Osteopathic Emergency Medicine Match by the Numbers

Author: Muhammad Alghanem, MSIV
Medical Student
Midwestern University – Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

Many resources are available for students interested in applying to emergency medicine residencies, but most reviews focus on the numbers for the allopathic match only. In this post, you’ll find some basic insights into two reports with data about the osteopathic emergency medicine match.

The 2014 Outcomes and Trends in the AOA Match presentation issued by National Matching Services gives a realistic look into the osteopathic match process.[1] The full report can be found here.

Emergency medicine is the third most applied to residency in the osteopathic world with 14.4% of applicants applying as first-choice, falling after family medicine (21.3%) and internal medicine (17.7%).

The report shows that competition is increasing. The number of “positions offered by the specialty” has increased by 38% from 2008 to 2014, while the number of “positions filled by specialty” has increased by 46% in the same time period. In fact, in 2014 for every residency position there were 1.5 applicants applying to emergency medicine as their first choice. Out of 270 positions offered in the 2014 osteopathic match only 3 went unfilled. Osteopathic emergency medicine applicants represented the largest group of unmatched students when compared to other specialties. For matched students, approximately 60% of the 409 DO first year emergency medicine residents matched through AOA Match, while about 40% matched through the NRMP® Match.

The Osteopathic GME Match Report provides insight into basic data and statistics about the applicants in the osteopathic match.[2] The most recent report published by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) presents the data from 2012. The full report can be found here.

The mean COMLEX-USA Level 1 and Level 2 scores in the 2012 emergency medicine match were right around the national average for the examination at 492 and 511 respectively. Percent passing on 1st attempt for COMLEX-USA Level 1, 2 CE, and 2 PE were 95.3%, 91.9%, and 96.2% respectively. Most osteopathic emergency medicine applicants who matched have had at least 1 research, volunteer, or work experience, but less than a third have had any publications. In fact, the mean number of research, volunteer, or work experiences were reported to be 1.7, 6.2, and 3.2 respectively. 18.5% of matched applicants reported membership in Sigma Sigma Phi.

Applying to residency isn’t just a numbers game. As noted in the report, “residency program directors consider many factors in the resident selection process, and the factors addressed in this report are limited and not entirely reflective of the many decisions involved in the selection process.” If you are a member of AAEM/RSA make sure to review AAEM/RSA’s Rules of the Road for Medical Students to read about preparing yourself to apply for a residency in emergency medicine.


  1. National Matching Services. Outcomes and Trends in the AOA Match: Presentation to AACOM. April 4, 2014. https://natmatch.com/aoairp/stats/AACOM-NMS-Apr4-14.pdf Accessed September 7 2014.
  2. American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Osteopathic GME Match Report: For the 2012 Match. October 2012. http://data.aacom.org/media/DO_GME_match_2012.pdf Accessed September 7 2014.