The system works this way: Medical students, who anticipate graduating before July 1 of a program year and plan to pursue a specialty,
register to participate in the NRMP placement system for the approximately 39,000
funded residency positions in the United States. Students who delayed pursuing a residency
program in previous years may also register to match.
According to the NRMP website, the students pay a fee to rank a certain number of
programs. For an extra fee, students may rank additional programs up to a maximum
of 300. Students apply for residency positions in their specialty of choice and are
invited to interview with the residency directors and others either in person or online.
Students then rank programs in order of their preference and the programs rank the
students they have interviewed.
Using a mathematical algorithm, students and programs are matched. Students who are
not matched receive notification the Monday before Match Day. In some cases, students
choose not to enter the NRMP.