Navigating Psychiatry Residency in the United States

A Guide for International Medical Graduate Physicians

U.S. Physicians are trained in more than 2,500 medical schools in more than 150 countries throughout the world. Each year, thousands of these medical graduates from diverse international backgrounds seek residency positions in the United States as "international medical graduates" (IMGs), a term used to describe those who have completed their undergraduate medical education in schools outside of the U.S. IMGs can also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who graduated from medical schools outside of the U.S. and are sometimes referred to as USIMGs.

Despite facing numerous challenges, IMGs make considerable contributions to psychiatry through work in the basic sciences, research and health-care delivery. IMG physicians have been and will continue to be very successful as educators, researchers and leaders.

The following are some useful topics and guidelines provided for IMG physicians/psychiatrists in navigating and transitioning to the U.S. medical system.

U.S. Medical Education and Training System

An overview of U.S. medical licensing and residency programs.

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Languages and Communication

An overview of language factors and strategies for improvement.

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Cultural Factors

An overview of U.S. customs and norms to consider in practice.

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An overview of H1-B and J-1 visas required for residing in the U.S.

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Nyapati Rao, M.D.
Saeed Ahmed, M.B.B.S., M.D.
Jaspreet Sangha, M.D.

APA Staff Reviewed

Sejal Patel, M.P.H.

SEPT 2018

Physician Reviewed

Steven Epstein, M.D.
James Griffith, M.D.