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


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  #1  
Old 05-02-2015
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Default My Match experience 2015 (very LONG read)

My Match experience

So this is it. The moment weíve all been waiting for. Itís been a long journey but itís finally drawing to a close!.



My Match season began as soon as I got my CK scores in May-ish 2014. I had been looking for an observership for several months, I had emailed at least 40 programs and got no answers whatsoever. Either they had some incredibly stringent requirements I didnít meet or they wanted to ask you for half of your savings accounts for the privilege of following someone in their hospitals.



For latin American students the best chance is definitely the William Harrington program in the University of Miami/Jackson. I applied for this program about 9 months before my desired date and still got rejected, so be advised!, try to figure out where you want to go at least 1 year before, JUST TO BE SAFE.


I had tons of trouble finding ways to get Letters of Recommendation (LORís) . I contacted one of my old bosses at my previous workplace and asked him to let me volunteer/rotate with him until I could find a place to go. This was basically to not make it look like I wasnít doing anything for an entire year.


Eventually and as always my mom came to the rescue, she knew someone that knew someone that knew someone who had a son in the states who had successfully graduated from Internal Medicine. I miraculously contacted this Doctor and he was so nice, that only tangentially knowing me, decided to allow me to do a rotation in his Clinic. So during I spent the better part of the summer in NYC, observing at a private clinic, dealing with ďurgenciesĒ and primary care, basically.


At the end I got 4 letters. 2 from the State doctors and 2 from my last workplace (national internship).
So, with all my scores uploaded to the system, and all my letters uploaded to ERAS, I was finally ready to begin my Match season!.



Apply early. I canít stress this enough. I know several people with profiles identical to mine or even BETTER that only got about half the number of interviews because they decided to apply on October or something like that.



Hereís a simple rule. If you KNOW that you want to apply for this season but only have Step 1 or something like that, then apply on September 15th anyhow. Donít wait for your other scores, someone might look at your S1 score and think you have potential but if you wait until October they arenít even going to look at your profile. I would never apply just with a S1 by the way, but if you really really wanted to, thatís the way to do it.



I applied to 75 programs.
I was lucky enough to get my first interview during my birthday celebration about 1 week after the start of the season (September 22). At the end, I obtained 14 interviews, most of them in the first 2 weeks of October and the final one on November 2nd.
The places that sent me interviews were: Lincoln Hospital, St Barnabas, Jacobi, St Luke, Cook County, Bronx Lebanon, Danbury, St Francis, Illinois Masonic, Jackson Memorial, University of Central Florida, Englewood, Morristown and NYMC Metropolitan.


Interviews are a scary thing. At least in concept, in reality not so much. Before going away for my ďInterview tourĒ, I met with a couple of my classmates to do mock interviews. This helped us SO much!, if you have the time I definitely recommend it. It helped me build my confidence and talk my way out of uncomfortable situations. This is very important because you have to show that you are confident, talkative and social person (even if you are not). Think about it like selling a product. You are selling YOURSELF, so do what Malboro does and show a better version of you. Try not to come off as arrogant or anything like that, just be someone you would want to work with.
Dress properly and if you are like me, with zero fashion sense!, have someone approve your outfit before actually wearing it!

Most of the people doing the interviewing have the experience but definitely not the training to do a thorough interview in my honest opinion. So if you google ďQuestions for the interviews MATCHĒ you will probably get a very good list of what things to expect. Still, some things are impossible to predict but the list AAMC provides is a very good start. Just be prepared for anything.



Again, Interviews ARE scary in concept but trust me they are not. I attended 10 interviews and about 9 of them were simply amazing and fun. The doctors doing the interview are usually very nice people (I talked about my dog with at least 3 of them) .
I did have 2 panel interviews (3 interviewers at the same time) but other than that it was a lot easier than I expected.



The Costs
The match is not cheap and thatís without counting all the money I spent in preparation, nbmeís , qbanks, travel expenses and examination fees. Iíve read that the overall process (including tests etc) can be about 10,000USD and I agree. I wouldnít be surprised if itís even higher.


