In this episode, our hosts Andy and John are joined by our guests Geoff Comp and Megan Stobart-Gallagher to discuss what the heck happened in the 2023 Match.

Recap of what happened:

  • During the Match of 2023 cycle, 555 emergency medicine residency spots in 129 programs went unfilled.
  • This is an increase from last year, where 219 spots at around 50 programs went unfilled.

Perspective from programs that did not fill their spots:

  • Initial reaction
    • Megan saw a decrease in applications, so her program tried to increase the number of interviews and conduct a more comprehensive review of applicants.
    • After taking time to reflect, John realized some positives that came out of this situation.
      • He had the support of other programs as well as an incredible team of residents, program coordinators, and faculty, within his program, who all stepped up to fill the unfilled spots.
      • There were excellent quality, highly-competitive applicants that SOAPed into the unfilled spots.

Why did this happen and what can we change?

  • Aside from the workforce study, the overall decrease in applicants, and other global factors, we must focus on the opportunities on a local level.
    • We must focus on better advising and mentoring our students.
      • Medical schools do not always have EM-specific advisors.
      • Many students are being dissuaded from entering the field by advisors that aren’t in academic EM and don’t provide a practical view of the pros and cons of EM.
    • Increasing the number of ranked applicants compared to previous years could be helpful, but can be challenging to conduct more interviews when EM faculty have such unpredictable schedules.
      • While there are definite benefits to virtual interviews, it is easier to cancel last minute
        • Medical students, please don’t cancel last minute. It is unfair to your fellow applicants and future colleagues.
      • Some recruitment tactics by programs can potentially hurt other programs that don’t have as much money to spend on recruitment.

What do we do next?

  • We need to take a moment.
    • You can’t attribute the results to a single factor, as there are multiple factors involved.
    • Now is not the time to be reactive and definitively attribute the match results to a single cause.
    • Now is the time to listen, especially to students, about what factors or perceptions are causing them to steer away from applying to EM.
  • Have realistic discussions about the positives and downsides of the specialty.
    • Recognize that there may be some negatives to your job that may be specific to your job and can’t be attributed to the field of EM as a whole.
    • Don’t lose sight of the positives of our specialty.
  • Mentorship
    • Have conversations with students about what your job is really like.
    • Offer to give lectures to emergency medicine interest groups.
  • The infighting amongst the major EM organizations is not a good look for our specialty in the house of medicine and may deter prospective applicants.
  • Regardless of where things ended for you, let’s take a collective deep breath.
    • We did the best we could with the circumstances we had.
    • Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Post by Jordan Palmer, OMS-III



About Our Guests:

Geoff Comp DO is a long-time friend and multi-episode guest of the show. He is currently the Assistant Program Director at Creighton UniversitySOM/Valleywise Health Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residency.

Megan Stobart-Gallagher DO is currently the Program Director at Einstein Montgomery’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

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Match 2023: What the Heck Happened?

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