National Health Research


You may be asking yourself about the importance of having clinical research experience in relation to your chance of matching. Your decision of whether or not to seek out research experience prior to residency should be based on a number of different factors. The biggest factor is whether or not based on the look of your entire application in a holistic approach if indeed research will help you to obtain a residency position.

Does having research experience lead to better match success?

         So before you make any decision in life, it is always wise to take a step back and look at the facts. According to the 2013 IMG Post-Match Survey, approximately 22% of IMG match applicants obtained clinical research experience at a training institution. Fewer IMGs obtained clinical research at a private facility. About 3% of those who matched, 16% of IMGs who obtained a position through SOAP and 5% of those who did not match had this research experience type.

 Whether you are a current student in medical school or have graduated already, everyone has an idea of what their specialty interests are. The chart below will give you a good understanding of how much of a significance research plays a role in your applications, after all, it may be the only thing on your application left to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. 


Percentage of programs citing research in selecting applicants to interview 

Internal Medicine


Family Medicine












General Surgery





So is doing research the best way to spend your time?

Remember that your residency program application is a multifaceted package. You need to think about doing research as part of this overall package. After some thought you may find that the best way to spend your time may not be research, but other activities such as getting US clinical experience, further employment at your home country, or other endeavors that may be more useful.