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

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Old 03-20-2016
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Default USMLE Experience.

Well,it's been a long two years. I didn't match during my first try. I know a lot of you guys are in the same spot as I was last year. Don't give up. Get up and start working on your CV. That's what I did. I Knew I was capable enough, I had above average scores.This one failure should not, could not define me. So i got to work. At the time of the match I was already involved with research. So i spoke to the director and started shadowing her during my off days on research. I did four months of it. While doing this I was trying to look for opportunities to get some hands on- clinical experience on my cv. I only had a month of elective at a uni hospital before that. I got three months of externship starting in may. This was in a community hospital and it was well worth it. I was involved with the internal medicine residents from day 1. I interacted with the attending's and PD on a daily basis.
You basically function like an intern during the externship (well except putting in orders). This was one of my main selling points - I knew how IM residents function and the PD gave me a great letter along with letters from other attending's as well.They talked about this in almost all my interviews. After finishing this externship , I did two months of observership - one under a private attending who worked at a teaching hospital and second at that very hospital with an attending who was involved with the Im dept (All because of the contact I made during first month- it's all about making contacts- being polite and showing interest). I literally had 4 months observer, 1 month elective and 3 months externship before this - I didn't need the experience it was more than enough- but I showed up every day on time with a smile on my face and willing to work my ass off. I got an amazing letter from the attending and he himself recommended my name to the PD for an interview.
My second obsie was during september and I applied on the 15th to 200 programs. I wanted to apply wide- this was my only shot.
I got a couple of queries from programs asking about my future interest--- this showed that my profile was being favorably looked at. I got my 1st invite on the 24th sept and I was over the moon.By the end of October, I had 7 invites. I was expecting more but hey that's human nature. I didn't get any invites in nov and got one more in Dec and nothing after that. I was waitlisted at a couple of places but they never worked out.
During interviews- Dress professionally + Neatly. Don't over do it. One of the applicants on one of my interviews had tied an eldredge knot . Don't do that. I know you want to stand out of the crowd but don't do that with your clothes.Let your cv and your interpersonal skills do the talking. Not your tie. That doesn't add anything to your profile.
Be on time, always ALWAYS thank the coordinator for setting up your interview. They play a bigger role other than just setting up the interview. During the interview talk about random stuff with other applicants- movies, sports. Don't talk about scores or how many interviews you have or the other guys have. How is that info relevant to you?? Also No politics- Keep it light and keep it interesting.
Interviews with attending's and PD usually revolves around your CV. I was surprised at one of my ivs when the PD knew my cv back and forth- word to word. After the usual questions, we always ended up talking about movies i like- I had a discussion on Sherlock at one of the interviews..(I love that show). Show them you are easy to talk to and get along and you are GOLDEN. Getting an interview indicates that you match their requirement of a resident- Interview is to see whether you will fit in their program. They have to work with you for the next three years.
Thank you letters- I usually emailed the people who interviewed me and the PD on the next day- thanking them and usually include something that we spoke about during the interview- making the thank you letters personal.I almost always got a response back. If a program discouraged writing than you letters, I didn't. Respect their wishes.
Personal Statement- See how it says personal- Include stuff that made you choose this profession, include examples of why a doctor- not too much detail- just an idea - this usually leads to interviewer asking about it in the interview and leads to a good discussion. I had a good PS last year or so i thought- this year I worked on it and showed it to a lot of people. Residents,Chief residents and attending's. Every one gave me their inputs on what to include, what to change and they were really helpful. Show it to as many people as you can - new inputs - but at the end it's your personal statement- if you don't like an idea then don't include it but get an opinion.
ROL- I ranked program according to my preference. The rol works in applicants favor---dont rank a program above if they emailed you saying they ranked you high---rank according to where you want to work. I matched at my second choice and I couldn't be happier
Submit your ROl way before the deadline-- don't mess with during the last few days. I submitted my ROL during the first week of feb and didn't change it after that.
Well I flew back to my home country in feb, started working at a hospital to pass time and waited with baited breaths for the NRMP email.
I have been on receiving end of both - we are sorry, you didn't match and Congratulations you have matched- It wasn't easy, but it was well worth it.
Expenditure- It is going to be expensive - application alone is about 5k if you apply to 200 programs.
Travelling - i used to travel by bus(megabus or greyhound) to most of interviews unless the place was far and then I flew - book tickets in advanced - i had my iv scheduled in late nov, dec and jan- i had all my tickets in oct. I made new york my hub and used to travel from there. I got most of my bus tickets including return under 20 dollars.I prefer grey hound more than megabus coz greyhound usually has a proper stand at their destinations and they just don't leave you stranded on the road like megabus but then again megabus is cheaper..
If the program didn't provide accommodation- I used AirBnb - almost 1/3rd the price of a hotel--read reviews before renting out a room.
I think i have pretty much summed up my experience. If you have any questions regarding the process, i'll be happy to answer them.
(This forum has been a huge help to me during my journey,appreciate all the help I got)
lets do this!!

Last edited by drsrb; 03-21-2016 at 01:18 AM.
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The above post was thanked by:
chanduM (03-22-2016), jojo1hami (03-12-2017), seniortaker (03-22-2016)


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