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


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Old 05-11-2012
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Question Family Medicine Residency Programs Requiring 6-12 Months of USCE!

On searching for various program criteria for Family Medicine i found that more than 90% of the programs require 6-12 month of USCE other than Externship and observership. How can an IMG fulfill this criteria, these are the only ways in which we can gain USCE.
Further I dont think that an International medical school allows elective for more than 2 months so how can someone do an elective of one year.

so after i had searched few states i found that we are eligible for only a bunch of FM programs.
Is FM so tough to get into i thought it was easier i think the only advantage is that they accept low score
Moderators or anyone can you kindly comment on it.
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I think you are being too pessimistic. Figures from the 2011 match show that non-US IMG's made up over 10% of the new residents in well over half the programs in Family Medicine, and over 20% in over 25% of the programs.

Programs may prefer a lot of USCE, but they may accept much less USCE, if the candidate is suitable in other ways (high score, good personal statement, commitment to the field).

IMG's are succeeding in Family Medicine - the proof is there!
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I too have searched a lot more than 100 program and Yes you are right its clearly given in the most of the program criterias that they require USCE not in the form of observership and externship
So how are we gonna get that if we are already graduate.
I have a low step 1 score and was thinking that FM was easier to get into but its not true they may require low step 1 score but they will have either a criteria that they accept GC holders or american citizens or require a long USCE (that too not in the form of observership and externships).

May be its a easy speciality but only if you are AMG or GC holder.
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Originally Posted by jinni View Post
I too have searched a lot more than 100 program and Yes you are right its clearly given in the most of the program criterias that they require USCE not in the form of observership and externship
So how are we gonna get that if we are already graduate.
I have a low step 1 score and was thinking that FM was easier to get into but its not true they may require low step 1 score but they will have either a criteria that they accept GC holders or american citizens or require a long USCE (that too not in the form of observership and externships).

May be its a easy speciality but only if you are AMG or GC holder.
Hi Jinni,
Over 40% of programs in FM will accept J1 Visa holders, can you say what your Step 1 score was? If you don't want to say, why don't you PM me, I will have a few suggestions for you.
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My step 1 score is 204.
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
I think you are being too pessimistic. Figures from the 2011 match show that non-US IMG's made up over 10% of the new residents in well over half the programs in Family Medicine, and over 20% in over 25% of the programs.

Programs may prefer a lot of USCE, but they may accept much less USCE, if the candidate is suitable in other ways (high score, good personal statement, commitment to the field).

IMG's are succeeding in Family Medicine - the proof is there!
I am not being pessimistic if you see these programs criteria you would realise what i am talking about.....

http://www.tbh.org/medical-education/family-medicine

http://www.amc.edu/Academic/GME/prog...igibility.html

http://wyckoffhospital.org/assets/fi...%20PROGRAM.pdf

http://www.nymcphelpsresidency.org/residency/guidelines

These are the few which i can present right now.I have searched extensively and found that they have criterias which would filter out IMGs.

Can you please give me a link about the stats you have provided.....
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I'm researching some programs, too, not FM, though but some of the criteria are pretty tough to fullfill in any way, and I do have USCE but some ask for ONE year!! ANyway, double check with the program before applying, although I already have with some and they basically tell you, yes, that's what it is. Good luck to all of us!
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Originally Posted by usmle2011 View Post
I am not being pessimistic if you see these programs criteria you would realise what i am talking about.....
.....

These are the few which i can present right now.I have searched extensively and found that they have criterias which would filter out IMGs.

Can you please give me a link about the stats you have provided.....
Here are some programs in New York and Pennsylvania where USCE is not a strict requirement.

http://www.downstate.edu/familypract...plication.html

http://www.bifp-residency.org/applicantsmoreinfo.htm

http://mckeesport.familymedicine.pit...nt.asp?id=1893

For stats, go to www.step2match.com and select Help->Residency Data or Help->2012 Match

Ed
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Originally Posted by dr_mhm View Post
I'm researching some programs, too, not FM, though but some of the criteria are pretty tough to fullfill in any way, and I do have USCE but some ask for ONE year!! ANyway, double check with the program before applying, although I already have with some and they basically tell you, yes, that's what it is. Good luck to all of us!
Yes but in FM particularly it seems that there are very few programs with IMG friendly criterias.
Yes i mailed few and got the same reply that they wont compromise on their fixed criterias.
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Here are some programs in New York and Pennsylvania where USCE is not a strict requirement.

http://www.downstate.edu/familypract...plication.html

http://www.bifp-residency.org/applicantsmoreinfo.htm

http://mckeesport.familymedicine.pit...nt.asp?id=1893

For stats, go to www.step2match.com and select Help->Residency Data or Help->2012 Match

