What is Pre-Match?
Pre-Match is when a residency program offers a medical residency applicant a placement before the main NRMP match date where 95% of the residency slots are filled. This occurs when a program would like to secure a candidate, and when that candidate also wishes to secure their position within that program rather than take their chances on the Match date.
How does Pre-Match work?
Imagine your second-highest ranked program extends a Pre-Match offer to you. If you accept, you are committed to that program, and you will have your position guaranteed there but will not be able to accept an offer from your first-highest ranked program or any other program. If you accept the Pre-Match offer, it is contingent upon your withdrawal from the main NRMP match. You are able to decline Pre-Match offers and still follow through with the Match process.
How is Pre-Match beneficial?
Pre-Match offers are extremely beneficial to residency candidates for a number of reasons. Residency placement into an ACGME accredited program is the ultimate goal for over 45,000 applicants annually. The main advantage of Pre-Match is that if you receive a Pre-Match offer from a program you’ve interviewed with then you do not have to go through the main NRMP match to secure that spot – you already have it. You don’t have to gamble your future, it’s secured for you by your Pre-Match offer. This is the case even if your Pre-Match offer is not from your highest ranked program. When you receive a Pre-Match offer from a program ranked lower on your list, you have the choice to either secure a position within that program, or to continue through the Match and aim for one of your higher ranked programs. Having that choice available to you is definitely an advantage.
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