The future of medicine is looking brighter than ever. On March 17,2017, medical students across the country learn the location and specialty of their residency program. The National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) reported 35,969 U.S. and International medical graduate (IMG) school students and graduates viedfor 31,757 positions, the most ever offered in the Match. The number of available first-year positions rose to 28,849, 989 more than last year. (National Resident Matching Program, 2017).


International medical graduate (IMG) school students and graduates are becoming more competitive candidates in the match.  The percentage of IMGs that are US citizens that matched in 2017 was 54 %, the highest match rate since 2004. Out of the 5069 students that applied, 2777 matched to a residency program. The match rate for non-US citizen IMGs that matched was 52.4 %, the highest its been since 2005. Out of the 7284 students that applied 3814 matched to a residency program. This is a great sign for diversity in medicine and aids the fight towards preventing a future doctor shortage.

Although this year’s match was record breaking for both US and International Medical Graduates, overall fewer IMGs applied for US residency programs.

Why was there a decline in the number of applications sent to Residency programs by IMG’s?

Some speculate that Presidents Trump Travel-Ban implemented in early 2017 could have affected application decisions for non-US citizen IMG due to the fear of deportation. Mona M. Signer, NRMP president and CEO, told Medscape Medical News. We do not know whether the declining number of non-US IMGs resulted from the executive order because NRMP does not collect citizenship information during the Match registration process. (Brooks, 2017)

Typically, for application process for residency programs starts a year in-advance. Students send applications to various programs the fall and are offered interviews to residency programs who express interest in the applicant. Registration for 2017 Match was opened Sept.15.2016. While students were busy submitting document, and traveling for interviews, the Presidential Campaign debates were unfolding. Immigration was a major issue of the then Republican Presidential Candidate Trump. As students were weighing decision regarding residency programs, IMGs were also challenges with negative campaign rhetoric regrading immigration. Despite these challenges, opportunity exist for IMGs who did not match to participate in the

Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (SOAP®). NRMP reports that of the 1,279 unfilled positions, 1177 candidates were   offered a residency slot. The SOAP results will be published in May 2017. We hope the 2017 Match results will encourage.


Brooks, M. (2017, March 17). Residency Match Day 2017 Sets More Records. Retrieved from Medscape:

National Resident Matching Program. (2017, March 17). Retrieved from National Resident Matching

Program: 2017-nrmp- main-residency- match-the- largest-match-on-record/more IMG's to apply for Match in 2018.