A record-breaking 165 physicians were matched with a sleep medicine fellowship training program on Oct. 28 during “Match Day” for the 2021 appointment year. The number of matched fellows is an 11.5-percent increase over last year.

Each fellow will join one of 86 sleep medicine training programs in the U.S. After completing a one-year fellowship, the physicians will be eligible for the sleep medicine board certification exam. Sleep fellows have already completed a residency in internal medicine, neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, otolaryngology, family medicine, or anesthesiology.

The sleep medicine match is conducted annually by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Specialties Matching Service (SMS). Applicants are “matched” to programs using the rank order lists of applicants and program directors, which are processed by the NRMP matching algorithm.

Sleep Medicine Match Statistics

According to the October 2020 match results statistics, there were 179 certified positions available from 86 certified programs. There were 187 certified applicants with rank who participated; 165 were matched with a program, and 22 were unmatched. Eight-six percent of programs, and 92% of positions, were filled by the match. Applicants who did not match to a program will be able to access a list of unfilled programs in the NRMP system.

In comparison, in the October 2019 match, 172 certified applicants with rank filled 148 positions. The October 2018 match involved 160 certified applicants with rank, who filled 147 positions. In the November 2017 sleep medicine match, 150 positions were matched from a pool of 172 certified applicants with rank.

Innovative Training Pathways

To expand the training pathways available for the sleep medicine specialty, the AASM is piloting two programs as part of the Advancing Innovation in Residency Education (AIRE) initiative. Approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), these programs are testing new training and assessment tools developed by the AASM through two novel fellowship training pathways: a part-time model and a model blending sleep training with additional specialty training.

Sleep Medicine Fellowship Directors Council

The AASM also coordinates a Sleep Medicine Fellowship Directors Council (SMFDC) Steering Committee, which recommends and develops resources to support sleep medicine fellowship programs and program directors. Learn more about its mandate and goals on the AASM committees and task forces page.

Learn more about the sleep medicine specialty on the Choose Sleep page.