International medical graduates (IMGs) perform just as well in residency as their
U.S. peers, researchers found.
They surveyed 33 past and current IMGs doing residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Medical Center, 98 U.S. graduates and 55 faculty to compare perceived performance
between international and U.S. medical graduates.
About 73% of faculty and 89% of U.S. graduates had a somewhat or mostly positive view
of international graduates, while about 24% of faculty and 12% of U.S. graduates were
neutral. Roughly 4% of faculty had a somewhat negative view.
Overall, they perceived U.S. and international graduates as performing at about the
same level, which was backed by findings that 100% of international respondents passed
their American Board of Pediatrics initial certification compared to 95% of U.S. graduates.
International graduates excelled in clinical knowledge/skills and resource utilization
but trailed their U.S. peers in communication, public health knowledge and efficiency,
the study said.
The findings “may suggest the need for more extensive linguistic and cultural orientation,”
The results were limited due to the small number of participants who were at a single
institution where IMGs undergo a rigorous selection process.
The Academy has expressed support for IMGs, who make up about a quarter of the workforce.
Researchers have found they also spark interest in global health.
“By providing outstanding IMGs with the opportunity to train in highly academic settings,
these competent professionals will contribute to a diversified pediatric workforce,
providing care to the underserved at home and abroad,” authors wrote.