The inaugural NRMP®/AAMC Charting Outcomes in The Match, Specialties Matching Service has been published. The report highlights ten applicant characteristics that contribute to success in matching to advanced residency and fellowship programs.
The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is pleased to announce the publication of Charting Outcomes in the Match, Specialties Matching Service, Appointment Year 2011, a comprehensive analysis of ten applicant characteristics that affect success in matching in selected NRMP fellowship Matches. The report examines the relationship between an applicant’s characteristics and professional competencies and success in matching to a preferred specialty.
Charting Outcomes in the Match, Specialties Matching Service is a collaboration of the NRMP and the Association of American Medical Colleges® (AAMC®). It is modeled after Charting Outcomes in the Match, a report that examines the characteristics of applicants who matched to their preferred specialties in the Main Residency Match®.
In Charting Outcomes in the Match, Specialties Matching Service, four applicant groups were evaluated for success in matching to their preferred specialties.
- U.S. allopathic medical school graduates
- U.S. citizen international medical school graduates
- Non-U.S. citizen international medical school graduates
- Graduates of osteopathic programs
Data in Charting Outcomes in the Match, Specialties Matching Service are for the 2011 appointment year and include statistics on applicants who applied to 40 subspecialties across 20 fellowship Matches. Only specialties that offered 200 or more positions or had 200 or more applicants were included in the publication’s statistics. NRMP’s Specialties Matching Service (SMS®) encompasses more than 40 subspecialties in more than 30 fellowship Matches that occur throughout the year.
NRMP Executive Director Mona M. Signer said, “Charting Outcomes in the Match, Specialties Matching Service is intended to be a resource for fellowship applicants, empowering them to make educated decisions when they seek subspecialty training positions.”
The report combines data from the NRMP, the AAMC’s Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) and other AAMC data sources, and United States Medical Licensing Examination ® (USMLE®) scores from the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates® (ECFMG®). Probability analysis was used to evaluate the association between Match success and contiguous ranks and USMLE scores. The USMLE is the three-step examination required for medical licensure in the United States. It is co-sponsored by the NBME, the ECFMG, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®).
Applicant success was defined as a match to the specialty of the applicant’s first-ranked program. Applicants who were successful in matching to their preferred specialty were more likely to:
- rank more programs within their preferred specialty
- be U.S. graduates
- have higher USMLE Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 scores
- be members of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the national medical honor society for students with high academic achievement
There is a notably strong relationship between higher USMLE Step scores and Match success; however, the report also shows that fellowship program directors consider other qualifications in evaluating applicants, including research experiences and number of publications. A high USMLE score does not guarantee Match success, nor does a low score bar applicants from a preferred specialty.
The Match Process
The Specialties Matching Service utilizes a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of fellowship program directors in order to fill training positions at U.S. teaching hospitals and community-based programs. Research on the algorithm used by the NRMP was a basis for Dr. Alvin Roth’s receipt of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics.
The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism for matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors. In addition to the Main Residency Match, the NRMP conducts Matches for more than 40 subspecialties that participate in the Specialties Matching Service. For more information, contact NRMP at 1-866-653-NRMP (6767) or visit http://www.nrmp.org. For interviews, please email cherbert(at)nrmp(dot)org.