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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.

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Old 01-09-2015
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Default US Clinical experience dilemma

Hello guys. I know there are a lot of threads about USCE for International Medical Students/Graduates,but I have to start a new one.
I'm a fifth year medical student in my home country (Serbia) (program lasts 6 years) and I've been thinking about what kind of USEFUL HANDS ON USCE can I obtain...?
I've spent a couple of months already looking for something realistic,but I can't seem to find it.
Let me explain the situation...
I'm planning on passing the USMLE Steps 1 and 2 after I finish my college here. I'm still not sure whether I'm going to go for it exactly in the year when I graduate (Summer of 2016). or 1 year after (Summer of 2017.) (ANY OPINIONS/ADVICE ON THIS? )
And if all that hopefully works,I would like to apply for an INTERNAL MEDICINE residency.
Of course,I heard that USCE and Letters of Recommendation from US doctors are the second thing for evaluating IMG applications,immediatelly after Step 1 and Step 2 scores.
I know that while I'm still a STUDENT I can get electives/clerkships,but when i GRADUATE I'll only be able to do observerships...
Regarding the electives,I was looking for the ones that accept International Medical Students,that don't require USMLE Step 1(since I'm going to pass it only after I finish my studies),that don't require malpractice insurance(since I can't really obtain it),the ones that don't require huge application/tutition fees(since my budget is limited),AND the ones that are available in the SUMMER(2nd half of July or August,since that is the only time I don't have commitments in my college)...
So,my question is: Is it possible to find an elective/clerkship that meets these criteria?
Or,as an alternative,are there good observerships in academic institutions that don't cost a lot of money and that can mean something? (I know they can never be as good as the hands on electives/clerkships,but I still need them to have some weight)
One more thing: Right now I only have the opportunity to do an observership in a private physician's office for a couple of weeks,so I don't know if I should pursue that(keep in mind that right now I can't do more than 1 type of USCE because of my limited budget...)
So,I'm just confused if I should pursue USCE at all costs,or should I just focus on improving my USMLE scores as much as I can and improving my CV by volunteering,getting recommendations from doctors in my home country and having some kind of publication of my research papers...?
Thanks a lot for your replies in advance,and sorry for the long post.
Good luck everyone!
P.S. Happy holidays!
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Old 01-12-2015
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Regarding USCE it is important for getting IVs from many good places, especially from Uni programs. However, it is not the most important factor. I suggest that high scores, good letters of recommendation, dedication, passion, good IV skills, research experience are very important.
I don't have any sort of USCE, but I got 15 interviews this season and ended up cancelling almost half of them because of lack of time.
Although I got 15, but I did not have except 3 University calls, there are some programs, like UNM, which will NOT send you an invitation without USCE.
Also, even if you have 1 year USCE, 270s, don't expect calls from Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt unless you have ALOT of research.
So every factor in your CV is important and I say if you can afford it, go for it, becuase it increases your chances, but after all it is only a small part of the things they look for
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