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

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Old 06-11-2013
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Advertisement Components of a perfect Residency Application for an IMG

There are certain essential components of a successful, outstanding residency application.

We will discuss some of those components here.

* USMLE Scores : step scores are extremely important because this is one of the primary components based on which interviews are granted. IMGs should ideally aim for 230+ in Step 1 and 240+ in Step 2 CK to be very competitive. The level of competition has become very high for IMGs. Even though it is true that low scoring applicants do match every year, it is always best to score as high as possible. If your scores are near the national average or below, don't panic, but focus intensely on making the other components of your application much stronger than your competition will have, because these are now your only grounds to compete on - after a poor performance on the USMLEs.

* USCE : Program Directors are looking for candidates who are actually going to do CLINICAL WORK in their residency programs. Therefore, seeing that an applicant has a solid record of US BASED Clinical experience which was HANDS ON, and RESIDENCY RELEVANT, will make them more likely to have trust in your clinical skills. Program Directors would also like to know that foreign graduates understand the American Healthcare System and will be able to successfully carry out the responsibilities of a resident in THIS country. The only way you can prove this is by showing a track record of high quality, insured, hands on clinical experience. It is advisable to get about 3-6 months of US Clinical Experience, per year since you have graduated. Long periods without any documented clinical experience will raise questions about your freshness with clinical medicine. Please remember, shadowing private practitioners in private clinics does not qualify as high quality clinical experience.

* Paperwork : Personal Statement, Common Application Form, Letters of Recommendation, and all the legal forms required to apply for a residency should be done in the BEST QUALITY POSSIBLE. Personal Statements and LORS are extremely important documents. The goal of a well written CV, or LORs, is not to "fit in" with the samples we find on google. The goal of these documents is to make you STAND OUT, and DIFFERENT from the samples on google. This is not easily achieved and will take time and dedication. Do not underestimate these components of your application. They are also essential to you doing well in the match.

* Academic Profile : You would like to project yourself as an aspiring doctor who is very passionate about medicine. Trying to convince a Program Director that you are an outstanding applicant, with just your step scores and nothing else on your entire application does not really prove your passion towards medicine. It is advisable to start building your Academic Profile / CV early, AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS before you apply - ideally, a few years. Some examples of things you would like to have in your CV are Research, Publications, US Clinical Experience, Presentations at International Medical Conferences, Volunteer Work, and Charity Work (these need to be done though internationally verifiable organizations - experiences in foreign countries will carry much less weight because they often not verifiable), Memberships in high profile professional Medical Societies, a complete and comprehensive list of medical certifications, etc.

* Interview Skills : Once an applicant is called for an interview, they do have a real chance of matching at that program, if they make themselves outstanding. This can often be challenging for those who come from foreign countries as english may not be their first language. There is a very big difference between trained and untrained interviewees. You want to put every advantage in your favor and interviewing well is of utmost importance.

* Others: There are other things which contribute to your application as well - please contact ResidencyCube and learn everything from a-z about the application process for free. We can help you with almost every component mentioned above, and we do so at a professional level. After going through the difficulty of completing Medical School, studying for USMLE exams, you owe it to yourself to find out what other things you can do to make yourself stand out in the match.

We hope this information has been useful and informative.
We wish you all the best in the upcoming match.
Your Friend in The Match

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