Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What can we learn from the 2013 NRMP match experience?

If you go to the NRMP website you can read their preliminary report on the 2013 match.  This is usually followed by a more detailed analysis of each specialty and program, but I think there is some useful information here.

For 2013 there were 165 EM Residency Programs offering1,744 training spots.  Only 3 of these spots went unfilled in the match.  Scrambling to an EM spot is not a reasonable back-up plan.

1,428 of those 1,744 spots (~82%) went to U.S. Seniors.  There were another 212 of these U.S. Seniors who applied for EM, but did not successfully match.  So 87% of senior medical students at Allopathic schools successfully matched to EM.  Most U.S. Seniors will not need a back-up plan.

313 non-U.S. Seniors (i.e.  everybody else in the applicant pool) also matched to EM out of a non-U.S. Senior applicant pool of 790.  So if you were a DO applicant, a re-applicant, or a foreign trained student, you had a ~40% chance of matching.  Knowing you face these odds should factor into your strategy.  

The number of EM spots has been growing.  1,744 this year.  1,668 in 2012.  1,607 in 2011.  Whether this yearly growth will continue is debatable given the current discussions about cutting funding for resident training.   

EM is growing in size and continues to ascend in popularity among medical students.  What these numbers tell you is that most U.S. allopathic seniors will match so long as they make reasonable application decisions.  Applying to dozens of programs is not reasonable.  It just makes more money for the ERAS service.  Better to be realistic in choosing the programs you apply to.  Your individual advisor should be able to give you a good idea of what programs you should specifically target.

Non-U.S. Seniors can absolutely match in EM, but they need to be even more realistic in their choice of programs to apply to.  Again, it is not about the number you apply to but choosing ones that will be interested in you as an applicant.

Do not be dissuaded by these numbers.  They are just another part of your application strategy that needs to be managed.

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