Three Ways Foreign Students Can Improve their Chances in the Residency Match

August 12, 2014


Once you’ve successfully completed medical school, your internship and residency are top priority. Now, it’s time to delve into your chosen specialty, gaining the training and experience you’ll need to secure your license to practice medicine. And that’s accomplished via what’s known as the “match.”

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) uses a computerized mathematical algorithm to align the preferences of residency applicants with the needs of residency program directors to fill training positions available at teaching hospitals nationwide. While it may sound easy, make no mistake – landing a choice residency can be stressful and costly, and it may be slightly more so for non-United States students. That’s because foreign students are competing against scores of fellow medical students already familiar with the American culture and medical system.

But there’s a positive trend of foreign students making strides in residency matching. Earlier this year, the NRMP reported a 77-percent boost in foreign students obtaining first-year residency positions through its matching program. WOLFPACC offers a few tips for success:

  1. Master the English language. Statistics show that international medical graduates (IMGs) who are most successful in matching to their preferred specialty in a US residency program are more likely to speak English as their native language. If your native language is different, study up to improve your English. 
  2. Get your Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification. It’s the standard for proving your qualifications before entering US graduate medical education and is a requirement for IMGs to take Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). 
  3. Speaking of the USMLE, your scores will play a major role in your residency matching success. At WOLFPACC, we specialize in helping students both domestic and foreign to learn the skills needed to ace the USMLE andCOMLEX.

If you’re an IMG with plans to practice medicine in the United States, visit our website to check out our USMLE and COMLEX courses offered in St. Augustine, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Then call 1-904-209-3140 to speak with an enrollment specialist. WOLFPACC can help you sharpen your competitive edge and significantly improve your chances for success in medicine.