IMGs Continue to Show Gains in 2019 Match

Growth in Primary-care Specialties Offers Enhanced Opportunities

International medical graduates (IMGs) showed strong performance in the 2019 Main Residency Match®, according to results published today by the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®). The NRMP Match determines where medical school graduates will enter residency (medical specialty) training each year in the United States.

While the overall number of IMGs participating in the Match declined by 193 compared to last year, their success rate in obtaining first-year residency positions was 58.8%, up from 56.5% last year.

Among U.S. citizen IMGs, 2,997 (59.0%) matched to first-year residency positions, an increase of 97 over last year. The number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions has increased in 14 of the last 16 years. For non-U.S. citizens, 4,028 (58.6%) matched, an increase of 66 positions. This is the eighth annual increase in the number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who matched. For both groups, these are the highest match rates in more than 25 years.

Today’s results show 17 consecutive years of growth in the number of first-year residency positions offered through the Match. In the 2019 Match, 32,194 first-year positions were offered, an increase of 1,962 (6.5%) compared to 2018 and a cumulative increase of more than 11,500 positions since 2002. As noted by the NRMP, this year’s increase in positions is due, in part, to the increased number of osteopathic programs that joined the Match as a result of the ongoing transition to a single accreditation system for U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs.

“The strong performance of IMGs in today’s Match is a win for our nation’s GME and health care systems,” said ECFMG President & CEO William W. Pinsky, M.D. “The growth of positions in specialties such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry, and the increasing success of IMGs in matching to these specialties, represent continued opportunities for the talented and qualified international physicians who are interested in training in the United States.”

An infographic on IMG performance in the 2019 Match can be found here.

About IMGs in U.S. Health Care

IMGs, physicians who received their medical education from medical schools outside the United States and Canada, comprise one-quarter of physicians in training and practice in the United States. IMGs are essential to the U.S. GME and health care systems, ensuring that our physician workforce is adequate to care for patients. IMGs frequently specialize in primary care, practice in medically underserved areas, and add much-needed diversity to our physician workforce.