About Residency Match 2009

The largest match in History!


                   “Almost once” (aka “The Big Match”), Domain Sculpture Walk, Sidney, Australia.


According to a press release  of the NRMP, this was the largest match in History.


Active applicants:


15 638 seniors from US Med schools

10 874 graduates from International Schools

  2 015   from Osteopathic schools

  1 222 previously graduated



Total:  29 890 active applicants


PGY-1 Positions offered: 22 427 (the most ever offered by the NRMP)


Which active applicants matched in Post Graduate Year I (PGY-1)?


I have used the numbers in the tables of the NRMP for organizing this “gradient”  that illustrates the percentage of each population of graduates that matched. 


a) 93.1 % of active applicants of seniors of US allopathic medical schools.


b) 71.4 % of active applicants from Canadian Medical Schools matched


c) 69.9 % of active applicants of osteopathic medical schools matched


d) 61.3 % of active applicants of Fifth Pathway programs


e) 47.8 % of US citizens active applicants of International Medical Schools


f) 44.6 % of active applicants previously graduated of US allopathic medical schools


g) 41.6 % of Non-US citizens active applicants of International Medical Schools.


In total:



71,4 % of the active applicants for PGY-1 matched.


95.2 % of the positions were filled during the match.


64.9 % of the offered positions were filled by US Seniors, and 30.3 by other applicants.


A complete information, including all the tables can be found at the site of the NRMP


Advance Data Tables.

2009 Main Residence Match


                                                       Artist Brett Whitely, 1991; photo: Lyn Jones





How medical specialties select residents



The National Residence Matching program (NRMP) conducted in 2008 a survey of programs directors, with the purpose of knowing the factors that they use for ranking  applicants for the residence match.


Specialties included in the survey were Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Diagnostic Radiology,  emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology-anatomic and Clinical,  Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry, Radiation Oncology and Transitional Year.


The report presents global charts and charts for each individual speciality.


The complete report (144 pages!) can be read at:


National Residence Matching Program

Results of the 2008 NRMP Program Directory Survey


Related post: How residence program directors choose medical students

How residence program directors choose medical students?

Medical  students always have speculated about the main criteria used by  Residence Programs Directors for choosing which candidates that apply for resident positions are going to be selected:  Step I score?  Reputation of the Medical school?   Research experience?  Step II Clinical Knowledge? Recommendation letters?


The last issue of Academic Medicine, (March, 2009) the Journal of the Association of the American Medical College, includes an article devoted to this topic: “Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey”, written by M. Green, P. Jones and J.Thomas.  


The authors  did a survey to around 2 500 program directors asking the relative importance of the different criteria they used to make the selection of an applicant.


Clinical performance, expressed in different ways  (Grades in required clerkships, Step II Clinical Skills pass,  Step II Clinical Knowledge results, etc ) together to  USMLE Step I score were among the first 6 ranked selection criteria.


The article includes the ranking of 14 Academic Selection Criteria, and even show tables for different specialties, so I strongly encourage all medical students, independently of the step  in which they are now in their medical school, to review this article, since some of the required strengths should be built in the medical school, and before the moment to apply to the match.


The complete article can be found here:

Green, Marianne; Jones, Paul, Thomas, John X. Jr.:  Selection Criteria for Residence: Results of a National Program Directors Survey.

Academic Medicine: March 2009,  Vol 24 –Issue 3 –pp362-367


Related post: How medical specialties select residents