Application Tips for non-recent IMGs
InfoIMG

Internal Medicine:

IMG Friendly

No Minimum USMLE Scores or <=80

Both H1 & J1 visas

Either H1 or J1

Non-recent grad and USMLE scores <=80

Family Practice:

No Minimum USMLE Scores or <=80

Green Card only

Both H1 & J1

Either H1 visa or J1 visa

IMG friendly Family Practice Residency Programs

Pediatrics:

No Minimum USMLE Scores

Both H1 & J1

Either H1 visa or J1 visa

No Min or <=80 AND no exp

Psychiatry:

No Minimum USMLE Scores

Green Card/Citizens & <=80

Both H1&J1 AND <=80

Ob/Gyn:

No Minimum USMLE Scores or <=80

Both H1 & J1

Either H1 or J1

IMG Friendly Residency Programs

General Surgery:

IMG Friendly

No Minimum USMLE Scores or <=85

Both H1 & J1 visas

Either H1 or J1

Non-recent grad
Residency Programs that may consider non-recent graduates:
Family Practice General Surgery Internal Medicine  
Ob/Gyn   Pediatrics   Psychiatry

Residency Application Tips for non-recent IMGs:
(Updated June 20, 2005)


International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who have not graduated from medical schools recently often face difficulties in just meeting the residency programs' criteria, let alone obtaining residency positions. Both the mode (i.e. most occurring value) and median (i.e. middle point) for residency programs in InfoIMG database for graduation year cutoff are 5 Years. When an IMG has graduated more than 5 years ago, the following suggestions might help:

1. The biggest concern the residency programs have is - a non-recent graduate might not be clinically up-to-date. Whether you are asked about this or not, you must put this fear to rest. Good scores in USMLE Steps 1 & 2 and passage of USMLE Step 2 CS (the recent the better), CME activities, US clinical experience in the form of clerkship or externship, research, publication, US Letters Of Recommendation - all help towards allaying this concern. Successfully passing USMLE Step 3 on first attempt with high scores helps even more.

2. Cite the experience and knowledge you bring. A residency program per se normally does not care how old you are. But, it cares how you would perform in the program, your ability to handle stress, how good would you score in the USMLE Step 3 (if applicable), in-training and board exams and whether you would fit in the program. Patients these days are sicker and there is a real pressure to discharge the patients as soon as possible. Office visits are more acute. If your experience and knowledge base bring real advantages to the program, the program would be interested.

3. Many programs show flexibility about graduation year and USMLE scores, if an IMG has a 1-year ACGME training. This is normally done by doing a preliminary or transitional year in an ACGME approved residency program. Sometimes clinical rotations in US hospitals totaling 1-year also meet this requirement.


4. Change goals temporarily: Say, your ultimate goal is to do a cardiology fellowship. For that, you first need to get in to good Internal Medicine Residency program (preferably a University-based), where residents have a history of obtaining fellowship positions at competitive programs. However, if you have not been able to get accepted in Internal Medicine Residency program for a while, it is time to think anew and temporarily change the immediate goal.

How about first, getting in to preliminary or transitional year? Lately primary care and in particular Family Medicine has experienced a drastic lack of interest from US Medical Graduates. So, there is real and strong demand for qualified IMG residents from Family Medicine Residency programs. Even if your end goal is to be a successful cardiologist (and are ready to sacrifice one year), doing one year of Family Medicine and then reapplying for Internal Medicine residency is just working towards that ultimate goal. If the fire is burning a little less intensely after the first year, and/or your goals change; in the worst case you would still be in a residency program working on your way to become a Family Physician in another 2 years.

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