IMG friendly Residency Programs

International medical graduates (IMGs) search for friendly residency programs when it comes to applying for medical residency in the United States. Many residency programs never accepted IMGs in the past, and many IMG friendly programs accept US citizens only despite able to sponsor or accept visas. Additionally, all residency programs have their own criteria to shortlist candidates. As a result, it is very important for an IMG to have a personalized list of IMG friendly residency programs in the USA that offer chances of a match with his/her qualifications.

What does IMG friendly mean?

Every IMG asks this question when he/she starts to look for medical residency in the USA. Medical residency programs in the United States are very friendly for US medical school seniors who enjoy a match rate of 94%. On the other hand, the match rate for IMGs varies from 5% to 60% depending on specialty. Under these circumstances, IMGs face questions like; Should I search for the right states to apply in? What is the right specialty to apply? How can I find foreign medical graduate friendly residency programs? While it is possible to find a lot of IMG friendly residency programs pdf files, lists and databases in the Internet, it is still not easy to choose the right programs to apply to. Here at ResidencyProgramsList, we try to make these things clear for IMGs.

IMG friendly states

- When deciding whether a state is IMG friendly or not, there are two common approaches. The first approach considers the number of IMGs in a state to classify it as an IMG friendly or otherwise. While the second approach looks at the percentage of residency positions filled by IMGs in that state. Both of these approaches are often inaccurate. For example, a state with a lot of residency positions will have a large number of IMGs even if the IMG match rate there is low. On the other hand, a state with a high IMG match rate may only have few IMGs if it offers too few total residency positions. In both of these situations, it will be incorrect to assume these states are IMG friendly. Thus, the best approach to classify a state as IMG friendly or otherwise is to look at both the number and the percentage of IMGs in that state. So an ideal IMG friendly state should have a lot of residency positions and a high IMG match rate. Even with this approach, an IMG still misses a lot of opportunities if he/she is not applying to a personalized list of programs.

IMG friendly specialties

- Specialties like internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and some others offer good chances of matching for IMGs because there aren't enough US seniors to fill all the available positions. On the other hand, specialties like plastic surgery are highly sought after by US seniors and offer fewer chances for IMGs. Internal medicine and family medicine are friendliest by the number of positions filled by IMGs. Pathology is the friendliest by percent of positions filled by IMGs. Pediatrics is the friendliest by match rate among IMGs. Maybe internal medicine is the friendliest if to consider all 3 factors together. While it is important to look at the odds of matching in a particular specialty, we should also acknowledge that well qualified IMGs can match at the highest sought-after positions as well.

IMG friendly residency programs

- If a program accepts IMGs with a certain level of USMLE exam scores, it should be considered as IMG friendly. We consider a program as IMG friendly only if it has matched IMGs in the past. It is important to understand that not all residency programs in the United States accept international medical graduates. There are a lot of programs that declare that they can accept IMGs and sponsor visas but in reality, many of them have never had IMGs in the past. Moreover, there is a big difference between IMGs who have US citizenship and those who don’t. Even in those programs that accept IMGs, there may be no non-US citizen IMG. This is why for IMGs without US citizenship (commonly called non-US IMGs) the whole matching process can be even more competitive. IMGs are often looking for residency programs that are friendly towards non-US IMGs instead of just IMG friendly programs. And this is the correct approach to narrow down the list of programs. We work hard to gather information about matched US and non-US IMGs in each residency program. Many applicants need to look for old IMG friendly residency programs and we work hard to gather information about maximum time since graduation requirements and residency programs that accept old graduates. Also, a lot of applicants have no or limited amount of U.S. clinical experience and such applicants look for corresponding IMG friendly residency programs in USA. By default, we provide a list of all residency programs in USA for IMG, so that applicant can research residency programs to get a sense of applying for a program.

Most IMG-friendly residency programs by specialty

Specialty ID Program State

Internal medicine 1403521316 SUNY Upstate Medical University New York


1403521470 Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center New York


1403511264 Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center New York


Anesthesiology 0401612039 John H Stroger Hospital of Cook County Illinios


0402521185 Henry Ford Hospital/Wayne State University Michigan


0401211038 Medical College of Georgia Georgia


Neurology 1802531054 Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University Program Michigan


1803521083 SUNY Upstate Medical University New York


1803521079 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


Emergency medicine 1103500208 Wyckoff Heights Medical Center New York


1103321158 Newark Beth Israel Medical Center New Jersey


1103500207 Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center New York


Radiology-diagnostic 4203521143 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


