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Match 2021: Record Numbers for DO Seniors

March 19, 2021

Despite a year of many hardships, we are overjoyed to announce that this year’s NRMP Main Match was the largest on record, and 6,327 DO seniors matched to 33,353 filled first year positions across the US!

Those 6,327 DO seniors, and an additional 609 DO prior graduates, will carry their osteopathic distinction into their residency programs and specialties. The number of DO seniors who matched increased 6% from 2020, and over the last 5 years the number of DOs who matched has increased 125%!

Match rates for all groups dropped slightly in 2021, and the 1.9% decline for DOs is similar to the slight match rate decrease found in the US MD match rates, with a more significant match rate drop in the international medical graduate (IMG) match rates. But that is not the whole story- this does not take the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) (post-initial match rounds) into account, and we are excited to see the final Match data when it is released by the NRMP in May. Applicants who did not match to a residency position participated in the SOAP to obtain one of 1,892 positions available.

The three most popular specialty matches for DO seniors in 2021 are Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine with a 6.7%, 3.4% and 15.7% increase in the number of DO matches, respectively.

DO students and graduates have demonstrated extraordinary resilience in this year’s 2020-2021 residency application cycle, which was upended from the beginning by the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize DO applicants for their journey to becoming osteopathic physicians and commitment to serving patients. John R. Gimpel, DO, MEd, NBOME President and CEO, shared a special congratulations with the students and graduates entering residency positions in July 2021:

“This year’s residency match is a milestone day in the lives of many future physicians, including a record number of DO applicants. We applaud your resilience and patience as you encountered numerous curve balls and obstacles related to training in a pandemic, and wish you all the best as you begin the next exciting chapter. Enjoy your celebration and upcoming graduation, and we look forward to welcoming you to the next stage of your journey as you start your career as an osteopathic physician.”

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