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


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  #1  
Old 07-27-2012
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Help My residency options after step 1 failure :(

Hi everyone out there. I recently took step1 and failed. Some of it was my luck and may be my prep too. Anyways coming to the point. I am a green card holder IMG. Graduated in 2011 and came here. Had no plan to take usmle before 2010. But somehow i ended up here. Took a year to study and failed. Did all stuff like video lectures, kaplan, first aid and nbmes 7,11,12,13. Failed 7 in january and delayed my step 1 scored 220 in 11 in may. In june did 12,13 and scored around 250-260 respectively. Was confident tha would do good but bad luck stuck and the prometric center i was taking exam in had power failure 3 times. Each time they took about an hour to get back online and partly screwed my test. I didnt know what to do but somehow i gathered my self up and completed the test. (I dont know if i should have left the exam room?) got my scores yestrday and turns out i got 71/168. I had no idea what i was doing after first two blocks. I had a bad feeling that i have screwed up. And thats what happened.
I have already informed ecfmg and prometric about what happend and ecfmg did look into the matter and test admin sent me a letter stating " we have investigated that the servers crashed during your exam and we cannot determine how it affected your performance. But u can attach this letter with your application to the programs you apply in".
Now what options do i have? I am all devastated. I became a doctor to be a surgeon. My passion was surgery. I know its difficult to get into a surgery programs but now i think i have barely any options left.
What should i do? I am not able to think right now, mind and heart going in opposite direction.
Should i pack my bags and go back? Or should i suck it up and do it all again?
Please help!!!!
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Old 07-28-2012
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86 views and no replies! Any one?
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Old 07-28-2012
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86 views and no replies! Any one?
Where did the test failure happen? Was it in the US?

Ed.
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Old 07-28-2012
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Where did the test failure happen? Was it in the US?

Ed.
Yes in usa. I live in houston
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Old 07-28-2012
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Well, I think what ECFMG has told you "can" work. If you're app doesn't get filtered before you are even considered for an interview where you can "show" the letter from the ECFMG.

Regardless, I think best possible and most logical solution would be to pass Step 1 with a good score on you're second attempt, at the minimum of the mean. (I'm not saying get a 230+, on the account of being realistic)
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Old 07-29-2012
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Originally Posted by Texan123 View Post
Hi everyone out there. I recently took step1 and failed. Some of it was my luck and may be my prep too. Anyways coming to the point. I am a green card holder IMG. Graduated in 2011 and came here. Had no plan to take usmle before 2010. But somehow i ended up here. Took a year to study and failed. Did all stuff like video lectures, kaplan, first aid and nbmes 7,11,12,13. Failed 7 in january and delayed my step 1 scored 220 in 11 in may. In june did 12,13 and scored around 250-260 respectively. Was confident tha would do good but bad luck stuck and the prometric center i was taking exam in had power failure 3 times. Each time they took about an hour to get back online and partly screwed my test. I didnt know what to do but somehow i gathered my self up and completed the test. (I dont know if i should have left the exam room?) got my scores yestrday and turns out i got 71/168. I had no idea what i was doing after first two blocks. I had a bad feeling that i have screwed up. And thats what happened.
I have already informed ecfmg and prometric about what happend and ecfmg did look into the matter and test admin sent me a letter stating " we have investigated that the servers crashed during your exam and we cannot determine how it affected your performance. But u can attach this letter with your application to the programs you apply in".
Now what options do i have? I am all devastated. I became a doctor to be a surgeon. My passion was surgery. I know its difficult to get into a surgery programs but now i think i have barely any options left.
What should i do? I am not able to think right now, mind and heart going in opposite direction.
Should i pack my bags and go back? Or should i suck it up and do it all again?
Please help!!!!
There are plenty of examples who have made it despite failures. Not giving up is the name of the game. You don't have Visa issues, Score good in rest of the steps and try to have good USCE's and LOR's. Genuine and good LOR's can act as a great reference and sometime even bypass the filters.
All the best.
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Old 07-29-2012
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thanks guys. one more thing if anyone can help me. should i take ck before retaking step1?
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Old 07-29-2012
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thanks guys. one more thing if anyone can help me. should i take ck before retaking step1?
Definitely not imo, a lot of Step 1 is base for Step 2 CK. So try and do it in the order.
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Old 07-30-2012
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plz do not give up , take the step 1 again n keep that letter.
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plz do not give up , take the step 1 again n keep that letter.
yes of course & thanks
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  #11  
Old 07-30-2012
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Warning! Sue Prometric & ECFMG

