A 15-Year Analysis of International Medical Graduates Matching Into Diagnostic Radiology Residency Programs in the United States

Vibhor Wadhwa, George Koshy Vilanilam, Avneesh Chhabra, Puneet Bhargava, Bhavya Rehani, Atif Zaheer, Kedar Jambhekar, Roopa Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale and Objectives: To analyze the trends in international medical graduates (IMGs) matching into diagnostic radiology residency programs in the United States (US). Materials and Methods: The National Resident Match Program data was accessed for years 2005–2020 and diagnostic radiology residency-specific data was extracted for US MD, osteopathic (DO), and IMG applicants. IMGs were categorized into US-citizen IMGs and non-US citizen IMGs per the National Residency Match Program. Variables collected for each year included the number of positions, number of applicants in each group, positions filled/unfilled, and fill rate of each group. Additional data for some years included USMLE Step 1 score, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 clinical knowledge (CK) score, number of research experiences, number of abstracts/publications, and additional degrees obtained. Trends were analyzed using simple linear regression model and p value <0.05 was considered significant. Results: The number of diagnostic radiology residency programs increased from 203 (2006) to 212 (2020). The total number of diagnostic radiology residency positions increased from 1011 (2006) to 1113 (2020), with the peak of 1145 in 2014. The overall “match rate,” that is, proportion of positions filled to positions available, increased from 96.4% (2006) to 97.3% (2020), with a brief decline to 86.7% in 2015. Among the filled positions, the proportion filled by US medical school graduates significantly declined from 89.7% (2006) to 69.2% (2020) (p < 0.001), and the proportion of positions filled by osteopathic seniors and graduates significantly increased from 2.2% (2006) to 15.1% (2020; p < 0.001). The proportion of US IMGs increased from 3.2% (2006) to 5.4% (2020), while the proportion of non-US IMGs increased from 4.4% (2006) to 9.4% (2020), with overall IMG match rate increased significantly from 7.6% to 14.9% (p = 0.009). The mean Step 1 scores of US IMGs and non-US IMGs were 238 and 237.3, and the mean Step 2 CK scores were 241.67 and 241, respectively. Cumulatively over the study period, a total of 736 US IMGs and 1051 non-US IMGs have matched into diagnostic radiology residency. Conclusion: There is an increasing proportion of IMGs, especially the non-US citizen IMGs, matching into US radiology residency programs in the last decade. Diagnostic radiology remains a competitive specialty evidenced by average USMLE scores higher than national average and research experiences of matched candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • International Medical Graduate
  • National Resident Matching Program
  • Residency program
  • diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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