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The Most IMG-Friendly Plastic Surgery Programs in the US

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by Monique Cloete in IMG, Residency

Are you wondering how IMG-friendly (or unfriendly) plastic surgery 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 plastic surgery programs an IMG would stand the best chance?

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


  • Plastic surgery is among the least IMG-friendly US medical specialties.
  • However, many of the top plastic surgery programs have at least some IMGs.
  • Some plastic surgery programs have a moderate number of IMGs, including Brown (17% IMGs) and Carilion (17% 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).

Plastic Surgery is Not IMG-Friendly

Looking at the percentage of spots filled by IMGs in the 2022 Match, we can see that plastic surgery is among the least IMG-friendly specialties. Only five specialties had a lower proportion of positions filled by IMGs.

Similarly, the match rate for IMGs in plastic surgery is among the lowest of all 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 Plastic Surgery Residency Programs

While plastic surgery as a field is not very IMG-friendly, the same cannot be said of every plastic surgery residency program. For example, four plastic surgery residencies in the most recent GME census had IMG percentages of 10% or higher: Brown (17%), Carilion (17%), Oregon (13%) and Baylor (11%).

Here is a list of the most (and least) IMG-friendly plastic surgery 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)?# of positions offered (2021 NRMP Main Match)# of positions (2021 NRMP Main Match)# of applications submitted to this program in 2021% of applicants interviewed by the program in 2020Average hours/week in year one that resident works (excluding beeper call)Maximum consecutive hours resident is allowed to work in year one (excluding beeper call)Program allows residents (beyond PGY1) to moonlight?% of training spent in year 1 in hospital outpatient clinics% of training spent in year 1 in ambulatory nonhospital community-based settingsAverage hours/week in year one of program spent in structured didactic activities (e.g., lectures, conferences)Program curriculum includes a dedicated research rotationPercentage of completed residents with non-academic U.S. practice career plansPercentage of completed residents with plans to continue training in another programPercentage of completed residents with plans to obtain a full-time or part-time academic positionPercentage of completed residents with other career plans
3624300150Brown University ProgramProvidenceRI17170830YesNoNo222725.78016No306OPT010000
3625100154Carilion Clinic-Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine ProgramRoanokeVA17170830YesNoNo2224112.56016No104OPT033670
3624000148Oregon Health & Science University ProgramPortlandOR13130880YesYesYes3326610.88024No4REQ604000
3624831099Baylor College of Medicine ProgramHoustonTX11011890YesNoNo332799.38016No2553OPT336700
3623600156University of North Carolina Hospitals ProgramChapel HillNC880920YesNoNo2227413.16516No20205NA100000
3624821130Texas A&M College of Medicine-Scott and White Medical Center (Temple) ProgramTempleTX808920NoNoNo2225110.86024Yes5006REQ257500
3623300151Rutgers Health/New Jersey Medical School ProgramNewarkNJ660940YesNoNo2226610.17224No203NA208000
3623500155NYU Grossman School of Medicine ProgramNew YorkNY505950YesNoYes44262146024No20202NA010000
3625621109University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics ProgramMadisonWI550950YesNoNo3326819.27024No1505REQ5033017
3621112140University of South Florida Morsani ProgramTampaFL440888Yes4426116.68016No254NA008317
3623800149Cleveland Clinic Foundation ProgramClevelandOH404879YesYesYes4428613.47516Yes153REQ2040040
3624821097University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ProgramDallasTX404960YesNoNo5526613.86528No155NA1457290
3620100001University of Alabama Hospital ProgramBirminghamAL0110No
3621100002Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science ProgramJacksonvilleFL0YesYesYes04024No8504REQ
3621100159University of Miami/Jackson Health System ProgramMiamiFL0YesNoNo2226512.56024No20205NA050500
