It doesn't get much more competitive than this. Match Day 2021 has come and gone and anesthesiology has once again shown itself to be an elite residency. Out of 1,893 PGY1 and PGY2 positions available in the NRMP Match for anesthesiology, there were only three unfilled spots. That's a match rate of 99.8%. This is an improvement from 99.4% last year.
How difficult is it to match in anesthesiology? Let's compare it to other programs that are considered extremely competitive. Dermatology had six unfilled spots in the match. Emergency Medicine had fourteen unfilled positions. Radiology, part of the previously exclusive ROAD programs, had eleven.
This news is even better (or worse if you're applying for an anesthesiology residency) when you consider that the number of residency positions has been increasing every year. This year, there were 1,460 PGY1 spots available in the match. That compares with 1,370 last year and only 1,202 in 2017.
The reason there are so few unfilled positions is that anesthesiology is becoming more popular with medical school students. This year, 5.6% of US MD seniors went into anesthesiology. That compares with 5.2% last year and only 4.6% in 2017. Despite the fact that there are more anesthesiology residency programs offering more positions than ever before, there doesn't appear to be any oversupply of residency spots yet.
The anesthesia residents aren't having any trouble finding a job either when they graduate. The job market right now for anesthesiologists is hotter than ever. From our own personal experience, we can't hire anesthesiologists fast enough, even as we're hiring CRNA's at the same time.
So congratulations to all the medical students who matched into anesthesiology. You have accomplished one of the most difficult tasks in med school. You're on your way to becoming one of the most highly sought after physicians in the medical field. You're not going to regret it.