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


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  #1  
Old 03-14-2016
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Fire Thread Matched into Family Medicine!

I matched!

My pursuit of residency was a long one. All the hard work finally paid off!
Take it from me and my experience that anyone, even with low scores, can match. Here's a brief summary of my experience -

- Step 1 --> failed first attempt
- Step 1 --> passed with a low score in 2nd attempt (low 200s)
- Step 2 cs --> first attempt
- Step 2 ck --> passed first attempt w low score (low 220s)
- Step 3 --> passed w very low score (low 190s)

200s, 220s, 190s .... Not stellar scores, not a US citizen, had no contacts or connections, medical school transcript wasn't straight A's, and applied for residency 3 times.

- First time applying --> couldnt take step 2 in time, withdrew from the match.
- Second year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck - 1 interview, 0 in soap - unmatched.
- Third year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck, 3 - a couple interviews - MATCHED.

Moral of the story --->

You got a low score or failed an exam? That's okay. Can you do anything about it? No. Then stop worrying and move on.

You applied for residency multiple times and didn't get in? That's okay too. If being a doctor is your definite dream then you won't give up even if it takes multiple tries. Just go at it harder each and every time.

Improve your applications, improve your overall CV if you can't change your scores or attempts. Try to do anything and everything that you feel will help your cause. In the end, just put in some hard work, go with your gut feeling, and don't leave any stone unturned. You don't want to end up saying "I could've, I should've, etc". Instead you want to feel that you did everything you can! That's all folks!


PS-
I just want to thank this website and what it did for me. I had no guidance until I came across this website. I didn't know about Kaplan or DIT or U-world. I found EVERYTHING on this website. I spent hours on it. I still visit it at times but not nearly as much as I used to. I get messages and replies to my older posts and try to help out as much as I can. I don't know if I could've achieved residency without this website's help! Thank you to everyone who supported me through this journey. You know who you are (everyone from our old step 1 and step 2 threads).


EDIT - I'd like to include some further information that I've been asked so far in PMs. Since the post is getting more attention than I thought, I'd like to help out as much as possible. Here are some questions/answers -

1) Are electives better than observerships?
- If you can do an elective then definitely go for it. Electives are worth more than observerships although it might be easier to get an observership. In electives you're clinically inovlved and dealing with patients rather than just observing. Programs know that.

2) How can I show that I'm really interested?
- If FM is your first choice then you really have to abide by it. Do electives, get at least 2 LORs in them (the more the better), have experiences outside of electives .. such as research or quality improvement projects in FM. Also, go for specifics .. even in FM. I like rural family medicine so I went for a rural elective!

3) Did you mention your failure in step 1? / Did you use a PS service?
- I did not use a PS service and nor did I mention my exam failure. I didn't see it as a failure. It provided me with a chance to grow, both personally and professionally

4) Can you send me a list of programs you applied to ?
- Sorry I can't send you a list of programs I applied to. You just have to do that research yourself!

5) Where did you interview?
- Sorry I cant deluge the information on programs I applied to or got an interview from! All I can say is that it's competitive but all you really need is 1 interview...and you have to be able to nail it. Also, just dont mention any failure or even think of it as a failure. Lastly, make sure you research your programs so you don't apply to the ones that have strict minimum scores because you'll end up wasting your money!

Last edited by Hope2Pass; 03-14-2016 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Q/A
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2016
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CONGRATS Hope2Pass

i have been following you for a very long time Congrats on everything. I ALSO MATCHED TOO.
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2016
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Default congrats

can u inform us how u improve your cv what did u do ?
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  #4  
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u r a trooper


congrats
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2016
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Congratulation !!!
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2016
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Wow! Congrats man! Been following you since the Step 1 days! Really happy for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
I matched!

My pursuit of residency was a long one. All the hard work finally paid off!
Take it from me and my experience that anyone, even with low scores, can match. Here's a brief summary of my experience -

- Step 1 --> failed first attempt
- Step 1 --> passed with a low score in 2nd attempt (low 200s)
- Step 2 cs --> first attempt
- Step 2 ck --> passed first attempt w low score (low 220s)
- Step 3 --> passed w very low score (low 190s)

200s, 220s, 190s .... Not stellar scores, not a US citizen, had no contacts or connections, medical school transcript wasn't straight A's, and applied for residency 3 times.

- First time applying --> couldnt take step 2 in time, withdrew from the match.
- Second year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck - 1 interview, 0 in soap - unmatched.
- Third year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck, 3 - a couple interviews - MATCHED.

