The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) celebrates the landmark milestone that is “Match Day” for the 2023 Main Residency Match with residency applicants, training programs, medical schools, and the medical education community. Match Day is the important transition in an aspiring physician’s journey from undergraduate to graduate medical education. In the largest Match in NRMP’s 70-year history, there was a record number 42,952 applicants who certified a rank order list (“active applicants”) and 40,375 certified positions.
“The 2023 Main Residency Match proved once again to be a highly successful Match with outstanding results for participants. We were excited to see the record number of primary care positions offered in this year’s Match and how the number of positions has consistently increased over the past five years, and most importantly, the fill rate for primary care has remained steady,” says NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN. “For the past 70 years, the NRMP has been proud to play a part in helping physicians transition into residency training and begin careers serving their patients and community.”
Applicant Participation Increased, Driven Primarily by Non-U.S. International Medical Graduates (IMG). There were 48,156 total applicants registered in the 2023 Main Residency Match, an increase of 481 applicants over last year. This rise in applicants was driven primarily by the increase of 707 more non-U.S. citizen IMG applicants and 153 more U.S. Osteopathic (DO) seniors over last year.
Surprising this year was the decrease in the number of U.S. MD seniors registered for the Match, a decrease of 236 registered applicants over last year. The number of U.S. MD seniors certifying a rank order list also declined, from 19,902 seniors last year to 19,748 seniors this year.
There were 42,952 applicants who certified a rank order list in the 2023 Main Residency Match, which is the highest number on record and an increase of 403 applicants over last year. Of the total number of applicants who certified a rank order list, 34,822 of those matched to a first-year position (PGY-1 position) at a rate of 81.1 percent, an increase of 1.0 percentage point over last year.
In the 2023 Main Residency Match, there were 1,239 couples participating. Of these couples, 1,095 had both partners match and 114 had one partner match to residency training programs for a match rate of 93.0 percent.
Applicant Match Rate Increases Among Nearly All Applicant Types. Match rates increased among each of the four main applicant types compared to the 2022 Main Residency Match – U.S. MD seniors had a 93.7 percent Match rate, an increase of 0.8 percentage points over last year. This Match rate remains in the historic 92 – 95 percent range that has been steady since 1982. U.S. DO seniors saw a 91.6 percent Match rate, an all-time high and 0.3 percentage points over last year, U.S. citizen IMGs a 67.6 percent Match rate, an all-time high and 6.2 percentage points over last year, and non-U.S. citizen IMGs realized a 59.4 percent Match rate, an increase of 1.3 percentage points over last year.
Program and Position Participation, High Fill Rates Once Again. The 2023 Main Residency Match had the largest number of certified positions in history with 40,375, an increase of 1,170 positions and 3.0 percentage points more than the 2022 Main Residency Match and an increase of 14.8 percent over the last five years.
Of all positions offered, 37,690 filled for a rate of 93.3 percent, which is less than a one percentage point decline from 2022. Of the 37,425 PGY-1 positions offered, which includes preliminary and transitional year positions (one year of training), 34,822 filled for a rate of 93.0 percent. The fill rate for categorical positions (positions that provide the full training required for specialty board certification) was 97.5 percent. There were 6,270 total certified programs, which was an increase of 183 programs from 2022. Out of the total certified programs, 5,431 filled at a rate of 86.6 percent, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points over last year.
Specialties with 30 positions or more that filled all available positions in the 2023 Main Residency Match were Orthopedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery (Integrated), Radiology – Diagnostic, and Thoracic Surgery.
Emergency Medicine placed 3,010 positions in the 2023 Match and had 554 positions remain unfilled, an increase of 335 more unfilled positions than last year. The number of unfilled positions, driven in part by the decreased number of U.S. MD and U.S. DO seniors who submitted ranks for the specialty, could reflect changing applicant interests or projections about workforce opportunities post residency.
Number of Primary Care Positions Hit an All-Time High. In the face of a serious and growing shortage of primary care physicians across the U.S., there was a record number of primary care positions offered in the 2023 Main Residency Match. There were 571 more primary care positions than 2022, an increase of 3.2 percent over last year and an increase of 17.0 percent over the last five years. Primary care positions also filled at a rate of 94.2 percent, which remained steady from last year.
Specialty Highlights and Competitiveness. The results of the Match can indicate the competitiveness of specialties as measured by the percentage of positions filled overall and the percentage of positions filled by U.S. MD and DO seniors.
- The specialties with increases in the number of positions filled by U.S. MD seniors of more than ten percent and ten positions in the last five years (2019 – 2023) were Anesthesiology, Child Neurology, Interventional Radiology, Neurology, Pathology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery (Integrated), Psychiatry, Radiology-Diagnostic, Transitional Year, and Vascular Surgery.
- The specialties with increases in the number of positions filled by U.S. DO seniors of more than ten percent and ten positions in the last five years (2019 – 2023) were Child Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics, Medicine-Primary, Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Surgery, Surgery-Preliminary, and Transitional Year. While this may indicate a trend, this may also represent the maturation of the Single Accreditation System and the single Match.
- The specialties with 30 positions or more that filled with the highest percentage of U.S. MD and DO seniors were Plastic Surgery (Integrated) (92.3 percent), Internal Medicine – Pediatrics (90.5 percent), Obstetrics & Gynecology (90.1 percent), and Orthopedic Surgery (90.0 percent).
- The specialties with 30 positions or more that filled with the highest percentage of U.S. citizen IMGs and non-U.S. citizen IMGs were Internal Medicine (41.3 percent), Pathology – Anatomic and Clinical (40.9 percent), Medicine – Primary (33.3 percent), and Family Medicine (30.0 percent).
Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®). Applicants who did not match to a residency position participated in the NRMP’s Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) to try to obtain an unfilled position. This year, 2,685 positions were unfilled after the matching algorithm was processed, 423 more positions and an increase of 18.7 percent over last year.Of those unfilled positions, 2,658 were placed in SOAP, 396 more positions and an increase of 17.5 percent over last year.SOAP results will be available in the 2023 Main Residency Match Results and Data Book, which is published in the Spring.
View the Advance Data Tables, Match by the Numbers, and Match infographic for additional data and information.
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The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1953 to oversee The Match® 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 47,000 registrants, the NRMP also conducts Fellowship Matches for more than 70 subspecialties through its Specialties Matching Service® (SMS®).
To schedule an interview with NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.