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

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Old 03-23-2016
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Default 2016 a Tough Year. What's next for the unmatched?

Hi all,

We wanted to share our experiences for understanding why certain candidates didn't match. This helps us advise our clients on what to do next to strengthen their chances next year. If any of these scenarios fit you and you didn't match, here's what we recommend you do next.

1. Candidate A:
Step 1/Step 2CK/Step 3: >240
Step 2-CS: pass on first attempt
No research
2-3 month US clinical observerships
Graduated less than 2 years ago.

Candidate A really should have matched. 2016 was an extremely challenging year that we believe will be supported by NRMP data once it is released. Typically, Candidate A should get 10 or more interviews simply based on the auto-filtering of scores. The weakness in Candidate A is their application lacked depth beyond good scores.

Recommendations in order of importance:
1) Strengthen interviewing skills. If you don't have research, you have to weave a story about what you'll do in the FUTURE. The scores serve as a great foundation but the PD wants to be excited a bit more. Perhaps, Candidate A is quiet or more introverted. We believe this is the single most important thing for Candidate A needs to do to match next year.

2) Increase U.S. clinical experiences. We recommend you complete an observerships in community hospitals where you received interviews at. Why? Well, you can demonstrate how professional you are. By investing more time at that program, you'll likely get another interview from them.

3) Look into any research possible including case reports. This means applying, cold calling open unpaid research assistant positions. This is preferably done while a clinical observer.

2. Candidate B
Step 1/Step 2CK/Step 3: 220-239
Step 2-CS: failed first attempt, passed on second attempt
1-2 research publications/abstracts
6-9 month US clinical observerships
Graduated less than 2 years ago.

Candidate B is 'on the bubble'. This means that in an easier year, Candidate B should match. In 2016, we have seen much more Candidate B's not match. Candidate B should expect 4-7 interviews but he or she must NAIL those interviews and provide strong reasons to explain the failed Step 2-CS.

Recommendations in order of importance:
1) Interviewing skills with a focus on framing future success and addressing key deficiencies. You have to be able to address your Step 2-CS failure. Beyond that, you have to explain that your interests and research goals set you apart from other candiates with better scores.

2) Aggressive outreach: Many of the auto-filters disqualify you if you’ve failed Step 2-CS. We recommend being proactive with short emails to programs for additional interviews. With the right emails, we have candidates go from 2 interviews to 8 interviews. This greatly increases their chance to match.

2. Candidate C
Step 1/Step 2CK/Step 3: all less than 220
Step 2-CS: failed first attempt, passed on second attempt
3+ research publications/abstracts
6-9 month US clinical observerships
Graduated more than 3 years ago

Candidate C is in the lower 25 percent of IMGs in the pool. Matching really requires something special. They usually are offered 3 or less interviews. We have candidates like this match with our help but usually they have something else going for them, which include a PhD, or more research publications. Since they have had more time off since graduation, they typically have more US clinical observerships or more research publications. With this said, we’ve matched individuals even with low scores and long time after graduation.

Recommendations in order of importance:
1) Consider non-clinical specialties such as Pathology. Your chance of matching is higher if your time from graduation is very long. Pathology affords you the ability to practice medicine in the US. Of course, specific observerships must be conducted in Pathology with an emphasis on research opportunities.

2) NAIL the interview and explain every red flag. The interview is critical here. We pre-emptively teach our Candidate C’s about how to explain clearly the major issues in their application. The PD is thinking about these things. We have had much more success getting out in front of these issues.

3) Extended U.S. clinical and research experience: we feel that a candidate has a best chance to match a program that knows the candidate well. This requires an extended time 3-6 months where a candidate shows a program they are professional, hardworking, and capable. This doesn’t promise a match at the program, but it may net a key interview and a strong LOR. Bouncing around 3-4 clinical observerships will not provide the same benefit at staying at one place for Candidate C.

We’re committed to helping IMGs succeed by focusing on the interview. We feel that this is an area where there is little training or help.
Steve @ ResidencyInterviewQuestions.com
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chanduM (04-25-2016), faith255 (04-27-2016)

Old 04-23-2016
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Default Petition to allow med graduates to practice while waiting for a residency spot

Sign the petition:change.org/p/texas-legislature-and-governor-help-end-the-doctor-shortage
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