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The Most IMG-Friendly Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Programs in the US

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by Monique Cloete in IMG, Residency

Are you wondering how IMG-friendly (or unfriendly) physical medicine and rehabilitation is as a US medical specialty? Do you want to know your chances of matching in this highly competitive field? Would you love to figure out what physical medicine and rehabilitation programs an IMG would stand the best chance?

This article will give you the most up-to-date information on IMG-friendly physical medicine and rehabilitation programs. Use this information to strategize on whether – and where – to apply to maximize your chances of matching as an IMG in physical medicine and rehabilitation.


  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation is among the least IMG-friendly US medical specialties.
  • However, one of the top physical medicine and rehabilitation programs count IMGs among their residents (Cornell).
  • Some physical medicine and rehabilitation programs have a large number of IMGs, including Kingsbrook (100% IMGs).
  • In addition, some programs favor US IMGs while others prefer non-US IMGs.
  • See the full list of searchable residency programs to strategize where IMGs have recently been the most welcome.
  • Be sure to bookmark this page – and sign up for the newsletter – to keep up with the latest residency and USMLE trends and maximize your chances of matching.

Table of Contents

What is an IMG Again?

Let’s start with some definitions.

IMG: International Medical Graduate
  • You attended a medical school outside of the United States and Canada
US- vs. Non-US IMGs

IMGs consist of two sub-groups:

  • US-IMGs: US Citizens or permanent residents who attended a “foreign” medical school. Example: someone born in the US but went to a Caribbean medical school (a non-US school).
  • Non-US IMGs: Non-US citizens or permanent residents who attended a “foreign” medical school. Example: someone born in South Korea, who does not have US citizenship or a green card, and who went to medical school in South Korea.
NRMP: “National Resident Matching Program®”
  • The organization that administers the “Match.” In the Match, the NRMP pairs residency applicants with a residency program.

Note that “International Medical Graduate” (IMG) refers to the medical school you attended. Thus, a foreign citizen who attends a US medical school is NOT an IMG. However, a US citizen attending a med school outside the US would be considered an IMG. (Technically, s/he would be a US IMG).

For more on how IMGs can attain residency in the US, see The IMG’s Guide to Obtaining Residency in the United States (2022).

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is Not IMG-Friendly

Looking at the percentage of spots filled by IMGs in the 2022 Match, we can see physical medicine and rehabilitation was not IMG-friendly. Only six specialties had a lower proportion of positions filled by IMGs.

In addition, the match rate for IMGs in physical medicine and rehabilitation is below average compared to all of the specialties in the 2022 Match:

Here are the same data represented in a table:

% Spots Filled by IMGs% Spots Filled by US IMGs% Spots Filled by non-US IMGsTotal Positions OfferedTotal # All Applicants
Child Neurology15%4%11%188182
Diagnostic Radiology8%2%6%1,1551,568
Emergency Medicine7%6%1%2,9212,813
Family Medicine21%13%8%4,9165,055
General Surgery9%3%5%1,6222,400
Internal Medicine36%9%25%9,80911,598
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics5%2%2%392458
Interventional Radiology2%0%2%169226
Neurological Surgery8%1%7%240379
Obstetrics and Gynecology5%2%3%1,5032,044
Orthopaedic Surgery2%1%1%8751,435
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation6%2%3%532725
Plastic Surgery6%1%4%194340
Radiation Oncology11%5%7%185162
Vascular Surgery7%0%7%84143

For more on the most IMG-friendly medical specialties, see this article.

The Most IMG-Friendly Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Programs

While physical medicine and rehabilitation as a field is not very IMG-friendly, the same cannot be said for all physical medicine and rehabilitation residency programs. For example, one physical medicine and rehabilitation residency, One Brooklyn Health System, in the most recent GME census had an IMG percentage of 100%. Moreover, four had IMG rates of 30% or higher: Montefiore (38%), SUNY (34%), Burke (32%) and Texas (32%).

Here is a list of the most (and least) IMG-friendly physical medicine and rehabilitation programs. It includes data from the most recent National GME Census Survey. Percentages are of all residents in the program in 2020.

