A system and method are provided for enabling atlas registration in medical imaging, said atlas registration comprising matching a medical atlas 300, 302 to a medical image 320. The system and method may execute a Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithm to learn a model for matching the medical atlas to the medical image, wherein said learning is on the basis of a reward function quantifying a degree of match between the medical atlas and the medical image. The state space of the RL algorithm may be determined on the basis of a set of features extracted from i) the atlas data and ii) the image data. As such, a model is obtained for medical atlas registration without the use, or with a reduced use, of heuristics. By using a machine learning based approach, the solution can easily be applied to different atlas matching problems, e.g., to different types of medical atlases and/or medical images.