Moral of the story --->

You got a low score or failed an exam? That's okay. Can you do anything about it? No. Then stop worrying and move on.

You applied for residency multiple times and didn't get in? That's okay too. If being a doctor is your definite dream then you won't give up even if it takes multiple tries. Just go at it harder each and every time.

Improve your applications, improve your overall CV if you can't change your scores or attempts. Try to do anything and everything that you feel will help your cause. In the end, just put in some hard work, go with your gut feeling, and don't leave any stone unturned. You don't want to end up saying "I could've, I should've, etc". Instead you want to feel that you did everything you can! That's all folks!



I just want to thank this website and what it did for me. I had no guidance until I came across this website. I didn't know about Kaplan or DIT or U-world. I found EVERYTHING on this website. I spent hours on it. I still visit it at times but not nearly as much as I used to. I get messages and replies to my older posts and try to help out as much as I can. I don't know if I could've achieved residency without this website's help! Thank you to everyone who supported me through this journey. You know who you are (everyone from our old step 1 and step 2 threads).
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick View Post
can u inform us how u improve your cv what did u do ?
Thank you for the wishes everyone!

I took my Step 3.
I also did an observership, obtained a new LOR, did a few research projects where I was able to get 1 publication.

Basically, you have to show a continued interest and determination to keep working towards your goal. I was asked in all my interviews what I did since my graduation and you have to be able to say a list of things. I tried to do anything and everything MEDICAL. You can even pick up something new to learn and talk about that. You can do a small suturing course or a cooking class ... doesn't matter what you do as long as you do something productive and creative and original. Just what I think.

Congrats to everyone else who matched!
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballers View Post
Wow! Congrats man! Been following you since the Step 1 days! Really happy for you!
Thanks man! I remember you
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2016
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Happy for you! Anything is possible for he or she who has faith. Make the best of this opportunity. Congratulations!
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2016
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Originally Posted by LatinGeorge View Post
Happy for you! Anything is possible for he or she who has faith. Make the best of this opportunity. Congratulations!
Thanks George! We had good times in step1 forums lol Glad to see you doing well in your residency!
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2016
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Congratulations!!
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2016
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congratulations HOPE2PASS.. i am so happy for you.. May GOD bless you with happiness and success in every step of your life.. ameen.
Can you please elaborate from where did you get research in family medicine field.
thanks in advance
Regards
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2016
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Originally Posted by lymphoma107 View Post
congratulations HOPE2PASS.. i am so happy for you.. May GOD bless you with happiness and success in every step of your life.. ameen.
Can you please elaborate from where did you get research in family medicine field.
thanks in advance
Regards
Thank you. I did research in Family Medicine by just emailing doctors locally to ask them if they were working on any research projects and whether or not I could help in anyway.
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2016
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congrats!

how long was your step prep?
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiestar View Post
congrats!

how long was your step prep?
Thanks. It was almost 1.5 years for step 1 but once I got that done, I did everything else pretty quick while finishing up my rotations.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
I matched!

My pursuit of residency was a long one. All the hard work finally paid off!
Take it from me and my experience that anyone, even with low scores, can match. Here's a brief summary of my experience -

- Step 1 --> failed first attempt
- Step 1 --> passed with a low score in 2nd attempt (low 200s)
- Step 2 cs --> first attempt
- Step 2 ck --> passed first attempt w low score (low 220s)
- Step 3 --> passed w very low score (low 190s)

200s, 220s, 190s .... Not stellar scores, not a US citizen, had no contacts or connections, medical school transcript wasn't straight A's, and applied for residency 3 times.

- First time applying --> couldnt take step 2 in time, withdrew from the match.
- Second year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck - 1 interview, 0 in soap - unmatched.
- Third year applying --> with step 1, cs, ck, 3 - a couple interviews - MATCHED.

Moral of the story --->

You got a low score or failed an exam? That's okay. Can you do anything about it? No. Then stop worrying and move on.

You applied for residency multiple times and didn't get in? That's okay too. If being a doctor is your definite dream then you won't give up even if it takes multiple tries. Just go at it harder each and every time.

Improve your applications, improve your overall CV if you can't change your scores or attempts. Try to do anything and everything that you feel will help your cause. In the end, just put in some hard work, go with your gut feeling, and don't leave any stone unturned. You don't want to end up saying "I could've, I should've, etc". Instead you want to feel that you did everything you can! That's all folks!


