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NRMP for Couples

NRMP stands for “National Residency Matching Program.” This is the system which will determine where you go for your residency (and fellowships, perhaps). So, don’t forget to register! (The website is ).

NRMP registration commences on August 15th, and, the deadline for registration is December 1st. Since registration with NRMP costs money, I would advise registering after one has gotten past visit visa issues. However, as with all things, do not leave it till the last minute!

Registration is quite straightforward. It should not give anyone any difficulties. If you register as a participant of the couple match, you’ll have to make sure that you get your name linked up with your partner. Each of you will have to cross verify each other’s requests before your status as a couple is accepted by NRMP. Coupling, however, is not a permanent process. You can always opt to uncouple as you please. Once you are registered, you can just forget all about NRMP for a while. You’ll need it when you are making your rank list.

Rank lists may be submitted starting January 15th and ending February 23rd. Again, the worst thing for you to do is to wait for the last moment. Last moment impulse changes will also lead to regrets. So, meditate on your rank list well in advance and submit it early. This way, you will have plenty of time to consider.

For the submitted fee, participants of the couple match are permitted to make a rank list of 20 programs (each). If one desires to rank more than their allotted number.

You’ll have to certify the rank list when it is ready. Although the process of certification looks really official and final, you can always change it and certify it again (as long as you do so before February 23rd). If you fail to certify your rank list, it will not be accepted. If you change and do not certify, your last certified rank list will be accepted.

For couples, rank lists have to be made separately, but in concordance. That is, for example, if one has MGH as #1 on their list the other should have a corresponding program, e.g. MGH or something in Boston (if city matching) or something even further (if the couple so desires!) You can even opt to have one person ‘not match’ (for which the NRMP Program Code is 999999999). You can always view your partner’s rank list at a click of the mouse, however, do not expect to see both your rank lists side by side on the same page at any point in time!

If you prematch, do not forget to withdraw from the main match (that is, NRMP) before the rank order list deadline. If you have submitted a rank list and you do not withdraw, you are legally obligated to accept the appointment made to you by the main match, even if you have accepted a prior prematch. For a coupled applicant to withdraw, you have to uncouple before withdrawing.

It is here, on the NRMP website that you will find out where you matched. Relevant days have been described below:

Monday of Match Week (say, March 14th):    You find out if you matched (by email)
Tuesday of Match Week (say, March 15th):    List of unfilled programs available to unmatched candidates (for scramble)
Thursday of Match Week (say, March 17th):    Match results available!

Note: This article has been derived from "Roadmap to Residency" authored by AKU graduates, with permission from few of the authors. Name of the original author, has purposely not been mentioned on request of one of the authors, for privacy reasons. If you are the original author of this article and want your name to be mentioned or wish this article to be modified/ removed from this website, please contact us and we would be more than happy to entertain your request. We fully respect your privacy, acknowledge your efforts put in authoring this article and appreciate your hard work involved in it.

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