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