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.
Programs often receive thousands of applications and need to reduce this number to hundreds in some automatic way. Programs use different but limited amount of approaches. While the probability of the match obviously increases with the number of applications, it stabilizes with the increase of the probability to apply to all types of different filtering algorithms that residency programs can use. According to NRMP research, the probability of a successful match stabilizes after 100-170 programs depending on IMG applicant qualifications and specialty. 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 the applicant's qualifications. In general, the more competitive the specialty, the more programs needed to reach this individual probability maximum. The weaker the applicant, the lower the number of reasonable applications, but it becomes more important to cover as many friendly positions as possible. Selecting programs by suitable admission requirements, US/non-US IMG friendliness, graduation preferences, etc. helps to find the right programs to apply to. According to our research, even the strongest IMG applicant need to apply to at least 80 programs to have a good probability of the match. Mid applicants may need to apply to 120-150 programs. Weak applicants often try to apply to a huge number of programs, but the number of programs with corresponding minimum requirements is limited. For example, the probability can be very low with just 50 programs on the list, but it can't be increased if other programs have stricter admission requirements.
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.
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.
IMGs usually apply to more than 100 programs to reach their goal. The application is not free. For example, applying IMG friendly residency programs 2021 year costs 479$ for the first 30 programs and 26$ for each additional program, over 30 programs. Applying for 100 programs costs 2299$. 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.