Table 3.

ASN resolution regarding the Nephrology Fellowship Match

This resolution concerns:
• the conditions surrounding Nephrology fellowship offers to applicants
• acceptance by applicants of such offers, and
• participation by applicants and programs in the Nephrology Fellowship Match.
BACKGROUND
Our recent experience with the Nephrology Match has demonstrated that recruitment of subspecialty fellows outside the Match results in unfavorable experiences for applicants and program directors that may ultimately discourage applicants from applying to our specialty.
Position offers to applicants outside the Match have the potential to exert pressure upon applicants and degrade the confidence of other program directors in the integrity of the Match process. The Match is designed to ensure uniformity of the policy governing offers to applicants, fair participation, and protection of the ability of applicants to choose the program(s) that best suit their career goals and protection of the ability of program directors to choose the best applicants for their programs.
Many other specialties in addition to nephrology have successfully used the Match to fill subspecialty positions in specialized research tracks. If programs wish to appoint a limited number of research fellows, the match algorithm allows them to offer a pre-specified number of positions in a research track and revert (donate) unfilled research positions to be filled in clinical tracks. Thus, there is no need for programs to fill research fellowship positions outside of the Match.
Applications are submitted by applicants using the AAMC-sponsored ERAS software system. Programs begin to review the application pool in mid-July, inviting candidates for interviews. The Match opens in late July, with dates over the autumn for entering the rank order list, changing the quota of positions to be offered, and certifying a rank order list for both the program and the applicant. The Match is a contract requiring obligations of both program and applicant in the event of a successful match.
The guiding principle of this resolution is to give applicants the opportunity to consider all programs as well as to provide uniform and widely acceptable rules that protect both applicants and fellowship programs. If an applicant ranks a program first on the rank order list and the program ranks the applicant within its quota of positions offered in the Match, it is certain the applicant and program will be matched to each other. When all participants comply with this resolution, all positions will be offered through the Match in an orderly fashion and will be filled through the Match or afterward.
RESOLUTION
This resolution applies to all nephrology fellowship positions in all ACGME-accredited nephrology fellowship programs and to all applicants for these positions (i.e., the Nephrology Match will be changed to one that is “all in”).
FELLOWSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES
All ACGME-accredited nephrology training programs will participate in the NRMP Match and offer all positions through the Match.
Each applicant should participate in the Match and be able to consider all programs before making a decision. Applicants and programs should understand the rules for accepting and offering fellowship positions, and know that those participating in the Match are contractually bound by its results.
All positions should be filled through the Match or after Match Day. Therefore, all positions will remain available to be filled through the Match and not withdrawn in advance of it.
Early offers and acceptances, and offers outside of the Match, violate the rules and this resolution. Any applicant may participate by registering for ERAS to interview, and may consider all participating programs.
Outcomes of the Match are contractually binding, in accordance with NRMP/SMS Match Participation Agreement. Additionally, in accordance with NRMP policy, a program participating in the match must ensure post-Match offers are not made to applicants who have a binding match commitment to another program.
NRMP will monitor compliance and sanctions will be applied in accordance with the Match Participation Agreement.
APPLICANT RESPONSIBILITIES
Nephrology fellowship applicants are expected to register for ERAS and the Match. All applicants can expect that all training programs will be participating in the Match and thus, applicants should not accept an offer prior to, or outside of, the Match.
All positions should be filled through the Match or after Match Day. Failure to abide by these rules or to accept the results of the Match is a violation of the NRMP/SMS Match Participation Agreement, and sanctions may be levied against the program and applicant in accordance with the NRMP/SMS Violations Policy.
To facilitate mutual compliance, a copy of this resolution shall be distributed by each fellowship program to all applicants. The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) will distribute this resolution to all Nephrology Fellowship Training Program Directors, and Internal Medicine Residency Program Directors, during the nephrology fellowship interview season.