Press Releases

Rheumatology Specialty Remains Strong, Sees Another Year of Increases with 2021 Residency Matches

ATLANTA – More than 70 percent of the eligible residents interested in rheumatology were matched to the specialty for the 2021 appointment year as part of the annual National Residents Matching Program (NRMP). The American College of Rheumatology is impressed with the applicant pool and their interest in rheumatology, as well as the continued match increases over the last few years.

“The quality of the applicants continues to be excellent,” said Beth Jonas, MD, chair of the ACR’s Committee on Rheumatology Training and Workforce Issues. “Over the last four match cycles, rheumatology matches increased by seven percent. We also added 15 new programs and 36 slots for first-year trainees. Overall, rheumatology is strong, competitive, and growing in popularity as evidenced by the applicants we are attracting.”

For the 2021 appointment year, there were 338 applicants interested in rheumatology. Of that number, 246 matched to the specialty (a 72.8 percent match), eight chose a different specialty, and the remaining 84 were unmatched. The ACR's rheumatology training and workforce committee is especially interested in the unmatched group given the anticipated workforce shortage by 2030. “While rheumatology has done a good job of increasing training slots incrementally over the last few years, it important that we continue advocating for more training slots to offset the workforce challenges we are facing,” Jonas said.

The ACR is committed to finding ways to increase training slots and to fill underserved geographic areas where patients have limited or no access to rheumatology specialty care.

The NRMP, established in 1952 at the request of medical students, uses a computerized, mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants and program directors to fill training positions available at teaching hospitals in the United States. 

Monica McDonald
mmcdonald@rheumatology.org
404-679-5332

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The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is an international medical society representing over 7,700 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

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