Last Updated on July 9, 2020

Residency Program Requirements for International Medical Graduates

After ECFMG certification, physicians wishing to practice medicine in the United States must complete an accredited residency training program in the United States or Canada. This process will take at least 3 years. The doctor will have to follow a residency program regardless of the training received abroad.

Qualification for an ERA Residency Match

International medical graduates who have received a visa are eligible for a residency program in the United States. It is strongly recommended that international medical graduates participate in an observer rotation in a clinical setting before applying for residency. This allows international medical graduates to become familiar with clinical practice settings and to meet physicians who can be used as referrals during the residency application process.

Choose a Residency Program

The residency program in internal medicine has four components: transitional care, interim care, categorical care and primary care. It is best to choose the program that best suits your personal needs and goals.

Transition programs rotate first-year residents to hospitals every two or three months. A bridging program counts for one year of training, but may not provide enough credits to move to the second year of training. Preliminary programs are one-year programs for those who wish to specialize and require one year of training in internal medicine. Categorical programs are considered more traditional and hospitable. These are three-year programs that can allow residents to train to eligibility for the board if the performance is satisfactory. Primary care programs are putting more emphasis on the experience of ambulatory care in the community and are becoming more commonplace. Those who are sure they will work as a generalist are welcome to apply to a primary care program.

Obtaining a Medical Residency via the ERAs Residency Match

International medical graduates should apply to a minimum of 25 programs to have the best chance of being matched with a residency program.

Applicants must register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), which matches applicants and hospital residency programs based on individual preferences.

Some residency programs require applicants to apply through the Electronic Residence Application Service (ERAS), administered by the ECFMG for IMGs.

Preparation of the residence application

The process of finding a home has become increasingly competitive, so international medical graduates should pay more attention to the demand itself to stand out. Interviews are granted solely on the basis of the application. When you receive an interview, it’s best to engage in medical residency interview coaching.

Medical School Application Help

  1. Present the application carefully and without errors in grammar and spelling. All requests must be original.
  2. Highlight unique qualifications, academic experiences and volunteer work and resume test results.
  3. Acquire experience at a healthcare facility in the United States before applying for residency to obtain a strong letter of recommendation. Although Overseas Schools’ recommendation letters are important, they are not comparable to US schools.
  4. Make sure the application is completed correctly, including your NRMP candidate number if you are registered for The Match.
  5. Write a personal statement that addresses your unique abilities as an applicant, even though a personal statement is required for your application.
  6. Be prepared to answer questions about your immigration status and visa status if you are a non-US citizen.

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