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NRMP Reports Decline in Number of Non-U.S. Citizen IMGs Registered to Participate in Match 2000

13,485 U.S. Medical School Seniors Match

Washington, D.C., March 16, 2000At noon today, as part of the annual Match Day rite of passage, U.S. medical school seniors will learn which residency program they will enter. Of the 33,528 medical student graduates that registered to participate in Match 2000, 10,839 are non-U.S. citizen international medical school graduates (non-U.S. citizen IMGs). This is the smallest number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs registered since 1995, a decrease of 22.5 percent over last year, according to data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The NRMP is the primary route by which applicants to residency programs obtain training positions at U.S. teaching hospitals.

Non-U.S. citizen IMGs are foreign students who attend medical schools outside the United States and Canada. The 3,146 fewer non-U.S. IMGs registered in this year's Match compared to 1999 represents the biggest drop ever. Data show that the number of active non-U.S. citizen IMGs (applicants who submitted program choices) in 2000 reached 6,287, a drop of 1,690 over last year. Despite the decline in registered and active applicants, IMGs matched at a 38.5 percent rate, 6.3 percent higher than 1999.

The drop in registered applicants may be attributed to new eligibility requirements set forth by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), which include the Clinical Skills Assessment exam, that began in July 1998. The Clinical Skills Assessment consists of 10 scored standardized patient encounters, and participants are evaluated both on their doctor-patient communication skills and on the "medicine side"-the integrated clinical encounter, including their data gathering and patient notes.

Of the 2,169 U.S. citizen graduates of foreign medical schools (U.S. IMGs) who participated in the Match this year, 1,114 students or 51.4 percent, matched. This is an increase from 47.4 percent last year. U.S. IMGs are U.S. citizens who attend medical schools outside the United States and Canada.

The Match Process

The Match week process started on Monday, March 13, when applicants found out if they had been matched to a residency program, although the program was not identified at that point. On Tuesday, March 14, locations of all unfilled positions were released to unmatched applicants at 12:00 p.m., EST. Unmatched applicants then had two days to contact programs with open residency positions. On Thursday, March 16, at 1:00 p.m., EST, Match participants learned where they will spend their first year of residency training. The Match process is conducted primarily through the Web.

According to the NRMP, 25,056 individuals participated in the Match this year, a slight decrease from the 26,462 that participated in 1999. Of the total active applicants, 18,391 or 73.4 percent, were matched, a four percent increase over 1999. A total of 20,598 first-year residency positions were offered in the Match, an increase of 145 positions from last year. Eighty-nine percent of the first-year positions available in the Match were filled. Approximately, 66 percent of the first-year positions were filled by U.S. medical school seniors. The number of first- and second-year matches exceeded 20,000, with 20,272 participants receiving a residency position. In 1999, 20,170 individuals matched to a first or second-year position.

Since 1952, the NRMP has served as an initial indicator of the career interests of U.S. medical school graduates and other physicians who seek training in U.S. residency programs. More than 3,000 additional first-year positions are offered by residency programs outside the Match process. The NRMP is managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Match Day 2000 Highlights

Of the 14,358 active U.S. medical school seniors (applicants who submitted program choices) who participated in Match 2000, 93.9 percent or 13,485, received a first-year residency training position. Of all the matches to first- and second-year programs, 86 percent were one of the first three choices of U.S. medical school seniors. Approximately, 62 percent were first choice matches, 15 percent were second choice, and 9 percent were third choice. The percent of matches to programs ranked among the top three choices is up slightly from 85 percent in 1999.

Seven specialties had 100 percent fill rates in 2000, as in 1999. The NRMP also reported data on couples participating in the Match. Of the 508 couples (1,016 individuals) who participated this year, 475 both matched. Of the 536 couples who participated in 1999, 496 both matched. The match rate for couples, which was 95.3 percent in 2000, has been on the increase since 1995 when it was 90.1 percent.

In 2000, 51 percent, or 6,931 graduating U.S. medical school seniors, matched to a first-year residency position in one of the generalist disciplines, defined as internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics. This is the lowest generalist specialty Match rate since 1995, when seniors also matched at 51 percent.

  • Nearly 25 percent of matched U.S. seniors, or 3,419 individuals, will enter internal medicine, internal medicine-pediatrics, or internal medicine-primary residency programs, a decrease of 138 over last year. A total of 5,729 generalist residency positions were offered in internal medicine this year, of which 60 percent were filled by U.S. seniors. An additional 33 percent were filled by graduates of non-U.S. medical schools.
  • Approximately 14 percent of matched U.S. seniors, or 1,817 individuals, will enter family practice residency programs, a decrease of 198 from 1999. U.S. medical school seniors filled 57 percent of the 3,183 positions offered in family practice, and 24 percent were filled by other applicants.
  • Nearly 13 percent of matched U.S. seniors, or 1,695 individuals participating in the Match, will enter pediatrics and pediatrics-primary residency programs, a decrease of 110 from last year. Overall, pediatrics and pediatrics-primary programs filled 47 fewer positions.

For copies of selected NRMP data tables and charts, please contact AAMC Office of Communications, 202-828-0041.


The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1952, at the request of medical students, to provide an orderly and fair mechanism to match the preferences of applicants to U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors for those applicants.