A record 22,221 residency positions were filled during this year's "Match Day," the annual rite of passage that links fourth-year medical students to their next step in training as physicians, according to the National Resident Matching Program.
The organization, which has coordinated this transition for more than a half-century, said that about 14,700 seniors in U.S. medical schools applied for residency programs, the highest number in almost two decades. The NRMP uses a computer algorithm to match preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs.
Students at U.S. medical schools made up about 60% of the residency applications. The NRMP also receives applications from graduates of foreign medical schools and students at osteopathic schools.
This year marks the first time residency programs were required to disclose in advance the contracts that applicants will be expected to sign with their new institutions. "With the amendments to this year's match, students will be able to make a more informed decision about their choice of residency program, including actual salary, benefits and the ability to negotiate contract details," said Brian Palmer, a match participant and president of the American Medical Student Association, which lobbied for the changes.