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


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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012
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Arrow Brainstorming: The Match Strategy

I would like to open this topic because I know many people would be thinking about it right now..What should your strategy be when applying?

I'll go first and put my thoughts..

Now, we all know that the idea of "Apply Till You Run Out of Cash", is not exactly the ideal way, even though some people have matched using it, because you could really miss some good programs this way while wasting your money elsewhere..

Another method I once read about was the 3/3 method, where you divide your programs to 3 sections, 1) Dream Programs, 2) Probable Programs, 3) Backup Programs. Not a bad strategy too..

The problem IMHO would be for those who are applying for example to surgery as their main field, and then to IM as backup, How would you handle that? If a hospital is good, Do you apply to your desired specialty there, or to your backup? You don't want to apply to both because this is always unadvisable to do that..

Let's share our ideas, this thread can be some sort of brainstorming and could really help a lot of people.

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2012
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Here's a stupid question. Why is it unadvisable to apply to 2 Programs in the same hospital? If the hospital is good, why not? I know my preference but I need a backup plan, like you said.
Also, I have to take into consideration other things like location, possibility for my family to work in that area, etc. If it's a good hospital and the Programs are good, why not? It's more about the Programs and if both happen to be in the same hospital, then I would go for it (e.g. good surgery program, backup pathology, both in the same hospital).
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Old 07-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_mhm View Post
Here's a stupid question. Why is it unadvisable to apply to 2 Programs in the same hospital? If the hospital is good, why not? I know my preference but I need a backup plan, like you said.
Also, I have to take into consideration other things like location, possibility for my family to work in that area, etc. If it's a good hospital and the Programs are good, why not? It's more about the Programs and if both happen to be in the same hospital, then I would go for it (e.g. good surgery program, backup pathology, both in the same hospital).

They say PDs can find out if you apply in two programs in the same hospital, If they dont great but if they do you loose your interview as they understand that your not committed to surgery , you cannot say i just applied to pathology for back up ....

goodluck .........
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Old 07-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_mhm View Post
Here's a stupid question. Why is it unadvisable to apply to 2 Programs in the same hospital? If the hospital is good, why not? I know my preference but I need a backup plan, like you said.
Also, I have to take into consideration other things like location, possibility for my family to work in that area, etc. If it's a good hospital and the Programs are good, why not? It's more about the Programs and if both happen to be in the same hospital, then I would go for it (e.g. good surgery program, backup pathology, both in the same hospital).
Hey. No that's not a stupid question, you actually made a point. But what previous experiences of people in the match say is that if it is known in that hospital that you are applying to both programs (which actually happened to many people, usually when a GME office is handling applications for all departments, or when the same coordinator is working for both departments) it will show that you aren't dedicated to either, and will probably disqualify you from both..

Let me add another strategy I heard of lately, to heat up the thread a bit. A friend of mine matched last year, his strategy was to apply to his desired specialties in any visa-giving program that took IMGs lately, then apply to all the remaining visa-giving till he's out of cash.
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Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
They say PDs can find out if you apply in two programs in the same hospital, If they dont great but if they do you loose your interview as they understand that your not committed to surgery , you cannot say i just applied to pathology for back up ....

goodluck .........
Ditto to that
So what would your strategy be?
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Old 07-11-2012
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Originally Posted by Dyke View Post
Ditto to that
So what would your strategy be?
Hey buddy , I am applying next year . Goodluck to all , i guess i would stick to just one field as thats the best way , if i dont match i will do more USCE and come back again . that way my application will look better and increase my chances to match............

goodluck ahead , keep us posted about your road ahead ......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dyke View Post
Hey. No that's not a stupid question, you actually made a point. But what previous experiences of people in the match say is that if it is known in that hospital that you are applying to both programs (which actually happened to many people, usually when a GME office is handling applications for all departments, or when the same coordinator is working for both departments) it will show that you aren't dedicated to either, and will probably disqualify you from both..

Let me add another strategy I heard of lately, to heat up the thread a bit. A friend of mine matched last year, his strategy was to apply to his desired specialties in any visa-giving program that took IMGs lately, then apply to all the remaining visa-giving till he's out of cash.
I get that point but still, I guess everybody has there own issues to take into account.

As for your other idea: I'm no help there as I don't need a visa but you would still need a bit of money for the I/Vs!
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  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_mhm View Post
I get that point but still, I guess everybody has there own issues to take into account.

As for your other idea: I'm no help there as I don't need a visa but you would still need a bit of money for the I/Vs!
Yea, good luck!

