The data you should analyze before choosing your specialty

The NMRP puts out the results of the match every year, allowing you to see what programs fill their spots, average step scores for different fields, numbers of programs ranked per candidate, etc. The numbers can be overwhelming, but it’s a good way to get a realistic picture of what your dream looks like on paper. Of course, supplement your research with knowledge from faculty mentors, your local program director, residents, and fourth year students.

Keep in mind that residency is not medical school (where all qualified applicants are pursuing the same goal); residencies are divided by both specialty and geography. The kinds of grades, board scores, and gold stars you need to pursue the field of you choice vary by not only what field you want but also where you’re willing to do it.

Charting Outcomes 2011

This document breaks down applicants by specialty, showing you the characteristics (step score, research experience, etc) for both those who did and those who did not receive spots in the match for a particular specialty. A must read.

2012 NRMP Program Director Survey

The NRMP asks residency directors what factors they care about, what things negatively impact applications, etc. The survey includes the bottom score at which residencies interview, the minimum score that usually guarantees you an interview, and much more. Also a must read.

Results and Data: 2012 Main Residency Match

Match rates, programs needed to rank, and even positions offered/filled by residency. This document tells you every program that existed last year, what residencies they offered, how many spots they have, and how many were filled. This document is the basis for “Charting Outcomes” (which is much more readable).

2011 Applicant Survey

See what people in your shoes from the previous year used to pick programs for both interviewing and ranking.


The rest of the NRMP data is found here (and is updated consistently).



Contains detailed information on every residency program (pay, avg hours worked, size, etc), which can be sorted by both specialty and state. A very helpful bird’s eye view of all of the options out there. FREIDA is an indispensable tool for picking potential programs once you know what you want to do.

Careers in Medicine

Contains an overview of the various options for specialties (but not individual programs). Helpful for learning about compensation, average hours, etc for different fields, as well as what further training and fellowship options/requirements exist.

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