International Medical Graduates

865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, New York  11590

516-488-6100 ext. 383 

Link to IMG Sourcebook

Check out this resource if you are seeking a residency position in New York State!

J-1 Visa Waiver Program
The New York State Department of Health has implemented the New York "State 30" program that supports waivers of the home residence requirement for a maximum of thirty (30) J-1 physicians annually who either agree to practice in federally-designated underserved areas or to provide services to persons who live in such areas. Up to ten (10) waivers may be granted in the second category. Read more here. 

Program Provides Support and Service to IMGs
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) provides a professional development program for ECFMG-certified physicians and physicians about to be certified, called ECHO.

ECHO (ECFMG Certificate Holders Office) provides free resources that allow IMGs to be better prepared and organized in making important career decisions. These resources provide guidance on entering the US health care system, such as applying to US GME programs, obtaining a US medical license, and medical specialty certification. ECHO will also strive to provide information on non-clinical careers for certified IMGs who do not enter US GME. 

In addition, ECHO enables IMGs to connect with other experts and organizations and with each other, and provides a free monthly e-newsletter.

For more information, and to subscribe to the newsletter, visit the ECHO section of the ECFMG website.

The MSSNY IMG Committee works to expand MSSNY's understanding and responsiveness to the unique concerns of members who are international medical graduates (IMGs). 

  • To establish that once an IMG is licensed to practice medicine in New York State, he or she is the equal of licensed US medical school graduates.
  • To seek explanation or correction of policies widely perceived among IMG members as being unfair to graduates of international medical schools.
  • To increase involvement among IMGs in the MSSNY and in their county medical societies, as well as in the American Medical Association so that their point of view will be adequately represented, and can maximize the effectiveness of the associations in responding to the needs of physicians and patients.       

Obtaining a Residency in New York State

If you are a physician who received your medical degree outside the US or Canada and you are looking for a residency position, there are multiple steps you need to take and understand thoroughly. It is vital that you read all websites carefully to understand the role of each organization and to understand the intricacies of residency recruitment, eligibility criteria, and what is expected of you as a prospective candidate for a residency position.

Click here for a synopsis of what you need to know, with links to the websites you should become familiar with.   

Mentoring Program for International Medical Graduates
We are seeking IMG members who would like to volunteer as mentors for other international medical graduates who are seeking residency positions, to familiarize them with cultural and language issues, as well as with medical practice matters and interviewing skills. Competition for residency positions is intense. 

If you would like to volunteer as a mentor, or if you are an IMG seeking residency training and would like to be paired with a MSSNY mentor, please contact Eunice Skelly at 516-488-6100 ext. 389, or

Credentialing Delays 

This seems to be where many of the delays in licensing occur. Applicants may not understand their responsibilities in this process, and as a result can inadvertently be the cause of their own difficulties. 

MSSNY’s IMG Committee advice: Start the FCVS process as soon as you enter residency training. You do not need to specify in which state you plan to seek licensure at this stage – just get the process started.  
  • Read all directions carefully and submit everything that is required. FCVS will NOT contact you to advise that your application is incomplete.

  • Follow up to check on the progress of your file after 30 days.

  • Information on the FCVS website can be confusing. Read all materials on the website explaining the process and offering answers to frequent questions. 

  • Obtain a Federal Express account that FCVS can use to speed delivery of documentation.

  • Follow up with your school personally and ask them to respond to the FCVS.

  • Make sure the State Education Department has received your ECFMG certification and that they have included it with your FCVS file.
  • Become a MSSNY member so that you can contact us for assistance should you experience problems.

Increased Involvement of IMGs with MSSNY

IMGs are encouraged to seek leadership roles in their county and state medical societies. One route is by serving on a MSSNY committee. Appointments to MSSNY committees are considered by the MSSNY President Elect based on recommendations made by county medical societies each fall, so let your county exec know of your interest.

In addition, special avenues are provided for leadership development through MSSNY’s Sections for Residents and Fellows and for Young Physicians (those under the age of 40 or who have completed residency training within the past eight years.) Leaders of international medical associations are especially encouraged to attend meetings of the MSSNY Council and the House of Delegates, and MSSNY leaders are always happy to provide briefings on legislative and other developments of concern to physicians.

Questions relating to the MSSNY IMG Committee can be directed to:

Sandra Bennett

MSSNY Division of Membership Services

516-488-6100  ext. 389