Source: National Residency Matching Program - Results and Data 2011 Main Residency Match NRMP - resultsanddata2011.pdf
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is a private, not-for-profit corporation established in 1952 to optimize the rank-ordered choices of applicants and program directors. The NRMP is not an application processing service; rather, it provides an impartial venue for matching applicants' and programs' preferences for each other consistently. The first Match was conducted in 1952 when 10,400 internship positions were available for 6,000 U.S. graduating seniors. By 1973, there were 19,000 positions for just over 10,000 U.S. graduating seniors. Following the demise of internships in 1975, the number of first-year post-graduate (PGY-1) positions dropped to 15,700. The number of PGY-1 positions offered gradually increased through 1994 and then began to decline slowly until 1998. This year, a record-high 23,421 PGY-1 positions were offered (Figure 1). The trend in the total number of applicants since 1952 is more dramatic, starting with 6,000 in 1952 and rising to a high of 36,056 in 1999. After a decline of 5,052 applicants from 1999 to 2003, the number of applicants registered for the 2011 Match reached an all-time high of 37,735, 179 more than 2010.
Note about 5th Pathway Program:
The Fifth Pathway, created by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1971, has allowed certain students who attended four years at an international medical school to complete their supervised clinical work at a U.S. medical school, to become eligible for entry to U.S. residency training, and ultimately to obtain a license to practice in the United States. The AMA’s Council on Medical Education no longer supports the Fifth Pathway as a mechanism for eligibility to enter the first year of ACGME-accredited graduate medical education programs. The last Fifth Pathway program class supported was the class that began in January 2009 and ended in December 2009.
Individuals who pursued the Fifth Pathway completed the four-year didactic curriculum at the international medical school, but they did not complete the internship and/or social service requirement for the final medical diploma. Instead, they completed a Fifth Pathway program, which was one year of supervised clinical work at a U.S. medical school. Since they did not complete the internship and/or social service requirement, they did not receive the final medical diploma and, therefore, are not eligible for ECFMG Certification. However, these individuals may apply to ECFMG for examination, provided that they hold a Fifth Pathway certificate issued on or before December 31, 2009.