PS-
I just want to thank this website and what it did for me. I had no guidance until I came across this website. I didn't know about Kaplan or DIT or U-world. I found EVERYTHING on this website. I spent hours on it. I still visit it at times but not nearly as much as I used to. I get messages and replies to my older posts and try to help out as much as I can. I don't know if I could've achieved residency without this website's help! Thank you to everyone who supported me through this journey. You know who you are (everyone from our old step 1 and step 2 threads).


EDIT - I'd like to include some further information that I've been asked so far in PMs. Since the post is getting more attention than I thought, I'd like to help out as much as possible. Here are some questions/answers -

1) Are electives better than observerships?
- If you can do an elective then definitely go for it. Electives are worth more than observerships although it might be easier to get an observership. In electives you're clinically inovlved and dealing with patients rather than just observing. Programs know that.

2) How can I show that I'm really interested?
- If FM is your first choice then you really have to abide by it. Do electives, get at least 2 LORs in them (the more the better), have experiences outside of electives .. such as research or quality improvement projects in FM. Also, go for specifics .. even in FM. I like rural family medicine so I went for a rural elective!

3) Did you mention your failure in step 1? / Did you use a PS service?
- I did not use a PS service and nor did I mention my exam failure. I didn't see it as a failure. It provided me with a chance to grow, both personally and professionally

4) Can you send me a list of programs you applied to ?
- Sorry I can't send you a list of programs I applied to. You just have to do that research yourself!

5) Where did you interview?
- Sorry I cant deluge the information on programs I applied to or got an interview from! All I can say is that it's competitive but all you really need is 1 interview...and you have to be able to nail it. Also, just dont mention any failure or even think of it as a failure. Lastly, make sure you research your programs so you don't apply to the ones that have strict minimum scores because you'll end up wasting your money!
Where did you go to school?
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hope2Pass View Post
Thanks. It was almost 1.5 years for step 1 but once I got that done, I did everything else pretty quick while finishing up my rotations.

Congratulations Hope2Pass !! Hard work pays off! Quick question - Did you mention this 1.5 year gap on your ERAS where it says "any interruptions in your medical education?" did you put the dates and discuss it or did you leave that blank?


Thank you so much for your reply!!
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2016
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Congratulations! your determination paid off. Can you please tell me your YOG and is it possible for a >10yr old grad with a different speciality in home country to match in family medicine?
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binks3 View Post
Where did you go to school?
I went to a carib school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiomyopathy View Post
Congratulations Hope2Pass !! Hard work pays off! Quick question - Did you mention this 1.5 year gap on your ERAS where it says "any interruptions in your medical education?" did you put the dates and discuss it or did you leave that blank?


Thank you so much for your reply!!
I did not mention the gap because i didn't take a leave of absence from my school. Also, you can technically do rotations after attempting step 1 (although i didnt do that). I was ready to answer and explain if anyone asked me during an interview why it took so long for step 1. I just dont think everyone is a good step taker ... study for 2 months and come out with a 250+...so everyone has their own timeline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by step11 View Post
Congratulations! your determination paid off. Can you please tell me your YOG and is it possible for a >10yr old grad with a different speciality in home country to match in family medicine?
My YOG was 2014. And everything is possible. You are already a doctor and I'm merely a resident starting july so I can't say anything. But I do wish you all the best!
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2016
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I have come across your posts many times in the past while looking to this forum for help. Firstly, I just want to say, congrats on matching! It is really inspiring to see such stories. I am so glad you shared this post. Wish you all the success in your future as a physician! I also wanted to know what you thought worked best in your favor for this match? Do you think it was your step 3 scores that helped you the most this time?
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2016
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congrats on the match!
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkPanda View Post
I have come across your posts many times in the past while looking to this forum for help. Firstly, I just want to say, congrats on matching! It is really inspiring to see such stories. I am so glad you shared this post. Wish you all the success in your future as a physician! I also wanted to know what you thought worked best in your favor for this match? Do you think it was your step 3 scores that helped you the most this time?
Thanks. I wouldn't know what worked in my favor. I think there's always two things at play.

First - Application.
Second - Interview.

I think my overall CV including research and my step 3 def helped me in improving my application. But I guess not as much since I only had 2 interviews. So def there were some red flags such as low score, more than 1 attempts, gap year, and visa.

I think the fact that I was able to nail down my interviews is WHY I got matched. I have no language or communication issues, I was confident, I practiced a lot, and I was genuinely enthusiastic about my interviews. I guess you have to make the best of the opportunities you get so anything and everything can help!
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2016
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Default Congrats!!!

