2018 NRMP Match Statistics: By the Numbers

2018 Match Statistics
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NRMP has released its 2018 match statistics. I have always believed that in order to have a realistic assessment of ones chance in matching to a US medical residency, you need to analyze match statistics. It will also go a long way to help you know what strategies you needed to do it you really want to have a US medical career

2018 Match Statistics (source: NRMP)

Total Applicants to the Match                                     43,909

​Total Applicants ​who submitted ROL                          37,103

​Total ​PGY-1 positions open                                        30,220

​Total Applicants ​Matched                                           29,040

​Total ​AMG graduate​s                                                  19,680

Some details noted.
  • 30,220 PGY-1 positions open for 2018 is about 1400++ more than 2016.
  • 37,103 people submitted their ROL which means about one thousand more people got interviews in 2018 compared to 2016.
Details relevant to IMGs.
  • 18,000++ IMGs were interviewed in 2018 through the NRMP but only less than 10,000 Matched.
  • Almost 7,000 people who applied for the match were not even interviewed.  Since they applied for the Match, represents IMGs who passed Step 1 but were not interviewed possibly due to low scores.
In conclusion,
  • A total of 24,900++ IMGs, participated in the match in 2018, all of whom have passed Step 1.
  • A total of about 18,000 ++ got scores high enough to be interviewed.
  • A total of almost 7,000 did not even get a single interview.
  • Only less than 10,000 IMGs eventually matched.

Discussion

Only about 40% of IMG applicants who passed Step 1 got matched into a residency position in 2018. About 25% of IMG applicants did not get even one interview at all. It is also important to understand that the single biggest factor in deciding who gets interviewed and who gets matched is your Step 1 score.

And the only way for IMGs with low scores (which a lot of IMGs seem to think is still possible) is for thousand of IMGs with high score to be discarded in their favor. To me, that’s a weird thought but apparently not to a majority of IMGs. Most IMGs with low score thinks that all they need is USCE, research experience and US LORs, so they can beat IMGs with high scores (as if IMGs with high score won’t all have, USCE, research experience or US LORs. 😝)

Go to any forum composed of IMGs and the primary discussion is how to pass Step 1, not scoring high or acing it. If you read any discussions about study plans and prep discussions it’s what majority of IMGs are using and yet majority of IMGs are not going to match. Don’t you think it’s more useful to consider study plans used by a minority of IMGs to ace the exam, than ones used by majority to pass this exam?

These days, for the IMG, just passing means not matching. Go to any forum composed of IMGs and you realize that only one in three will eventually match. Two out of three will wind up either with a medical career outside the US, or shift to other occupation.

So if you want to match, you need to be doing things differently. You need to be scoring high or acing Step 1. You need to prep to match. Just passing is not matching.

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