Saturday 23 June 2012

Best states for IMGs seeking surgery residency

Surgery is not as a popular choice for IMGs as are the four high IMG favored specialties of pediatric, psychiatry, family medicine and internal medicine. However, there is a decent amount of interest in foreign grads who are interested in doing a residency in surgery and want to be practicing surgeons in the US. 

The graph below shows the best and worst states in US that a foreign medical graduate seeking residency in surgery should pay attention to.

Figure 1. Surgery residency and IMG friendly states: source NRMP

The worst  states for IMGs seeking surgery residency are

1. Wyoming
2. Virginia
3. South Dakota
4. North Dakota
5. New Mexico
6. Nevada
7. Mississippi
8. Kentucky
9. Kansas
10. Colorado

Arkansas came in at position 11 and Alabama made a 12.

The best states for those IMGs seeking medical residency in surgery are:

1. Connecticut
2. Maryland
3. Minnesota
4. New Jersey
5. New York
6. Nebraska
7. Indiana
8. West Virginia
9. Michigan
10. Texas

This list is for the categorical positions and not the preliminary surgery positions, so the reader is advised to take that into consideration.  Also grouped as a whole the list can be broken into 2 steps - 

1. greater than zero% IMGs (30 states)
2. zero percent states (20 states)

Also, it is interesting that the highest percentage (around 40%) is still very low, especially as compared to some other specialties like pediatrics or medicine. 

Keep this in mind when you apply to surgery residency because you do not want to apply to programs in states that have a poor track record of accepting international medical graduates. The main page for this subsection deals with the other specialties. If you like this site and wish to be in touch and get the latest posts and updates, join me on Facebook or follow me on twitter.


  1. Wow! So, basically, around half of the states just don't take IMGs? That's tough.

    1. Yep Dr. JF, you are correct. surgery is one of the tougher ones to get into. Goodluck!


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