Congrats!!!
Can you shed some light on how you went about finding research projects?
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  #24  
Old 03-25-2016
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Congrats!!!
Can you shed some light on how you went about finding research projects?
Just email as many doctors as you can. Contact all the local universities and professors as well.
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  #25  
Old 03-26-2016
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Good luck all, FM will rule the world soon
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2016
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Firstly, I just want to say, congrats on matching! It is really inspiring to see such stories of a match on this forum. I am so glad you shared your post. Wish you all the success in your future as a physician!
I am also an IMG and I have been stuck for awhile studying for the usmle and was hoping to get some advice.
I noticed you mentioned in your post that you had an attempt on step 1. I have an attempt as well. Is there anything that finally worked for you when you prepared for the exam again? I have not applied for any residency matches in the past, but I was hoping to apply if I can get good scores on these exams. Do you think it will be looked down upon that I waited so long for the second attempt on my step 1? I do have reasons for that, but I would also have to mention why I failed on my first attempt. What was the best way you handled these type of questions? Also, even if I finish step 2 ck in time, do you think it was step 3 that helped you in the end to match? I do have some clinical exposure and part-time research experience with LOR's, but I am worried it might not be enough. I apologize for the long message. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  #27  
Old 04-18-2016
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Lucky bastard!!!!! I know of a guy 260 on 1 and 2, 20 IV IMG no match not sure where he went wrong.
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  #28  
Old 04-21-2016
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Default Congratulations

thanks for the post!
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeter View Post
Lucky bastard!!!!! I know of a guy 260 on 1 and 2, 20 IV IMG no match not sure where he went wrong.
OP is not lucky. OP worked hard to get this residency.

Your friend may have the scores to get interviews, but clearly no program thinks he/she is personable enough to be a good resident. The scores aren't everything.
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  #30  
Old 04-22-2016
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Interesting and encouraging story man.. Congrats... Wish u all success..
but how did u stay in US for 3yrs.. Wat visa did u hav?
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  #31  
Old 04-22-2016
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This is a really inspiring story. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-27-2016
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whats your clinical experience/LORs?
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Originally Posted by Flyhigh View Post
Firstly, I just want to say, congrats on matching! It is really inspiring to see such stories of a match on this forum. I am so glad you shared your post. Wish you all the success in your future as a physician!
I am also an IMG and I have been stuck for awhile studying for the usmle and was hoping to get some advice.
I noticed you mentioned in your post that you had an attempt on step 1. I have an attempt as well. Is there anything that finally worked for you when you prepared for the exam again?

I focused more on UW and taking regular NBMEs and reviewing my weaknesses. When an NBME showed that I was weak in Pathology, I ordered Pathoma and did it in a week and retook another NBME. I did that for the weeks leading up to Step 1 because there are a lot of NBMES available.

I have not applied for any residency matches in the past, but I was hoping to apply if I can get good scores on these exams. Do you think it will be looked down upon that I waited so long for the second attempt on my step 1? I do have reasons for that, but I would also have to mention why I failed on my first attempt. What was the best way you handled these type of questions?

They might and most likely will ask you about your Gaps, what you did during that time, and any failed attempts. Just be genuine. Dont dwell on your mistakes for too long. When I was asked that, my answer was something similar - I acknowledge that I passed Step 1 in the second attempt. During my first attempt, I was just learning my studying style ... helped me grow personally and professionally. ... found out about my weaknesses and worked hard on them ... backed this up with first attempt passes in ALL my other USMLEs after 1st failure and then went on to do good in everything else. (I didn't say anything NEGATIVE. Dont use negative words such as unfortunate, failed, unsuccessful etc).

Also, even if I finish step 2 ck in time, do you think it was step 3 that helped you in the end to match?

I think it did.

I do have some clinical exposure and part-time research experience with LOR's, but I am worried it might not be enough. I apologize for the long message. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
See my answers in red to your post
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amrat (4 Weeks Ago), drjds (09-15-2016), Flyhigh (05-06-2016)
  #34  
Old 04-27-2016
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Interesting and encouraging story man.. Congrats... Wish u all success..
but how did u stay in US for 3yrs.. Wat visa did u hav?
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Originally Posted by gullainbarre View Post
whats your clinical experience/LORs?
I am Canadian. I was in US for a while because I did ALL my rotations in US or Canada. I had a regular student visa for clinicals, nothing more. All my research experience was Canadian. Nothing in the US other than a published case presentation during my clinicals. LORs were mixed, from both US and CAnadian doctors.
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