Match Day 2019: Residency spots increase, but improvements needed


For the seventh straight year, the Main Residency Match experienced record growth, with more spots for residency programs and a higher number of slots filled than ever before.

Mona Signer, National Resident Matching Program president and CEO

Mona Signer

A total of 38,376 applicants in 2019 submitted program choices for 35,185 positions, a 6% slot increase from 2018, while the number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 32,194, an increase of 6.5% (1,962) from 2018, according to data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Of the total PGY-1 positions offered, 95% were filled.

The record influx of positions was driven in part, by the increased numbers of osteopathic programs that joined the Main Residency Match as a result of the ongoing transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education programs, said Mona Signer, NRMP president and CEO.

“Many of the programs previously accredited by the American Osteopathic Association came into our match this year because they’re now accredited by the [The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education],” Ms. Signer said in an interview. “That contributed to a significant increase in physicians and a significant increase in the number of applicants.”

Family medicine residency programs offered 4,107 positions this year, up by 478 from 2018. Of the family medicine offerings, 93% positions were filled, and 39% were filled with U.S. allopathic seniors. The number of U.S. allopathic seniors matching to family medicine decreased in 2019; however, a record 986 osteopathic students matched to family medicine, accounting for 26% of all applicants who matched to the specialty.

Internal medicine programs offered 8,116 positions in 2019, 574 more than in 2018. Of internal medicine programs, 97% of the positions were filled and 42% were filled with U.S. allopathic seniors. The NRMP notes the percentage of internal medicine positions filled by U.S. allopathic seniors has declined every year since 2015.


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