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US: IMGs ‘heavily relied on’ in care of patients

International medical graduates are “heavily” relied upon in patient care within the US, and thus need to be recruited accordingly, a New Jersey program head suggested. 

Data revealed during the session revealed only 58% was the match rate for international medical graduates this year. Photo: Pexels

During the recent inaugural AMOpportunities virtual conference, CEO Kyle Swinsky reiterated the importance of IMGs in the US’ rotations

During the recent inaugural AMOpportunities virtual conference,CEO Kyle Swinsky reiterated the importance of IMGs in US rotations, and their contribution to both the profession and the economy. 

“Helping foreign medical trainees as they work towards becoming US physicians is what our company is all about,” Swinsky said in his opening remarks.

“This conference is just another way to continue supporting these professionals in achieving their goals of practicing medicine in the US,” he continued.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, David Kountz, gave a session on the tools they need to effectively apply for these US residency programs. 

“58.1% is this year’s match rate for non-US, international medical graduates – so we want to pay close attention to strategies that can increase chances of having a successful match season,” said Kountz during his presentation. 

“We’re appreciative of the interest and the commitment to our patients – it is challenging to gain residency”

Kountz explained that some states, including New Jersey in his estimations, can be more restrictive than others about accepting IMGs, and coming from a well-known international medical school can help those vying for residencies, especially in historically more accepting hospitals of IMGs. 

“We rely very much on international medical graduates in the care of patients in the US, so we’re appreciative of the interest and the commitment to our patients – it is challenging to gain residency,” Kountz commented. 

He outlined that applications would need the most attention to detail that was absolutely possible, as well as making sure there are explanations of any time gaps in resumes. 

Gaining references from a US-based position is also wise, said Kountz. 

While it is reiterated that the process towards residency for internationals is challenging, it is still encouraged due to how vital they can be to the system and the continuation of the medical profession in the US.

“IMGs are a key factor in the evolving structure of the US healthcare industry,” Swinsky said. “With a predicted physician shortage of nearly 140,000 by 2030, IMGs are critical to the survival of the US healthcare system.” 

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