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


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  #1  
Old 03-06-2015
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Default 4 year break after 2nd yr of med school... what are my chances?

Hi everyone, it's been 3-4 years since I finished 2nd year of medicine, and due to failing my step 1 and also getting sick, I lost my ambition to try again. I recently decided to retake my step 1, but how would that effect my chances of residency? I'm not picky about specialty or even location at this point. After step 1, I would have to finish my 2 years of clinicals in the States (I'm Canadian) before applying for residency. I don't have too many contacts at this point. Let's say I get no residency, would I have other options or am I basically screwed? I'm 26 with no career, so it's really critical for me to go down a path that would benefit me best.
Any feedback would be great!
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Old 03-07-2015
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Hey! I'm almost in the same situation, I took 3 years off but returning to school in my 3rd year this year.

Maybe if you show a great improvement and dedication from the time you get back it would help, but i can't really speak for PDs. A step 1 failure isn't a deal breaker as you I think you will still have a chance if you apply broadly, get a good retake score, and a good step 2 score to show them that the years off have really helped you change and mature.

Are you doing school in Canada, the Caribbean, or elsewhere?

My back up plan for no residency is either apply again and take the NZRex since I have family in New Zealand.

Let me know how it goes for you! I'd love to keep in touch with someone in a similar situation.

Let's see what else other people think.
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Old 03-07-2015
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Contrary to what the above poster says, failing Step 1 is a major red flag. Assuming that you are an IMG, many programs will filter you out regardless of what your retake score is. The gap is also a red flag. If you really want to continue, then you must score 240+ on your retake, 240+ on Step 2 CK, pass Step 2 CS on the first attempt, and make as many contacts as you can during your clinical rotations. Without a residency, your job prospects are extremely limited.
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U.S. citizen, Step 1: 230, Step 2 CK: 240, Step 2 CS: pass, matched into Internal Medicine!
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Old 03-07-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextrocardia View Post
Contrary to what the above poster says, failing Step 1 is a major red flag. Assuming that you are an IMG, many programs will filter you out regardless of what your retake score is. The gap is also a red flag. If you really want to continue, then you must score 240+ on your retake, 240+ on Step 2 CK, pass Step 2 CS on the first attempt, and make as many contacts as you can during your clinical rotations. Without a residency, your job prospects are extremely limited.
yeah, I didn't mean to say that the failure is not a red flag, but that there may be a redemption factor in doing extremely well on the retakes and Step 2.
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Old 03-09-2015
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Just wanted to say I'm in the exact same situation. It's been just under 4 years since I finished basic sciences. I have yet to take Step 1 but I'm currently studying for it and hope to take it in 2 months. I have no idea how residencies will view such a long hiatus and I regret every day the fact that I've wasted this much time, but oh well. Hopefully we can all clear this hurdle and reach the finish line.
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Old 03-09-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoge1966 View Post
Just wanted to say I'm in the exact same situation. It's been just under 4 years since I finished basic sciences. I have yet to take Step 1 but I'm currently studying for it and hope to take it in 2 months. I have no idea how residencies will view such a long hiatus and I regret every day the fact that I've wasted this much time, but oh well. Hopefully we can all clear this hurdle and reach the finish line.
Good luck to us!!!
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Old 03-11-2015
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Honestly, I hate to discourage anyone but it will be tough to impossible. You have 2 pretty big red flags. Failures and taking a long time to graduate. You also need a green card which makes it even harder. I have a Canadian friend whose step scores are nearly identical to mine and he struggled to get interviews (in a less competitive field) while I had to cancel some of mine. I think alot of that has to do with me having citizenship and him needing visa. Again I'm not saying you should definitely give up but check your priorities and know what your going up against. Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dextrocardia View Post
Contrary to what the above poster says, failing Step 1 is a major red flag. Assuming that you are an IMG, many programs will filter you out regardless of what your retake score is. The gap is also a red flag. If you really want to continue, then you must score 240+ on your retake, 240+ on Step 2 CK, pass Step 2 CS on the first attempt, and make as many contacts as you can during your clinical rotations. Without a residency, your job prospects are extremely limited.

I just want to respond to something dextrocardia said. It is true that step 1 is one of the major if not the most important filter programs use for picking applicants to interview. HOWEVER, they cannot filter based on failures, only based on step score. For example: if they set a filter at 220. It would filter a student who got a 219 on first attempt but not a student who has one failure and a 221 the second attempt.
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Old 03-11-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicandprivate View Post
I just want to respond to something dextrocardia said. It is true that step 1 is one of the major if not the most important filter programs use for picking applicants to interview. HOWEVER, they cannot filter based on failures, only based on step score. For example: if they set a filter at 220. It would filter a student who got a 219 on first attempt but not a student who has one failure and a 221 the second attempt.
It all depends on the program itself, if you somehow manage to view the programs filtering system via ERAS you would actually see how they set up their parameters, e.g. if they set up only first attempt with a score above 220 both of your examples won't appear and eventually get filtered out.
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Old 03-11-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epicandprivate View Post
I just want to respond to something dextrocardia said. It is true that step 1 is one of the major if not the most important filter programs use for picking applicants to interview. HOWEVER, they cannot filter based on failures, only based on step score. For example: if they set a filter at 220. It would filter a student who got a 219 on first attempt but not a student who has one failure and a 221 the second attempt.

That's just 100% wrong. To my knowledge (a few friends are chiefs), they can filter almost anyway they want (especially with new web based system).

Read the posts on sdn from aProgDir (whose a PD) and he's said they can filter almost anyway they want, including failures.
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