Preparing for Residency

Match Day 2024 results: NRMP match rates by specialty, SOAP match statistics, plus Match Day 2025

. 9 MIN READ

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What happens on Match Day? How many residency programs are there in the U.S.? How many medical students matched in 2024? What happens if you don't match?

Our guest is Jeanette Calli, chief of Match Operations, at the National Resident Matching Program. AMA Chief Experience Officer Todd Unger hosts.

Speaker

  • Jeanette Calli, chief, Match Operations, National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

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Unger: Hello and welcome to the AMA Update video and podcast. Another Match Day has come and gone, but as always there's nothing quite like the energy and excitement of that day. And as students now look ahead to residency, today we're going to look back at the results of the latest match.

Our guest today is Jeanette Calli, chief of Match Operations at the National Resident Matching Program, or NRMP, in Washington, D.C. I'm Todd Unger, AMA'S chief experience officer in Chicago. Jeanette, we're glad to have you today.

Calli: Thanks, Todd. Glad to be here. It's always fun to watch the ceremonies and all the excitement of the students on Match Day. And thanks for having me to talk about another very successful match.

Unger: I remember―I went to a match celebration myself last year. It was very high energy and very emotional, and I'm eager to hear a little bit more. Why don't we just start by diving in and talking about participation in the match this year. What do we see and how did it compare to last year?

Calli: Yeah. As we're pleased to report pretty much almost every year, this is another record-breaking match. We had 6,395 programs offering 41,503 PGY1 and PGY2 positions, and that's the largest number in NRMP's 72-year history. It's an increase of 1,128 positions or 2.8% over 2023. So yeah, it is a huge match and the applicant numbers were also high. We topped 50,000 registered applicants this year, with 50,413 applicants registering for the match, and that's an increase of more than 2,200 or 4.7%.

Unger: Well, that's great news and terrific. What impact did this kind of participation level, these kind of record-breaking levels that you mentioned, have on the match rate for applicants and the fill rate for programs themselves?

Calli: Yeah, I'm pleased to say we, again, filled more positions and the match rates among all applicant types remain largely steady across the board. It was a less than 1 percentage point difference compared to last year. So specifically, out of the 41,503 positions, the NRMP filled 38,941 when we ran the algorithm.

And that's a fill rate of 93.8%, which is a 0.5 percentage point increase over last year. And when you look at just the PGY1 positions, there were 38,494 PGY1 positions and we filled 35,984 of those, so an increase of 1,162 PGY1 positions filled or 3.3% more. So not only more positions are being added to the match every year, we continue to fill them.

In terms of applicant types and their match rates, DO seniors hit an all-time high with a match rate of 92.3%. That's an increase of 0.7 percentage points. Since 2019, the DO senior match rate has increased 4.2 percentage points. So thrilled to see such great success for DO seniors.

Unger: I'm just curious, what do you think is driving these terrific numbers?

Calli: Yeah, I mean, a big piece of it is the move to single accreditation and having all of those DO positions and all those DO seniors come into the match. But they are continuing to show great success and their match rate is rivaling that of the historic match rate of U.S. MD seniors. And they, of course, maintain their typical match rate of between 92 and 95% this year. That's been the rate since 1982. Their match rate was 93.5%.

Unger: Well, really great news. Last year we saw some interesting trends when we looked at the match rates by specialty. Specifically, we saw continued declines in family medicine and emergency medicine. Jeanette, do we see the same trends this year or something different?

Calli: Yeah, some interesting trends last year, especially in emergency medicine. They certainly got some attention. This year we were pleased to see a rebound in emergency medicine after their two-year decline. Emergency medicine climbed back to almost their historically high fill rates, filling 95.5% of their positions, an increase of 13.9 percentage points.

In terms of family medicine, they did see a decline slightly again this year, with a fill rate of 87.8%. That was a decrease of 0.8 percentage points.

