Assuring Integrity in the Residency Match Process

Acad Med. 2019 Mar;94(3):321-323. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002531.


Integrity in medicine is essential. One of the most important competencies a medical student can master is to be honest at all times. Indeed, professionalism is a key competency in the identity formation and development of a medical student. At times, this competency becomes challenged during the resident matching process. The behavior of some students, faculty members, and program directors who participate in the residency program selection process (the Match) often falls short of this ideal when it comes to handling the process that will be most dispositive in directing the future careers of graduating medical students. Violations of both National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) rules and ethical norms have been reported in the literature and experienced by students. In this Invited Commentary, the authors recommend a series of reforms. Substantially more robust enforcement of NRMP rules should be considered, including the creation of an avenue for anonymous reporting by applicants who experience inappropriate pre-Match, postinterview communications.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / ethics*
  • Students, Medical
  • United States