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


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  #1  
Old 03-24-2015
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Default Unmatched IMG....try again next year?

Hi all,

I'm posting this on behalf of my brother. He is an IMG, needing visa and did not match this year. He seems to have given up but I'm trying to encourage him. He is concerned because my parents and I have financed this whole endeavor for him. He hesitates because my parents had to take out loans to pay for most of his expenses while in the US and they are having difficulty paying it back. He hesitate to burden my parents further because of the uncertainty in matching and does not really want them to take on more debt to pay for this.

Here is his credentials:
YOG 2012
Needs visa (currently on F1 so he can't find work...if he were to get H1b from a job it'd be too late because he won't be able to start work until Oct)
Step 1 244
Step 2CK 243
Step 2CS Pass all first attempt
USCE: 1 month obvership with IM MD and 2 months observership + 6 months research assistant at pretty well known teaching hospital in CA
LORs 1 from said hospital; 1 from IM MD in US; 1 from country of origin
Applied to 95 IM categorical program; only got 2 interviews (1 pre-matched) and obviously did not match.

Should he try again? What are the chances of him matching if he takes Step 3? Honest opinions please. Thank you so much.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2015
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Given his credentials, I don't understand why he only got 2 interviews. Maybe he applied to too few or to the wrong programs (too competitive, not IMG friendly) or maybe he did not do well in the interviews? CA doesn't seem to be very IMG-friendly. Also, did he receive good recommendations? He should apply to more programs particularly in the east coast or practice his interview skills. Research on which programs are IMG-friendly and apply to more community/university affiliated ones.

Meanwhile he has to be doing something to avoid gaps in his CV (work or USCE).

Passing or good scores in step 3 is a plus but make sure he doesn't fail this because a fail record is a huge setback. Based on his previous scores, it seems like he can make it.

Matching is a gamble but it will sure pay off if he matches. It's also a strategy game. Pick programs that give him the best chances. Should he decide to apply again, he must give it his best shot. Good luck next year!
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2015
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Thank you for your response. I know he didn't apply to any CA programs because he doesn't have SS, therefore he couldn't get PTAL and apply to any of those. We knew not matching was a high likelihood due to lack of interviews but it still didn't make it any easier to accept. I don't think he applied to any of the competitive programs but I know he probably could've been better in his selections. The first sentence he told me after not matching was "I should've applied more to NY programs and less to those who are questionably IMG friendly".

It's impossible for him to get a job because he's here on F1 visa. If he gets H1b visa from an employer, it'd be too late anyway because I read that those don't get approved until later in the year and he can only start working after Oct 2015.

I have never personally read the LORs but I would assume that they are as good as the usual LORs.

Due to financial constraints, it's cheaper that he takes Step 3 in 2 months, go back to our country in May and then come back if he gets invited for interviews. I don't think he'll be able to get any more experience than he already has because he really needs these 2 months to study. He'll fill the gap with being in the US studying for Step 3 while here and precepting with MD in our home country until he gets the IVs invitation. Will it look bad on him? I know the more USCE the better but how will this look? It is just financially impossible for my parents to support him living in the US the whole year.

His other options is trying to get residency spot in our home country or Philippines.
He'd first have to take exams to get into programs in either countries. Plus, there is still the uncertainty of getting a spot in either countries and even if he did, he wouldn't be paid (not even a penny) for the next 3-4 years while he goes through residency program.

Any thoughts? Your feedback is appreciated.

Last edited by 1cky84; 03-24-2015 at 03:00 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2015
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His scores are good. He should try to get connections and do something meaningful in the US. He needs to be different from the other candidates.... there are tons of people with good scores. He needs to show that he wants to stay in the US. SPEND TIME looking for research positions, anything that could help him to get connections. Perhaps he will need some connections to get a research position too. Ask anyone, an old friend, a cousin of a friend, someone at school, there must be someone who knows someone in the US! slowly but surely, one needs to find a good path to be in the US. the path may be complicated, but if he has a very clear goal in mind he can get there.

I don't think the problem is the lack of IV skills, the problem is the lack of IVs! a phone call or an email could change his life. Good scores are necessary to support that phone call or email.