4202521096 Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University Michigan


4203521147 SUNY Upstate Medical University New York


Transitional year 9992500060 Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University (Sinai-Grace) Program Michigan


9994200249 Damas Hospital Puerto Rico


9991100235 Kendall Regional Medical Center Florida


Dermatology 0803331128 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School New Jersey


0802421141 Tufts Medical Center Massachusetts


0804100104 Temple University Hospital Pennsylvania


Family medicine 1204821457 Texas Tech University (Permian Basin) Program Texas


1203521465 Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center New York


1200511057 Arrowhead Regional Medical Center California


Nuclear medicine 2003511050 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York


2002421038 Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Massachusetts


2005421078 University of Washington Washington


Neurological surgery 1602031031 University of Louisville Kentucky


1602400132 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Program Massachusetts


1600321112 University of Arizona Arizona


Plastic surgery 3604831134 University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Texas


3603921085 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Program Oklahoma


3603521058 Nassau University Medical Center Program New York


Preventive medicine 3801288108 Morehouse School of Medicine Georgia


3803213126 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Leadership in Preventive Medicine New Hampshire


3801188098 Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County Florida


Radiation oncology 4302731140 University of Mississippi Medical Center Mississippi


4303522064 New York Methodist Hospital New York


Surgery 4403511206 Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program New York


4403521207 Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center New York


4403511214 Harlem Hospital Center New York


Urology 4802800080 St Louis University School of Medicine Missouri


4804800185 Methodist Hospital (Houston) Texas


4803600114 Carolinas Medical Center North Carolina


Medical genetics and genomics 1302421024 Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School Massachusetts


1304821012 Baylor College of Medicine Texas


1302321043 Johns Hopkins University Maryland


Vascular surgery - integrated 4513831078 University of Cincinnati Medical Center/College of Medicine Ohio


4514800125 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Texas


4511100032 Jackson Memorial Hospital/Jackson Health System Florida


Psychiatry 4001100309 Larkin Community Hospital Florida


4003511140 Harlem Hospital Center New York


4003511242 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Elmhurst) New York


Child neurology 1854831078 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Texas


1852521052 Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University Michigan


1853521054 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


Pathology-anatomic and clinical 3003821277 Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center Ohio


3000131018 University of Alabama Medical Center Program Alabama


3003521260 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


Pediatrics 3204811229 Driscoll Children's Hospital Texas


3203531394 Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center New York


3203521173 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


Obstetrics and gynecology 2203511207 Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital New York


2203511180 Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program New York


2203511184 Flushing Hospital Medical Center New York


Physical medicine and rehabilitation 3403521043 Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York


3403521093 SUNY Upstate Medical University New York


3403522041 Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center New York


Internal Medicine-Pediatrics 7003832061 Case Western Reserve University (MetroHealth) Ohio


7003932090 University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma


7002532030 Hurley Medical Center/Michigan State University Program Michigan


IMG Residency Match Rate

NRMP reported the highest number of applicants(40,084), the highest number of positions filled(37,256) and the highest ever match rate(80.8%) according to the 2020 year PGY-1 main residency match. Also, NRMP reported about a 61% match rate among IMG applicants who submitted a certified rank order list. The statistics looks very promising but let us do the calculation in the right way. NRMP suggests that applicants who get no interviews should not submit a rank order list. In order to calculate the real match rate among IMGs we also need to consider those IMGs who had applied but failed to get any interview invites. So, let us divide the amount of those who matched by the sum of all matched, not matched, and not submitted the rank order list. Under the right calculations, the match rate really increased by 7% for US IMGs and by 11% for non-US IMGs during the past 4 years. But just around 50% of IMGs were matched in the 2020 year. Yes, IMG match 2020 rate is much better than a 40% 4 years ago, but it still does not look very promising.

IMG residency match rate by year

Top IMG friendly states based on PGY-1 main residency Match data

Top IMG friendly by number

  1. New York (1498 IMGs)
  2. Michigan (524 IMGs)
  3. Florida (516 IMGs)
  4. Pennsylvania (476 IMGs)
  5. New Jersey (417 IMGs)
  6. California (364 IMGs)
  7. Texas (361 IMGs)
  8. Illinios (334 IMGs)
  9. Ohio (317 IMGs)
  10. Massachusetts (213 IMGs)
  11. Maryland (192 IMGs)
  12. Georgia (189 IMGs)
  13. Connecticut (182 IMGs)
  14. Louisiana (153 IMGs)
  15. Missouri (112 IMGs)
Most IMG friendly states by number matched PGY-1

