NRMP/ECFMG Publish Charting Outcomes in the Match for International Medical Graduates, Characteristics of Applicants Who Matched to Their Preferred Specialty

The inaugural NRMP/ECFMG Charting Outcomes in the Match for International Medical Graduates has been published. The report highlights the characteristics of international medical school students and graduates (IMGs) that contribute to success in matching to residency programs.

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Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) January 15, 2014

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) are pleased to announce the publication of "Charting Outcomes in the Match for International Medical Graduates, Characteristics of Applicants Who Matched to Their Preferred Specialty in the 2013 Main Residency Match," a report that highlights the characteristics of international medical school students and graduates (IMGs) who matched to their preferred specialties in the Main Residency Match®. An IMG is a physician who receives a basic medical degree or qualification from a medical school located outside the United States and Canada.

NRMP Executive Director Mona M. Signer said, “'Charting Outcomes in the Match for International Medical Graduates' is intended to be a resource to help IMGs make educated choices as they apply to and rank residency programs in the Main Residency Match.” ECFMG President & Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, M.D., commented, “This resource provides data that are both recent and detailed about IMGs who succeeded in their pursuit of U.S. residency positions. It is an important addition to the knowledge base available to IMGs who are pursuing U.S. residencies in 2014 and beyond.” In 2013, 34,355 medical students and graduates participated in the Main Residency Match. IMGs accounted for more than one-third (36.8%) of the applicant pool, including 7,568 non-U.S. citizen IMGs and 5,095 U.S. citizen IMGs.

"Charting Outcomes in the Match for International Medical Graduates" is a collaborative publication of the NRMP and the ECFMG. It is modeled after "Charting Outcomes in the Match," a biennial report published by the NRMP and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) that describes the characteristics of U.S. allopathic senior students and independent applicants who matched to their preferred specialties in the Main Residency Match®.

"Charting Outcomes in the Match International Medical Graduates" utilizes a different set of measures from the original "Charting Outcomes in the Match." Some applicant characteristics, such as number of contiguous ranks, number of specialties ranked, and USMLE scores are included in both reports, but other characteristics that are relevant only to IMGs were added, including:

  •     attempts at USMLE or equivalent historical examinations
  •     number of months since ECFMG certification
  •     English spoken as a native language
  •     country of medical school
  •     number of years since graduation from medical school

Summary

Overall, 48 percent of U.S. IMGs matched to their preferred specialty, ranging from 59 percent (Anesthesiology) to 28 percent (Emergency Medicine). For non-U.S. IMGs, the overall match rate was 44 percent, ranging from 53 percent (Pathology) to 32 percent (Family Medicine). In general, U.S. IMG applicants are more successful in matching to their preferred specialty than are non-U.S. IMGs.

The report showed that IMG applicants who are successful in matching to their preferred specialty are more likely to:

  •     rank more programs within their preferred specialty
  •     have higher USMLE scores
  •     have fewer attempts at ECFMG certification examinations
  •     be U.S. citizens
  •     speak English as a native language
  •     have obtained ECFMG certification closer to the Match year (2013)
  •     have graduated from medical school closer to the Match year (2013)

Other measures appear to be related to match success, but the relationships are not strong enough to draw broad conclusions across specialties. Data sources used in the report do not include other important applicant factors such as course evaluations, reference letters, and the Medical School Performance Evaluation. Despite the strong relationship between USMLE Step scores and match success, the distributions of scores show that programs consider other qualifications, and high USMLE scores are not a guarantee of success. Even in the most competitive specialties, a few individuals with higher scores are not successful. Neither is a lower score a bar to success.

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The NRMP Match
The Match uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency program directors in order to fill training positions available at U.S. teaching hospitals. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for awarding the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics.

About NRMP
The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) is a private, non-profit organization established in 1952 at the request of medical students to provide an orderly and fair mechanism for matching the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with the preferences of residency program directors. In addition to the Main Residency Match, the NRMP conducts matches for more than 40 subspecialties. For more information, contact NRMP at 1-866-653-NRMP (6767) or visit http://www.nrmp.org. For interviews, please email cherbert@nrmp.org.

About ECFMG
ECFMG® is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1956 and based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ECFMG’s program of certification evaluates whether IMGs are ready to enter U.S. programs of graduate medical education, where they provide supervised patient care. ECFMG offers a variety of other programs for the world’s physicians and the entities worldwide that educate, train, register/license, and employ them. For more information, visit the ECFMG website at http://www.ecfmg.org