If there were such long delays and even Prometric declared that "there was something wrong in their center but they don't know if it could affect your performance", I'd say you print out that email and take it to a lawyer and file a suit. The least they can do is let you take the exam again and remove the attempt from your record. From the way I see it, having unnecessary extra 3 hours in an 8-hour test is not nice at all. They screwed your test.

I think you should have left and then filed a suit, but you can still do it now.
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If there were such long delays and even Prometric declared that "there was something wrong in their center but they don't know if it could affect your performance", I'd say you print out that email and take it to a lawyer and file a suit. The least they can do is let you take the exam again and remove the attempt from your record. From the way I see it, having unnecessary extra 3 hours in an 8-hour test is not nice at all. They screwed your test.

I think you should have left and then filed a suit, but you can still do it now.
I also think you have some sort of case. I have asked one or two experts in Test prep. about this and they were of the opinion that the test should have been stopped after the first power failure and everyone sent home. It seems like really disgraceful behavior by Prometric. The least that is called for is a letter from your lawyer.

Ed
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Old 07-30-2012
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thanks ed and haisook. should i contact usmle again before contacting the lawyer? the letter says and i qoute "While we understand the concerns you expressed, it is not possible to determine what effect, if
any, the incident you described may have had on your exam performance. Although we are
sorry that you experienced this difficulty, the situation does not rise to the level necessary to
warrant the refunding of your application fee. However, if you wish to inform recipients of your
score report (or other third parties) about the concerns you expressed to us, you are welcome to
forward a copy of this letter to them."
and
"Please be assured that every effort is made to provide a positive
testing experience for USMLE examinees. However, situations can occur that are beyond our
and Prometricís control. With this in mind, the USMLE Bulletin of Information (BOI) alerts
examinees to the possibility that a technical problem could occur at the test center. "
please do comment. thanks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan123 View Post
thanks ed and haisook. should i contact usmle again before contacting the lawyer? the letter says and i qoute "While we understand the concerns you expressed, it is not possible to determine what effect, if
any, the incident you described may have had on your exam performance. Although we are
sorry that you experienced this difficulty, the situation does not rise to the level necessary to
warrant the refunding of your application fee. However, if you wish to inform recipients of your
score report (or other third parties) about the concerns you expressed to us, you are welcome to
forward a copy of this letter to them."
and
"Please be assured that every effort is made to provide a positive
testing experience for USMLE examinees. However, situations can occur that are beyond our
and Prometricís control. With this in mind, the USMLE Bulletin of Information (BOI) alerts
examinees to the possibility that a technical problem could occur at the test center. "
please do comment. thanks
Firstly, if they can't determine how the power outage affected you, then they must take your word that it was responsible for your failing score. At any rate, they must give you the benefit of the doubt.

Secondly, they didn't keep their part of the bargain and conduct a fair test. They must cancel the costs and the result to ensure that there is some consequence for their failure and to ensure that the get it right the next time.

Thirdly, they have traumatized you by making you go through this ordeal. You deserve some compensation for that. You studied hard and paid good money for this exam but Prometric let you down. I would suggest that they pay your fees when you can actually take the test properly.

I would not take this lying down. The letter they sent you was a mealy-mouthed half-assed apology. From it's tone, I strongly suspect that they really know they owe you much more.

Go after them, I strongly urge you. Do it for yourself and for all of the other students who may have suffered from this sort of nonsense.

