For students participating in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), or The Match, it is the culmination of a year’s work to secure a Match. During the first half of their senior year, medical students apply for positions at residency programs of their choosing. In February, after they have visited program sites and been interviewed by program directors, the students enter their choices into a computer, in order of preference. At the same time, residency program directors nationwide enter similar rank order lists for the students they have interviewed.
Lists from each group are sent to the NRMP headquarters in Washington, DC, where a computer matches students and residency programs. The Match is programmed to give students their highest choice possible. Results are released simultaneously throughout the nation.