Q: What does it mean that a program must extend interview offers that equal, not exceed, the total number of available interview slots?
A: During the recruitment phase, programs are expected to offer only the total number of interview slots they have available and not exceed that number by overbooking applicants. If applicants reject or cancel an interview, programs can offer those interview slots to other applicants.
Q: What happens if my program requires applicants to respond to an interview offer within 24 hours, but they have up to 48 hours to schedule an interview?
A: All applicants must be provided no less than 48 hours to accept or reject an interview invitation, see Section 6.2 of the Match Participation Agreement for Programs. Requiring applicants to respond within 24 hours violates Match policy and may result in a violations investigation.
The goal of the policy, which aligns with the policy of several specialty organizations, is to provide applicants with sufficient time to receive and respond to an offer for an interview. Giving sufficient time prevents applicants from missing clinical and academic activities or imposing on parents, friends, and others to monitor their email to ensure they are able to respond immediately to a program’s offer for fear of all interview spots being taken. Additionally, programs should be respectful of international medical graduates outside the U.S. and those who live in different time zones.
Q: My program is conducting in-person interviews, so what is the acceptable timeframe to notify applicants of rescheduling an interview?
A: In Section 6.2 of the Match Participation Agreement for Programs, the NRMP has stipulated a “reasonable” timeframe when notifying applicants of any cancellations or rescheduling interviews, regardless of whether the program is conducting virtual or in-person interviews. The NRMP suggests that programs provide one-to-two weeks’ notice recognizing that applicants often book travel arrangements several weeks in advance.
Q: Would it be an NRMP violation if a program conducted hybrid interviews by offering applicants the option to have either an in-person or virtual interview? The Codes of Conduct for Programs state programs must minimize bias by conducting interviews in-person or virtually, but not both.
A: It is not a violation of NRMP policy to conduct hybrid interviews.
However, the NRMP Codes of Conduct expect programs to engage in recruitment activities that promote transparency and wellness and minimize bias. Programs are encouraged to develop interview processes and policies ensuring that each applicant has an equal opportunity to communicate equitably with the program and to be considered by the program.
Q: Can our three-year medical education pathway program inform students that they will have a “direct progression” to a residency specialty once they complete the three-year medical education program?
A: Applicants, schools, and Match-participating residency training programs may not enter into verbal or written agreements with students for positions outside of the Match. “Direct progression” implies that the school and program guarantee placement, which is a Match violation. Phrases like “directed pathway,” “positioned to match,” or “highly ranked” may be considered when communicating with students.
Match participants who would like to talk to the NRMP about the policy may contact the NRMP Policy office at firstname.lastname@example.org