Residency Applicant Checklist & Match Tips


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What Applicants Should Know and Do

The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) seeks to maintain the highest professional standards in the conduct of its Matching Program and expects all applicants and programs to conduct their affairs in a professionally responsible manner. Applicants must understand the policies that govern the matching process as well as their rights and responsibilities under the Match Participation Agreement. To promote a positive Match experience, the NRMP partnered with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies Organization of Program Director Associations to create the following Match tips for applicants.


  • Complete the NRMP registration process. The Association of American Medical Colleges’ ERAS® and the NRMP are separate organizations. Registering with one does not register you with the other.
  • Ensure your current email address is on file with the NRMP and, if possible, follow the NRMP on Facebook and Twitter to make sure you receive up-to-date information about the matching process. (NRMP recommends utilizing a personal email address versus a school address as your school email address may be disabled at graduation.)
  • Provide complete information to programs on your application and during your interviews. Programs have the right to information that could affect your ability to obtain a state medical license and begin training.
  • Ensure programs provide you with complete information about training requirements (e.g., visas, USMLE exam scores) and a copy of the contract you will be expected to sign if matched to the program.
  • Recognize your right to confidentiality. Programs may not ask you about the names, specialties, geographic location, or other identifying information about programs to which you have or may apply. Programs also cannot ask you to reveal your ranking preferences or intentions or query you about your age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and/or family status.
  • Be mindful of requests for post-interview communication and/or second visits. Programs should not convey that either a follow up visit or post-interview communication is necessary for you to be ranked.
  • Remember that Match appointments are binding. Absent a waiver from the NRMP, you are obligated to attend training in a program to which you matched or accepted a position during the Main Residency Match SOAP®.


  • Ignore valuable resources. Reports from the NRMP, including Charting Outcomes in the Match, and results from the biennial Program Director Survey, can help you evaluate your competitiveness and bolster your chances for a successful interview season and Match outcome.
  • Misinterpret post-interview communication from programs to encourage or signify a commitment. Submit a rank order list that reflects your preferences and not what you perceive to be your chance of matching to a program based on the program’s assertions.
  • Wait until the last minute to enter and submit your rank order list in the Registration, Ranking, and Results® (R3®) system. Performance could be slow due to load. Do not make last minute changes to your list; such changes are not always well thought out, and the NRMP will not modify or in any way change a rank order list should you regret your actions.\
  • Apply, discuss, interview for, or accept a position in another program if you have an existing, concurrent year Match obligation. Waivers of the Match commitment can be approved only by the NRMP.
  • Share Match information. Data contained in the R3 system is proprietary to the NRMP and reserved only for authorized participants in the Match.