Graduate Medical Education
International medical graduates (IMGs) consistently represent approximately one fourth of both the physician workforce and the graduate medical education (GME) population of the United States.
To enter into accredited US GME programs, IMGs must be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
However, to be certified to participate in a U.S. residency program, these candidates must pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills, and graduate from a medical school that is recognized by and listed with ECFMG’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED). Only then can they receive a certificate which allows them to sit for the USMLE Step 3 exam and/or participate in a U.S. medical residency or fellowship program.
Attaining a medical residency in the US is very possible for international medical graduates but it requires a competitive application.
In 2018, approximately 57.1% of international medical graduates obtained medical residency positions.
Critical Factors for successfully attaining a US Medical Residency are:
- USMLE Step 1 Score (Average score for IMG who Matched – 227)
- USMLE Step 2 CK Score (Average score for IMG who Matched – 233)
- Passing Step 2 CS on First Attempt
Over the coming years demand for post-graduate training among foreign-trained graduates is likely to remain strong, particularly with the belief that the U.S. will be facing a significant shortfall in trained physicians over the coming decades.
Physicians interested in post-graduate opportunities in the United States will require increasingly high scores on the USMLE Exams in order to successfully enter into medical residencies. The competitive nature of post-graduate training in the U.S. requires high scores on relevant licensing exams required for program admission.
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