2019 residency match is largest on record

The National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) celebrated its largest-ever Match Day on March 15, pairing a record number of applicants with the largest number of residencies offered to date.

More than 44,600 medical school students and graduates registered as applicants for the 2019 match cycle, according to a release, and 38,376 applicants submitted program choices for 35,185 open positions. It’s the biggest pool the NRMP’s ever dealt with, in part due to an increase in the number of programs offered through the Main Residency Match.

The number of first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 32,194 in 2019, the release stated—a 6.5 percent increase over last year. It could be a recurring trend as more institutions transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education programs.

This year, 79.6 percent of applicants were matched to PGY-1 positions, and 94.9 percent of PGY-1 positions were filled. Integrated interventional radiology (categorical and advanced), otolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation (categorical), integrated plastic surgery, surgery (categorical) and thoracic surgery programs filled all their open positions.

Nearly half the first-year positions offered by the NRMP this year were in the primary care specialties of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Emergency medicine and psychiatry programs both upped their number of available positions with great success—emergency programs had a fill rate of 98.8 percent, and psychiatry residencies filled all but 20 available positions. Anesthesiology, obstetrics-gynecology, neurology and general surgery programs also offered an increased number of positions in 2019.

“NRMP is delighted to celebrate this transition to residency with thousands of young physicians and to congratulate them on their years of hard work,” Mona M. Signer, NRMP president and CEO, said in the release. “We wish them success as they begin their careers providing healthcare to communities across the nation.”