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Old 12-17-2011
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Taiwan Taiwanese Medical Student and USMLE Plan

Greetings everyone!!
I'm a sixth-year medical student from Taiwan. I really need your sound advise on my plan. I will graduate next yr and I will take USMLE step 1 and CK in my country and CS in USA later. However, my plan for getting into Residency Matching program will be 7 yrs later due to some personal issues and I will be 34 years old at that time. I want to do residency in the US, preferably in ER or Physical medicine and rehabilitation, but willing to consider other areas like internal medicine etc.

I would just like to ask your advise on how to increase my chances of getting matched in those residency training programs. Do I need to have any Externships or Observerships? Do I need to have my step 3 done before I apply for the Residency Matching program?

I'm looking for an honest answer before starting the long road of USMLE preparations and residency applications.

Thank you for your advice.

Last edited by rubertchua; 12-17-2011 at 09:07 PM. Reason: word correction
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Old 12-18-2011
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Default 7 Years is long time!

I don't see a reason that you are doing the USMLE now and then applying for the match 7 years later! If you plan to come after to USA after 7 years then I suggest you postpone the prep until then.

Also remember that USMLE exam results are valid for 7 years only, after 7 years you have to take them again.

In addition, the dynamics and economics of US health care will for sure tremendously change during this long time, rules will change, exams might change, residency opportunities and specialty competitiveness might change, even the whole USA future in uncertain for that long period of time. Therefore, I suggest you delay your efforts until you are sure of your choice of coming to USA.

Answering your questions:
Observerships and externships (US LoRs) do help a lot but they are not a must.
USMLE Step 3 is not needed and is not useful to get into residency (unless you are looking for H1B visa)

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Old 02-04-2012
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the USMLE forums staff is correct on every aspect I think. But I'll also like to add that although externship is not a must, it will help in obtaining letters of recommendations and very important in keeping up with the changes and advances in medicine and new rules. For extership questions try externconnect.com and see if they can help.
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