What’s My Specialty? IMG Friendly Specialties Based on 2015 Match Data.

Almost as important as your decision to pursue a career in medicine is deciding which branch of medicine to dedicate your life. Before you fill out your application or pick your programs, the most difficult step is choosing which specialities to apply for. As an IMG student, your decision is made even harder by having to figure out which specialties are the most IMG friendly.

Using Table 2 from NRMP®’s 2015 Match Data and Results, I was able to calculate which programs had the highest percent of U.S. and Non-U.S. IMGs in the positions filled for each specialty from last year’s Match.

Below is a table of the results. In order to get the percentage, I added together the U.S. and Non-U.S. IMGs who got into the specialty and calculated what percent of the total positions filled were IMGs. For example, there were 1,066 positions filled in Anesthesiology, 110 of those positions were filled by IMGs, therefore only the programs only accepted 10% IMGs.


Specialty Rank in Highest Percent of IMGs


Total Positions Filled

Positions filled by IMGs**

Percent of total positions filled by IMGs


Internal Medicine










Family Medicine














**Includes U.S. and Non-U.S.

I did not take into account the total number of positions available. So, while Neurology has a higher percentage of IMGs accepted into their programs, there are less positions to fill than Psychiatry. You will have to consider the size of the specialty while you’re deciding and the requirements of the specialty. Neurology has very high requirements compared to other specialties.

Of course, numbers are just that, numbers. Over the years, we have heard a lot of stories from our clients, friends and family talking about their experiences. Most people have an opinion about which specialty is best based on their own personal experiences. Many would swear by applying for Family Medicine for example. Our CEO, Dr. Zach Musa’s, own brother and two cousins sent equal amount of applications to Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, but all secured positions in Family Medicine. Therefore, you really cannot go by the statistics alone.

With your own personal circumstances in mind, you should also look into specific programs within these specialties and see if these programs match well with your credentials. Either you can call each program up, or you can purchase Customized Lists with IMG friendly filters and program requirements through Match A Resident.

Choosing a specialty will take time, care and consideration. No one specialty is a guaranteed “In” so make sure you are prepared to apply for back ups with stong documents such as Letters of Recommendation and Personal Statements for each specialty.



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The NATIONAL RESIDENT MATCHING PROGRAM®, The NRMP®, SUPPLEMENTAL OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE PROGRAM®, and SOAP® are registered trademarks of National Resident Matching Program. THE MATCH™ is a trademark of National Resident Matching Program. ResidencyPrep, LLC and this page are not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with National Resident Matching Program.

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