internal medicine

Competitiveness: Low

Internal Medicine is the largest, most diverse and flexible medical specialty in residency training. Unlike more narrow specialties with more specific requirements, residency candidates applying to Internal Medicine will find Internal Medicine generally easier to apply to. Internal Medicine is typically the most IMG friendly medical specialty, often with 40% or more available positions filled by International Medical Graduates (IMGs) every Match. Internal Medicine is also one of the biggest specialties that offers PGY-1 preliminary training tracks (1 year) which can help residents qualify for other advanced specialties such as Anesthesiology. Many residency candidates use Internal Medicine to either begin a career in primary care or move on to train in a wide variety of subspecialties (Fellowships). Overall, Internal Medicine is an excellent option to consider for any type of residency candidate.

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IMG Profile

Average Stats for a Matched US IMG in 2018:

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 225
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 234
  • Research: 1.6
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 2.2
  • Work: 4.2
  • Volunteer: 4.3

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

  • USMLE Step 1 score: 236
  • USMLE Step 2 CK score: 241
  • Research: 2.1
  • Abstracts/Presentations/etc: 4.6
  • Work: 5.5
  • Volunteer: 3.4

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 internal medicine Application Factors

Percentage of Programs Citing Each Factor

  1. USMLE Step 1 score (95%)
  2. USMLE Step 2 CK score (90%)
  3. MSPE (85%)
  4. Any failed attempt in USMLE (81%)
  5. Class ranking/quartile (76%)

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

  1. Flagged by NRMP (4.9)
  2. Any failed attempt in USMLE (4.6)
  3. Evidence of professionalism and ethics (4.5)
  4. MSPE (4.3), USMLE Step 2 CK score (4.3), Grades in clerkship in desired specialty (4.3), Passing USMLE Step 2 CS (4.3)
  5. USMLE Step 1 score (4.2), Class ranking/quartile (4.2)

Fast Facts

Total Training 3 years
Average Residency Salary $52,000
Average Work Week 54.9 Hours
Peak Interview Months November, January
Offers the following program training tracks: Preliminary (1 year)
Categorical (Full training)

Match Statistics

Main Residency Match and Post-Match Stats


IMGs Matched

866 /

Number of Programs/Positions


Post-Match SOAP Unfilled Positions

Main Residency Match


Post-Match SOAP

Program Track Categorical Preliminary
Participating Programs 51 41
Filled Programs 45 33
Positions Available 171 99
Filled Positions 162 88


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