Competitiveness

How Competitive are Residency Training Positions for U.S. students?

A majority of U.S. senior medical students participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Latest match statistics for this matching program indicate that the number of U.S. senior participants continues to rise. In 2013, over 17,400 U.S. seniors participated in the match, comprising 44% of the total number of applicants. The U.S. senior match rate was 93%. In 2015, 18,025 U.S. seniors participated in the match, comprising 52% of the total number of applicants. The U.S. senior match rate was 93.9%. However, the “competitiveness” for residency training positions varies tremendously among different specialties.

Can I use these numbers to figure out whether I will get into the particular program of my choice?

No. The data provided pertain to overall match results for all U.S. seniors applying for categorical/advanced training in any single specialty. Please note that these data provide an OVERVIEW ONLY of the match results within the specialty. The likelihood of any individual student successfully matching in a given specialty depends on the student’s academic record and other achievements as well as the specific programs within the specialty that the student chooses to apply to. Therefore, a student’s decision to apply for residency training in any given specialty should be made with the guidance of faculty advisors who know the student well and are also thoroughly familiar with the matching process results in the student’s specialty of choice. Dr. Diemer can suggest appropriate faculty advisors for interested Washington University Medical School students.

What does the “more,” “intermediate,” and “less” competitive mean?

For the purposes of the data provided at this web site, a “more competitive” specialty is defined as a specialty with a match rate for U.S. seniors of <90% and an excess of unmatched U.S. senior applicants compared to the number of categorical/advanced training positions in the specialty left unfilled by the matching process. Specialties of “intermediate” competitiveness are those with match results similar to the overall NRMP match rate of 92-93% for all U.S. seniors. These specialties have match rates for U.S. seniors of between 90-95%; there are a variable number of unmatched U.S. senior applicants compared to the number of categorical/advanced training positions left unfilled by the matching process. “Less competitive” specialties have a match rate above 95% for U.S. seniors and an excess number of categorical/advanced training positions left unfilled by the matching process compared to the number of unmatched U.S. senior applicants in that specialty. Students should be aware that the relative “competitiveness” of any given specialty may change over the course of several years and students are urged to refer to the most recently published resources for accurate up-to-date information. Also, the relative competitiveness of specific programs within a single specialty can vary widely and may differ substantially from the overall competitiveness of the specialty.