With the culmination of one Match season comes the beginning of another. The National Residency Match Program, also known as “The Match,” uses an algorithm to match medical school graduates with residency programs. Through this process, medical school graduates can begin their residency at the institution best suited for them. While international medical graduates (IMGs) participate in the Match, they are less likely to match. For example, in 2018, 94% of United States allopathic medical students matched compared to 60% of IMGs. Check out these 4 tips from the American Medical Association to ensure your best chance at succeeding in the Match. 

1) Apply Early

Getting your application in as early as possible increases your chances of securing an interview. IMGs can use the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS) to complete and submit their applications as early as possible. According to the National Residency Match Program, most invitations—roughly 65%– are sent by the end of October. By getting your application in early, you are increasing your chances of getting an interview. Interviews are your chance to show residency programs who you really are  

2) Find IMG-friendly Programs  

The AMA suggests using FREIDA, a comprehensive residency and fellowship database, to find programs that have accepted a significant number of IMGs. The AMA also suggests looking into IMG-friendly specialties such as pathology, internal medicine, neurology, family medicine, and general surgery. Looking for IMG-friendly programs increases your chances of getting matched 

3) Value your in-person interactions

Interviewing with a program is a significant boost to your application. When you receive an invitation to interview with a program, coordinators are interested in learning more about your as an applicant and person. Interviews allow you to showcase your personality and interact with the program, helping coordinators and faculty see beyond your CV and test scores. Make sure to be yourself during your interview!  

4) Stay Positive

Sometimes the Match does work out perfectly. However, it is vital to stay positive. If you do not match on your first try, the Supplemental Offer and Assistance Program (SOAP) can help unmatched applicants to apply for and fill positions that were not filled during the initial match. Alternatively, IMGs can spend the extra time doing things to keep themselves clinically relevant. Whether this means doing research in your desired field, doing clerkships or observerships at hospitals, or work in a clinic as a scribe, those who did not succeed in the Match should continue trying for a positive result.  

AMOpportunities provides observerships and rotations for IMGs to experience the U.S. clinical environment. Check out our rotations and apply to begin your AMO journey today!  

Source: American Medical Association