US Medical Residency

US Medical Residency Program or in more simplified words“ON THE JOB TRAINING”, is a training program, which Medical Students in the USA or IMGs (International Medical Graduates), have to take at any post-graduate hospital for 3-6 years. Depending on the ‘Specialties and Programs’ which the Medical Students in the US or IMGs choose, they can apply for residency through various residency programs in the fall of the year.Residency Program 300x200 - What is US Medical Residency? | How To Get US Medical Residency

After the successful submission of the applications, interviews are conducted in the fall of the year or early winters. “MATCH” occurs in March and residency programs usually start from July 1. Given here is the complete outline of the residency program:



Submission of Applications Prior to the start of residency (Before Fall season)
Interviews In the Fall Season
Commencement of Residency 1st July


There are over 8000 US Medical residency programs in the US and each program is headed by a director whose sole purpose is to hire a resident. In order to get selected for any residency program you will have to offer a little different to every director and surely you will find someone who really likes and appreciates your effort in the best matching program.

US Medical Residency Program for IMGs (International Medical Graduates)

International Medical Graduates or the IMGs will have to face even harder, more challenging, and very competitive pathway in order to get a MATCH to a residency program of their own choice. According to a rough estimate, there are almost 26000 slots are created for the Medical Students in the USA.

Out of these 26000, 13000 are only for the US and the Canadian Citizens and remaining 13000 for the rest of the Med-Students all around the world. Did you guess it right, didn’t you? You will be competing against the entire world to get a MATCH in a residency program in the USA. It is advised for the IMGs to apply for more than 20 Programs in order to get a match.

US Medical Residency Program Interview

After the successful submission of the application for a residency program, Residency Interviews Phase begins. In the late fall season or the start of the winters the programs review the applications they receive and conduct interviews with the selected candidates. The sole purpose of this phase is to assess and evaluate the candidate. In return, the candidate gets an opportunity to review the program he or she has applied for. This phase actually provides a best “FIT” between a program and candidate.

The ‘MATCH’ Phase:

After the interviews are successfully conducted the application of a candidate enters the ‘MATCH’ Phase. Most of the programs which are awarded to candidates are actually been generated by a centralized computer-based system known as ‘THE MATCH’. This system generates a rank order list and assigns a residency program to any individual based on the best fit and the ranking order. Programs who give high ranking to candidates are best matched.

Separate lists are submitted by the Candidates and the Computer Generated Programs to the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP). This whole process takes 5 weeks from mid of the January to the end of February. Both the lists enter into a computer program and then residency is assigned to the top-ranked candidates against top-ranked programs they are interested in. The results are usually released in the Mid-March online.

Pre-requisites of the US Medical Residency Program

Matching to the desired residency program is not much as simple as it is thought. It is a very competitive part of the life of a med-student who is looking forward to perusing a career in the USA. And after you have cleared your USMLE STEP-1 and both the parts of UMSLE STEP-2 and still you are not getting a match for the residency program, is frustrating.

The pre-requisites of the Residency Program are mentioned below:

  • USMLE Scores: Some authorities consider this part to be the most important to apply for the residency program and it may count up to 94%.
  • ECFMG Certification: The second most important component is the genuine proof that you are a registered Med-Candidate to apply for a residency program.
  • Personal Statement: Written material for your application to matching a residency program is also considered very important. You will have to explain to the concerned authorities about your choice regarding any specialty and you have to put a lot of genuine data and experience to convince them to assign you the program of your choice.
  • USCE: Unites States Clinical Experience holds a weight. You have to provide in your experience section about your clinical rotations/clerkships/electives taken at least for 6 months.


To be eligible for applying to a US residency program you must have;

  • Cleared your USMLE STEP-1, USMLE STEP-2 CK and USMLE STEP-2 CS with high scores
  • Taken clinical rotations for at-least 6 months after your STEP-2 CS exam
  • Complete documents mentioned in pre-requisites


To explore more about the US Medical residency program follow these links:





Fee Structure:

To know more about the fee structure and application process for the USMLE Steps, kindly go to the below-mentioned article:

USMLE [A General Study Guide To All USMLE Steps]

The Complete Fee Structure of different authorities is tabulated below;

ECFMG Services
  • ERAS Token = $115
  • Application for ECFMG Certification = $75
  • Application for J-1 Sponsorship = $325 + $180 to the Department of Homeland Security
  • Medical School Transcript Translation = $250




  • USMLE Transcript (Paper Copy) = $70 per request (up to 10)
  • USMLE Transcript (Electronic) = $80



Programs Per Specialty
  • Up to 10 = $99
  • 11 – 20 = $13 each
  • 21 – 30 = $17 each
  • 31 or more = $26 each

For example, in one specialty:

  • 100 programs = $2,219
  • 200 programs = $4,819




  • Registration Fee =  $70 (first 20 programs on primary rank list)
  • Late Fee =  $50 (after Nov. 30)
  • Couples = $15 additional per partner
  • Additional Programs = $30 per program



Other Possible Fees

  • USMLE preparation materials
  • Interviews:
    • Travel (to the interview and around the area)
    • Accommodation
    • Food
    • Clothes



How to Apply for US Medical Residency Program?

To facilitate you with the application of residency program the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) has created an online tool called Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Here you can create your online profile; review different programs and can also request the reference letters or the letters of the recommendations. You can apply for many different programs through this system.


Each part in your ERAS has a very important role to play as it represents, who you are? Your skills, interests, and your achievements.

Road Map for getting a US Medical Residency Program Match

Given below is the roadmap to obtain residency in the USA after you have passed your USMLE STEP-2 CS exam.

Screenshot 13 1024x440 - What is US Medical Residency? | How To Get US Medical Residency

Recommended Articles for You

USMLE [A General Study Guide To All USMLE Steps]

USMLE Step-1 [A Comprehensive Guideline]

USMLE STEP-2 CK [Study Guideline]




A word from Author:

In the above discussion, I have only shared few words regarding the introduction of the US Medical residency program. I will be sharing a brief guide to how you can rank yourself high to get selected, what are the odds and ends, what if you fail to apply to any residency program, what to keep in mind before submitting your application and much more so, stay tuned.

If you find this article beneficial, kindly give us feedback and if you want any topic in specific also mention it in the comments section. Feel free to drop an email at




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