Unmatched MD Tutorial - What to do when you don't match

Lesson 2

The Current Scenario and Statistics of Unmatched Medical Graduates

The process of matching to a residency program is a challenging and critical step for medical student graduates. However, despite their best efforts, some students do not match in their chosen specialty or may not match at all. The number of unmatched graduates varies each year, and it is essential to understand the current scenario and statistics to better prepare for the match process.

According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), in 2021, there were a total of 46,094 applicants for residency positions in the United States, and 43,139 (93.6%) obtained a position. This means that 2,955 (6.4%) applicants did not match to any residency program. This number includes both U.S. allopathic medical school graduates and international medical graduates.

The specialty with the highest number of unmatched applicants in 2021 was Preliminary Surgery, with 119 unmatched applicants. The specialties with the lowest number of unmatched applicants were Child Neurology, Medical Genetics, and Thoracic Surgery, with only 1 unmatched applicant each.

The NRMP also provides data on the number of unmatched U.S. allopathic medical school graduates. In 2021, there were a total of 19,896 U.S. allopathic medical school graduates, and 18,757 (94.3%) obtained a position. This means that 1,139 (5.7%) U.S. allopathic medical school graduates did not match to any residency program.

The specialty with the highest number of unmatched U.S. allopathic medical school graduates in 2021 was Preliminary Surgery, with 54 unmatched graduates. The specialties with the lowest number of unmatched U.S. allopathic medical school graduates were Child Neurology, Medical Genetics, and Thoracic Surgery, with only 1 unmatched graduate each.

It is worth noting that the number of unmatched U.S. allopathic medical school graduates has been decreasing over the past few years. In 2018, there were 1,264 unmatched U.S. allopathic medical school graduates, and in 2019, there were 1,156 unmatched graduates.

International medical graduates (IMGs) also face challenges in the match process. In 2021, there were a total of 8,556 IMGs who participated in the match, and 6,382 (74.6%) obtained a position. This means that 2,174 (25.4%) IMGs did not match to any residency program.

The specialty with the highest number of unmatched IMGs in 2021 was Preliminary Surgery, with 102 unmatched applicants. The specialties with the lowest number of unmatched IMGs were Child Neurology, Medical Genetics, and Thoracic Surgery, with only 1 unmatched applicant each.

In summary, the number of unmatched medical graduates varies each year, and it is essential to understand the current scenario and statistics to better prepare for the match process. Despite the challenges, there are steps that unmatched graduates can take to increase their chances of matching in the future. In my course, “Unmatched: 3 Things You Can’t Afford Not to Do,” I will discuss these steps in detail and provide guidance on how to approach the match process as a reapplicant. ??????????