International medical graduates in radiation oncology: Historical trends and comparison with other medical specialties

Vivek Verma, Chirag Shah, Tim Lautenschlaeger, Chi Lin, Sushil Beriwal, Weining Zhen, Minesh P. Mehta, Anthony L. Zietman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose This is the first National Resident Matching Program analysis evaluating historical patterns of international medical graduates (IMGs) in radiation oncology (RO) and providing comparison with American (MD) medical graduates (AMGs), osteopathic students (DOs), unfilled positions, and other specialties. Methods and Materials National Resident Matching Program data for IMGs were available from 2003 to 2015, with limited data for other specialty matches. The following RO-specific figures were obtained per year: total positions available; total matched positions; number of unfilled positions; and number of IMG, AMG, and DO matches. In addition, the number of IMG matches and total matched positions were obtained for 19 other specialties. Fisher exact tests and χ2 tests were considered significant at α <.05. Results From 2010 to 2015, 0.8% of RO matches were IMGs, a decline from 2.4% in 2003 to 2009 (P=.006). Proportions of DO matches during these intervals increased by 40% (from 1.0% to 1.4%), significantly lower than IMGs for 2003 to 2009 (P=.03) but not 2010 to 2015 (P=.26). From 2003 to 2015, the percentage of IMG matches, at 1.5%, was significantly lower than the percentage of unfilled seats, at 3.5% (P<.001). In comparison with other specialties (2003-2015), RO had the fewest IMG matches (1.5%), followed by otolaryngology (1.9%) and orthopedics (2.2%); specialties with the highest IMG proportions were internal medicine (37.1%), family medicine (35.7%), and neurology (31.1%). Conclusions Presently, IMGs represent <1% of RO matches, the lowest among major specialties. There are several speculative factors associated with this low proportion. There are significantly more unfilled positions than those filled by IMGs; programs at risk of not matching could weigh the advantages and disadvantages of interviewing IMGs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1106
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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