Frequently Asked Questions

What visas do you sponsor?

Foreign national physicians must possess a work visa at the start of the training year / orientation, and except as noted below must seek Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG sponsorship) as a J-1 exchange visitor. The objectives of the Exchange Visitor Program are to enhance international exchange and to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other nations through the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.

Medical students currently enrolled in a U.S. medical school on an F visa in good standing, may be considered for training under an F-1 OPT status for their intern year, during which time they may apply for H1-B sponsorship. Further details regarding this issue can be obtained during your interview or by calling the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

Foreign national physicians enrolled in MPH, PhD, or other training programs on an F visa must seek ECFMG sponsorship as a J-1 exchange visitor.

Do you have a minimum USMLE score?

We have no fixed minimum score for application. We review performance on both Step 1 and 2 scores, and the majority of candidates invited to interview have scored above the national average.

Does your program accept applications from medical students trained outside the US and Canada?

We are happy to review applications from highly qualified international applicants. Applicants MUST have graduated from medical school within the last 3 years, have passed USMLE Step 1 and 2 on their first attempt with outstanding scores, be fluent in written and spoken English, be ECFMG certified, and have a minimum of 2-3 months of clinical training in the US, Canada, or major European medical center at the level of a sub-intern. Observerships without direct patient responsibility are not acceptable. Applicants without a Green Card or US Citizenship will also need to be eligible for a J visa. We do not sponsor H1b visas for applicants from medical schools outside the US.

Can I do an Observership at your program?

We do not sponsor observerships. If you are currently enrolled in medical school, you can visit the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth website to inquire about away rotations.

How do candidates apply?

We only accept applications through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).

Do you accept COMLEX scores and if so, what is the minimal acceptable score?

Yes, we consider both COMLEX and USMLE scores. As with USMLE scores, there is no minimum required for application, however the majority of candidates invited to interview have a 3-digit score of 550 or greater on COMLEX.

Should I apply to your program if I failed the USMLE on a prior attempt?

In most situations, we require passage of the USMLE on the first try. All applications are reviewed, however the number of attempts at passing the USMLE is strongly considered.

Do you require USMLE Step 2 prior to interviewing and ranking?

Step 2 is not required prior to interviewing. Passing USMLE Step 2 is required in order to obtain a NH training license. Therefore, we encourage all candidates to be scheduled to take Step 2 prior to ranking in February.

Do you have a preliminary program?

We have a preliminary program that is open to candidates who apply to our Dermatology, Radiology, or Neurology residency programs. If you are interested in a preliminary year in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, contact the primary program to which you are applying. They will forward your application to us (you do not apply via ERAS). We do not accept direct applications for our preliminary year positions.

What letters of reference are required for application?

In addition to the Medical Student Performance Evaluation, we require at least 3 letters of reference. For applicants from US medical schools, 1 of these letters should be a departmental letter of recommendation / Chair letter. The other 2 should be from clinicians who have worked closely with you during your training, such as the attending during your Medicine Subinternship and Clerkship. Clinical letters should be written within the past 2-3 years. Letters from research mentors are helpful but should not substitute for letters attesting to your clinical experience.

If your school does not provide a Chair letter, then you should submit a third letter of recommendation instead.

Although our minimum requirement for Letters of Recommendation is 3, we are happy to review 4 Letters, the maximum allowed by ERAS.

Do candidates need to be ECFMG certified to apply to the program?

International graduates must have completed USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK to be considered for an interview. We do not require ECFMG certification for ranking.

What is the latest date for the submission of applications?

Applications submitted via ERAS are reviewed over the first 3 to 4 weeks of the application season. Hence, we encourage applicants to apply early in the application season.

What are my chances of getting an interview?

It is impossible to tell you exactly what your chances of an interview are. Each application is reviewed individually by the admissions team and evaluated on its individual merits and accomplishments.

When do new residents start?

Orientation (paid!!) begins in the middle of June. Applicants are encouraged to avoid conflicts in the latter half of June, as orientation is mandatory.

What are other websites that will give me needed information?

Visit the Policies and Procedures and How to Apply sections of this site for detailed information regarding benefits, eligibility, visa policy, employment criteria and requirements, and other pertinent data.

When do our interviews begin and end?

Our interview season normally goes from mid-October to mid-January.

If a candidate is interested in a Primary Care Track Program, do they need to apply to the Categorical Program as well?

No, candidates need only apply to the track they are interested in. Candidates are welcome to apply to both tracks.

Once I get an invitation to interview, what information will be sent to me?

We invite candidates to interview via email. This year, all interviews will be conducted virtually. Once a candidate has been notified that they are invited for an interview and a date has been agreed upon, the candidate will receive a confirmation email containing information about the area and our institution, the interview day schedule, and more.