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Are you hearing a lot of noise about MATCH DAY in the news today? As a premed, this will seem like a long way off but it's one of the most important events in your medical career. You will always remember where you were on MATCH DAY!
Start with understanding the acronyms:
NRMP = MD match program
ACGME = Accrediting body for post-MD programs
NMS = DO match program
AOA = Accrediting body for Osteopathic training programs (American Osteopathic Association)
Match Day is the day medical school students learn where they will spend their residency training. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is responsible for post-MD graduate medical education including fellowships and residencies. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) coordinates the complicated matching of the individual students to the residency and fellowship programs. Osteopathic schools run their own match service called the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Intern/Resident Registration Program administered by the National Matching Services Inc.(NMS). Osteopathic students may apply to just the DO match or they can also apply to the MD match as well. At this time, MD students cannot apply to the DO match. Some programs are dually accredited by both the ACGME and AOA.
For ACGME accredited programs, the match results are released the third week of March. On Monday of that week, students find out IF they matched somewhere; on Friday they find out WHERE they matched....thus MATCH DAY. If you do not match anywhere, you can then 'scramble' during the week and contact programs with open spots. If you match in both the NRMP and the NMS there are additional rules that apply. AOA/NMS results are available in February.
To find out more about how the MD match program works, understand the algorithm, deadlines, dual accredited programs and how osteopathic students can participate, please refer to the main NRMP website for details.
To find out more about the DO matching program please refer to the following sites: National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and AACOM site. Both sites provide excellent summaries of the entire match process including information about the move to one accredited system by 2020.
I hope as a premed, you found this article helpful in understanding what MATCH DAY is all about. I know it seems like a long way off, but selecting a specialty will be here before you know it! Check out various medical school websites and twitter accounts on Friday, March 17th and see the excitement and rituals associated with the noon announcements.