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Is it hard to get a residency in IM?

July 25, 2011

I have close friends who are IMGs and did not match in Internal Medicine. I thought that they were strong candidates although I did not know their scores. I could not understand why they did not match. One friend of mine did not get any interviews. At the time, I did not realize how hard it is to land a residency spot for an IMG. In this post I am going to explore the latest data from the NRMP to show you how hard it is to get into internal medicine.

Looking at the data from 2011 match, the overall match rate for US IMGs who sent in rank lists was 50.0 percent and for non-US IMGs who sent in rank lists it was 40.9%.

Who sent in rank lists? Those candidates who interviewed.

Lets look at the NRMP data in a different way.
A total of 10,118 non-US IMGs applied in 2011. 34% of these applicants did not send in a rank list meaning that they did not interview or withdrew their application. Only 2,721 of the total non-US IMGs who apply for any residency successfully match (26.8%). Nearly three quarters of non-US IMG applicants don’t get a residency spot.

Lets look at the Categorical IM data more closely as this is what many of you want to do.
For Internal Medicine (Categorical) there were 5,065 filled spots. The breakdown of the filled spots includes:
3,022 USGrad; 309 DO; 2 Canadian; 5 5th pathway; 512 US IMGs; 1,215 non-US IMGs.

A total of 10,118 non-US IMGs applied.
6,659 non-US IMGs interviewed and sent in a rank list (65.8% of those who applied).
2,721 non-US IMGs matched (40.9% of those with a rank list).
1,215 non-US IMGs matched in IM.
12.0% of all non-US IMGs applicants match in Internal Medicine.
18.2% of non-US IMGs that sent in a IM rank list match in Internal Medicine.

A total of 5,708 US IMGs applied.
3,769 US IMGs interviewed and sent in a rank list (66.0% of those who applied)
1,884 US IMGs matched (50.0% of those with a rank list).
512 US IMGs matched in IM.
9.0% of all US IMGs applicants match in Internal Medicine.
13.6% of US IMGs that sent in a rank list match in Internal Medicine.

The data is not present on how many of the applicants apply to IM so I can’t give you the percentage of people who apply to IM, how many are ranked and how many match in IM.

However, with the data present, I can say that nearly three quarters of non-US IMG applications that are filed with ERAS don’t get a residency spot in any field.  Also, just because you have an interview only gives you a 41% chance of matching.  The total numbers are sobering and help understand why it is so difficult for people to get Categorical IM residency spots.

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