Don't be discouraged, but persistent and proactive. On the paper he has everything he needs to match.


Good luck!
__________________
Step 1 [240]; Step 2 CS [passed first time]; Step 2 CK [244]; YOG (2006); residency in my own country (2013);13 months USCE/Research; GC holder
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Old 03-24-2015
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like others have pointed out really good scores... I am surprised he only got 2 interviews. That seems really low for his credentials and almost a worst case kind of scenarios for IMGs. Did he apply broadly? Did he have some community programs in his 95 programs? How was his personal statement? Was it using proper English? All this stuff matters in any applications. I dont know what went wrong for him but there cant be much. I would try to get all the LORs from US MDs. Have professionals look at my personal statement. Like the previous post said take step 3 and do some USCE. Apply extremely broadly different types of programs and different states.

and he definitely shouldnt give up. everybody trips now and then but it seems like hes really close. good luck!
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2015
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Thank you for your responses. I really appreciate it. It seems like the general consensus is he should try again, look for more USCE opportunities and apply to better choices of programs so he can get more interviews. I'm gonna have to explore further options to see what we can do financially so he can stay in the US and get some more USCE.

Thanks again.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2015
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In the same boat as your brother! My parents and brother have been supporting me financially this year but I dint matched either. I had 3 interviews although i applied 160 programs. I know its really hard for him but going back to home country will not help at this point because PD's donot count experience back in home unless its a residency. So I think giving step 3 and doing some obs/externship/research side by side will be of help. Step 3 will increase the number of interviews from community programs as well. Build your CV before you apply again this year and apply to community/ IMG friendly programs.

And probably doing observerships in teaching hospitals in other parts of country than CA will help building more contacts. Its all a game of luck and good strategy, dont lose hope and start working and making for game stronger.
This is exactly what I am doing at this point.
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Old 03-27-2015
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I would strongly suggest that he asks someone to look at his application. You have to make sure his CV/application in ERAS looks great at one glance. Sometimes it's the wording that is used and the way his credentials are presented that is not conspicuous. Then, get his personal statement improved by professionals. Last but certainly the most important things is that he emails/sends letters to the programs beginning October to show his interest in their programs and mention his credentials in a nutshell. Ask for a chance at presenting himself. That will help getting his application reviewed by PDs. Until then do step 3 for sure. And he may stay back and do a month or two of observerships or go back and start residency in his own country if finances don't allow him to stay in USA. Also it will take his mind off of the process and training will put something more on his cv. GL. I am sure he can pull it off.
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Old 03-28-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1cky84 View Post
Thank you for your response. I know he didn't apply to any CA programs because he doesn't have SS, therefore he couldn't get PTAL and apply to any of those. We knew not matching was a high likelihood due to lack of interviews but it still didn't make it any easier to accept. I don't think he applied to any of the competitive programs but I know he probably could've been better in his selections. The first sentence he told me after not matching was "I should've applied more to NY programs and less to those who are questionably IMG friendly".

It's impossible for him to get a job because he's here on F1 visa. If he gets H1b visa from an employer, it'd be too late anyway because I read that those don't get approved until later in the year and he can only start working after Oct 2015.

I have never personally read the LORs but I would assume that they are as good as the usual LORs.

Due to financial constraints, it's cheaper that he takes Step 3 in 2 months, go back to our country in May and then come back if he gets invited for interviews. I don't think he'll be able to get any more experience than he already has because he really needs these 2 months to study. He'll fill the gap with being in the US studying for Step 3 while here and precepting with MD in our home country until he gets the IVs invitation. Will it look bad on him? I know the more USCE the better but how will this look? It is just financially impossible for my parents to support him living in the US the whole year.

His other options is trying to get residency spot in our home country or Philippines.
He'd first have to take exams to get into programs in either countries. Plus, there is still the uncertainty of getting a spot in either countries and even if he did, he wouldn't be paid (not even a penny) for the next 3-4 years while he goes through residency program.

Any thoughts? Your feedback is appreciated.
Anyone in the US on an F1 visa is eligible for a work permit (EAD), so how come you're saying he can't get one. Also, taking time off from medicine to prepare for an exam is not an excuse and it will be considered a "gap" in the CV. However, this wont make any impact on his application if the gap isn't huge, say, 1-3 months, for example.

