Following are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive from potential applicants.
- “My medical school does not appear on the list of medical schools recognized by the Medical Board of California. Can I still apply?”
The Medical Board of California grants a Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) only to graduates of medical schools they recognize. This PTAL is required for application to a California medical residency. Accordingly, we cannot consider any candidate who has graduated from a non-MBC-recognized medical school.
- “I need to be employed full-time while participating in the program. Can I still apply?”
We’re sorry, but no. We estimate that accepted scholars will need to study or engage in clinical training for at least 50 hours per week to graduate in as short a time as possible. Outside employment will lengthen completion times, and raise the probability of failure to complete the program.
- “I have never resided in a Latin American country nor studied in a Latin American medical school, but I am fluent in Spanish. Am I eligible for your program?”
No. Language ability is only one component. Bicultural American/Hispanic competency is also required.
- “I have an F-1/tourist B/L-1 or L-2 work visa. Can I enroll in the program while seeking a more permanent residency status?”
No. Our program is designed only for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or permanent refugee under political asylum.
- “Do you offer any clinical rotations or observerships for IMGs who are not enrolled in your IMG Program?”
The UCLA IMG Program does not offer any type of clinical observership or rotations for anyone other than Program participants, unless they are coming from an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited training program. The Medical Board of California does not currently allow the UCLA IMG Program to accept international rotators.
- “I am fluent in English and Spanish, and although my country of birth is a non-Latin American country, I have had broad exposure to Hispanic cultures. Will my application be considered?”
It can be considered, but will be reviewed for the depth and breadth of exposure. For example, someone who was born outside of Latin America, but grew up in a Latin American country and received their education there, may be eligible.
- “What if my medical school does not appear on the California Medical Board’s list of recognized or approved schools? Can I still apply to the UCLA IMG Program?”
The UCLA IMG Program is designed to produce graduates who will match to Family Medicine residency programs in California. Eligibility criteria for such programs, including which medical schools are recognized and approved, is dictated by the California Medical Board. If your school does not appear on their list, you are not eligible to apply for UCLA’s IMG Program.
- “I have taken and failed more than one USMLE exam. However, I have not failed more than two USMLE exams. Am I still eligible to apply?”
Failing any USMLE exam reduces the likelihood of being accepted into a California medical residency. For this reason, we look very carefully at the circumstances of any failure on a USMLE exam. If you have taken and failed two or fewer USMLE exams but otherwise meet all other criteria, your application may be reviewed. However, a favorable decision is not guaranteed.
If you have failed more than two USMLE exams, you are not eligible for the IMG Program.
- “I want to apply for residency training in a program other than Family Medicine (for example, internal medicine or pediatrics). Can I apply to the program?”
No. Our program is designed only for scholars who are pursuing a residency in Family Medicine.
- “I am currently a medical school student at a Latin American medical school who has not yet graduated. Am I eligible to apply to your program?”
You must be an International Medical Graduate to be accepted into our program. We encourage interested medical students to become familiar with our program and its requirements for future reference.
- “I do not live in California. Am I eligible to apply to your program?”
No. All scholars must reside in the Los Angeles area during the duration of their participation in the program. If you have not yet completed USMLE Step 1, you might consider studying for that exam on your own, and then applying to our Program B after moving to Los Angeles. Otherwise, we do not consider out-of-state applicants.