The other one kind of of interest is that pediatrics saw a decline in their fill rate, which fell from 97.1% last year to 92% this year. So a little bit of a steeper decline.

But of course, lots of specialties did extremely well. All the usual suspects―the historically competitive specialties―all maintained their usual high fill rates. Anesthesia, general surgery, dermatology, plastics, neurosurgery, OBGYN, orthopedics, lots of them―I hate to leave anyone out―all maintained really high fill rates.

Unger: Excellent. I'm sure we'll be looking more at those numbers for additional insights. An important part of the match process is also the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program, where it goes by SOAP, and that's an opportunity for unmatched or partially unmatched applicants to obtain an unfilled residency position. Jeanette, how did that process go this year?

Calli: Yeah, happy to report the SOAP process went great. A total of 2,575 positions were placed in SOAP, and that includes positions in programs that didn't participate in the algorithm phase of the process. That was actually 83 positions fewer this year, a decrease of 3.1% compared to last year, but the SOAP process filled 2,399 of those positions or 93.3%.

And most of those positions, 79%, filled in the first two rounds. So they go pretty quickly and that's typical for the SOAP process. So when everything was said and done, the match, interim matching and SOAP processes filled more than 99% of the available positions this year. So, of course extremely pleased for both applicants and programs.

Unger: Well, congratulations on that news. We'll give you exactly like five minutes to enjoy such a big accomplishment before you begin to look ahead to next year, of course. And I'm curious, after having seen what you did, do you have any advice for those that are going to go through the match process next year?

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Calli: Yeah. I mean, not so much advice based on any trends or anything, because applicants really need to look at their individual professional goals, their own qualifications, their credentials, but really use the data and resources that are available. Review the advanced data tables on our website from the match and the complete results and data book that will be coming out in the next couple of months. And use the charting outcomes data and analytics reports we have available that can help you understand the characteristics of applicants who've matched.

Unger: Fantastic. It's always so encouraging to see new physicians start their career, especially when we are in the middle of a physician shortage. Jeanette, how might the match process evolve in the coming years to help address this kind of physician shortage that we're in?

Calli: Well, I think it's really important to clarify here the match process. Because when we're talking about addressing the shortage of physicians, we're actually talking about whether there are enough individuals coming through the pipeline for medical school and residency training, which is really going to vary by demographics, geography, desired specialty. And once in the pipeline, are there sufficient training resources in medical schools―so things like clinical rotations, for example―to prepare individuals for residency training? And ultimately, are there enough GME positions to train the number of physicians needed in the U.S.? And none of these are the match process.

So when we're talking about the match process, what the NRMP can do, besides run an efficient and accurate match that is really focused on transparency and equity, is to use the data that we collect to better understand the transition to residency. We want to understand the attributes that the applicants are looking for in specialties and programs, and then the same for programs and what they're looking for in applicants. And are programs diversifying in ways that meet the needs of their specialty and the community? And how are programs and applicants affected by different issues―geography, environment, legislative influence?

And so we're really trying to do that with the charting outcomes demographic report development. We're beginning to look at influencing issues and understand demographic and professional attributes and how they might affect specialty choice and applicant choice by program, so we have a data roadmap. It's going to mature this reporting so we can begin providing aggregate reporting publicly, helping everyone really better understand the transition to residency.

Unger: Excellent. Well, Jeanette, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your insights and the good news. And a shout out to all your colleagues at NRMP for a match well done. And, of course, congratulations to all those who matched. That's really exciting and what a future ahead.

The AMA is there to support, of course, students throughout their entire medical school career and to protect their physician future. Please think about supporting our work by becoming an AMA member at ama-assn.org/join. That wraps up today's episode and we'll be back with another AMA Update. Be sure to subscribe for new episodes and find all our videos and podcasts at ama-assn.org/podcasts. Thanks for joining us today. Please take care.


Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed in this video are those of the participants and/or do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.

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