Bulletin of Dental Education

Assignment of Dental Residency Positions Made with Nobel Prize Algorithm

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The results of the 29th annual Postdoctoral Dental Matching Program (the “Match”) were released today by National Matching Services, Inc. (NMS). The Match places applicants into positions for the first year of accredited advanced dental training in oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, general practice residency, advanced education in general dentistry and dental anesthesiology.

According to the data from NMS, 1,721 of 1,974 positions offered were filled in the Match, which is the highest fill rate in the last 15 years. The number of applicants participating in the Match increased by 3.3%, which is the highest level in Match history. According to Elliott Peranson, President of NMS, “the high level of applicant participation is being driven by the interest of current graduates of U.S. dental schools to pursue advanced education.”

The Match uses the Roth-Peranson algorithm, which aligns the preferences of applicants and residency programs to generate an optimal result. The algorithm was designed by NMS and Stanford Professor Alvin Roth, M.S., Ph.D., and was recognized in the awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economic Studies to Dr. Roth.

The algorithm acts as a central clearinghouse for all offers, acceptances and rejections. By centralizing the offer-acceptance process, both applicants and recruiters can be confident that they will receive the most preferred placement available to them. It creates a fair and efficient recruitment process that eliminates many of the common adverse situations found in competitive recruitment environments, like applicants hoarding offers and recruiters overfilling positions.

“We are very proud to be the trusted provider of matching services to the dental profession,” says Mr. Peranson. “By working closely with the sponsoring organizations of the Match, we have developed a matching program that leverages the power of the Roth-Peranson algorithm while fitting the unique needs of the postdoctoral dental residency recruitment environment.”

The Match to fill postdoctoral positions in dentistry has operated successfully since 1985 and has expanded to include six dental specialties. The Match is sponsored jointly by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the Special Care Dentistry Association Council of Hospital Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists and the American Student Dental Association. In addition, the Match has been recognized by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Education and Licensure, the American Dental Education Association and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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