What is Pre-Match U.S. Medical Residency? Residency programs usually offer a placement prior to the National Residency Medical Program (NRMP) for the medical residency candidates, which is called a Pre-Match. It has significant importance because during the pre-match, about 95% of vacancies are filled, and it happens when the applicant wishes to acquire a position in the program or program wants to confirm the slots of willing candidates due to excess vacancies.

In 2013, NRMP declared that residency institutions would not be able to send match offers for different programs before the main NRMP match. The Board of directors of NRMP announced to place all the slots in the main NRMP match in favor of the All-in Policy. This policy will change the approach of both U.S. medical graduates and international medical graduates contending for very respected slots.

How does Pre-Match Work?

Before accepting a pre-match offer, a candidate must withdraw from the main National Residency Medical Program match. On the other hand, you can deny the pre-match offers and continue to follow the main match process. However, if you accept a pre-match offer from any program, you have to remain committed to that program and you will be unable to accept an offer from any other program. For example, if any lower-ranked program has sent an offer to you and you have accepted that offer. Once you accepted the offer, you have to guarantee your position in that program, and you cannot accept offers from other higher-ranked programs.

Pre-Match vs All-in Policy:

In Pre-match programs, independent candidates can pre-match before the main match into residency positions. They do not have to wait until March for the official computerized logarithmic

outcomes. However, for more equitable residency programs and selection criteria, the All-in policy is more suited and appropriate in times of rising numbers of international medical graduates and U.S medical graduates. In pre-match residency programs, many candidates express concern about inequitable distribution of the positions, and also the board of directors found it unsuitable and inappropriate. The board of directors concluded that pre-match residency programs are less time taking because candidates will not have to wait much for selection at residency institutions. The All-in policy has an advantage over pre-match programs in that it is a more equitable policy.

Is Pre-Match Really for You?

The only candidates permissible by NRMP to accept slots through pre-match (Outside the main Match) are IMGs and DO applicants. For some applicants, a pre-match may prove an unexpected offer, but for others, it denotes a tough situation that is selecting only one of the two programs that are going through the main match or accept a pre-match. It is the personal choice of the candidates, but there are many thoughts about what should a candidate do in this situation? Following things should be kept in mind before making any choice:

  • Most respected and well-known institutions usually do not offer pre-matches, so be prepared for the difficult decision if you have an eye on any of these. You are competitive enough to make your position in the program. Think about the offers from lower-ranked or less prestigious institutions and make a decision about whether to decline or accept the offer.
  • If any program extends the pre-match offer to you that is inferior in your rank list, make a decision whether you want pre-match at that program or go through unmatched to the main Match.
  • If you decline a pre-match, it may not rank you among the top, but it is not the only excuse to admit a pre-match
  • If more than one program sends you an offer, a pre-match may be more suitable for you due to multiple choices as compared to going through the main match.
  • Try to avoid discussions about the pre-match during your interviews if you have many interviews and you want to go through the main Match. If the interviewer asks you about the pre-match offer, do not give straight answers, rather be tactful in your answers, and be prepared for these types of questions before your interview. If you have declined an offer, reassure the program that you still favorably rate the pre-match offers.
  • If you have accepted a pre-match offer, keep the NRMP regulations in your mind. You have to extract from the main Match. But do not extract from the main Match without the written certification of the pre-match that you have agreed to.
  • You cannot agree to a pre-match offer and still be a part of the main Match. If any candidate does this, he/she will be at risk of losing both the slots and will not be able to participate in any of the future Matches.
  • Whatever you opt for, it should be your own decision that is in your benefit and does not give attention to other person views because you will be the one who has to spend 3 to 6 years at that place. Benefits of Pre-Match: About 45,000 applicants yearly apply for residency placement into a legitimate program like ACGME. Therefore, considering these reasons pre-match offers are deemed remarkably beneficial for residency candidates. The pre-match program proves helpful in securing your spot. Even if your pre-match offer is not from your highest ranked program, you are saved from the risk of

gambling your future because it is ensured by your pre-match offer. The pre-match program saves you from the trouble of going through the main NRMP program if you are given a pre-match offer from the program you’ve interviewed. This helps you to secure your spot with ease in your desired program. If you get a pre-match offer from a program lower than your rank, you are still at an advantage because it will provide you with the choice to either aim for your highest rank or to secure a position within the program.

RM has extensive experience in integrating candidates in pre-match pathways. Contact Us Today to find out about Pre-Match opportunities.