Preparing for the Match

Programs and institutions have important steps to take when getting ready for a Match.

Registering and Activating Institutions and Programs

When a Match opens, institution and program users can register their individual user account, sign the Match Participation Agreement, and review program details in the R3 system. Institutional officials must also complete the following tasks:

  • If a new user, redeem the email token sent by NRMP to register and create a username and personal password
  • Electronically sign the Match Participation Agreement
  • Activate programs for Match Participation
  • Add new programs and designate non-participating programs
  • Update program staff where necessary
  • Notify program directors to log in to the R3 system and complete the Match registration process

Reviewing Applications and Conducting Interviews

  • For programs participating in the Main Residency Match, most use the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) offered by the Association of American Medical Colleges® to review student applications. Programs are not required by the NRMP to use ERAS.
  • For fellowship programs, some fellowships use ERAS and others use their own application. 

The Applicant Match History available in the R3 system should be used to determine whether applicants have existing Match commitments or are eligible for appointment before offering them interviews. The Applicant Match History also indicates whether an applicant has a waiver or an active sanction. Current medical students do not need to be screened since they have no prior Match history.

Using Applicant Match History support guide

Throughout the application, interview, and matching processes, NRMP policy requires applicants and programs to provide complete, timely, and accurate information. Institutional officials and program directors are responsible for ensuring all staff involved in the interview and matching processes understand and adhere to the terms of the Match Participation Agreement.