Each year on Match Day, thousands of medical school students and graduates discover where they will receive their specialty training. The matching process, overseen by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), is determined by an algorithm that pairs eligible applicants with available residency training positions. With a record 42,952 applicants for 40,375 certificated positions, Match Day 2023 – March 17th – was the largest in history.
This news was welcomed not just by the matched participants, who will now take the next step in their training, but also by those concerned about physician shortages in the United States. According to the NRMP press release about the 2023 Match Day, this represents “a 3.2% increase over last year and a 17% increase over the past five years.” NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN, stated, “We were excited to see the record number of primary care positions offered in this year’s Match and how the number of positions has consistently increased over the past five years.” With nearly 95% of these positions filled, it’s hoped that the 2023 Match will have a positive impact on American healthcare in the not-too-distant future.
These weren’t the only records broken in this year’s event, however. Graduates of osteopathic medical schools matched at a record rate (91.6%), creeping ever closer to the match rate of US allopathic seniors (93.7%). Comparing which specialties DOs fill now versus in 2019 (the year before the Match was combined for MDs and DOs) is also illuminating. Over the past five years, the number of positions filled by DOs has increased by more than 10% in Child Neurology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Med-Peds, Neurology, OBGYN, and Orthopedic Surgery.
Another record was broken by US graduates of international medical schools (IMGs) with a 67.6% match rate, an increase of 6.2 percentage points over last year. Meanwhile, non-US citizen IMGs matched at 59.4%, a slight increase over 2022. Specialties with the highest percentage of US citizen and non-US citizen IMGs were Family Medicine (30%), Medicine (Primary, 33.3%), Pathology (Anatomic and Clinical, 40.9%), and Internal Medicine (41.3%).
In addition to matching trainees, the NRMP Match also indicated the competitiveness of certain specialties based on which ones were completely filled, especially with US MD and DO seniors. The specialties that filled the most positions with US seniors were Orthopedic Surgery (90.0%), Obstetrics & Gynecology (90.1%), Internal Medicine – Pediatrics (90.5%), and Plastic Surgery (Integrated, 92.3%). In addition, Radiology – Diagnostic and Thoracic Surgery filled all their available positions.
However, in what could be an artifact of the pandemic, 554 spots in Emergency Medicine remained unfilled at the conclusion of the Match, 335 more than in the previous Match. The NRMP speculated that this decline was due to “changing applicant interests or projections about workforce opportunities post residency.”
Accepted would like to extend a hearty congratulations to everyone who matched, and we wish you continued good fortune in your future training. For more information about this year’s Match, please visit the NRMP website.
If you are planning to apply to the match next year, and would like guidance and assistance with your application and essays, we have a perfect package of assistance for you. Check out our Residency Package.