Press Release: 2017 NRMP Main Residency Match the Largest Match on Record

More than 43,000 applicants registered and more than 31,000 positions offered.

MRM Match Day infographicWashington, D.C., March 17, 2017 – Today the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) announced the results of the 2017 Main Residency Match®, the largest in its history. A record-high 35,969 U.S. and international medical school students and graduates vied for 31,757 positions, the most ever offered in the Match. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 28,849, 989 more than last year.

Match Day, celebrated around the world, is when applicants learn the location and specialty of the U.S. residency programs where they will train for the next three to seven years. Seniors at U.S. allopathic medical schools participate in Match Day ceremonies and open their Match letters in the company of family, friends, and advisors.

“We are honored to be part of this life-changing event for young physicians, and we wish them success in their residency training,” says NRMP President and CEO Mona M. Signer. “There no doubt will be wonderful cause for celebration at the nation’s medical schools today and for all Match participants as they commemorate this defining moment in their careers.” Joint NRMP, American Medical Association (AMA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) celebrations take place on social media, this year with the #Match2017 hashtag.

Program Highlights

Results of the Main Residency Match are closely watched because they can be predictors of future changes in physician workforce supply.

Primary Care

In 2013, the NRMP implemented a policy requiring Match-participating programs to place all positions in the Match, spurring significant increases in the number of primary care positions offered. In the six years since implementation of the policy, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics have added a combined 2,900 positions, a 25.8 percent increase. Highlights from the 2017 Match include:

  • Internal Medicine programs offered 7,233 positions, 209 more than in 2016; 7,101 (98.2%) positions filled, and 3,245 (44.9%) filled with U.S. allopathic seniors.
  • Family Medicine programs offered 3,356 positions, 118 more than in 2016; 3,215 (95.8%) positions filled, and 1,513 (45.1%) filled with U.S. allopathic seniors. Since 2012, the number of U.S. allopathic seniors matching to Family Medicine has increased every year.
  • Pediatrics programs offered 2,738 positions, 49 more than in 2016; 2,693 (98.4%) filled, and 1,849 (67.5%) filled with U.S. allopathic seniors.

Other Highlights

  • Emergency Medicine offered 2,047 first-year positions, 152 more than in 2016, and filled all but six. The overall fill rate was 99.7 percent, and 78.2 percent were filled by U.S. seniors. Since 2012, the number of Emergency Medicine positions has increased by 379, or 23 percent.
  • Psychiatry offered 1,495 first-year positions, 111 more than in 2016, and filled all but four. The overall fill rate was 99.7 percent, and 61.7 percent were filled by U.S. seniors. Since 2012, the number of Psychiatry positions has increased 378, or 34 percent, and the number of positions filled by U.S. allopathic seniors has increased by 307.
  • Specialties with more than thirty positions that achieved the highest percentages of positions filled by U.S. allopathic seniors, which is one measure of competitiveness, were Integrated Plastic Surgery (93.1% U.S. seniors), Orthopedic Surgery (91.9% U.S. seniors), and Otolaryngology (91.5% U.S. seniors).

Applicant Highlights

Although the 43,157 Match registrants was the most ever, the increase was due primarily to growth in U.S. allopathic medical school seniors and students/graduates of U.S. osteopathic medical schools.

  • The number of U.S. allopathic medical school senior registrants was 19,030, 362 more than last year; of those, a record-high 18,539 submitted program choices, and 17,480 (94.3 %) matched to first-year positions. The 94 percent PGY-1 match rate for U.S. seniors has been consistent for many years.
  • The number of U.S. osteopathic medical school applicants was a record high 5,000, and 3,590 submitted program choices, an increase of 608 over 2016; 2,933 (81.7%) matched to PGY-1 positions, also a record high.
  • The number of U.S. citizen international medical school students and graduates (IMGs) who submitted program choices declined by 254 to 5,069; however, 54.8 percent (2,777) matched to PGY-1 positions, the highest match rate since 2004.
  • The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who submitted program choices also declined, from 7,460 in 2016 to 7,284 this year, but 3,814 (52.4%) matched to first-year positions, 45 more than in 2016 and the highest match rate since 2005.

Unmatched Applicants

Applicants who did not match to a residency position participated in the NRMP Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®) to attempt to obtain an unfilled position. This year, 1,177 of the 1,279 unfilled positions were offered during SOAP. SOAP results will be available in the full Match report published in May.

View the Advance Data Tables, Match by the Numbers, and infographic

The Match Process

The Main Residency Match process begins in the fall for applicants, usually during the final year of medical school, when they send applications to the residency programs of their choice. Throughout the fall and early winter, applicants interview with programs. From mid-January to late February, applicants and program directors rank each other in order of preference and submit the preference lists to NRMP, which processes them using a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs. Research on 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®) 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 43,000 registrants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 60 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).