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  • Infectious Diseases Match Policy Change

    Background

    Over the past several years, ID applicants to fellowship programs have declined, while the number of opportunities has increased.  In 2010 there were 342 applicants for 300 positions (1.14 ratio).  By 2014 the number of applicants had declined to 254 even as the number of positions increased to 327 (0.77 ratio) and in that same year, 99 positions in 70 programs were unfulfilled.  IDSA has convened the Task Force for ID Recruitment to investigate ways to increase interest in ID among the best and brightest students and residents.

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    Policy

    In October 2015, IDSA's Board of Directors approved the adoption of an "all-in" Match policy beginning with the 2016 Match cycle, at the recommendation of the ID Training Program Directors' Committee and the ID Recruitment Task Force.  This policy change was adopted to provide applicants the opportunity to fully evaluate all programs in order to optimally determine the program that best suits their needs, and for programs to compete equally for the available applicants. 

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    Additional Resources

    FAQ

    For additional questions, you may contact Rachel Shnekendorf, rshnekendorf@idsociety.org, 703-299-0879 with questions or comments.

  • What is NRMP?
    The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a non-profit organization that supports a standardized residency and fellowship selection process. The NRMP manages the Main Residency Match® and the Specialties Matching Service® (SMS), which includes matches for more than 40 subspecialty fellowships, including Infectious Disease.
    What is ERAS?
    The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) transmits applications, letters of recommendations, performance evaluations, transcripts and other supporting material from applicants to program directors. ERAS is supported by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
    What is the relationship between NRMP and ERAS?

    NRMP and ERAS are separate organizations that work together to support the Match process. NRMP is the organization through which you register to participate in a Fellowship Match. Candidates and ID Training Program Directors will submit rank order lists through NRMP. Candidates must use ERAS to fill out applications and all supporting material in order for applications to be considered complete and for Fellowship Training Program Directors to see applications and supporting material.

    ID Fellowship Training Programs must be registered with NRMP in order to comply with IDSA policy and access applications through ERAS.

    What is IDSA’s relationship with NRMP?
    IDSA is the sponsor of the ID Match. This commitment means IDSA has a direct relationship with NRMP, sets policies for the ID Match, and enters into an agreement with the NRMP to monitor compliance with the Match policies.
    What is the IDSA Match Resolution?
    The IDSA ID Match Resolution provides guiding principles for Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Programs and for candidates participating in the Match process, including a move to an all-in policy, in which all Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) will participate in the NRMP Match and offer all positions through the Match.
    What does the “all-in” policy mean for ID Fellowship Training Programs?

    For the ID Match, the all-in policy means that all accredited training programs will participate in and offer all positions through the NRMP Match. NRMP will support IDSA’s policy and help monitor compliance for all ID programs registered in the Match.

    Programs that do not register for the NRMP SMS will not be able to access applications through ERAS.

    If an ID Fellowship Training Program enters the Match and fills any of its positions outside the Match, NRMP will apply sanctions in accordance with the NRMP Match Participation Agreement.

    Why does IDSA support the all-in policy?
    IDSA, as the Match sponsor, believes that an all-in policy is the fairest system for ID fellowship applicants. As the number of ID fellowship applicants declines, more programs are offering pre-Match positions, which places undue pressure on applicants. In addition, Fellowship Program Directors feel the integrity of the Match has been compromised. Finally, the number of positions filled through the Match has been slipping to the point that the subspecialty is at risk of losing access to the Match completely, based on NRMP requirements that 75% of positions and programs but be filled through the Match. Taken together, IDSA believes that an all-policy best serves our applicants, training programs and our subspecialty.
    How does the all-in policy affect internal candidates?
    Like external candidates, internal candidates will need to register for and participate in the ID Match. Programs that wish to retain those candidates may place those candidates at the top of their rank order lists.
    How will IDSA and NRMP enforce compliance with the all-in policy?
    Programs that register for the Match but do not place all their positions in the Match are subject to sanctions by the NRMP.
    If a fellow is enrolled in a non-Match research fellowship, does he/she need to enter the Match before beginning clinical training in an ID fellowship?
    Yes. All candidates must submit their applications for fellowship through ERAS and register with NRMP.
    What are the policies regarding offering fellowship tracks?
    Programs have flexible options and can create tracks (clinical, research and other) if desired to differentiate training options within individual programs. Training programs can designate to the NRMP that unfilled positions in one track revert to an alternate track or remain unfilled. Programs should ensure that each eligible candidate understands about the different tracks.
    Our program offers combined adult/pediatrics Infectious Disease training. How do we offer that position with the all-in Match?

    NRMP has approved a Match exception for adult medicine/pediatric ID positions to allow programs to offer a position outside the Match for the second specialty. The exception is available, regardless of the order of training for the combined fellowship applicant.

    For example, if a position is offered to a candidate for a pediatric ID position within the Match, the candidate can simultaneously be offered an adult ID position outside of the Match.

    If a trainee has been accepted into a combined residency and fellowship program, does the position and the trainee still have to go through the Match?
    Yes. The position must be placed into the Match and the trainee must go through the Match process. A program may guarantee the trainee a slot in the fellowship program. During the Match process, the program should rank the traineefirst in the Match list.
    Where can I obtain additional information?

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