Competitiveness: Low

Neurology is a smaller, but growing specialty that is for those who like to work with problem solving and 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 from 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 a diverse amount of career options after your residency training is complete.

ENTER YOUR CREDENTIALS Customize your Neurology program list

IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 227
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 234
  • Research: 2.6
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 2.6
  • Work: 3.6
  • Volunteer: 4.3

Average Stats for a Matched Non-US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 236
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 240
  • Research: 3.2
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 7.3
  • Work: 5.6
  • Volunteer: 3.7

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 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 (89%), Any failed attempt in USMLE (89%)
  2. Grades in required clerkships (86%)
  3. Grades in clerkship in desired specialty (84%)
  4. Specialty specific Letters of Recommendation (81%)
  5. MSPE (78%), USMLE Step 2 CK score (78%), Class ranking/quartile (78%), Lack of gaps in medical education (78%)

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

  1. Flagged by NRMP (4.7)
  2. Perceived commitment to specialty (4.6), Evidence of professionalism and ethics (4.6)
  3. Perceived interest in the program (4.5)
  4. Personal prior knowledge of applicant (4.4)
  5. Grades in required clerkships (4.3), Any failed attempt in USMLE (4.3), Grades in clerkship in desired specialty (4.3), Passing USMLE Step 2 CS (4.3), Consistency of grades (4.3), Lack of gaps in medical education (4.3)

Fast Facts

Total Training 4 years
Average Residency Salary $56,000
Average Work Week 50.8 Hours
Peak Interview Months November, December
Key Organizations and Societies: American Board of Neurology

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

159 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track PGY-2
Participating Programs 9 2
Filled Programs 9 2
Positions Available 12 4
Filled Positions 12 4


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