Medicine’s own unique form of March Madness happened today, as throughout the natiomedical students in the Class of 2014 opened sealed envelopes to learn where they will begin their careers as doctors. In Hawai`i, the appointed hour was 7 a.m.–when 59 of our MD Candidates squealed, shouted or hugged one another upon learning they had “matched” into residency programs from here at home in Hawai`i to New York and places in between.
Early in their final year of medical school, U. S. senior students apply to the residency programs at which they would like to train. Directors of those programs review applications and invite candidates for interviews, typically in the fall and early winter. Once the interview period is over, applicants and program directors submit rank order lists to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®). Program directors rank applicants in order of preference, and applicants compile their lists based on their preferred medical specialty and the location of the training programs.
In 2013, 40,335 applicants vied for positions, and the NRMP reported that about 94% of U. S. seniors matched to first-year positions. Students and graduates of international medical schools, osteopathic (D.O. degree) schools, and Canadian candidates also participate in the Main Residency Match.
How does the Match happen?
The Match uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency program directors in order to fill training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for awarding The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2012. 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.
Video by Cliff Watson, UH System Media Office.