Every year, all aspiring physicians must go through the Match to be placed into a residency program. International Medical Graduates (IMGs) participate in the Match process and fill positions in specific medical specialties. Certain specialty residency programs accept more IMGs than others. Here’s a list of the top 5 most IMG friendly specialties, ranked by the percentage of total positions filled by IMGs:

  • Pathology (49.9%)
  • Internal Medicine (42.7%)
  • Neurology (34.2%)
  • Family Medicine (30.9%)
  • General Surgery (30.4%)

Other popular IMG specialties include: Psychiatry (20%), Pediatrics (16.9%), and Anesthesiology (13.8%). While applying to residency programs in these particular specialties will not guarantee acceptance into a residency program, the need for IMGs in the United States healthcare system is still prevalent, and often concentrated in certain specialties.

When thinking about choosing a specialty to match into, you should consider a variety of factors:

  1. Your interest in the specialty
  2. Your experience in the specialties or related specialties. (for instance, primary care and general IM can help for any related medicine residency).
  3. The residency programs open and the percentage of IMG’s they take. (Search the ECFMG/AMA FRIEDA database to see these stats).
  4. Where you want to live.
  5. Your test scores and school marks/grades.

Are you interested in trying out one of the medical specialties listed above? A clinical rotation can give you a glimpse of what being a U.S. physician in one of these fields is really like. Explore and apply to rotations in there specialties by clicking here.