Ed
Thanks Ed
So do you think there are ample of programs with these criterias.
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Thanks Ed
So do you think there are ample of programs with these criterias.
There are a good amount. But you have to apply very widely and try to make yourself as attractive as possible. If this is really what you want to do, then maximize your chances. If you can't do your own research or you need help with it then contact me at step2match.com

Ed
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
There are a good amount. But you have to apply very widely and try to make yourself as attractive as possible. If this is really what you want to do, then maximize your chances. If you can't do your own research or you need help with it then contact me at step2match.com

Ed
It is amazing how many Caribbean students have started these type of companies, just amazing,

Also FM is for people who know the NORTH AMERICAN CULTURE, have a BSc/MSc/MPH and over 12 months of USCE for the ones that sponsor J-1.

There is over 500 CAD grads matching mostly to FM each year who have gone to the Caribbean.


DO RESEARCH DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY on applications.
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It is amazing how many Caribbean students have started these type of companies, just amazing,

Also FM is for people who know the NORTH AMERICAN CULTURE, have a BSc/MSc/MPH and over 12 months of USCE for the ones that sponsor J-1.

There is over 500 CAD grads matching mostly to FM each year who have gone to the Caribbean.


DO RESEARCH DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY on applications.
Thanks shima.
So the border line is FM is difficult to get into if you are not an AMG or CAD grads.

Have you undergone the process of matching........can you please let me know if its good to apply for FM if you are IMG and i could not understand its the program who sponsor J1 Visa right ? sp how can we get J1 visa.

And how can we get USCE for 12 months but without it being an Observership and externship.

And by research you mean to research on programs criteria right or the research positions ?

Thanks a lot again
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It is amazing how many Caribbean students have started these type of companies, just amazing,

Also FM is for people who know the NORTH AMERICAN CULTURE, have a BSc/MSc/MPH and over 12 months of USCE for the ones that sponsor J-1.

There is over 500 CAD grads matching mostly to FM each year who have gone to the Caribbean.


DO RESEARCH DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY on applications.
This information IS NOT CORRECT. In the 2011 match IMG's (non-US) filled over 10% of the positions in 30 states. These were not Canadian or US Citizens. Many of these programs don't mandate US Clinical Experience.

One reason that I am involved in Step2Match (and it is not a company founded exclusively by a Caribbean MD) is because IMG's have so much misinformation about the match. They are unsure of the American system and don't know what it takes to succeed. You go to Kaplan's and USMLE world for for study aids. Similarly, you should ask match experts about the match.

THe US is a hard place to crack. It is very competitive and very confusing. Take every bit of help you can.
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Originally Posted by jinni View Post
Thanks shima.
So the border line is FM is difficult to get into if you are not an AMG or CAD grads.

Have you undergone the process of matching........can you please let me know if its good to apply for FM if you are IMG and i could not understand its the program who sponsor J1 Visa right ? sp how can we get J1 visa.

And how can we get USCE for 12 months but without it being an Observership and externship.

And by research you mean to research on programs criteria right or the research positions ?

Thanks a lot again
Every Residency in the match is competitive. Especially so for IMG's. About 60% of IMG's FAIL to match each year. However your match chances increase if you do your research on the programs and apply widely. You study to pass exams, but you must also study to make the match. Do your own research, if you can. If you can't get, get help. Will it be worth it, if you get a Residency? Of course it will.

IMG's don't need 12 months of USCE to get a Residency interview in FM. If that was the case programs would insist on it upfront, but they DON'T. They are looking for good people. IMG's can show how good they are with their USMLE scores, their personal statements and their commitment to the field.

Don't let others dampen your dreams and dull your ambitions. There are many great IMG doctors in America in all branches of medicine. In fact, the system would collapse without them

Ed.
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Every Residency in the match is competitive. Especially so for IMG's. About 60% of IMG's FAIL to match each year. However your match chances increase if you do your research on the programs and apply widely. You study to pass exams, but you must also study to make the match. Do your own research, if you can. If you can't get, get help. Will it be worth it, if you get a Residency? Of course it will.

IMG's don't need 12 months of USCE to get a Residency interview in FM. If that was the case programs would insist on it upfront, but they DON'T. They are looking for good people. IMG's can show how good they are with their USMLE scores, their personal statements and their commitment to the field.

Don't let others dampen your dreams and dull your ambitions. There are many great IMG doctors in America in all branches of medicine. In fact, the system would collapse without them

Ed.
Ed, I understand you're trying to help but lets focus on what the OP asked.

If you look at certain programs website, they explicitly say they want an X amount of USCE, which doesn't include externships or observerships etc. as the OP stated.

Im unsure if you're encouraging these individuals to apply there anyways or not, but I wouldn't. Applications are expensive, and for one to throw away money when they don't meet the criteria that the program has explicitly asked for, that's foolish.

