respect the importance of honest and transparent communication. Programs must ensure applicants have complete, timely, and accurate information at all times regarding eligibility for appointment, onboarding procedures, and any other institutional requirements that could affect an applicant’s ability to enter training (e.g. drug screening, visa sponsorship, etc). In addition, programs should fully disclose the criteria used for vetting applications (e.g., test scores, research experiences, educational performance metrics) so that applicants and their medical school advisors can effectively direct applications. Open communication is essential whether through written or verbal exchanges as part of the interview or during ranking, or at any time during the onboarding after Match results are released.
- Respect an applicant’s right to privacy and confidentiality
Program directors and other recruitment team members may freely express their interest in a candidate, but they must not request an applicant disclose ranking preferences, ranking intentions, or the specialty or locations of other programs to which the applicant has applied or may apply.
- Decline to require second visits
Programs should respect the burdens (e.g., financial, logistics) applicants experience during recruitment. Programs are encouraged not to require or imply that second visits are used in determining applicant placement on a rank order list.
- Limit post-interview communication
Program directors and other recruitment team members must ensure all information related to the program’s mission, aims and eligibility are clearly communicated to applicants. However, applicants may not have adequate time to obtain the information needed to make informed decisions about ranking and may wish to clarify information following interviews. The recruitment team may exchange clarifying information with applicants following the interview, but must not solicit or require post-interview communication for the purposes of influencing applicants’ ranking preferences. Program directors and all members of the recruitment team should take great care not to promote misleading communication to applicants about ranking intentions and preferences or inappropriately share private information (e.g., letters of recommendation) with outside parties.
- Rank with integrity
Programs should create rank order lists based on the merits of each application, the characteristics of the applicants interviewed, and the perceived alignment of interviewees with program mission, aims, and eligibility. All members of the recruitment team should refrain from relying on tools and resources that allow bias or discrimination of applicants or specific applicant groups.
Ethical and professional communication between applicants, program directors and staff, and medical school officials, faculty and staff is essential to maintaining a fair and equitable process throughout the transition to residency. Match participants that fail to comply with their respective Code of Conduct or the terms of the applicable Match Participation Agreement may be subjected to a violation investigation as described in the Policies and Procedures for Reporting, Investigation, and Disposition of Violations of NRMP Agreements.