Matching into Residency as an IMG with Red Flags.

First off, I want to say that matching as an IMG is never going to be easy. There are no guarantees – any company that offers you that is probably not being realistic or honest. We know that there are many more applicants than spots. According to the National Resident Matching Program 2023 data, there were almost 43,000 active applicants. Out of those, 17,382 IMGs (both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens) registered with an ultimate match rate of 68% for U.S. IMGs and 59% for non-U.S. IMGs. In contrast, U.S. graduates had a match rate of 94%. Thus, any edge matters. 

By the time you apply, many things are largely already set. You have the scores you have. You have the letters and experiences locked in. You can’t change your medical school graduation date. If you do not have a personal connection to a program, it comes down to how well you excel in your interview. At RIQ, we don’t offer essay editing or English help – there are plenty of companies that will happily service you there. We are interview specialists. Whether you have 10 interviews or just 1, we focus on improving your chances of matching by ensuring your interview is as successful as possible. We are proud that our match rate for RIQ clients is above >80% with our targeted strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your interview and boost your position on the rank list. This means that by signing up for RIQ you are increasing your chances of matching by 36%. This is why 100% of our clients saying they would either definitely or very likely recommend RIQ to a friend. 

We see everyone who signs up for RIQ as much more than just clients. You see our credentials and background. You join a team that is dedicated to helping you succeed in your dreams. Unlike other programs, we put who we are right on the website because we are proud of what we do. You may wonder whether only top candidates sign up for our surface and that’s the reason why our match rate is so high (>80%) – this is not the case. 

Yes, we definitely help very strong IMG candidates who want to match at top academic programs. That is very true. But, half of our clients actually have a red flag of some type. We define a red flag as any of the following:

  • Previous failure on any of the USMLE Steps (even if Step 1 is now Pass Fail)
  • Graduation >5 years without direct clinical experience or exposure
  • Miscellaneous red flags which include weak letters of recommendations, 

Oftentimes, we’re even more proud to help these candidates where the challenge is higher and hope is lower. But, we’re optimists at heart. Seeing RIQ clients match on their 2nd, 3rd or even their 4th attempt is incredibly rewarding. We have helped candidates match with one interview. We’ve helped candidates match in spite of failing the Steps. We’ve helped candidates match despite graduating medical school more than 10 years ago. 

So, yes, you can absolutely match with red flags – we have helped RIQ clients buck the trend – and nailing the most common residency interview questions is key. David and I are going to start a new series where we are going to dive into RIQ client profile (anonymized of course to protect confidentiality) where our readers can see our strategy.