Medical students who complete their undergraduate medical education program continue their training to seek licensure through a residency and fellowship program in graduate medical education (GME). These graduate training programs are called "residency," the first year of which is often called an "internship" or "transitional year." Successful completion of a residency program is required for specialty board certification. GME typically focuses on one field of practice, such as family medicine, surgery, preventive medicine, dermatology, etc.
In the past, there were mainly two accrediting bodies for GME programs: the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). However, as of June 30, 2020, the "single GME" accreditation system is fully established with the transition of formerly AOA accredited programs applying and receiving ACGME accreditation. As a result of this new system, there are changes that ease the application and participation process, as well as broaden opportunities for students to participate in GME programs.
The Main Residency Match is the primary system by which students obtain a residency in their chosen specialty. Today's match was developed at the request of medical students seeking an improved system of placement into residency. It's run by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, non-profit organization established in 1952. The NRMP uses a computer algorithm to align the preferences of both residency program directors and applicants for placing into residency. Under this system, all participants follow the same rules, adhere to the same deadlines, and both applicants and program directors can consider all their options before making any decisions.
The 2020 match is the first match system administered without the AOA National Matching Service (NMS) match. The Main Residency Match, run by NRMP, will simplify the process for osteopathic medical school students, who previously had the option of participating in AOA's National Matching Service (NMS), in addition to the match conducted by NRMP.