The Medical Physics Matching Program (the MedPhys Match) provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in medical physics residency programs of their choice, and to help programs obtain applicants of their choice. Similar matching programs are in use in many other health professions, including medicine, dentistry, psychology, pharmacy, optometry, and others.
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs (SDAMPP) have endorsed the MedPhys Match.
How It Works
2. Apply to and Interview with Programs
With the MedPhys Match, applicants must still apply to programs they are interested in, and applicants and programs interview and evaluate each other independently of the MedPhys Match. Many programs collect their applications using the MP-RAP (Medical Physics Residency Application Program) system provided by AAPM. MP-RAP is a separate service from the MedPhys Match.
Programs do not make direct offers to applicants during the interview period. Applicants and programs can evaluate each other fully before the programs must decide on their preferences for applicants, and before applicants must decide on their preferences for programs.
3. Submit Your Rank Order List of Preferred Placements
After all interviews are completed, each applicant confidentially submits a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System on which the applicant lists the desired programs, in numerical order of preference (first choice, second choice, etc.).
Similarly, each program confidentially submits a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System on which the program lists the desirable applicants for that program, in numerical order of preference. Each program also indicates the number of positions available in the program.
4. The Matching Algorithm is Run
NMS uses a matching algorithm to process the preferences stated in the Rank Order Lists and place applicants into positions.
5. Get Your Result
The result of the MedPhys Match is that each applicant is placed with the most preferred program on the applicant's Rank Order List that ranks the applicant and does not fill all its positions with more preferred applicants. Similarly, each program is matched with the most preferred applicants on its list, up to the number of positions available, who rank the program and who do not receive positions at programs they prefer. Results are available by email and online in the NMS Match System.
6. Post-Match Process
It is possible some of a particular program's positions will not be filled in the MedPhys Match, and that some applicants will be left unmatched. When the results of the MedPhys Match are released, information regarding positions that remain available is provided to applicants. Similarly, information regarding unmatched applicants is provided to programs with unfilled positions. These unmatched applicants and programs with positions available are free to contact each other and to negotiate directly with each other, independently of the MedPhys Match, to fill available positions.
Read more about each stage of the MedPhys Match process:
Advantages of the MedPhys Match
The MedPhys Match simplifies the process of making and accepting offers. Since all offers, acceptances, rejections and final placements occur simultaneously, the MedPhys Match is an effective and fair means of implementing a standardized acceptance date. The MedPhys Match guarantees that each applicant and residency will get the best possible result that is available to them.
The MedPhys Match allows residencies and applicants to evaluate each other fully before determining preferences, so there is no pressure to make premature decisions based on incomplete information. Applicants and residencies can list their desired placements in order of their true preference, without worrying about how they will be ranked by the other party.
The MedPhys Match ensures that residencies will not overfill their positions. It also eliminates unfair behavior that occurs in many typical recruitment processes, like residencies issuing extremely time-limited offers, applicants hoarding multiple offers, and residencies or applicants reneging on a prior acceptance because a more preferred option has become available.
The MedPhys Match is overseen by a committee from AAPM, which includes members from AAPM and SDAMPP. The committee is responsible for for setting the MedPhys Match rules and monitoring its implementation. The administration and conduct of the MedPhys Match are carried out by National Matching Services Inc. (NMS), on behalf of AAPM and SDAMPP.