Top IMG friendly by percent

  1. Wyoming (53% IMGs)
  2. New Jersey (44% IMGs)
  3. North Dakota (39% IMGs)
  4. New York (37% IMGs)
  5. Arkansas (37% IMGs)
  6. Puerto Rico (36% IMGs)
  7. Maryland (33% IMGs)
  8. Connecticut (32% IMGs)
  9. Hawaii (30% IMGs)
  10. Florida (30% IMGs)
  11. Michigan (30% IMGs)
  12. Louisiana (28% IMGs)
  13. Alabama (27% IMGs)
  14. West Virginia (27% IMGs)
  15. Georgia (26% IMGs)
Most IMG friendly states by percent matched PGY-1

Top IMG friendly specialties based on PGY-1 main residency Match data

Top IMG friendly specialties by number

  1. Internal medicine (3628 IMGs)
  2. Family medicine (1192 IMGs)
  3. Pediatrics (608 IMGs)
  4. Surgery (420 IMGs)
  5. Psychiatry (293 IMGs)
  6. Pathology-anatomic and clinical (286 IMGs)
  7. Neurology (238 IMGs)
  8. Emergency medicine (185 IMGs)
  9. Anesthesiology (136 IMGs)
  10. Transitional year (128 IMGs)
IMG friendly residency programs specialties by number matched PGY-1

Top IMG friendly specialties by percent

  1. Pathology-anatomic and clinical (48% IMGs)
  2. Preventive medicine (42% IMGs)
  3. Neurology (35% IMGs)
  4. Internal medicine (34% IMGs)
  5. Radiology-diagnostic (29% IMGs)
  6. Family medicine (27% IMGs)
  7. Pediatrics (20% IMGs)
  8. Pediatrics/Medical Genetics (20% IMGs)
  9. Surgery (19% IMGs)
  10. Radiation oncology (18% IMGs)
Most IMG friendly specialties by percent matched PGY-1

Frequently Asked questions about medical residency programs list for IMGs.

How many residency programs to apply to?

According to NRMP research, in general, the probability of a successful match increases with the number of applications but stabilizes after 100-170 programs depending on applicant's qualifications and specialty. It is because programs often receive thousands of applications and need to reduce the number to hundreds in some automatic way. Programs use a different but limited amount of "cut off" approaches. The probability increases if to apply to more programs and stabilizes with the increase of the probability to apply to all types of different filtering algorithms that residency programs can use and to cover enough positions that can be friendly. The peak value of the probability of the match and a corresponding minimum number of programs to reach this probability is unique for each applicant and depends on specialty and applicant's qualifications. In general, the more competitive the specialty and weaker an applicant, the more programs needed to reach the maximum of probability. The probability is just low if a very weak applicant tries to apply to a huge number of arbitrary programs, the same low as if such an applicant applied to the right programs only. It is important to cover as many friendly positions as possible by applying to programs you most likely satisfy minimum requirements for the interview consideration. According to our research, even the strongest IMG applicants with hundreds of programs in the personalized list need to apply to at least 80 programs to reach the maximum probability of the match. Mid applicants need to apply to at least 80-120 programs. Decreasing the number by 20% can reduce the probability just by 5%, but lower numbers can essentially reduce the probability. Weak applicants often try to apply to a huge number of programs, but the number of programs with suitable minimum requirements is limited. For example, the probability can be low with just 50 programs on the list, but it can't be increased if other programs have stricter admission requirements.

Is the US clinical experience (USCE) mandatory for an IMG?

Many residency programs require US clinical experience and clearly mention this in their application guidelines. Other programs that do not require US clinical experience officially in their application guidelines may also prefer applicants with prior US clinical experience. In reality, the probability of the match without US clinical experience is much lower than with US clinical experience. It is right to say that USCE is absolutely mandatory for competitive specialties and for applicants with low USMLE scores. For IMGs, it is highly recommended to have as much USCE as possible.

How will a personalized list help me save time?

Researching residency programs and their requirements often takes an enormous amount of time. Ready to use personalized lists not only save your time for researching program requirements but also saves your time by increasing the probability of the match.

How will a personalized list help me save money?

IMGs may apply to more than 100 programs to reach their goal. The application is not free. For example, applying IMG friendly residency programs 2020 year costs 459$ for the first 30 programs and 26$ for each additional program, over 30 programs. Applying for 100 programs costs 2279$. The personalized list helps you to apply for the right programs and often saves thousands of dollars for your limited budget that you may spend on gaining more USCE, for example.

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