Now, for the OP, you have to suck it up and apply to programs where you DO meet the criteria, there will be TONS! Dont worry! Just go on each and every FM program website and note down which ones you are eligible for.. it'll save you alot of time and money, and more importantly will get you a residency spot.
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Every Residency in the match is competitive. Especially so for IMG's. About 60% of IMG's FAIL to match each year. However your match chances increase if you do your research on the programs and apply widely. You study to pass exams, but you must also study to make the match. Do your own research, if you can. If you can't get, get help. Will it be worth it, if you get a Residency? Of course it will.

IMG's don't need 12 months of USCE to get a Residency interview in FM. If that was the case programs would insist on it upfront, but they DON'T. They are looking for good people. IMG's can show how good they are with their USMLE scores, their personal statements and their commitment to the field.

Don't let others dampen your dreams and dull your ambitions. There are many great IMG doctors in America in all branches of medicine. In fact, the system would collapse without them

Ed.
Yes you are right but then i dont think its good to apply for the programs which dont fit into your criteria it will be a mere complete waste of money.
And also the programs sees the interest of applicant in a particular speciality, no one can match in a back up plan cause your application,LORs,CV etc will show that this was not your primary speciality.
So its better to choose a speciality which fit your profile. I was interested in non surgical fields like Peds,FM,IM and Psych with my low step 1 score i found FM was easy to get into. But the whole USCE stuff caused a worry.

Last edited by jinni; 05-12-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Ed, I understand you're trying to help but lets focus on what the OP asked.

If you look at certain programs website, they explicitly say they want an X amount of USCE, which doesn't include externships or observerships etc. as the OP stated.

Im unsure if you're encouraging these individuals to apply there anyways or not, but I wouldn't. Applications are expensive, and for one to throw away money when they don't meet the criteria that the program has explicitly asked for, that's foolish.

Now, for the OP, you have to suck it up and apply to programs where you DO meet the criteria, there will be TONS! Dont worry! Just go on each and every FM program website and note down which ones you are eligible for.. it'll save you alot of time and money, and more importantly will get you a residency spot.
Thanks PatelMD I completely second your views.
I am searching the programs criteria which suits my profile.
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Ed, I understand you're trying to help but lets focus on what the OP asked.

If you look at certain programs website, they explicitly say they want an X amount of USCE, which doesn't include externships or observerships etc. as the OP stated.

Im unsure if you're encouraging these individuals to apply there anyways or not, but I wouldn't. Applications are expensive, and for one to throw away money when they don't meet the criteria that the program has explicitly asked for, that's foolish.

Now, for the OP, you have to suck it up and apply to programs where you DO meet the criteria, there will be TONS! Dont worry! Just go on each and every FM program website and note down which ones you are eligible for.. it'll save you alot of time and money, and more importantly will get you a residency spot.
Hey Patel MD thanks for a crisp advice dude. Yes i think its better to apply searching each programs rather than putting effort on someone else's search.
Yes these services help in case we are short of time but its always better to search yourself.
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Every Residency in the match is competitive. Especially so for IMG's. About 60% of IMG's FAIL to match each year. However your match chances increase if you do your research on the programs and apply widely. You study to pass exams, but you must also study to make the match. Do your own research, if you can. If you can't get, get help. Will it be worth it, if you get a Residency? Of course it will.

IMG's don't need 12 months of USCE to get a Residency interview in FM. If that was the case programs would insist on it upfront, but they DON'T. They are looking for good people. IMG's can show how good they are with their USMLE scores, their personal statements and their commitment to the field.

Don't let others dampen your dreams and dull your ambitions. There are many great IMG doctors in America in all branches of medicine. In fact, the system would collapse without them

Ed.
This is what i am trying to say that programs are having these criterias on there website and on mailing them they bluntly say that yes you have to fit into their criteria otherwise dont apply.There is no pint in applying to these programs its a waste of money.
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Save the money for the Interview trail. I know 2 people that because of lack of money had to cancel many interviews this year/ or did not show up. 1 matched, but one did not.

Please save money
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No suggestion that you should apply for programs which require USCE. But this thread started off with a user who could mostly only find programs which required USCE. My reply was that many don't.

Clearly you shouldn't apply to programs where they set strict requirements as regards score, USCE, visa restrictions (if you need a visa),etc.

My simple advice is to research carefully, if you can and if you have the time. If not, look around for help. It's nothing to be ashamed of. If research was easy then this forum wouldn't exist and nobody would have to ask any questions.

Remember, the IMG pass rate for the steps is over 70%. The IMG match rate is below 50%. It's easier to pass the Steps than Match. You need to devote as many resources as you have to the Match.

A few point about research methods.

