2021 NRMP Medicine Specialty Matching Program Largest in History

June 21, 2021


The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952 to optimize the rank-ordered choices of applicants and program directors for clinical training in the US, has released its 2021 report revealing that this year’s match is the largest ever.

The 2021 Match included a record-high 48,700 registrants, an eight-percent increase over 2020, and 38,106 positions, a two-percent increase. When the matching algorithm was processed, 36,179 positions were filled, including 1,892 positions offered through the 2021 Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program known as SOAP. Of them, 1,773 were filled. Just 119 positions remained unfilled at the conclusion of SOAP, resulting in a 99.6 percent fill rate overall for all positions placed in the 2021 Match.

This year’s NRMP Medicine Specialty Matching Program (MSMP) also proved a history-maker with over 5,200 DO, MD and IMG applicants matching to medicine subspecialty fellowships, which will begin in July. That figure represents a 6.1-percent increase over last years matches. Osteopathic applicants made notable progress with more than 600 DOs matching in 18 subspecialties and making up 12 percent of the internal medicine subspecialty matches. This year, the number of DO graduates participating in the MSMP rose 9.6-percent over 2020 and a whopping 101.6 percent from 2017.  

Subspecialities with greater than 10 percent of matches going to DO applicants are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hematology and Oncology
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Pulmonology
  • Nephrology
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary
  • Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care
  • Rheumatology

Download the 2021 Main Residency Match Results and Data Report here. The report documents matches by specialty and applicant type, applicant preferred specialty, trends in specialty competitiveness, and positions per active applicant. It also includes every program that participated in the Match, along with the numbers of positions offered and filled.

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