Match Day Adds New Protections for Residents

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WASHINGTON -- Residency programs participating in the 2005 match will have to disclose the program-specific contracts that applicants would have to sign if they accept a match, Robert Beran, Ph.D., said at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The new policy is one of several new measures Match Day organizers are taking to promote consistent behavior and ensure compliance among program directors and the applicants to residency programs, said Dr. Beran, executive director of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Disclosure of contracts would take place prior to the ranking deadlines.

"The NRMP Board felt that students needed to know the terms they will be expected to accept before they make a multiyear commitment to a residency program," Dr. Beran explained.

Both the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) support the changes.

"Without contract disclosure, students were unable to make a fully informed decision about their choice of residency program," said Dr. Lauren Oshman, AMSA's national president.

"Now students will be better equipped to compare actual salaries, working conditions, and work-related benefits and will have increased ability to negotiate for higher pay, better hours, or more comprehensive benefits." Dr. Oshman added.

In an effort to add teeth to a 2002 violations policy, all waiver requests to match positions in 2004 will be reported to and approved by the National Resident Matching Program.

"We will make the decision on whether it's appropriate," said Mona Signer, director of the National Resident Matching Program.

A vacancy may be filled when the NRMP grants a waiver, she added.

The change was instituted because program directors in the past were inconsistent in dealing with an applicant's rejection of a match. …