Press Release: NRMP Medical Specialties Matching Program Matches Nearly 5,000 Applicants to Fellowship Positions

MSMP 2020 appointment year sets record highs in number of applicants, programs, positions, and positions filled.


Washington, D.C., December 9, 2019
 – The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) has released the results of the 2019 Medical Specialties Matching Program (MSMP). The MSMP encompasses nearly all Internal Medicine subspecialties, and the 2019 Match (for appointment Year 2020) surpassed the 2018 Match to become the largest in history. Specifically, the 2019 MSMP included 6,286 applicants submitting certified rank order lists (a 6.9% increase), 1,957 programs submitting certified rank order lists (a 6.4% increase), 5,576 positions (a 6.9% increase), and 4,909 positions filled (a 7.2% increase).

Launched in 1991 with only three Internal Medicine subspecialties, the MSMP has grown to include 14 subspecialties and four sub-subspecialties (medical fields that require completion of a core residency and subspecialty fellowship training). For most MSMP subspecialties, completion of a core residency in Internal Medicine is required, but a few also accept applicants who complete residencies in Pediatrics or Family Medicine.

Growth in the MSMP has been significant: since the 2016 appointment year; the number of participating programs has increased by 34.5 percent, the number of applicants by 34.3 percent, the number of positions by 31.6 percent, and the number of positions filled by 33.9 percent. The growth has been driven in part by the additions of Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, and Allergy and Immunology to the MSMP since the 2016 appointment year. Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology is new to this year’s MSMP.

“It is exciting to see continued growth across the board in Internal Medicine subspecialty training,” said NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb. “The growing number of subspecialties participating in the MSMP speaks to the value of and reliance on the NRMP Matching Program to deliver high-quality training partnerships. Moreover, the increase in applicants and positions suggests the next generation of internists are increasingly deciding to further develop their knowledge and skill set to manage the myriad of health concerns facing the patient population.”

Program Highlights

  • Of the 5,576 positions offered through the MSMP, 4,909 (88.0%) were filled.
  • The most competitive subspecialties among those that offered at least 30 positions were Allergy and Immunology, Cardiovascular Disease, Gastroenterology, Hematology and Oncology, and Pulmonary/Critical Care. All filled at least 95 percent of the positions offered, and more than 50 percent of the positions were filled by U.S. MD graduates.
  • The least competitive subspecialties among those that offered at least 30 positions were Geriatric Medicine and Nephrology. Both filled less than two-thirds of the positions offered, and less than 45 percent were filled by U.S.MD graduates.

Applicant Highlights

  • Of the 6,286 applicants who submitted rank order lists of programs (active applicants), 4,909 (78.1%) obtained positions, including, as noted below, a marked increase in the number of DO graduates.
      • The number of active U.S. MD graduates totaled 2, 746 — 3.1 percent more than 2019 and 30.8 percent more than 2016.
      • The number of active U.S. DO graduates totaled 780— 31.3 percent more than 2019 and 130.1 percent more than in 2016.
      • The number of active U.S. citizen graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) totaled 997 — 4.0 percent more than 2019 and 27.8 percent more than 2016.

Read the 2019 MSMP Match Results Statistics Report for more data on Internal Medicine fellowship appointments that begin in July 2020.

The Match Process

Applicants submit to the NRMP their rank order lists of preferred programs, and program directors rank applicants in order of preference for training applicants. The NRMP uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to match applicants with programs using the preferences expressed on their ranked lists. 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 44,000 registrants, the NRMP conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 60 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).

To schedule an interview with NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, contact media@nullnrmp.org.