There are currently three different “matching” programs through which U.S. senior students may obtain residency training positions. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is the single largest matching program.

There are presently separate matching programs in ophthalmology and urology. These matching programs notify applicants and training program directors of the matching process results in January of each academic year, about two months prior to the publication of the NRMP match results. For this reason, these independent matching programs are also referred to as the “early” matches.

It is very important to recognize that matching programs offer ONE WAY to obtain a residency position, but are not the only way. For example, there are residency training programs that offer shared residency positions, and not every residency training program in a given specialty necessarily participates in the matching program most widely used in that particular specialty. Therefore, statistical data are a general overview of the matching process by specialty, but DO NOT necessarily provide comprehensive data for all U.S. senior medical students.

Most residency training positions start at the end of June or the beginning of July, but some, particularly the less competitive specialties, may begin at other times during the academic year.The Graduate Medical Education Directory publishes a supplement that includes programs offering January, quarterly and negotiable starting dates, as well as those offering part-time or shared residency positions.

This web site should be used in addition to, BUT NOT INSTEAD OF, other resources available to you, particularly your faculty advisors and program directors of residency training programs at your institution. The matching process, particularly which specialties are relatively “competitive” and which are relatively “noncompetitive,” changes from year to year, as do the number and size of residency training programs in a given specialty. Use current resources and well-informed, knowledgeable advisors.