National Matching Services


The 2018 MedPhys Match

Things to Know

  1. The list of preferred applicants you submit to the Match is called a Rank Order List.
  2. You must enter and certify a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System by the Rank Order List Deadline for each program/track offered by your residency in the Match.
  3. If you have no acceptable applicants to rank for a program, you should certify a Rank Order List with no ranks.
  4. If a program no longer has positions available, you must withdraw the program from the Match.

Key Dates

NMS Match System Opens For Rankings March 6, 2018
Rank Order List Deadline March 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET


The matching algorithm is designed such that it cannot be gamed or manipulated.

The only strategy is to rank your choices in order of your true preferences, without considering how you expect to be ranked by any applicant.

Rank all applicants that would be acceptable. Submitting a longer list of applicants may increase the likelihood of filling all your positions.

Do not rank any applicant that you consider unacceptable (i.e., you would not want to be matched to that applicant, even if you may not fill a position). You can only be matched to applicants that appear on your Rank Order List.

Special Requirements

No Applicants to Rank

If your program has position(s) available that you would like to fill but you have no acceptable applicants to rank for the program, you should certify a Rank Order List with no ranks in the NMS Match System. This indicates to NMS that the program is still active and you want your position(s) to be shown as available to applicants in the Post-Match Process.

Special Recruiting Requirements

The MedPhys Match provides options that can assist residencies in satisfying specific requirements or objectives they may have in resident recruitment. There are two options available that may be useful to some programs:

  • Multiple Lists

    A residency may submit multiple Rank Order Lists for a single program or track. This option is most often used where residencies wish to match with a desired mix of applicants with specific characteristics - for example, to ensure a minimum number of matched applicants are from one school, or from a specific under-represented group.

  • Reversions

    It is possible within the matching algorithm to move positions that remain unfilled from one Rank Order List to a second Rank Order List, so that an attempt can be made to fill the available position(s) with applicant(s) on the second list. This is referred to as "reverting" unfilled positions from one list (the "Donor") to another list (the "Receiver").

These options, used individually or together, enable NMS to accommodate many special requirements, while still maintaining the integrity of the ranking and matching processes. Some representative examples of where these options may be applicable to the MedPhys Match are provided below. However, there may be other scenarios, not listed, that can be accommodated by these options.

  • Examples of Special Requirements

    The examples provided below are representative only and do not provide a comprehensive list of all special situations that can be accommodated. If you are uncertain as to whether the MedPhys Match can accommodate your special requirements, please contact NMS to discuss your situation.

    1. A residency that offers some positions in two separate programs (tracks) - Program A (very popular) and Program B (less desirable) - is concerned that it may not fill all of its positions in Program B; if that happens, the residency would be willing to match with more applicants in Program A in order to fill all available positions at the residency. The residency can use the reversion option to move any unfilled positions from Program B to Program A within the match processing, so that the positions can be filled with additional applicants in Program A.
    2. A graduate program has guaranteed a residency position at one of several affiliated programs to its students if the students are unable to match to a program that they prefer over the affiliated programs. The reversion option can be used to allow the affiliated programs to comply with their commitment to the graduate program while still being able to recruit outside applicants.
    3. A program receives additional funding for an extra position, but the conditions of the funding require that the extra position be filled by a student from a certain graduate program. The multiple list option can be used to allow the program to specify that at least one of its matched applicants must be from that graduate program. If the position is not filled because the program’s desirable applicants matched to other positions that they prefer, the position can be left unfilled so that the program can try to recruit another applicant from the specified graduate program after the Match.
    4. A large program would like to improve diversity by ensuring that at least one of its matched applicants is from a specific group (gender, ethnicity, language, etc), but the program does not want to have unfilled positions if the program is unable to match with an acceptable applicant from that group. The program can use the multiple list option to give priority to filling at least one position from the group, while allowing for matching with more than one applicant from that group if that is consistent with their overall preferences. In addition, the program can use the reversion option to ensure that, if all ranked applicants from that group match to programs they prefer, the program can still fill all its positions with other acceptable applicants (even though that may not meet their diversity preferences).
    5. A program with multiple positions would like to rank several applicants from a specific group (e.g., from one graduate program) but does not want to give special priority to the group, and would like to limit the number of applicants matched from the group. The program can use the multiple list option to offer their positions in the match in a manner consistent with their overall ranking preferences while ensuring the program does not match with more than a specified maximum number of applicants from the group.

Any residency that is wondering if their special situation can be accommodated within the MedPhys Match, or is considering not participating in the MedPhys Match because they do not think their specific requirements can be satisfied, should contact NMS to discuss their situation.

Certify Your Rank Order List

You must certify a Rank Order List in the NMS Match System in order for it to be used in the Match. Certifying your Rank Order List lets NMS know it is ready to be used in the Match.

You can make changes to a list even after it is certified, until the Rank Order List deadline. If you make changes to a list after it is certified, the list will become uncertified and you will have to certify the list again before the deadline in order for it to be used in the Match.

Guide to the NMS Match System

Consult the NMS Match System Guide for detailed instructions for using the NMS Match System.

Use the links below to jump to the instructions for a specific task.



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