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National Resident Matching Program

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The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also called the Match, is a United States-based private non-profit non-governmental organization created in 1952 to help match medical school students with residency programs. The NRMP is sponsored by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS). The National Resident Match Program began in 1952 in response to dissatisfaction with the process and results of matching applicants to residency programs via the decentralized, competitive market. It was initially called the National Intern Matching Program. From shortly after the first residency programs were formally introduced, the hiring process was "characterized by intense competition among hospitals for (an inadequate supply) of interns." In general, hospitals benefited from filling their positions as early as possible, and applicants benefited from delaying acceptance of positions. The combination of these factors led to offers being made for positions up to two years in advance. In 1945, the medical schools decided not to release any transcripts or permit any letters of recommendation to be written until a particular date. In this way, they managed to move the date back to the fourth year of medical school. However, the competition for residents simply took on another form. Hospitals began to issue offers with a time limit for reply. The time limit rapidly decreased from 10 days in 1945 to less than 12 hours in 1950. Students were being issued exploding offers that required them to make a decision before hanging up the phone. The NRMP was created as a central clearinghouse that would allow both sides of the market to rank their preferences. The matching algorithm would then be run on IBM card sorters.

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