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


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  #1  
Old 03-15-2016
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Default Everything is possible. Took all steps in under a year and matched.

I have been reading this forum for the last 3 years. And I want to give something back. I hope this helps somebody. It was a lot of work, but finally this Monday morning we received the great news.... we matched!

My wife and I completed the the USMLES (1, 2 CK, 2 CS, 3) in under one year. While I was working as a critical care fellow (60-70 hours a week) and my wife as a clinical neurologist (40 hours a week) plus being a professor (another 15 or so hours a week). Here is our experience:

USMLE STEP 1:

Materials:
FA for the USMLE STEP 1
DIT videos
UWORLD

Obviously this is the hardest test. Time for preparation about 5 months. After work we spent like 4-5 hours watching the DIT videos and writing everything down in our FA books. it was like this everyday for about 3 months. After we finished watching the videos we felt like we had at least read the FA book once. Then we began doing the qbank 2 o 3 complete exams per day. We only did the qbank once. I wrote everything i got wrong in the FA book. This took us for about 1 and a half month. The last 2 weeks what we did was just reading our annotated FA books and try to memorize everything we could. I got a 230 and my wife 245 (i know, she`s smarter than me )

USMLE STEP 2 CK and CS

Materials
UWOLRD qbank
and UWORLD CS cases
STEP 2 CS timer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C0A4vCoFSI

This was fairly easy when compared to the STEP 1. I read somewhere in this forum that it is not necessary to buy any book for this test and so all we did was doing the qbank, i did it once with all the questions and then re did it with just the ones we had wrong. I found really useful the app which I downloaded in my phone so when I was waiting for a lab result or getting back home, or getting a cup of coffee I could manage to get some of the qbank done. The whole qbank took us for about 2 months to complete. then we spent the last month doing it again but just the questions we had wrong, and everyday we practiced 3 or 4 cases, switching characters (i was the patient and my wife the doctor and viceversa) we used this timer we found on youtube to give it a more real feeling. All the preparation for both the tests took us 3 months. Since we were working in our country and only had a limited amount of time to travel to the US we took the CK on monday and the CS on wednesday of the same week. We got like 245 - 255 on our scores, and we both passed our CS with flying colors.

STEP 3

Our biggest delay for the STEP 3 was getting the score for the STEP 2 CS, and the the ECFMG title. Once we got everything we did set up the appointment for the STEP 3.

Materials
UWORLD QBANK and CSS cases (Again I know...but is amazing how helpful this is)

For 3 weeks and like 4/5 hours a day all we did was doing the qbank. After taking STEP 1,2CK, 2 CS, this felt fairly easy. And we got 245-255.


First i wanna say: thanks God!

Also this required a lot hard work, and commitment. I guess doing this with your significant other gives you more strength and motivation. Also I know this are not rockstar scores, but because of life we did not have any more time to study, we were paying a loan so we couldn't get time off work, and also we had family to see somedays and other stuff that just happened in the way. But all I got to say is that all this USMLE adventure is doable, and enjoyable.

I learned a lot, met a lot beautiful people, the interview season was really exiting. And of course receiving these great news on Monday was just amazing.

Good luck to everybody. One of my professors say that success is 20% intelligence and 80% hard work. And I got to say this describe what our journey has been.
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The above post was thanked by:
chanduM (03-22-2016), deariederaa (03-17-2016), dsrp (03-16-2016), Jedi (03-24-2016), mints (03-17-2016), praru (03-31-2016), Proxery (03-15-2016), scaredycat (03-17-2016), thelostsoul (05-01-2016)


  #2  
Old 03-15-2016
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While I was thinking desperately about how I'm going to get all these exams done, I stumbled upon your thread. Working as a doctor in US is my ultimate dream since I got to the med school. I am also a full-time cardiology resident in my own country. I haven't started studying for the USMLE apart from reading some FA topics here and there. Can you explain a little bit further how you did it? I mean it seems now impossible to me that working full-time and studying for usmle at the same time. Thanks for your encouraging message btw.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2016
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Do you think it's possible to give step 1 while in medical school, as an IMG? I wanted to take it next year with about ~6-8 weeks for dedicated.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiestar View Post
Do you think it's possible to give step 1 while in medical school, as an IMG? I wanted to take it next year with about ~6-8 weeks for dedicated.
I do not think 8 weeks are enough time. Even without watching videos I would not spend less than 16 weeks reading First Aid and doing UWORLD. And I know maybe you are right now in medschool and have everything fresh in your mind (anatomy, physiology, biochem, etc) but sometimes is not what we how but the way we are suppose to know things and think about them. I would call it the process of thinking. And for me what really helps in this matter is spending a fairly amount of time seeing how are the USMLE questions asked and how you are supposed to answer them. Failing this test or having a low score can have a devastating effect in your application.

For me this would be the plan if you are disciplined and you are still in medschool: I would buy the UWORLD subscription for a year, and buy the FA book. I would begin doing one test everyday, and writing everything down in my FA book, then maybe the last month before the test I would sit down and try to learn the FA book and my annotations by heart. Because here is the other thing: you can`t (well you actually can but should`t) sacrifice your performance in medschol because you are devoting too much time for your USMLEs. By doing one test everyday you stay in contact with the USMLE way of thinking while still having time to study for your everyday things.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2016
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Congratulations!!! how did you match together with your wife at the same or near hospital?? so, my husband and I, we'll apply to the next match and this point is our concern.
Do you recommend take step 3 before? I heard that this decision is controversial, because for many programs maybe is a boost, but for others is not recommendable.. Thanks in advance and again CONGRATULATIONS!!!
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelma77 View Post
Congratulations!!! how did you match together with your wife at the same or near hospital?? so, my husband and I, we'll apply to the next match and this point is our concern.
Do you recommend take step 3 before? I heard that this decision is controversial, because for many programs maybe is a boost, but for others is not recommendable.. Thanks in advance and again CONGRATULATIONS!!!
We match at two different hospitals. (we are almost 2 hours away) but i think is pretty close to try to live together. Also we took step 3 right after we got our ECFMG certificate because honestly I didn't want to study everything again so we figured out the sooner the better. I can't imagine a situation where having a STEP 3 would no be recommendable... but you never know... I am just glad all the steps are over.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2016
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Default Got Rez...Finally!

Systematic, Outcomes’-Based Mentoring by a top, Brilliant M.D.-current PGY-5 fellow) (i.e., Initially I was Unable to Pass my Steps, Having Exhausted all Other Programs… and later, I needed advice on USCE, paid training, ERAS submission etc; Contact (‘Excellent Residency Mentor- Query’ in subject header) me at enycity at g mail for more information. GL!
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2016
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Congratulations SwanGanzoo7!!! You and your wife did amazingly great.

I have a few questions please.
1. For Step 1, I understand you used DIT videos but was wondering what you
think about kaplan videos/ KLN?

2. For Residency application, did you have US Clinical Experience and/ or LORs?
Any additional tips on how to build a stronger application?

Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2016
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I think DIT is enough. I did not use Kaplan. What I realized is that kaplan has like 75 dvds. So it was gonna take me forever to watch those and DIT is shorter and more to the point. Maybe if you have more time you can watch Kaplan Videos. It just was not an option for me. Because I was working full time.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2016
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Me and my wife only had 1 month of USCE. And we only had 1 US LOR.
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