Competitiveness: Low

Neurology is a small but growing specialty that is good for those who like problem-solving and taking a logical approach to the mysteries of the human brain. Neurology programs generally focus on the whole residency applicant, making it less competitive than other specialties. It is also one of the most IMG friendly specialties (based on the last few NRMP Matches). Neurology is an advanced specialty, as most programs require a PGY-1 Intern Year completed before starting training. Some programs include the PGY-1 year, but residency candidates interested in Neurology should be prepared for both contingencies. Overall, Neurology is a specialty with diverse career options after residency training is complete.

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your Neurology program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2020:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 227
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 236
  • Research: 2.4
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 4.3
  • Work: 4.8
  • Volunteer: 4.7

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2020:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 233
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 239
  • Research: 3.2
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 10.7
  • Work: 6.1
  • Volunteer: 4.1

Specialty Factors

Every specialty has unique factors they want each candidate to have in their residency application. NRMP conducts regular Program Director surveys to identify which parts of the residency application are most important in differing specialties. Among the information gathered, Program Directors were asked to cite factors they used to select candidates for interviews. They were also asked to rate each factor on a scale from 1 (least important) to 5 (most important).

The Top 5 Most Important Neurology Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (96%)
  2. Letters of recommendation in the specialty (92%)
  3. MSPE/Dean’s Letter (92%)
  4. Personal Statement (84%)
  5. USMLE Step 2 CK score (84%)

Average Importance Rating for Each Factor (scale of 1 to 5)

  1. Perceived commitment to specialty (4.5)
  2. Personal prior knowledge of applicant (4.4)
  3. Evidence of continuous medical education without gaps (4.4)
  4. Applicant was flagged with Match violation by the NRMP (4.4)
  5. Audition elective/rotation within your department (4.3)

Fast Facts

Total Training 4 years
Average Residency Salary $64,600
Average Physician Salary $264,000
Average Work Week 50.8 Hours
Peak Interview Months November, December
Key Organizations and Societies: American Board of Neurology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists
American Neurological Association
Association of University Professors of Neurology
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Society for Neuroscience
  • Neurology is the 4th most IMG friendly specialty, according to 2020 statistics.

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

126 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-1
Participating Programs 11
Filled Programs 11
Positions Available 17
Filled Positions 17


  • Brain Injury Medicine
  • Child Neurology
  • Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
  • Neuromuscular Medicine
  • Pain Medicine
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Vascular Neurology