More ideas, people!
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Old 07-11-2012
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Here's what I'm doing - after listing all the programs and their requirements, I eliminated all the ones asking for a minimum score of 200. I have passing scores (literally) on each exam. So I don't stand a chance at those, and that's fine with me. I didn't get the PTAL so I'm not applying to CA. I'm also on a $2000 budget, so I'm thinking I can manage 150 programs tops. (or not - I estimated the math). I tried looking up the IMG friendliness of each hospital but names and pictures are often misleading - for instance, graduating from the carribean is NOT the same as from India, Pakistan or the like. I'm still working on the shortlisting. But websites alone are not enough - every single program sounds really friendly, but we know better. Anyway, so I'm down to about 400 hospital names on paper than I'm working on narrowing down. I realized that the more IMG friendly states are also more attractive for all the super high scorers etc, and I can't have my lousy 77 and 79 compared to those, so I'm also looking at places in the midwest etc. I'm open to ideas, and wish you all luck. We might as well help each other out :}
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Old 07-11-2012
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Originally Posted by aa1984 View Post
Here's what I'm doing - after listing all the programs and their requirements, I eliminated all the ones asking for a minimum score of 200. I have passing scores (literally) on each exam. So I don't stand a chance at those, and that's fine with me. I didn't get the PTAL so I'm not applying to CA. I'm also on a $2000 budget, so I'm thinking I can manage 150 programs tops. (or not - I estimated the math). I tried looking up the IMG friendliness of each hospital but names and pictures are often misleading - for instance, graduating from the carribean is NOT the same as from India, Pakistan or the like. I'm still working on the shortlisting. But websites alone are not enough - every single program sounds really friendly, but we know better. Anyway, so I'm down to about 400 hospital names on paper than I'm working on narrowing down. I realized that the more IMG friendly states are also more attractive for all the super high scorers etc, and I can't have my lousy 77 and 79 compared to those, so I'm also looking at places in the midwest etc. I'm open to ideas, and wish you all luck. We might as well help each other out :}
All the best, friend!

What you are doing on your list is a bit like mine. What specialties are you applying to?
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Old 07-11-2012
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Psychiatry and Family Medicine. I hear IM is quite the tough cookie for IMG's now. You?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa1984 View Post
Psychiatry and Family Medicine. I hear IM is quite the tough cookie for IMG's now. You?
Let me add to our list of strategies:

A "Modified 3/3": How about you decide how many programs you are going for, say for example 160..then divide them this way:

1) 40 Dream Programs
2) 60 Focused Primary Specialty/Probable Programs (Probably IM)
3) 60 Backup Programs (Probably FM)

This looks reasonable, even though it doesn't solve the problem of whether to apply to your primary or backup program when you come across a hospital that you really like, like we said in the 1st post, so as not to apply to 2 programs in the same institute..

How about that?
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Old 07-11-2012
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Well yes but that doesn't take into consideration things like each program's criteria. Hospitals in Brooklyn, Jamaica and most of NY we'd assume to be IMG friendly, but have you seen the scores they require? Their websites are ancient and outdated and they're not bothered. They still have an influw of applicants and lots of the contacts' sort too - now is that place going to consider average scores? I doubt it. I dunno I could be wrong. I think your pattern has the 'no. of programs' part down but the rest needs to be a little more individualized for the programs.
Now, whats your take on program size? You think it matters?
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Originally Posted by aa1984 View Post
Well yes but that doesn't take into consideration things like each program's criteria. Hospitals in Brooklyn, Jamaica and most of NY we'd assume to be IMG friendly, but have you seen the scores they require? Their websites are ancient and outdated and they're not bothered. They still have an influw of applicants and lots of the contacts' sort too - now is that place going to consider average scores? I doubt it. I dunno I could be wrong. I think your pattern has the 'no. of programs' part down but the rest needs to be a little more individualized for the programs.
Now, whats your take on program size? You think it matters?
Now that's a problem I was facing, which is old or outdated websites, Should we be sending every program to ask about their new criteria? That's a huge effort!

As for program sizes, usually the bigger the better, but IMHO, if the program is small but mostly IMGs, see? You get my point.
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Old 07-19-2012
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Originally Posted by Hitman View Post
They say PDs can find out if you apply in two programs in the same hospital, If they dont great but if they do you loose your interview as they understand that your not committed to surgery , you cannot say i just applied to pathology for back up ....

goodluck .........
What if I apply for a preliminary year and I actually need one year in Surgery, IM or Pediatrics. Should I chose one specialty or can I apply to all three in one hospital? What do you think?
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Old 07-19-2012
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Originally Posted by koriaga View Post
What if I apply for a preliminary year and I actually need one year in Surgery, IM or Pediatrics. Should I chose one specialty or can I apply to all three in one hospital? What do you think?
Since you need a prelim year for your advanced speciality you will mention what you intend to do ahead in your personal statement like a Surgery prelim for Surgery would fit best ... donot know if you are allowed prelim in medicine for surgery ?? so I would say if your trying for neurology take prelim med , surgery relim surgery but i know that if you are trying for radiology you can take any prelim med or surgery ... Now whether to aplly for all 3 at same place ?? the thing is they provide you prelim based on what you want to do ahead ...... like people trying for radiology and neurology both might apply to get a prelim in med but i have heard they will give an interview with more preference for neurology than radiology becoz they might feel you will not get into radiology ...

so my point is if you apply for any prelim you will be mentioning what you want to do ahead ...and the prelim coordinators might be same .this could also cause you trouble as you might have specified different specialty for different prelim.....

still take my advice with a grain of salt as I have not applied for match , this is what i have read from the forums , hope some one will better experience and knowledge may guide you .....

goodluck........
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Old 07-19-2012
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Hey guys,
I am preparing my step 1 now. So I think I don't belong here but just got a glance of your discussion.
Those guys who are using iOS can have a really good application called " match Dr". This app have name of all hospital who offer residency in any desired field. With dean and program director email id.
This app helped to to explore observership but don't know how exactly it would be helpful to u guys. So best of luck buddies. Do share your matching details guys.
Thanks


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