The National Center for International Medical Education (NCIME) is a vehicle for the standardization of medical education for internationally trained medical students and doctors. Each year thousands of recent international medical school graduates and foreign trained doctors apply for vacant residency positions in the US. The roads used for each of these applicants to residency readiness have varied tremendously.
The NCIME resource center exists to develop International medical students and graduates into confident, well rounded, and well prepared US residency candidates.
Some students spend a lot of money on formal board preparation, many attain US clinical experience, and others are successful on their first attempt at the USMLE Step 1 exam; while other students take the exam as many as six times before passing.
Current Residency Structure
For the last 50 years there is very little debate that the epicenter of post medical school, graduate medical education has been the United States. Whatever the specialty, from family medicine to invasive CT radiology, the U.S. has the most proven and technologically advanced graduate medical education programs in the world. These statements in no way are meant to take away from other fine graduate medical educations in other countries, but with over 100,000 residents training at any given time, in every conceivable specialty, it is clear to see why medical students and medical graduates from other countries, vie annually for the limited, extremely competitive vacant US residency positions, made available after US medical school seniors match.
Unlike several countries that produce more graduating physicians than available post graduate residency positions, the US produces approximately 4,000 to 6,000 too few medical school graduates for open first year residency positions. Those positions are routinely filled by foreign medical graduates. With that said, 95% of US seniors will be guaranteed a residency position, but only about 40% of foreign medical graduates are accepted in US residency training each year. Of the foreign medical graduates, US citizens that attend medical school abroad have a higher acceptance rate into residency then medical students born outside the United States. Of the non US born medical school graduates individuals from India, and Europe have a decisive advantage for acceptance to residency over students from Latin America, Asia and the Middle east; this advantage is mostly due to the greater number of practicing physicians in the US from India and Europe, compared to other regions, that occupy senior residency education and hospital positions, i.e. residency program directors and hospital chief of staff, and therefore can influence placement of new residency into residency.