When applying for residency, especially as an international medical graduate (IMG), it is important to apply broadly beyond the state or region that you want to end up, to maximize your chances at getting interviews and matching. Looking at the number of IMGs that match into residency in different states, it is clear that some states are more IMG-friendly than others. When applying for residency, consider applying to these IMG-friendly states, as you’ll have a better chance at getting interview invitations from them. Here, I took the latest 2013 NRMP match data and compiled a ranking of states according to the percentage of newly matched residents who were IMGs in 2013.
Disclaimer: Within states, IMG-friendliness may also vary according to specialty, as some specialties (like family medicine or internal medicine) tend to be more IMG-friendly than others (not a lot of IMGs in orthopedic surgery). Here, I am addressing the IMG-friendliness of states as a whole, regardless of specialty. I define IMG as including both US IMGs as well as foreign IMGs.
The most IMG-friendly state is by far New Jersey, where more than half of the newly matched residents were IMGs. States like Wyoming and North Dakota are also IMG-friendly, but they don’t have that many residency positions available. Other very IMG-friendly states include Michigan and New York. Here are some more details that I used to create the above chart:
|State||Total Matched||US IMG||Foreign IMG||% IMG|
What should you get out of this?
If you are an IMG and your dream is to match in not-so-IMG-friendly states like Colorado or Utah, you can definitely try applying to these states. Perhaps you’ll be one of of the few lucky IMGs who match there. However, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to other states that are more IMG-friendly so that you’ll increase your chances of matching.
Best of luck!