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 restricts an application to certain states only.

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. This is one of the correct approaches to narrow down the list of programs and we work on gathering information about matched US and non-US IMGs for each residency program. Many applicants need to look for IMG friendly programs that friendly for old graduates and we work on gathering information about maximum time since graduation requirements and residency programs that accept old graduates. A lot of applicants have limited U.S. clinical experience. Such applicants look for IMG friendly residency programs in USA that have suitable USCE requirements and we work hard to gather this information. By default, we provide a list of all residency programs in USA for IMG that satisfy visa requirements, with links to websites and some basic information, 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 Illinois


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


3801188098 Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County Florida


3803213126 Dartmouth-Hitchcock Leadership in Preventive Medicine New Hampshire


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 4804800185 Methodist Hospital (Houston) Texas


4803600114 Carolinas Medical Center North Carolina


4802800080 St Louis University School of Medicine Missouri


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


4001100309 Larkin Community Hospital Florida


4003511140 Harlem Hospital Center New York


Child neurology 1852521052 Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University Michigan


1853521054 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


1854831078 University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Texas


Pathology-anatomic and clinical 3000131018 University of Alabama Medical Center Program Alabama


3003821277 Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center Ohio


3003521260 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


Plastic Surgery - Integrated 3625500001 West Virginia University School of Medicine West Virginia


3623400001 University of New Mexico School of Medicine New Mexico


Thoracic surgery 4603521058 Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine New York


4601821032 University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Program Iowa


4604021079 Oregon Health & Science University Oregon


Pediatrics 3203521173 SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn New York


3203531394 Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center New York


3204811229 Driscoll Children's Hospital Texas


Obstetrics and gynecology 2203511184 Flushing Hospital Medical Center New York


2203511180 Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program New York


2203511207 Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital 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


Search residency programs by criteria to find all the programs you really need!

IMG Residency Match Rate

In 2021, NRMP reported the highest number of applicants(48,700), the highest number of positions offered(38,106), the highest number of positions filled(36,179). At the same time, it is not possible to say that 2021 year Match® was the best for IMGs by means of match rate, just because more IMGs decided to apply in anticipation of lower requirements. Let's take a look at 2020 year also, which has been a very good year for IMGs by means of match rate. In 2020, NRMP reported the highest ever 61% match rate among IMG applicants who submitted a certified rank order list according to the PGY-1 main residency match. 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 matched 2020 year. Yes, IMG match rate was much better than a 40% 4 years ago, but it does not look very promising even for the best year ever. In 2021, it was very difficult to meet residency program requirements for IMGs. But it looks like program directors decided to accept more US MDs and DOs, instead of lifting requirements for IMGs. As a result, the number of matched U.S. MDs and DOs has increased substantially while the number of matched IMGs has only slightly increased by around 130 matched applicants. At the same time the total number of IMG applications has increased. As a result, IMG match rate decreased.

IMG residency match rate by year

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

Top IMG friendly by number

  1. New York (1451 IMGs)
  2. Florida (534 IMGs)
  3. Michigan (518 IMGs)
  4. Pennsylvania (503 IMGs)
  5. New Jersey (448 IMGs)
  6. Texas (409 IMGs)
  7. California (407 IMGs)
  8. Illinois (348 IMGs)
  9. Ohio (327 IMGs)
  10. Connecticut (208 IMGs)
  11. Massachusetts (208 IMGs)
  12. Georgia (187 IMGs)
  13. Maryland (182 IMGs)
  14. Louisiana (148 IMGs)
  15. Missouri (125 IMGs)
Most IMG friendly states by number matched PGY-1

Top IMG friendly by percent

  1. North Dakota (51% IMGs)
  2. New Jersey (44% IMGs)
  3. Wyoming (40% IMGs)
  4. Connecticut (36% IMGs)
  5. New York (35% IMGs)
  6. Puerto Rico (32% IMGs)
  7. West Virginia (31% IMGs)
  8. Maryland (31% IMGs)
  9. Arkansas (30% IMGs)
  10. Florida (29% IMGs)
  11. Michigan (29% IMGs)
  12. Louisiana (28% IMGs)
  13. Georgia (26% IMGs)
  14. Mississippi (26% IMGs)
  15. District of Columbia (26% IMGs)
Most IMG friendly states by percent matched PGY-1

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

Top IMG friendly specialties by number

  1. Internal medicine (3784 IMGs)
  2. Family medicine (1224 IMGs)
  3. Pediatrics (589 IMGs)
  4. Surgery (425 IMGs)
  5. Psychiatry (309 IMGs)
  6. Pathology-anatomic and clinical (301 IMGs)
  7. Neurology (226 IMGs)
  8. Emergency medicine (178 IMGs)
  9. Anesthesiology (116 IMGs)
  10. Transitional year (109 IMGs)
IMG friendly residency programs specialties by number matched PGY-1

Top IMG friendly specialties by percent

  1. Pathology-anatomic and clinical (51% IMGs)
  2. Radiation oncology (41% IMGs)
  3. Internal medicine (35% IMGs)
  4. Neurology (32% IMGs)
  5. Family medicine (27% IMGs)
  6. Medical genetics and genomics (25% IMGs)
  7. Pediatrics (19% IMGs)
  8. Surgery (19% IMGs)
  9. Child neurology (19% IMGs)
  10. Psychiatry (16% 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?

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.

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 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.

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