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Couples Match in the NRMP

Any two applicants can participate as a couple in the Match. Each partner of a couple must enroll individually in a Match and indicate in the R3® system that they want to participate in that Match as a couple.

Each partner must have the same number of ranks. Each program ranked by one partner must be paired with an active program or with an indication of “No Match” (NRMP Program Code = 999999999) by the other partner. “No Match” means that one partner is willing to be unmatched if the other partner matches to a position in the program designated at that rank.

If one partner withdraws from an NRMP  Match, BOTH partners must uncouple before either can withdraw. The remaining partner should adjust his or her rank order list accordingly and must recertify it before it can be used in a Match.

Partners listed as a couple are treated by the matching algorithm solely as a couple. If they do not obtain a match as a couple, the algorithm will not process their lists separately to find a possible match for each individual.

The couple will match to the most preferred pair of programs on the rank order lists where each partner has been offered a position. For the Main Residency Match®, the algorithm considers only a couple's primary rank order lists when attempting to find a match and does NOT consider a couple's supplemental rank order as a unit.

If a partner’s rank is for an advanced position, a supplemental rank order list for that program also must be prepared by that partner unless the required first-year program already has been completed. If both partners choose advanced positions, each must prepare separate supplemental rank order lists.

The coupling function is done only for the primary rank order lists of the two partners. If both partners match to advanced programs, their supplemental rank order lists are not treated as a unit; thus, supplemental rank order lists should be assigned to each rank on the basis of geography. Each partner of a couple may rank up to 30 unique programs on their primary rank order lists. For the Main Residency Match, up to 30 unique programs can be ranked on all supplemental rank order lists combined before incurring additional charges. 

NRMP: Couples in the Match

Refer to the NRMP website for additional information.