Researching Residency Programs

As you begin to prepare your residency application, take a comprehensive approach to researching residency programs by optimizing multiple data sources. This will result in:

  • A strong program list that fits your level of competitiveness and your goals
  • Maximizing your likelihood of matching
  • Saving you from over-applying and spending more money than necessary

Your likelihood of securing residency training depends on many factors including making sure you apply to the right number of residency programs.

  1. Use multiple data sources to collect program information
  2. Choose programs that align with your preferences and your career and residency goals
  3. Identify safe programs and reach programs for your level of competitiveness
  4. Talk with your Specialty Career Advisor to make sure your program list has the right number of programs on it and is aligned with your level of competitiveness and your goals
Identify What You Most Want Out of Residency

AAMC Careers in Medicine Residency Preference Exercise tool:

  • Breaks down criteria for residency training
  • Helps you rate individual programs based on how well you believe they fit your preferences

Resources for Identifying Programs

The following are helpful in researching and identifying programs for your application list.

Your best resource for identifying programs.

Contact them well before the application deadline to review your program lists before submitting your applications.

Talk with residents, faculty, alumni, mentors. These individuals can can offer program suggestions and recommendations and may be able to help connect you with someone at the program. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.

Review program websites directly for specific recruitment and program information.

This specialty data outlines where UWSOM students with varying academic profiles have secured interviews and matched.

Ask Career Advising for access to this data by scheduling an appointment or requesting from

Virtual HOST (Help Our Students Travel)

If you are looking to connect with UWSOM alumni, consider the Alumni Association‘s signature program.

  • Through Virtual HOST, you can be connected virtually with alumni based on geographic location or medical specialty.
  • Sign up online to begin the process of being matched with alumni
  • After a match is made, you and the alum may communicate via Zoom, email or phone calls
  • While HOST conversations are intended to answer questions about residency or a particular region, you are welcome to keep in touch after

Donated by former UWSOM students, these electronic documents contain information given out by programs during the interview day.

Experiencing access trouble? Email

FREIDA is the AMA residency & fellowship database and allows you to search from more than 12,000 programs – all accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

FREIDA uses filters to identify programs by criteria such as program size, geographic location, academic vs. community programs, etc.

Residency Explorer is an AAMC tool to explore and compare residency programs in 20+ specialties. You can compare your profile to applicants who matched at each program.

The tool is built on original, source-verified data from the organizations involved in the transition to residency.

Residency Explorer does not tell you where to apply or predict where you may match to a residency program.

To begin, click Login to Account and sign in using your AAMC username and password.

  • We recommend you use the “explore” and “compare” features to research programs based on your chosen criteria.

TexasSTAR is a national resource used to demystify the residency application process. This tool allows you to review specialties and programs, and to compare your profile against students who received interviews and matched to programs in your specialty. It is built from an annual survey of 4th year students at 110+ medical schools, administered by the UT Southwestern Medical School.

You can target your program lists by using the “search summary tab” to filter for programs and specialties based on specific criteria.

A tutorial video for using the system is found in the Career Advising Applying to Residency Video Channel

The Main Residency Match report contains data and lists by state and sponsoring institution every participating program, the number of positions offered, and the number filled.

SOAP data is also presented.

The public site for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) contains numerous reports on ACGME accredited programs.

We recommend that you use this site to determine if a program is on probation.
  • Select “programs or institutions with probationary status” and then sort for specialty.