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


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2016
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Smile Matched in IM 2016

Hello forum, I just wanted to share my 3 year experience that made me to match into this year IM program.

I have been a long time follower on this forum and this will be my first post!
I graduated from medical school in 2012 from a Latin American country, ever since I started to study I wanted to practice medicine in USA, so I started to study for Step 1 with Uworld + Kaplan + FA. It took me around 10 months to prepare and apply the exam on March 2014. I had a really bad time during he exam, the place where I took it was loud and full of people, the headphones didn't worked as they expected. When I finished, I realized that my nerves really took over and thought I was going to fail the exam. I received the news about my grade 2 months later and got a 207. I was so devastated, wanted to get over with the process and give up on my plan. I made the whole study part with my best friend, who I knew from med school, and he was a very important part for myself on not to give up and continue fighting for my dream.

So the plan was to obtain a higher grade on Step 2 CK to have an opportunity for the match. I prepared using MTB and Uworld questions and studied for 5 months. By the end of the exam, I felt confident that I did a good job, and obtain a 223 on it, which wasn't as high as I wanted, but it clearly showed an improvement from my Step 1 score.

Afterwards, we decided to travel for the Step 2 CS on LA for March 2015. We studied using the FA Step 2 CS cases + Kaplan book (cases). We practiced for 1 and a half month. We changed roles during the practice sessions and often filled the writing part by ourselves and we checked and compared them at the end of the time allowed for each practice case. The CS was the exam that I enjoyed the most, it was fun and I felt relieved, confident and well prepared. Overall, the experience of practice medicine on different language and finally starting to exercise all the knowledge acquired during the last years was fulfilling. We both passed the CS on the first attempt.

I decided to improve my CV by applying to some observerships / externships, which at first I thought it was an easy process but its not. You need to plan ahead and start to send hundreds of applications, to be able to reach one. I luckily had the chance to practice an externship and observership, In which I obtained 2 LORS from US physicians.
I obtained ECGFM certification prior the beginning of the match process.

For this year's Match, I apply broadly to 110 programs all around the country, I previously did my research using FRIEDA as my main source, and started to search from programs that match my criteria and that I had a chance to match into. I think that a good research and having both feet on the ground, meaning that knowing where you have a chance, its essential for a successful match. I received 3 IV's for programs and decided to make the most of them and give my best part of me. I prepared myself with research about each program and practice everyday probable answers to questions that are usually asked.

During my IV I really thought I made a connection between the interviewers and myself, I felt comfortable enough to talk about my personality and learn about the program. The days seemed at first to be long but everything happened so fast.
I received the news that I matched into my first choice program and I was so happy and at first it was hard to believe what I have achieved.

I want to stand out some points that I think are essential for matching:
1) Trust yourself and believe in your dream. Even if you scores are low, that's not the end of the world, and try your best to build a strong CV and practice IV a lot.
2) Study with a partner. I couldn't have matched if didn't have my friend support, CS exam is easier if you have someone to practice with.
3) Never give up. I have read a lot of successful stories about matching and I just shared mine with you. I was on the verge of breaking and giving up on everything, but I kept going (even with all the statistics and scores on my mind) and that brought me into matching.
4) Research, research and research. While looking for programs to apply, try to find the ones that fit into your criteria and where you can be useful.
5) Scores are not everything. Scores surely can open doors, but at the end, programs are looking for an applicant that has the complete package and would fit into the program.

Thanks for the long reading, I hope this review will help anyone who is facing a thought time and I am glad to help with answers to any question regarding the whole USMLE/matching experience.
Good luck.
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The above post was thanked by:
cbooky (04-13-2016), chanduM (04-14-2016), danikp (04-13-2016), Divisha (06-25-2016), docmoumi (04-13-2016), faith255 (04-13-2016), gassem89 (06-15-2016), invincible (06-01-2016), itznaaz (07-14-2016), Linc (05-27-2016), MARY RITHU (04-22-2016), Meeah (05-03-2016), nazleen (05-19-2016), neelmed (04-13-2016), pita (05-13-2016), shiva.manohar (05-19-2016), sivasubaiah (05-31-2016), starbuck13 (05-05-2016), yosky87 (04-14-2016)


  #2  
Old 04-13-2016
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thank you so much for your motivational story!!

any advice for step 2 ck and cs!!
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  #3  
Old 04-13-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sameer12343 View Post
thank you so much for your motivational story!!

any advice for step 2 ck and cs!!
Sameer:

Step 2 CK --> MTB and Uworld questions. I did 2 full reviews of the book and practice a lot of questions. Practice questions give you an idea how the exam looks like.

