Top IMG Friendly Specialties of 2022 Residency Match

If you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG), picking which medical specialties to apply to starts with learning about the top IMG friendly fields. Using the information provided by NRMP’s Results and Data 2022 Main Residency Match, we’ve determined which medical specialties had the highest percentage of US and Non-US IMGs in the positions filled for the 2022 Match. First, however, let’s review some general match statistics to understand the big picture.

Match 2022 General Statistics

34,064  PGY-1 Positions Filled

18,486 US MD Senior (92.9% Match Rate)

6,666 US DO Senior (91.3% Match Rate)

859 US MD Graduate (50.5% Match Rate)

383 US DO Graduate (53.6% Match Rate)

3,099 US IMG (61.4% Match Rate)

4,571 Non-US IMG (58.1% Match Rate)

Top IMG Friendly Specialties of 2022 by Ratio 

PGY-1 IMG % Filled Positions US IMG Non-US IMG MD Senior MD Grad DO Senior DO Grad
Pathology 44.3% 619 62 212 231 29 76 9
Internal Medicine (Categorical) 40% 8915 1133 2435 3491 164 1602 85
General Surgery (Preliminary) 37.2% 632 68 167 304 26 56 10
OB/GYN (Preliminary) 33.3% 9 1 2 4 1 1 0
Neurology 29.8% 761 64 163 393 6 132 3
Family Medicine 27.7% 4451 777 457 1541 87 1494 94
Pediatrics 20.1% 2861 224 350 1661 36 580 10
Child Neurology 20% 150 8 22 102 1 15 1
Psychiatry 15.8% 2030 188 133 1253 45 387 24
Internal Medicine (Preliminary) 11.8% 1624 63 128 1261 15 151 6
General Surgery (Categorical) 9.9% 1619 80 81 1059 156 212 30
Radiology – Diagnostic 9.8% 132 3 10 73 3 41 2
Pediatrics (Preliminary) 9.5% 21 0 2 16 0 3 0
PM&R 8.9% 180 8 8 104 4 55 1
Transitional Year 8.8% 1404 73 51 920 17 338 5
Emergency Medicine 8.2% 2702 176 45 1593 75 753 59
Anesthesiology 7.8% 1508 57 61 1054 53 263 20
Neurosurgery 7.5% 240 2 16 202 11 9 0
OBGYN 5.5% 1499 42 40 1106 56 242 12
Internal Med-Peds 4.8% 392 9 10 332 2 39 0
Dermatology 3.6% 28 0 1 24 0 3 0
Orthopedic Surgery 2.2% 875 8 11 705 36 111 4

Top IMG Friendly Specialties by Number of IMGs

Internal Medicine (Categorical) 3568
Family Medicine 1234
Pediatrics 574
Psychiatry 321
Pathology 274
General Surgery (Preliminary) 235
Neurology 227
Emergency Medicine 221
Internal Medicine (Preliminary) 191
General Surgery (Categorical) 161
Transitional Year 124
Anesthesiology 118
OBGYN 82
Child Neurology 30
Internal Med-Peds 19
Neurosurgery 18
PM&R 16
Radiology 13
Dermatology 1

According to the NRMP:

The top five IMG friendly specialties for US IMGs were:

Internal Medicine (categorical) (1,162)

Family Medicine (777)

Pediatrics (categorical) (231)

Psychiatry (188)

Emergency Medicine (176)

The top five IMG friendly specialties for Non-US IMGs were:

Internal Medicine (categorical) (2,545)

Family Medicine (457)

Pediatrics (categorical) (375)

Pathology (212)

Neurology (200)

Other IMG Friendly Factors

Beyond statistics, there are other factors IMG residency candidates should consider when choosing medical specialties:

  • Specialty-wide USMLE score expectations – Some specialties are more competitive and have higher expectations of residency candidates. For example, General Surgery programs typically require higher USMLE scores than Psychiatry.
  • Previous work and clinical experiences – All specialties like to see some evidence of commitment and deep interest in the specialty. Specialties such as Family Medicine highly prefer to see some history of Family Medicine experience to prove your dedication.
  • Supporting documents – Another way to prove your interest and dedication to a specialty is having specialty-specific supporting documents. You should work hard to obtain specialty-specific Letters of Recommendation and a Personal Statement for each specialty you plan on applying to. Learn more at Residency Experts.
  • Finances –  Applying to residency can be expensive. The suggested minimum applications for IMG candidates is 100 programs per specialty, which adds up to thousands of dollars. Make sure you assess your specialty decision carefully to make the best use of your resources.
  • Program choices and opportunities – Your choice may depend on how large the specialty you choose is and the number of programs you qualify to apply to, based on your professional credentials and each program’s application requirements. If you pick too narrow a specialty, you may need to prepare a backup specialty.

Choosing a specialty will take time, care, and consideration. While some specialties are less competitive than others, no one specialty is a guaranteed “in”. No matter which specialty you pick, you will still have to put lots of hard work into your MyERAS Application materials, program research, and more.

Visit Match A Resident to see how our Customized Program Lists can help you prepare for a successful Match season!

 

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