The end of an era

What the final AOA Match means for DO students

Learn about changes to matching coming with the single GME accreditation system.

This story was updated on Jan. 31, 2019, with new information.

With the transition to the single graduate medical education accreditation system, 2019 will be the last AOA Match.

After the last AOA Match, most DO students will match into ACGME-accredited residency programs via the NRMP Match. A number of these programs will be formerly AOA programs that have received ACGME accreditation.

As of fall 2018, 893 AOA residency programs (72 percent) have either received or applied for ACGME accreditation. 767 AOA residency programs (62 percent) have received ACGME accreditation and are eligible to participate in the NRMP.

The results of the AOA Match will be released Feb. 4, 2019. Here’s what you need to know.

1. What’s next for residency matching for DO students?

Although this will be the last AOA Match, there are several matches in which residents and fellows can participate, including the NRMP Match, the San Francisco Match and the Urology Match. 

2. In this last AOA Match, what happens if I match into a program that does not achieve ACGME-accreditation by July 1, 2020?

If your residency program does not achieve ACGME accreditation by July 1, 2020, and you still have residency training left, you’ll still be able to finish the AOA-accredited training and continue on to AOA board eligibility.

The AOA, ACGME and AACOM have agreed to give the AOA restricted authority to extend AOA accreditation for programs in unique circumstances that have not transitioned successfully to ACGME accreditation. This will allow these residents to finish training in accredited programs.

3. How can I find programs with an osteopathic focus in the single GME system?

Programs that have received osteopathic recognition, a designation by the ACGME, will train physicians with an emphasis on osteopathic principles and practice. Just because a program was formerly AOA accredited does not mean it has received this designation.

Programs across specialties such as family medicine, surgery, psychiatry, osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine and dermatology have received or applied for osteopathic recognition.

You can find a list of programs with osteopathic recognition here.

4. Should I apply for a program with pre-accreditation status through the NRMP Match or AOA Match?

If an AOA program has not received ACGME Initial Accreditation, it will not be listed on the NRMP Match. Students will go through the AOA Match to match into a program with pre-accreditation that is still accredited by the AOA.

5. Should I participate in the NRMP Match, the AOA Match, or both this year?

The number of osteopathic medical students who successfully match in the NRMP Match continues to grow. Last year, 3,770 DO students and DO graduates matched in the NRMP Match. In the AOA Match, 1,680 participants matched into residency programs.

If you have registered for both matches, you must submit your rank order list for the AOA Match by the Jan. 18, 2019 deadline. If you plan to only go through the NRMP Match, you must withdraw yourself from the AOA Match by the same January deadline.

6. How can I find programs that were previously accredited by the AOA in the single GME system?

You can search the list of former AOA programs that have transitioned to ACGME accreditation here. Find the accreditation status of programs that have applied for ACGME accreditation under the single accreditation system here.

Further reading:

Matching into residency—what program directors and students are looking for

Single GME update: More than 6,600 AOA residency positions are now ACGME-accredited


  1. Marie B

    I think ACGME programs that refuse to interview DOs or screen them out in ERAS (which should not be possible), should be penalized in some way with this merger. The same on the former AOA side with MDs.

    1. Avi

      Agreed, as a DO I applied for a Critical Care fellowship and was not offered any MD interviews. Discrimination still present at large. Fortunately for me I received an AOA spot.

    2. Carti

      Adding a penatly for that will only result in courtesy interviews for 1 DO to avoid the penalty.
      What’s the point? I think the point is my school, my race, my age, my gender shouldn’t be a factor in admissions
      A better way would be to blind the admissions process to our school, picture, and name until a program commits to sending you an interview invite

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