A female nurse looking down at a tablet in New Orleans, LA

According to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, more than half of international medical graduates (IMGs) who apply for American residency programs through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) do not receive a match. While NRMP can be challenging for IMGs, geographical flexibility can improve chances of matching as some states tend to have more IMG residency programs than others. Here are our picks for the most IMG-friendly states for residencies.

New York

New York is by far the state with the most IMG residency programs based on numbers alone. In the 2017 match, New York state residency programs hosted 1,358 IMGs. 508 of these individuals are from the United States while 856 are from outside the U.S. Some of the most IMG-friendly hospitals in the state include Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn; St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Manhattan; Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Bronx; and Brookdale University Hospital, Brooklyn.


Another top choice among IMG residency programs, Michigan was home to 460 IMGs in the 2017 NRMP (163 of whom are from the United States). Programs to consider include those in the Michigan State University and University of Michigan Health Systems, McLaren Regional Medical Center, and William Beaumont Hospital.


In the 2017 match, 428 IMGs matched with programs in Pennsylvania, including 249 residents from outside the United States. Top programs in the state for international residents include Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (both in Philadelphia), Easton Hospital in Easton, and Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown.

In addition to applying to IMG residency programs in states that are traditionally IMG-friendly, applicants can improve their chances of matching by creating a supplemental profile with MedMatchPlus+. Our multimedia resources allow candidates to quickly and easily add elements to the official application to help them stand out from the crowd. Explore the benefits of MedMatchPlus+ and create an online profile with pictures, video, a personal statement, and more.

Leave a Reply