NRMP focused its efforts on understanding ways to enhance and build new pathways for communication, to strengthen its messaging to stakeholders, and to provide transparent information to the medical education community about the Match, Match processes and policies, and Match data. 

Collaboration on Three-Year Medical Education Curriculum. Since 2013, the NRMP has engaged with medical schools who are implementing three-year curriculum/accelerated pathway programs. The NRMP provides guidance on how frameworks for those initiatives should be implemented with adherence to existing Match policy.  The NRMP has leveraged those efforts by initiating work directly with the Consortium of Accelerated Medical Pathway Programs (CAMPP) schools. Over the course of the year, the NRMP partnered with 15 CAMPP schools to educate school leadership on the rights and responsibilities of both medical schools, residency training programs, and accelerated pathway students in the Match. Additionally, the NRMP worked with participating residency programs to create tracks within the R3 system, clearly identifying accelerated pathway positions to facilitate students’ designation of their program preference(s).

As the NRMP’s relationship evolved with the CAMPP schools, amendments to the Match Participation Agreements, specific to the three-year accelerated pathway programs, were implemented to reinforce each Match participant’s rights and responsibilities. With new language, medical schools and programs must ensure that applicants can freely investigate programs of their choice without pressure. The proposed amendments were the result of requests for policy guidance by medical schools and training programs.

Creation of Biannual DIO Calls.  In 2021, NRMP leadership created a new pathway for connecting and sharing information with designated institutional officials (DIOs) at institutions sponsoring residency and fellowship training programs.  Biannual “Community Conversations” (April and November) have established a direct pipeline between the two parties for purposes of sharing information on topics including

+ Match Policy Updates

+ Governance Action and Nominations

+ Strategic Research Agenda and New Research Initiatives

+ Annual Stakeholder Conference

Although NRMP leadership stewards the creation of meeting agendas, attendees are invited to offer discussion topics to ensure the conversations are meaningful.

Launch of a Redesigned Website.  In 2021, the NRMP began a comprehensive and systematic review of its current website to identity ways in which to better present and share Matching Program content with the community.  Ideas on Purpose was contracted to help the NRMP reimaging its online presence, and a new website was launched December 2021 that offers

+ Customized Match Calendars for constituent groups with the ability to export important dates directly to personal Google calendars

+ Unique pathway “experiences” for users to walk through the Match process in a way that is relevant to them

+ Improved site engagement with animations and movement for a less static experience

As users interact with the website, the NRMP has continued to evolve the site to ensure it meets the needs of Match Participants and will continue to seek ways in which the site may enhance and encourage interaction with the medical education community.

Publication of Position Statements Addressing Critical Issues. In 2021, the NRMP Executive Leadership developed and disseminated three position statements to share insight and maintain transparency with the community:

+ Collection of Applicant Demographic Data. In April 2021, the NRMP announced its intent to collect applicant demographic data beginning with the 2022 Main Residency Match. The statement provided information about NRMP’s decision-making process (dating back to 2020), including the solicitation of community feedback, and the desire to improve the value of the Match for participants and advance the NRMP’s mission to provide meaningful and transparent data on Match outcomes and workforce trends.  The statement also included reassurance that applicant demographic data provision would be voluntary and that outcomes never would be shared in an identifiable way or incorporated in any way into the matching algorithm.

+ Feasibility of an Early Match. In July 2021, the NRMP responded to a proposal for an “Early Match.”  The position statement outlined concerns related to the structure of the proposal and how that structure would compromise the key components of an effective matching market and disadvantage applicants. The NRMP also highlighted its own efforts to model/simulate the effects of the proposal to better understand how it could impact, potentially adversely impacting Match participants. The statement provided thoughtful and deliberate justification for declining to implement the proposal in the immediate future.

+ Interviewing. In November 2021, the NRMP addressed growing concerns in the community about interviewing behaviors and the need for a recruitment process that promoted equity, wellness, and respect.  The NRMP developed recommendations that encouraged more time from programs for applicants to respond to interview offers and timely feedback from applicants to programs if offers were to be declined.  The NRMP asked parties to do their part to demonstrate ethical and fair practices.

Development of a Marketing Strategy to Identify New Paths for Connectedness.  In 2021, the NRMP engaged Mighty Citizen in a partnership to help develop short- and long-term goals for future marketing and communications efforts.  Social listening, discovery sessions, focus groups, and surveys are the means by which the NRMP is identifying the current state of and satisfaction with marketing and communication efforts and how the NRMP can better leverage those efforts and build new ones to create new opportunities.  Stay tuned for what’s to come!


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