NRMP’s Match Participation Agreements have governed the Matching Program for decades but had, over time, become unduly burdensome. In 2021, NRMP executive leadership focused on reframing Match policies and and resources for the next generation of Match participants.

Modernization of the Match Participation Agreements. Well in advance of the 2022 Main Residency Match, the Match Participation Agreements for Applicants and Programs and Medical Schools were revised.  The Agreement for Applicants and Programs was split into unique versions for each participant type that focused on specific roles and responsibilities.  Emphasis also was placed on reordering the Agreements to mirror the flow of the Match cycle and using plain language to

+ Improve and clarify Match policy and the policy pertaining to couples

+ Clarify limits on coercive communication during the recruitment process

+ Introduce a SOAP exception to provide an off-ramp so unmatched individuals could step out of Match Week in favor of a year for research or other academic endeavor

+ Reframe the violations policy to provide greater parity in how applicants and programs are treated when a violation has occurred, focusing on program education and remediation of alleged or actual violations

In fall 2021, the Specialties Matching Service Match Participation Agreements were revised, one for fellowship applicants and one for fellowship programs, and in 2022, Match Agreements for Institutions were updated.  Content can be routinely curated to ensure it accurately and concisely reflects the unique experiences of participants in the Matching Program.

Launch of Online Content Management System. Also in 2021, NRMP implemented a cloud-based compliance management system to improve the efficiency of tracking and processing requests for waivers and to address reporting needs. Existing processes were cumbersome and required extensive manual input. Staff undertook extensive process mappings and workflow creation to understand current procedures and establish new ones, and a new web-based process was developed to give Match participants more direct involvement in case management.  The system moved online in 2022.

Expansion of the Code of Conduct. In 2012, the NRMP partnered with the Organization of Program Director Associations (OPDA) to build the Match Communication Code of Conduct.  The Code provided recommendations for participant engagement in ethical behavior throughout the application, interview, and matching processes. 

To align with the modernization of Match Agreements, the NRMP revisited the Code and in 2021 created three unique versions, one for applicants, programs, and medical schools with the express purpose of providing clarity for each Match participant group.  The Codes provide guidance about the current landscape of the transition (e.g., virtual recruitment) and highlight best practices for demonstrating ethical and professional behavior throughout the Match season.


If you have questions about NRMP matching services or any information contained in this report, please send us an email. We'd love to hear from you!


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