Finding the 'IMG Friendly program' may not be optimal. If all IMG's pursue this strategy, then it makes competition among IMG's fiercer at those programs.

A program may have one or two outstanding IMG's who have fabulous scores or are very high achievers academically or otherwise. These are outliers. An average IMG will not even get an interview.

Just because a program doesn't have IMG residents doesn't mean that the program has not ranked them or interviewed them. My research has shown that certain types of programs are more likely to recruit IMG's, even if they don't currently have any.

Ed

Last edited by eduardod; 05-13-2012 at 04:57 AM.
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No suggestion that you should apply for programs which require USCE. But this thread started off with a user who could mostly only find programs which required USCE. My reply was that many don't.

Clearly you shouldn't apply to programs where they set strict requirements as regards score, USCE, visa restrictions (if you need a visa),etc.

My simple advice is to research carefully, if you can and if you have the time. If not, look around for help. It's nothing to be ashamed of. If research was easy then this forum wouldn't exist and nobody would have to ask any questions.

Remember, the IMG pass rate for the steps is over 70%. The IMG match rate is below 50%. It's easier to pass the Steps than Match. You need to devote as many resources as you have to the Match.

A few point about research methods.

Finding the 'IMG Friendly program' may not be optimal. If all IMG's pursue this strategy, then it makes competition among IMG's fiercer at those programs.

A program may have one or two outstanding IMG's who have fabulous scores or are very high achievers academically or otherwise. These are outliers. An average IMG will not even get an interview.

Just because a program doesn't have IMG residents doesn't mean that the program has not ranked them or interviewed them. My research has shown that certain types of programs are more likely to recruit IMG's, even if they don't currently have any.

Ed
So how do you know about the programs.......... i mean if the programs dont have in their criteria and also no IMG residents then what think makes you so confident that program is IMG friendly.

I dont think PDs talk much on this issue so how do you exactly know IMG friendliness of a program.
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Save the money for the Interview trail. I know 2 people that because of lack of money had to cancel many interviews this year/ or did not show up. 1 matched, but one did not.

Please save money
First of all a big congratulations you emerged a hero!!
It would be very helpful if people like you who have matched share their experiences.
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So how do you know about the programs.......... i mean if the programs dont have in their criteria and also no IMG residents then what think makes you so confident that program is IMG friendly.

I dont think PDs talk much on this issue so how do you exactly know IMG friendliness of a program.
Excellent question. At step2match.com we've done a lot of statistical analysis on the Residency programs and who is likely to match. We haven't just tested them for IMG Residents but we have scored them according to the number of Residents they have and according to how recently they've recruited an IMG. This way we've eliminated the outliers - the high profile programs who will take one or two 'star' IMG's from time to time. Then we've looked for other objective criteria which characterize the programs who take a good number of IMG's. From these criteria we derive a new list of the type of programs which are likely to offer an interview to an IMG.

Our list's aren't generic, though, we also take into account USMLE scores and level of clinical experience, if any, as well as other factors. In other words, we filter our initial list to suit the individual.

Our data even includes schools and country of origin of IMG's, where this can be discovered, so we are working with a lot of very granular data.

Clearly if you have the time, inclination and skill you can do this yourself. But you can also study for the USMLE yourself too. I know one IMG (and have heard of a few other) who never took a prep. course with anyone but who passed the exams and matched. The rest of us need a little help, though.

PD's do talk about their preferences in one way - through the NRMP Program Director's Survey. You can see how highly they rate USMLE scores and personality (including personal commitment). This applies whether you are from New York or New Delhi.

Ed
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Excellent question. At step2match.com we've done a lot of statistical analysis on the Residency programs and who is likely to match. We haven't just tested them for IMG Residents but we have scored them according to the number of Residents they have and according to how recently they've recruited an IMG. This way we've eliminated the outliers - the high profile programs who will take one or two 'star' IMG's from time to time. Then we've looked for other objective criteria which characterize the programs who take a good number of IMG's. From these criteria we derive a new list of the type of programs which are likely to offer an interview to an IMG.

Our list's aren't generic, though, we also take into account USMLE scores and level of clinical experience, if any, as well as other factors. In other words, we filter our initial list to suit the individual.

Our data even includes schools and country of origin of IMG's, where this can be discovered, so we are working with a lot of very granular data.

Clearly if you have the time, inclination and skill you can do this yourself. But you can also study for the USMLE yourself too. I know one IMG (and have heard of a few other) who never took a prep. course with anyone but who passed the exams and matched. The rest of us need a little help, though.

PD's do talk about their preferences in one way - through the NRMP Program Director's Survey. You can see how highly they rate USMLE scores and personality (including personal commitment). This applies whether you are from New York or New Delhi.

Ed
That makes sense.
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