IMG aiming for IM and a Cards fellowship
I'm a south american medical student to be graduated from a medical school in 2 years. I'm thinking on going to the US to do IM, then cards, and then staying there to live. I have yet to do the steps, or to have USCE so I haven't a clue of what my real chances are, but I would like to make myself an idea, as it would be very expensive to get into the process and not even matching in IM (our country's currency is too devaluated and a dollar is almost like an ingot of gold).
What I want to know is the most recommended path through the forest of residencies and fellowships to cards. From what I've read, it's suggested to do the observership (for me, it's complicated to do a clerkship) in the top spot where you'll be aiming for IM, which has to be a respected place in order to match in cards in the fellowship. I've read a lot and I have no objective and conclusive information as to what observership (if it even counts) is the best. I've found that the Cleveland Clinic in Florida offers observership and residency in IM, some sources say that the program is awful for getting fellowships while other say the opposite. I don't know. I would like to know a IMG friendly place for IM where I have possibilities of matching (i.e. they have accepted IMG in the past) for going after cards later and what kind of credentials, researchs and USCE I would need. Some sources say that I need about 2-6 months of USCE, while others say that's an exaggeration. I don't even know where to do the observership to begin with, I just want some advice. I would be grateful if you help me, even with a 'that's never gonna happen' cold shower. I'll only try the whole process if I score 250 or more in step I (optimistically), so I just want to know what would be the correct path to take.
Thank you very much for reading this.
(Btw, I did the Kaplan diagnostic test for step 1 without studying and scored 52% in my very first try... is that good?