Match Day '24: Emergency medicine rebounds; more international grads apply

Despite a rough match week one year ago, emergency medicine has made a rebound with a fill rate of 95.5%, according to results published March 15 by the National Resident Matching Program.

In 2023, emergency medicine had 554 unfilled positions, which was an unprecedented number for the specialty at the time. This year, only 135 spots went unfilled.

Overall, 2024 marked the largest match year in the National Resident Matching Program's 72-year history with 50,413 applicants — a 4.7% increase year over year. The bump in registered applicants was primarily driven by 1,986 international medical graduates and 623 osteopathic graduates, according to the organization. 

"Upward trends in participating program rates and positions offered and filled demonstrate the success with which the NRMP ably and consistently grows to meet the needs of the undergraduate and graduate medical education communities," Donna Lamb, DHSc, BSN, president and CEO of the NRMP, said in the news release. 

Here are seven other notes from this year's Match Day data: 

  1. There were 41,503 total positions, and 2,562 went unfilled, a decrease of 4.6% from 2023.

  2. Graduates with DO degrees achieved an all-time high match rate of 92.3%.

  3. Primary care had a fill rate of 92.9%, which is strong, according to the NRMP, but still 1.4% less than the year before. The change is related to decreases in pediatric matches, which saw an increase in unfilled positions.

  4. The number of certified programs and positions offered reached a historic high with 1,126 additional certified programs and 125 more certified programs offered in the 2024 match.

  5. Obstetrics and gynecology had a strong fill rate of 99.6% "even with the two-year anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision approaching," according to the release.

  6. The specialties that had the highest fill rates among U.S. medical graduates were:
    • Internal medicine/emergency medicine - 96.8%

    • Thoracic surgery - 95.8%

    • Otolaryngology - 95.8%

    • Internal medicine/pediatrics - 94.6%

    • Orthopedic surgery - 92.1%

    • Interventional radiology – integrated - 91.4%

    • Obstetrics and gynecology - 90.7%

  7. International medical graduates primarily matched with positions in internal medicine, pathology both anatomic and clinical, family medicine and neurology. 

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