Step 2 CS --> Get a study partner, can't emphasize enough on this to succeed on the exam. I used FA + Kaplan clinical scenarios to practice. Use time limit and you would be fine.

Hope it helps
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The above post was thanked by:
chanduM (04-14-2016), Divisha (06-25-2016)
 
  #4  
Old 04-13-2016
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Congrats on a great ending to your story! Did you have rotations while studying for CK?
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  #5  
Old 04-13-2016
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Fantastic!
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  #6  
Old 04-14-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroGirl91 View Post
Congrats on a great ending to your story! Did you have rotations while studying for CK?
Neurogirl:

I didn't, graduated in 2012
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Step 1 (207 1st), Step 2 CK (223 1st), Step 2 CS (Pass 1st), Step 3 (Pending), Matched IM 2016
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  #7  
Old 04-14-2016
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Smile

Hi,

Where from latin america? I'm from Costa Rica. Also, did you paid for the observership and externship?

And most importantly: congrats!
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2016
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Correct Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolynne View Post
Hi,

Where from latin america? I'm from Costa Rica. Also, did you paid for the observership and externship?

And most importantly: congrats!
Hi Carolynne:

I'm from Mexico, I pay for both of them; In my case, the hospital asked me to pay for an application and reserve a spot for me.
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Step 1 (207 1st), Step 2 CK (223 1st), Step 2 CS (Pass 1st), Step 3 (Pending), Matched IM 2016
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2016
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BTW I will answer all the PM as soon I reach 15 posts. Can't believe I was here since 2014 and didn't post any messages since then.
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Step 1 (207 1st), Step 2 CK (223 1st), Step 2 CS (Pass 1st), Step 3 (Pending), Matched IM 2016
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  #10  
Old 04-15-2016
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Step 1 =229, step 2 CS ( will take 2nd attempt in septmeber, currently studying for CK , CK exam in July), have 9 research papers and 4 poster presentations , has authoured 1 book on surgery, 3 months USCE ( 2 electives and 1 observership) in sugery, and 3 LORs, graduate of 2015 december, please guide, I am a lot tensed on my step 2 CS attempt)
would that effect my chances to get into IM or surgery residency , which one of the two is easier to opt for with CS attempt?

Should I apply for this year s match ? or for the next year with IM LORs if its easier to do with attempt and my scores rather than going for surgery?

If I apply next year I would have taken step 3 by then and would have 25+ research papers will be published in next 5-6 months. Please guide should I take 3 IM LORS doing rotations in IM rotations or should I go for surgery?

My research work comprises over both papers in medicine and surgery.

Your help will be highly appreciated.

Regards
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2016
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what was your visa status?
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2016
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Default congrats drsmuck

very inspiring story.al da best
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2016
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Great Story and thank you for sharing!
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2016
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Correct Answer Thank you!

Thank you for sharing your experience! Glad it ended well!
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2016
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222/235/cs 1st/ 1m USCE/ 3 pubs/ 2 posters
Can I match in psychiatry??
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2016
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congratulations. thats a QUITE MOTIVATIONAL STORY.good luck with everything ahead of u
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  #17  
Old 05-17-2016
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Thanks for sharing motivational story
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  #18  
Old 05-17-2016
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Congratulations
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  #19  
Old 05-23-2016
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Default About suggesting for finding research

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salons91 View Post
Step 1 =229, step 2 CS ( will take 2nd attempt in septmeber, currently studying for CK , CK exam in July), have 9 research papers and 4 poster presentations , has authoured 1 book on surgery, 3 months USCE ( 2 electives and 1 observership) in sugery, and 3 LORs, graduate of 2015 december, please guide, I am a lot tensed on my step 2 CS attempt)
would that effect my chances to get into IM or surgery residency , which one of the two is easier to opt for with CS attempt?

Should I apply for this year s match ? or for the next year with IM LORs if its easier to do with attempt and my scores rather than going for surgery?

If I apply next year I would have taken step 3 by then and would have 25+ research papers will be published in next 5-6 months. Please guide should I take 3 IM LORS doing rotations in IM rotations or should I go for surgery?

My research work comprises over both papers in medicine and surgery.

Your help will be highly appreciated.

Regards

Hey Dr Salons91
Can you please help me in finding out for research? It seems you have got good informations & I am needing it badly........
Thank you alot
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  #20  
Old 05-31-2016
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Thanks for sharing this, very inspiring! After the graduation did you have any clinical experience except for the observerships?
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  #21  
Old 06-01-2016
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Thank you! so inspiring
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  #22  
Old 06-08-2016
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Congratulations!
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Physicians Advising Future Physicians

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