ACGME residency program codeResidency program nameCityState% residents IMG (US + Non-US)% residents US-citizen IMGs% residents non-US-citizen IMGs% residents US MD graduates% residents US DO graduatesProgram consider applicants with J-1 visa?Program consider applicants with H-1B visa?Program consider applicants with F-1 Visa (OPT 1st year)?# categorical positions offered (2021 NRMP Main Match)# categorical positions filled (2021 NRMP Main Match)# advanced positions offered (2021 NRMP Main Match)# advanced positions filled by (2021 NRMP Main Match)# applications submitted (2021 NRMP Main Match)% applicants interviewed (2020 NRMP Main Match)
3403522041One Brooklyn Health System/Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center ProgramBrooklynNY100100000NoNoNo005533218.3
3403521043Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine ProgramBronxNY3823153131YesYesNo009943126
3403521093SUNY Upstate Medical University ProgramSyracuseNY342862839YesNoNo006630928.9
3403500105Burke Rehabilitation Hospital ProgramWhite PlainsNY3213193831YesNoNo006636517.9
3404821101University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ProgramHoustonTX3213195613YesNoNo440051214.5
3403621091Vidant Medical Center/East Carolina University ProgramGreenvilleNC252053045YesNoNo550039918
3404821066Baylor College of Medicine ProgramHoustonTX131306325YesNoNo008848219.3
3405421070University of Washington ProgramSeattleWA10737910YesYesYes335546619.2
3404100089Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center ProgramHersheyPA9903655YesNoNo00443930
3403511037Nassau University Medical Center ProgramEast MeadowNY880883NoNoNo005536327
3403521051University of Rochester ProgramRochesterNY8807715YesNoNo440039417.8
3404231063VA Caribbean Healthcare System ProgramSan JuanPR880920NoNoNo330010014.5
3405121069Virginia Commonwealth University Health System ProgramRichmondVA6607618YesNoNo006644213.1
3403521048SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University ProgramBrooklynNY5053659YesNoNo006638728.7
3403521039New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia and Cornell Campus) ProgramNew YorkNY4407125YesNoNo008842520.1
3403521044Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ProgramNew YorkNY4404650YesYesYes552247513.7
3404121056Temple University Hospital ProgramPhiladelphiaPA4406432NoNoNo0010845919.9
3404821065University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ProgramDallasTX3306829NoNoNo663351417.6
3400121002University of Alabama Medical Center ProgramBirminghamAL0006733YesYesYes0044301
3403500106Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center/Mercy Medical Center ProgramRockville CentreNY0YesNoNo003330218.1
3403500108Rochester Regional Health/Unity Hospital ProgramRochesterNY0YesYesYes00660
3403521035Albany Medical Center ProgramAlbanyNY0YesNoNo220035312.3
3403521042Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell ProgramManhassetNY0003367YesYesNo004431917.4
3403521045New York Medical College (Metropolitan) ProgramNew YorkNY0YesYesNo004438234.1
3403521046NYU Grossman School of Medicine ProgramNew YorkNY0003961NoNoNo00121241723.3
3403521103Stony Brook Medicine/University Hospital ProgramPort JeffersonNY0YesYesNo003335111.8
3403621095Carolinas Medical Center ProgramCharlotteNC0008119NoNoNo005544418.6
3403621104University of North Carolina Hospitals ProgramChapel HillNC0003862YesNoNo440050310.4
3403800087Cleveland Clinic Foundation ProgramClevelandOH0YesYesYes002244311.6
3403800088University Hospitals Community Consortium ProgramRichmond HeightsOH0330024322.4
3403821054Ohio State University Hospital ProgramColumbusOH0008812YesNoNo334446917.7
3403821080University of Toledo ProgramToledoOH0YesNoNo003331910.8
3403821086University of Cincinnati Medical Center/College of Medicine ProgramCincinnatiOH0Yes330044411
3403831053The MetroHealth System/Case Western Reserve University ProgramClevelandOH0003862YesNoNo660052215
3404100001Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education ProgramScrantonPA0YesNoNo55500
3404100090Geisinger Health System ProgramBloomsburgPA0YesNoNo330037812.2
3404100091Tower Health ProgramWyomissingPA0YesYesNo4400034.1
3404100092Albert Einstein Healthcare Network/MossRehab Program ProgramPhiladelphiaPA0YesYesYes0088032.3
3404121057Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University/TJUH ProgramPhiladelphiaPA0007723YesYesNo007749218.9
3404121058University of Pennsylvania Health System ProgramPhiladelphiaPA0008218NoNoNo442253818.9
3404121075UPMC Medical Education ProgramPittsburghPA0008813YesYesYes554453116.9
3404231062University of Puerto Rico ProgramSan JuanPR0330080
3404700100Vanderbilt University Medical Center ProgramNashvilleTN0008119NoNoNo44005209.1
3404800109University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School ProgramAustinTX0YesNoNo002243111.4
3404821067University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Joe and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine ProgramSan AntonioTX0004753YesNoNo880044218.1
3404831064Baylor University Medical Center ProgramDallasTX0YesNoNo003341812.1
3404921068University of Utah Health ProgramSalt Lake CityUT0006733YesNoNo770041615.6
3405121081Eastern Virginia Medical School ProgramNorfolkVA0NoNoNo00663369.4
3405121089University of Virginia Medical Center ProgramCharlottesvilleVA0007921YesNoNo222247614
3405400001Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center ProgramSpokaneWA0NoNoNo0066030.2
3405621071Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals ProgramMilwaukeeWI0007822NoNoNo006634521.3
3405621072University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics ProgramMadisonWI0YesNoNo003333712

Concluding Thoughts

Physical medicine and rehabilitation is among the least IMG-friendly of fields. That said, for the top of the top applicants, there are still places for IMGs and several residency programs filled a higher proportion of their available positions with IMGs. In addition, one of the most prestigious programs (Cornell) counts IMGs among their residents.

Are you despairing at your chances of matching into physical medicine and rehabilitation as an IMG? Then, check out Never Forget, where you can learn how to master – not memorize – for the impressive USMLE scores to match at your dream residency. And if you’re looking for a residency advisor, look at our residency advisory services.

Want FREE Cardiology Flashcards?

Cardiology is key for impressive USMLE scores. Master cardiology from a Harvard-trained anesthesiologist who scored USMLE 270 with these 130+ high-yield flash cards. You’ll be begging for cardio questions - even if vitals make you queasy.