I think your brother should definitely apply next year, because to someone with his credentials residency is EASILY within reach, but next time he should apply to more programs; 160-200 would be great, if he can afford it.

I pray that your brother matches next year
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Old 03-28-2015
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@thind, roxy & r0ck_s0lid: Thank you so much for your feedback.

@thind: I'm so sorry to hear you didn't match either. I hope you're going to match the next time you apply.

My bro is gonna try again next year. He's gonna take Step 3 in a few months and we're currently seeking observership opportunities for him to get more LORs.

@r0ck_s0lid: Yes, I am aware that F1 students can get EAD. He first attended Kaplan for USMLE Prep but once he was done with Kaplan, he started attending non-accredited school taking business class just to extend his F1 visa because that was the cheapest options for us. As far as I know, EAD has to be something related to his current study and that won't really help much with USCE experience.

I think he had ~1 year gap in his CV because he was attending Kaplan at that time to study for his USMLEs. He told me that he never explained it to PDs because he was never asked about his gap during the interviews. He didn't explain it in his PS either. He told me that he was told by other IMGs to avoid addressing his gap unless asked because PDs or interviewers may end up asking questions he wouldn't want them to ask. He was also told that PDs/interviewers may miss seeing it on his CVs because of the sheer number of CVs they receive during the matching process therefore he shouldn't bring it up just in case they missed it. What do you guys think? I've done my research and I've never really heard such a thing. I would imagine that despite the large number of applicants, PDs would really look at the CVs of the ones they are interviewing and the ones they decide to rank. I personally think he should address it without being asked to try to turn the gap into a positive (or at least less negative) thing and prevent them from making assumptions about the gap.

Thank you again.

Last edited by 1cky84; 03-28-2015 at 08:51 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-29-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1cky84 View Post
@thind, roxy & r0ck_s0lid: Thank you so much for your feedback.

@thind: I'm so sorry to hear you didn't match either. I hope you're going to match the next time you apply.

My bro is gonna try again next year. He's gonna take Step 3 in a few months and we're currently seeking observership opportunities for him to get more LORs.

@r0ck_s0lid: Yes, I am aware that F1 students can get EAD. He first attended Kaplan for USMLE Prep but once he was done with Kaplan, he started attending non-accredited school taking business class just to extend his F1 visa because that was the cheapest options for us. As far as I know, EAD has to be something related to his current study and that won't really help much with USCE experience.

I think he had ~1 year gap in his CV because he was attending Kaplan at that time to study for his USMLEs. He told me that he never explained it to PDs because he was never asked about his gap during the interviews. He didn't explain it in his PS either. He told me that he was told by other IMGs to avoid addressing his gap unless asked because PDs or interviewers may end up asking questions he wouldn't want them to ask. He was also told that PDs/interviewers may miss seeing it on his CVs because of the sheer number of CVs they receive during the matching process therefore he shouldn't bring it up just in case they missed it. What do you guys think? I've done my research and I've never really heard such a thing. I would imagine that despite the large number of applicants, PDs would really look at the CVs of the ones they are interviewing and the ones they decide to rank. I personally think he should address it without being asked to try to turn the gap into a positive (or at least less negative) thing and prevent them from making assumptions about the gap.

Thank you again.
I totally disagree with what you said. Don't address it unless you get asked about it and don't mention it in your personal statement because there is no way you can turn it into something positive. Taking a Kaplan course is not a good excuse for the gap
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  #12  
Old 03-29-2015
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Thanks r0ck_s0lid. It was actually my bro who believe he should not address the question unless asked. I thought the opposite. Thank you for telling me this.
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Old 03-31-2015
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his score is bright. YOG 2012 is well. don't despair. match is gamble
try with more programs not to try and waste after big named but IMG friendly.
some time even one interview is also game changer rather seven eight not ranking.
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Old 04-02-2015
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Cant he get an "under the table" job? He's a man, can look for something small to support himself. He needs to do what wil move him closer to his goal. I think he should stay in the US and make more contacts.
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