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Record Number of Osteopathic Medical Students Participate, Match During 2021 National Residency Match Week

March 24, 2021


(Bethesda, MD) – Celebrating their commitment, achievements and ability to overcome unexpected challenges, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) today saluted the largest class of DO students to ever participate in the National Resident Matching Program’s (NRMP) Match Week. According to NRMP, the number of U.S. DO seniors participating was a record-high 7,101, an increase of 7.9 percent over 2020. Of those, 6,327 matched to first-year residency positions, a 6 percent increase from 2020 and the highest number ever. The percentage of overall Match positions filled by DO students increased from 2020, as well.

“We are very proud of the DO graduating class of 2021 and their ability to persevere through such uncertain times and are thrilled at the continued growth and impact of osteopathic medical education,” said AACOM President and CEO Robert Cain, DO. “With the largest number of Match registrants to date, plus the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew this year would be a challenge for all students. We honor their dedication, and we congratulate our member colleges of osteopathic medicine for the work they did pivoting their programs while keeping the students’ safety and education top priorities.”

This was the second match to take place since the transition to the single graduate medical education accreditation system was fully implemented. With the record number of participants, matching rates for both DO and MD students did dip slightly, as expected. However, graduates from colleges of osteopathic medicine returning to the Match after graduating in previous years, after not matching to a position or completing their first year of training, had a match rate of 44.3 percent, an increase from the previous year’s 43.1 percent.

Final placement numbers, which include students who participated in the NRMP’s Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program and those who placed after Match Week, will be available in early May.

“Numbers from Match Week 2021 are encouraging, and I am confident that the final placement data will show that osteopathic medical students will once again have placed in high numbers in specialties across the medical spectrum,” said Dr. Cain.


Joseph Shapiro
Director of Media Relations
(240) 938-0746

The number of U.S. DO seniors who submitted rank order lists of programs was a record-high 7,101, an increase of 520 (7.9%) over 2020; 6,327 of them matched to first-year positions, an increase of 359 (6.0%) over 2020 and the highest number ever.