3621200001Emory University School of Medicine ProgramAtlantaGA0001000YesYesYes222727.88016Yes40203NA330067
3621600001University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago ProgramChicagoIL0YesNoNo8014No30104OPT
3621600146University of Chicago ProgramChicagoIL0001000YesYes3328312.96524No17104REQ010000
3621600147Loyola University Medical Center ProgramMaywoodIL0YesNoNo1123613.44824No255NA100000
3623200001Dartmouth-Hitchcock/Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital ProgramLebanonNH0YesYesYes1123910.26524No203NA
3623300152Cooper Medical School of Rowan University/Cooper University Hospital ProgramCamdenNJ0YesNoNo112349.97024No5104REQ
3623400001University of New Mexico School of Medicine ProgramAlbuquerqueNM0YesNoNo112127.27012No20104REQ010000
3623500142Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell ProgramNew Hyde ParkNY0001000NoNoNo33262117016No5NA257500
3623500145University of Rochester ProgramRochesterNY0001000YesNoNo2225318.67224No1053OPT406000
3623500152New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia and Cornell Campus) ProgramNew YorkNY0YesNoNo22270116516No25103NA336700
3623500154Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai ProgramNew YorkNY0001000Yes3327411.270No158NA0602020
3623500157Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University ProgramBronxNY0001000YesYesNo2226613.16516No25154NA505000
3623500158Nassau University Medical Center/Stony Brook University ProgramGarden CityNY0YesNoNo1123612.87224No10NA010000
3623521055Albany Medical Center ProgramAlbanyNY000928YesNoNo2224811.46024No504REQ505000
3623600155Duke University Hospital ProgramDurhamNC0001000YesNoNo332819.66516No2110REQ010000
3623611074Wake Forest University School of Medicine ProgramWinston-SalemNC0001000YesNoNo3326214.78012No75156REQ750250
3623800144Wright State University ProgramDaytonOH0YesNoNo2220512.86026Yes103012REQ050500
3623821081Ohio State University Hospital ProgramColumbusOH0001000YesNoNo4427110.37516No20104REQ336700
3623821112University of Cincinnati Medical Center/College of Medicine ProgramCincinnatiOH0NoNoNo112387.17224No105NA010000
3624100159University of Pennsylvania Health System ProgramPhiladelphiaPA033273No
3624100161Lehigh Valley Health Network/University of South Florida College of Medicine ProgramAllentownPA0NoNoNo112238.97824No555NA050050
3624100162Geisinger Health System ProgramDanvillePA0YesNoNo112129.27024No2053REQ
3624121087Penn State Milton S Hershey Medical Center ProgramHersheyPA0001000YesNoNo2226210.87516No20105OPT010000
3624121090UPMC Medical Education ProgramPittsburghPA033281No
3624500001Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine ProgramCharlestonSC0YesNoNo112466.56024No10103NA
3624500002Prisma Health/University of South Carolina SOM Columbia (Columbia) ProgramColumbiaSC0NoNoNo1121311.77424No02REQ
3624700002Vanderbilt University Medical Center ProgramNashvilleTN0YesYesNo112675030No102OPT
3624800001University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ProgramHoustonTX0No
3624811098University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals ProgramGalvestonTX0001000YesNoNo4425319.15624No205OPT25501313
3624900001University of Utah Health ProgramSalt Lake CityUT0YesNoNo3324710.25016No30205REQ010000
3625100153Virginia Commonwealth University Health System ProgramRichmondVA0001000YesNoNo2224914.57524YesREQ010000
3625100155Eastern Virginia Medical School ProgramNorfolkVA0YesYesYes11080No8OPT
3625111104University of Virginia Medical Center ProgramCharlottesvilleVA0001000YesNoNo2227712.67014No204REQ000100
3625400147University of Washington ProgramSeattleWA000964YesYesYes5527112.48012No104NA5001338
3625500001West Virginia University School of Medicine ProgramMorgantownWV0YesNoNo1120923.36524No205OPT
3625621110Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals ProgramMilwaukeeWI0001000YesNoNo22251117016No206NA752500

Concluding Thoughts

Plastic surgery is among the least IMG-friendly of fields. That said, for the top of the top applicants, there are still places for IMGs. Moreover, one of the most prestigious programs counts IMGs among their residents.

Are you despairing at your chances of matching into plastic surgery 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.

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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.