Your 2022 Match Day Recap And How to Secure a Match in 2023
On March 18, 2022, medical students nationwide found out if they were matched with a residency program after four years of hard work and determination. This celebration is called Match Day, which culminates a student’s journey through medical school and celebrates their acceptance to a residency program.
It takes a lot of preparation for a match to occur, and this year’s Match Day showed some record-breaking numbers. Here’s what you need to know about Match Day.
How Match Day Works
On Match Day, undergraduates finally discover their match to a residency program after several months of waiting in anticipation. The Match process is long and some would say, comparable to getting drafted to the NFL. Students often apply for their residency in the fall of their final year of medical school which kicks off the Match process.
Once a residency application is submitted, students will schedule and attend interviews to said programs throughout the fall and winter. Then, around February, students and program directors will rank each other and send it to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
Students get paired with their residency program by a matching algorithm, which is a computerized mathematical algorithm. The matching algorithm works to get applicants into their preferred residency and the residency that prefers them–trying to determine if it’s a match.
The National Resident Matching Program has existed for over 70 years, and Match Week takes place annually on the third week of March.
Match Day 2022 Recap
This year was another Match Day filled with excitement and anticipation, and as the number of medical student graduates has continued to rise, securing a spot in a residency program has become all the more competitive.
In 2022, the NRMP provided matching services to over 42,000 applicants. A full Match report is expected in early May, however, the AMA has premiered early key data from the 2022 Match.
Here are some important takeaways from this year’s Match:
- Post-graduate year 1 positions were the largest in Match history
- A record number of positions were offered in primary care
- 2,262 positions were unfilled after the Match was processed
- Match rates were higher for nearly all groups
A Big Win for DO Applicants
As you may know, allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools transitioned to a single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system back in 2020. The single GME caused some concern for DO applicants as they now had to share the residency pool for programs designed for them. However, this year’s Match Day results can put those concerns to rest.
For DO seniors, there was a significant match rate increase. Donna L. Lamb, president and CEO of the NRMP reports, “While all categories of applicants saw improvements over 2021, U.S. DO seniors achieved a 91.3% match rate, a 2.2 percentage-point increase over last year, the highest on record for that group of applicants, and a rate on par with the match rate achieved for U.S. MD seniors.”
These statistics are remarkable for DO applicants preparing to find their match. For DO and MD students, TrueLearn’s data-driven approach improves metacognition and decision-making on high-stakes licensure exams, leading to better outcomes in The Match.
Reflecting upon this year’s Match Day results, Dr. Joshua Courtney, the Founder and CEO of TrueLearn, said, “The Osteopathic community celebrated a monumental achievement in this year’s match, and that success is a testament to years of advocacy and commitment to advancing our profession. I founded TrueLearn with the mission of empowering medical students to reach their highest goals in medicine, so it’s truly rewarding to celebrate the stories of so many DOs on their trailblazing journey to becoming board-certified physicians.”
Preparing to Find Your Match in 2023 And Beyond
We acknowledge the stakes are high, but a match is not unreachable. With the right preparation, you can become confident in your ability to reserve a match, whether it be for the upcoming year or the next.
2023 Match Day Timeline:
- Sept. 15, 2022: NRMP Main Residency Match opens
- Nov. 30, 2022: NRMP registration deadline
- October 2022: Residency interviews begin
- Late January 2023: Residency interviews end
- Mid to late January 2023: Submit rank order lists to NRMP
- Late February 2023: Deadline for ranked lists to NRMP
- March 17, 2023: Match Day
Students: 5 Match Tips to Help You Prepare
- As you submit your ERAS, make sure you sign up for the NRMP before the deadline. If you miss the deadline to register for a Match, you’ll have to pay a late fee.
- Furthermore, completing your applications and double-checking your Match eligibility as early as possible can ensure your interview invitations come sooner than later.
- The interview process can seem intimidating, however, whether your interview is virtual or in-person, your best chance of success is preparation. Follow these tips from Dr. Simone Bernstein to be your best self in your residency interview and learn how to fine-tune your ERAS application.
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t match with your top pick. An opportunity you haven’t considered beforehand can open more doors than you can imagine, so don’t be afraid to weigh your options and try something new.
- Additionally, always remember if you don’t get matched, you might get offered a position through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance (SOAP) program.
Seniors: Don’t Let the Stress of Match Day Get to You
Match Day is a big stepping stone. As you go through your last year as a student, you’re also simultaneously preparing for residency, which we understand is stressful. You can prepare yourself for this time of transition by being confident in yourself and your abilities.
That being said, keep applying yourself to your studies and exams. Don’t let the Match Day stress derail you. Using practice tests like SmartBanks can help you prepare for big exam days, or if you’re a visual learner, Picmonic is a research-proven study tool that improves memory retention for medical students. Either way, you’ll find it rewarding to see your progress over the years, so keep up the good work.
Don’t forget to destress too. Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and remember you’re not alone in this. Every year, Match Day cultivates feelings of anxiety and excitement for medical students across the country. You can even hear it firsthand from residents who’ve experienced Match Day. Treat yourself to your favorite meal or dedicate a night to your self-care routine. You deserve it.
All of your hard work has led up to this moment. Be proud that you’ve given it all you got and have faith–you’ll find your match.
What to Do After Match Day
First, take a minute to celebrate. You worked hard to get to this point. You should be proud of your accomplishments. Finish out the rest of your year, if you have more to go, then take a little break for yourself. Second, get back to work. You have a lot to figure out before going into intern year, plus you’ll need to prepare for COMLEX Level 3 or USMLE Step 3.