The Residency Match Process
Each year, programs submit the number of positions that they wish to have filled through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). ERAS receives documents from the applicant, the ECFMG, U.S. medical schools, and the USMLE. These documents are formatted, scanned, and assembled into individual applicant packets, and are electronically sent to as many programs as the applicant chooses. Programs evaluate applications and determine which applicants they want to interview during November, December, and January.
The Rank Order List
After interviews, the programs list applicants by preference (rank order list). Simultaneously, applicants submit a list of programs in rank order. Applicants are electronically matched to the highest-ranked program on their list that has offered a position to that applicant.
Students who have not matched are usually informed the day before match results are announced. Students and their schools begin "the scramble" to find unfilled residency training positions—a madcap competition for the best remaining residency spots.