On Residency Match Day, Beware of Commitment Requests

By AAPL Staff
March 13, 2019

Based on a 2015 NRMP report, 19.6% of applicants were asked by an institution to rank their program highly, even though such requests are prohibited.

When considering residency program applicants for Match Day, don’t ask them to commit to highly ranking your organization — or, worse, suggest their chances of getting into your organization’s program depend on that commitment.

Why? Because, in the interest of efficiency and fairness to applicants, such requests are prohibited by the National Resident Matching Program.


  • 22.9% of women were asked for a commitment to highly rank a program.
  • 18.2% of men were asked for a commitment to highly rank a program.

Moreover, desired applicants often deplore such commitment requests, thus jeopardizing recruiting efforts for desired applicants.

Nonetheless, many programs don’t play by the rules.

Based on a 2015 NRMP report of 7,028 applicants, 19.6% were asked by an institution for a commitment to rank their program highly.

Of that 19.6%:

  • 9% were asked by multiple institutions to rank their programs highly.
  • 6% felt uncomfortable or very uncomfortable sharing this information.
  • 4% were “less likely” or “much less likely” to rank the program.

The NRMP says 75 to 100 violations are processed annually. The most frequent program violators:

  • 9%: Orthopedics
  • 7%: Obstetrics-gynecology
  • 7%: General surgery
  • 3%: Internal medicine
  • 4%: Emergency medicine

Topics: Career Planning Journal

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