The path towards full licensure as a US physician is a complex one. For IMGs, the journey can be even more obstacle-filled. There are many intricate aspects for IMGs to navigate including USMLE exams, ECFMG certification, gaining US clinical experience, and working around visa issues, to name a few.
In order to become a licensed physician, IMGs must obtain a US residency. However, the process of Matching into a program can prove quite challenging. There are many programs that do not even consider IMGs or falsely claim an open mind. Other programs have stringent requirements that are oftentimes vague or misleading, even on their own program websites.
Thus, for an IMG to be successful in finding a suitable residency, they must understand exactly what is expected of them. They must understand which programs to apply to, when they can apply, and what to expect from programs as well.
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) Must Consider:
USMLE Exam Requirements – These come in the form of minimum score requirements, flexible preferences, as well as limits on the number of attempts. Additionally, certain programs require a completed CS exam before considering applicants for an interview.
US Clinical Experience – Many programs require at least some exposure to the US medical system in the form of hands-on clinical experience in the US.
ECFMG Certification – Although required in order to begin residency, there are a large number of programs that require ECFMG certification before they will consider an IMG for an interview.
Time Since Graduation – Nobody likes to be discriminated against. Unfortunately, applicants that are any number of years past graduation face such cutoffs.
Visa Sponsorship – Does the program sponsor H1-B visas? Do they accept ECFMG sponsored J1’s? These are both extremely important considerations many IMGs.
IMG Friendliness – Of course, what good is applying to programs if they do not consider IMGs? IMGs should focus their efforts on programs that have demonstrated IMG friendliness.
Finding the Answers
Although some resources like program websites and FREIDA may provide glimpses of these criteria, often it is not enough. The information is incomplete, outdated, and often misleading! However, for 15 years, IMGs have put their trust and attention into Match A Resident, a critical resource for compiling criteria and providing essential guidance on where to apply.
The Match A Resident Solution
Match A Resident compares applicants’ criteria to thousands of programs’ minimum requirements across the US and in 18 common specialties. Members gain access to a Compatibility List, customized to their specific situation.
Such lists are complete and updated each and every year through an extensive process of contacting programs directly. In-person communication has proven to be the most reliable form of gathering program requirements, now available to meet the needs of each applicant.
Match A Resident’s Customized Lists save time researching programs and money applying to them. They help ensure that applicants target only compatible programs and that their efforts and energy lead to results.
Applying as an IMG can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Match A Resident can help put criteria in your hands and the odds in your favor. To find your perfect residency program match, check out Match A Resident and create an account with your professional credentials to access the most compatible residency programs in any of the 18 most popular specialties for IMGs. For 15% off your purchase use the code: amopportunities15.
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