Applying to almost 80 programs costed me about 1800-2000 USD
I had to stay 1 month in NYC, which I used as a hub for my travels. 600USD (rent)
Travelling inside the states is not cheap but there are ways to make it cheaper. I used buses like Peterpan and Megabus to travel. Overall I spend around 400USD and 1000USD in plane tickets (I split my travels in two, Northeast and Florida).
This is all without even counting food and stuff, letís say I spend around 400USD (generous estimate)


After January 20th I basically began the waiting game for March 20th, and man ITíS NOT AN EASY GAME TO PLAY. Eventually match day did arrive and I matched to my 3rd spot (technically 4th) .Funny story, I was hospitalized with Dengue fever on Match day J


If I were to change anything about my experience so far, I would have definitely started studying during medschool but at the time I graduated no one really did that except 1 or 2 people. I would have tried to get at least 1 PUB (I have zero) , no matter if it was something I considered useless or simply to bloat my resume . And definitely less pauses between exams, cause I probably could have finished everything 1 year ago.


About STEP 3 itís definitely a plus but a very minimal one. I personally know someone who got 20+ interviews and didnít have it. I havenít taken it myself. No one really seemed to care if I had it or not during my interviews, someone outright said I should just take it and be done with it. If you want and H1B visa (work visa) itís a requirement though.
So thatís it folks!, good luck and godspeed. Hopefully ill see you all during your interviews!.


My stats :


Step 1 (2013) 248
Step 2 CS (2013) Pass
Step 2 CK (2014) 264
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angelar (05-03-2015), coronary (09-20-2015), Cubandoc (09-20-2015), ddaydreamer (05-12-2015), DrRMR (02-27-2017), drzamzam (05-02-2015), faith255 (09-20-2015), fat1iscool (05-02-2015), fentanylum (09-20-2015), happyboo (12-03-2015), IMGdoc26 (05-05-2015), liquidswords (09-20-2015), MedicalExaminer (09-20-2015), MishkaMD (05-02-2015), neelmed (06-17-2015), npktun (05-02-2015), seniortaker (05-02-2015), shaliniabhi (05-02-2015), Startfrom0 (05-07-2015), Volkmann (05-02-2015)


  #2  
Old 05-02-2015
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Here is my Google drive folder about Match/Usmle

https://drive.google.com/folderview?...FE&usp=sharing

It contains all of my "experiences" in one place (s1,s2, match) and also the lists of places where i applied

Have fun!
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2015
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Thank you so much, this is so useful. Do you require a visa, if you don't mind me asking??
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Old 05-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volkmann View Post
Thank you so much, this is so useful. Do you require a visa, if you don't mind me asking??
Yes, i do. Ill be taking a J1 since i didn't have time/money to take S3.
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Old 05-02-2015
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Hei Congrats!!! Thanks for sharing

Last edited by shaliniabhi; 05-02-2015 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 05-02-2015
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Thanks again. How many months of observerships do you think is enough?? My stats are 245/258/2010. Ill be able to get 3 months of oberverships in FM and IM with 2 LOR to go with it. I honestly cant see myself getting more than this before September.
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Old 05-03-2015
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Hey volkman u and i have almost identical scores 245/259 2012 I have the same question. I may be able to pull off one month of externship and 2 of observership. Another problem i have is 1 and half year of gap in my CV. Any idea how to approach that?
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Old 05-03-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brain15 View Post
Hey volkman u and i have almost identical scores 245/259 2012 I have the same question. I may be able to pull off one month of externship and 2 of observership. Another problem i have is 1 and half year of gap in my CV. Any idea how to approach that?
I have 1 year that I marked as "preparation for usmle" .

You should try to get a part time job or research position, just something to fill the gap.

Ideally an observership in a academic hospital.
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Old 05-05-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivenby View Post
I have 1 year that I marked as "preparation for usmle" .

You should try to get a part time job or research position, just something to fill the gap.

Ideally an observership in a academic hospital.
SO I'm willing to apply for the match 2016 as well... but my stats are pretty poor

Step1 Still preparing
Step2CS first pass
Step2 CK 230 (2nd attempt )

I have a gap of almost 2.5 years with only 2 months of attachment in ER and Surgery throughout...

Looking for a rescue option here... I have worked as part-time marketing assistant (non clinical) would that save me provided i needed the funds i earned from it other wise i couldn't have worked as a medic and made a living
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Old 09-20-2015
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dr doctor, where do i look out for clinical observership, and does it help in getting a program in general surgery
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Old 09-20-2015
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Hey thanks alot for sharing your experience. Can you please tell did u apply for FM?
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Never let your fear be stronger than your Faith
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