Ed




I have no doubt that any reasonable person would take this viewpoint.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan123 View Post
thanks ed and haisook. should i contact usmle again before contacting the lawyer? the letter says and i qoute "While we understand the concerns you expressed, it is not possible to determine what effect, if
any, the incident you described may have had on your exam performance. Although we are
sorry that you experienced this difficulty, the situation does not rise to the level necessary to
warrant the refunding of your application fee. However, if you wish to inform recipients of your
score report (or other third parties) about the concerns you expressed to us, you are welcome to
forward a copy of this letter to them."
and
"Please be assured that every effort is made to provide a positive
testing experience for USMLE examinees. However, situations can occur that are beyond our
and Prometricís control. With this in mind, the USMLE Bulletin of Information (BOI) alerts
examinees to the possibility that a technical problem could occur at the test center. "
please do comment. thanks
This part alone "However, if you wish to inform recipients of your
score report (or other third parties) about the concerns you expressed to us, you are welcome to forward a copy of this letter to them." is enough to declare them guilty. Why would an applicant need to email such letter to programs? It doesn't make sense, and no applicant should go through it.

So, as Ed and I suggested, I say you take a deep breath and talk to your lawyer about that. I'm sure you will win the case and your attempt will be revoked. And mind you, a step 1 failure is not something to be taken lightly by program directors.
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Old 07-30-2012
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Originally Posted by eduardod View Post
Firstly, if they can't determine how the power outage affected you, then they must take your word that it was responsible for your failing score. At any rate, they must give you the benefit of the doubt.

Secondly, they didn't keep their part of the bargain and conduct a fair test. They must cancel the costs and the result to ensure that there is some consequence for their failure and to ensure that the get it right the next time.

Thirdly, they have traumatized you by making you go through this ordeal. You deserve some compensation for that. You studied hard and paid good money for this exam but Prometric let you down. I would suggest that they pay your fees when you can actually take the test properly.

I would not take this lying down. The letter they sent you was a mealy-mouthed half-assed apology. From it's tone, I strongly suspect that they really know they owe you much more.

Go after them, I strongly urge you. Do it for yourself and for all of the other students who may have suffered from this sort of nonsense.

Ed




I have no doubt that any reasonable person would take this viewpoint.
thanks ed. i will look for a lawyer and send them a letter asap
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thanks ed. i will look for a lawyer and send them a letter asap
one more question. should i contact test admin about it or just go to a lawyer and file a claim?
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Old 07-30-2012
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one more question. should i contact test admin about it or just go to a lawyer and file a claim?
This is for the lawyer to decide.
If he agrees to do so, it makes a difference if the email sender is lawyer.

Good luck.
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Old 07-31-2012
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DISCLAIMER: I am not suggesting any particular plan of action, I just want to add my own personal experience.

I had a power failure during my CK exam. All the computers at the Prometric center shut down simultaneously (just the computers - lights, A/C, everything else was OK). There were other people taking CK, someone taking Step 1 and some other people taking other tests.

When the issue was fixed and our testing sessions were restarted, I had not lost any time on my clock and all my answers on that block were exactly how I had left them. I checked because I was scared they would have been erased. It was all there.

I ended up getting a 270+, and the other people taking tests that day did fine also did fine. Then again, in my case it was just one power failure, not three.

I'm not saying your power failures didn't affect you (how would I know?) but there are quite a few systems in place to try and prevent loss of data during failures like these. From what the testing staff have told me, they have a local server that seems to cache the questions locally (instead of pulling each one over the Internet), and this server also seems to save answers as you go along so you don't lose all of your test answers in case something goes wrong.

Also, I've never been to any other Prometric centers but the one I've tested at has several large UPSs (backup battery power supplies) for what seems to be the server and for all the other equipment. In my case, one of these seems to have failed - I saw some technicians carrying one of them out. The computers lost power, but luckily the server seems to have been OK.

Best of luck for however you decide to approach this situation...
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