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International Medical Graduates who become Categorical General Surgery Residents are Highly Successful: The Results of A Single Institution 20 Year Study
*Annabelle L Fonseca, *Peter S Yoo, Robert Udelsman, Walter E. Longo
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Objective: To determine the career development and progression of international medical graduates (IMGs) who began as preliminary general surgery residents and subsequently transitioned to categorical surgery residents
Design: Retrospective review
Setting: U.S. academic general surgery residency program
Participants: IMG residents
Interventions: none
Main Outcome Measures: board pass rate, fellowship training, practice patterns
Results: From 1988 to 2008, 30 IMGs who began their training as non-designated preliminary surgery residents, graduated as categorical general surgery residents from the program (25% of graduating residents). 77% were male. 40% graduated from medical schools in Europe, 37% from Asia, 10% from Africa, 10% from the Caribbean and 3% from South America. 42% had prior international training, 50% did research either during (87%) or prior (13%) to residency training. 93% passed the general surgery boards at first attempt and 100% pursued additional fellowship training after completion of residency, often in very competitive fellowship programs. Of those currently in practice, 86% are in academic practice (15% of these internationally), 9% in a hospital-affiliated practice and 5% in private practice.
Conclusions: IMGs graduating from US surgical programs have board pass rates higher than the national average, pursue additional fellowship training, often in competitive fellowship programs, and do well in their professional careers. Despite the perceived reluctance to hire IMGs, preliminary or otherwise, to matriculate as categorical surgery residents, our data suggests that if given the opportunity, they go on to have very successful careers.


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