I've got two questions that have been on my mind recently, but I've been kind of embarrassed to ask anyone for fear of looking completely ignorant. The first question is simple enough and considering how important it has been for IMG's it's probably something I should know, while the second question is a bit more complicated and I'm hoping that some of the really helpful administrators or moderators (or a really knowledgeable med student) can answer it for me. 1. I know that alot of IMG's enter into internal medicine residencies once back inside the US, but I'm unsure of what exactly this field of study can lead to in terms of practice? Do graduates of these programs go on to enter only into private practice or primary care or can IM be a pathway for the doctor to enter into a more specific field of medicine such as cardiology or something else? If so, would this be the exception rather than the rule and would being an IMG limit one's ability to do this? The next one's a bit tricky because I don't know all that much about the ways in which residency programs operate and I not sure how many people (especially recent med school graduates) come into contact with the lesser known details of residency programs. Anyway, here goes... 2. I understand that there are two ways in which one can get a residency place in the US. The first, and most common, is through the matching scheme that all US med school grads and most IMG's enter into. It's the second way that I'm curious about. I think this involves setting something up directly with the specific program, meaning that this would be outside of the matching scheme. Does anyone know when this type of an arrangement would be used? When I asked my cousin (a recent US grad) he at first looked puzzled and then said it probably applied to fully qualified foreign-trained doctors who although they have to undergo a period of training in the US, are given a resdiency that is "reduced or compressed" and therefore this is applied for outside of the matching system. If this is true than what would be the determining factor for which doctors can apply for this? The country and school/program of training??? Thanks for the info.