This report summarizes data from the National Resident
Matching Program (NRMP) 2009 Main Residency Match,
the largest in NRMP history when measured by the total
number of positions offered (25,185) and filled (24,039), as
well as the total number of Match registrants (36,972) and
Match participants (29,890; applicants who submitted a
certified rank order list of programs).
A successful match, however, is not measured by volume
alone but also by how well it matches the preferences of
applicants and programs. One measure of that objective is
the percentage of positions filled. Based on that criterion,
the fill rate of 95.4 percent makes the 2009 Match the most
successful on record. A by-product of a high fill rate is
fewer positions available in the post-Match "Scramble."
For 2009, only 1,146 first-year and second-year positions
were unfilled; of which about half (562) were PGY-1 only
positions in preliminary surgery and preliminary medicine.
This year, 29,890 applicants vied for one of the 22,427
available first-year and 2,758 second-year residency
positions; 15,638 of those applicants were U.S. allopathic
medical school seniors. The number of U.S. allopathic
seniors participating in the 2009 Match was 396 more then
in 2008; and represents the first increase since several new
medical schools have opened and established medical
schools began their resent expansion in class sizes.
Other applicants included previous graduates of U.S.
allopathic medical schools, U.S. citizen and non-U.S.
citizen international medical school students and graduates,
students and graduates of Canadian medical school, students
and graduates of osteopathic medical schools, and students
and graduates of Fifth Pathway programs. Between 2008
and 2009, active applicants who are U.S. citizen
international medical school students and graduates showed
the largest increase among all the applicant groups in both
numbers (421) and percent (14.2%).
The real and projected increases in the numbers of U.S.
allopathic seniors have raised questions about how this may
affect both their performance in the Match and the Match
success of other applicant groups. While the match rates for
U.S. allopathic seniors declined slightly in 2009 to 93.1
percent (down from a historic high of 94.2% in 2008), and
the percentage of seniors who Matched to their first
program choice declined slightly (from 57.0 percent in 2008
to 53.2% in 2009), there continue to be more positions than
U.S. seniors in most specialties.
It is too early to determine what effect the increase in the
numbers of U.S. allopathic seniors participating in the
Match will have on other applicant groups: while the match
rates declined for four of the six other applicant groups, the
number of applicants who matched increased for all
Couples have been able to participate together in the Match
since 1984. The two partners identify themselves as a
couple to the NRMP and submit rank order lists of identical
length. The algorithm treats the two lists as a unit,
matching the couple to the highest linked program choices
where both partners match. A record 788 couples
participated in the 2009 Match. Couples continued to enjoy
great success in the Match, with a match rate of around 93
Match results can be an indicator of career interests among
graduating medical school students. Highlights from
particular specialties include:
• Several specialties saw increases in the number of
matched U.S. allopathic seniors in 2009: Pediatrics (72),
Psychiatry (61), Diagnostic Radiology (55), Emergency
Medicine (43), Obstetrics and Gynecology (41), and
• The number of Family Medicine positions offered in
2009 declined by 101 and the number of matched U.S.
allopathic seniors declined by 85. Despite the decline,
91.2 percent of the available Family Medicine positions
were filled in 2009.
• The number of categorical Internal Medicine positions
rose by 64 to 4,922; and while the percentages filled by
U.S. seniors declined slightly from 54.8 percent in 2008
to 53.5 percent in 2009, the overall fill rate rose to 98.6
• General Surgery continued to be a very competitive
specialty with all but five of the 1,065 available positions
filled, however, 64 fewer U.S. allopathic seniors
matched to that specialty.
• Finally, we would be remiss if we did not welcome the
latest specialty to join the Match. New to the Match in
2009, Neurological Surgery filled all 191 positions, of
which, 172 (90.1%) were U.S. allopathic seniors.
We hope you find the data contained in the following pages
of this report useful as you reflect on the 2009 Match and
prepare for future Matches.
Mona M. Signer, Executive Director
National Resident Matching Program
2450 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20037-1127