The 2020 Match will be the biggest match ever, since the NMS and NRMP unified. The only way that there is another large growth in programs and residency positions in the NRMP is if congress allocates additional funding streams for residency programs. With the federal government’s history on funding, this seems like an unlikely event in the near future.
This year will also have a record breaking number of participants in the NRMP because of the inclusion of the osteopathic students. What students need to prepare for, is that the number of students participating in the NRMP will continue to grow each year, regardless of the lack of parallel growth in residency programs and positions. This is occurring because of the opening of new medical schools and growth of existing school class sizes.
What does this mean for medical students? Every year, the number of unmatched students will increase. Competitiveness will skyrocket. Programs will become overwhelmed. Students will become more desperate to match. All organizations must come together along with students, physicians, and residents to have a conversation. More alternative residency programs must be considered. All ideas must be on the table. The AAMC, NRMP and AACOM must not wait to move on this. More money needs to be allocated to this. More lobbying for additional funding.
Does the NRMP have some responsibility for allowing more applicants to register than positions are available? Should there be a refund for students who did not get a residency position because of lack of residency positions? We must put these medical students first. Most have several hundred thousand dollars in debt. It is our duty to solve this problem. Let’s work on this.