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


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  #1  
Old 02-16-2014
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Default Please I need your help

Hey everyone, I graduated in Aug 2011 and I was thinking of taking step 2 CS in May to get my ECFMG certificate and apply for this year's Match. However, and due to some pressing personal issues I'll be applying next year (Sep 2015). By then will I be considered an old graduate and how much will it affect my chances of getting matched to IM

Here are my credentials
YOG Aug 2011
Step (1) 226
Step (2) 245
Step 2 CS will take
Step 3 will take
USCE - 6 months hands on experience, 3 months observership, 4 IM LORs. 1 year experience in my home country...
Visa- GC holder


I'm thinking of applying to 200-250 IM programs
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2014
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Will I be 4 or 5 years post graduation
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2014
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I think you have a good chance of getting 7+ interviews with your scores and YOG *IF* you apply in the Sept 2014. But with each passing year the noose is tightening.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2014
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Originally Posted by drsaid View Post
I think you have a good chance of getting 7+ interviews with your scores and YOG *IF* you apply in the Sept 2014. But with each passing year the noose is tightening.
Thank you very much for your reply. The thing is, I wont be applying this year. Will I still have a good chance in matching next year if I pass step 2 cs and get a high score in step 3. I know that it will be more difficult, but the situation I'm in is really bad and it would be very difficult for me to apply in sep 2014 will I be considered an old grad by sep 2015
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Old 02-17-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ck_s0lid View Post
Thank you very much for your reply. The thing is, I wont be applying this year. Will I still have a good chance in matching next year if I pass step 2 cs and get a high score in step 3. I know that it will be more difficult, but the situation I'm in is really bad and it would be very difficult for me to apply in sep 2014
Gaps in education is a big red flag. If you will be doing some work; research or externships etc to show you have been in the game, that will be helpful. But no one can honestly tell you what your chances will be in Sept 2015. Just keep in mind that each year the no. of applicants is increasing and that makes competition more tough for everyone.
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2014
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Sorry that your plans got derailed a bit. Sounds unavoidable at this point. Your credentials do look pretty good.

I think the "old grad" idea is not always a bad thing. I'm an IMG, graduated in 2007 and got a residency position in 2011 without too much issue in psychiatry (similar to your projected years after graduation when you start residency). I know that's not IM and my situation is different to yours, but I think there are some advantages of being an "old grad" (eg. you already have 1 year of post-graduation clinical experience in your home country.)

What does matter is how you're spending your time now. Are you in the U.S. right now? Are you able to do some sort of clinical work, volunteer work or research? If you really need to take an entire year off medical work, you'll need be able to explain that at your interviews (I'm not sure what you've been doing for the past few years). A gap will not necessarily be a complete red flag as long as there's a compelling reason (and ideally you can be doing something medicine-related) and you are a good candidate otherwise. To get interviews in the first place, you should make sure to spend time polishing your application packet. Your personal statement would be very important for you to focus your energy on. Hopefully your LORs are good and can add weight to your application.

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2014
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Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
Sorry that your plans got derailed a bit. Sounds unavoidable at this point. Your credentials do look pretty good.

I think the "old grad" idea is not always a bad thing. I'm an IMG, graduated in 2007 and got a residency position in 2011 without too much issue in psychiatry (similar to your projected years after graduation when you start residency). I know that's not IM and my situation is different to yours, but I think there are some advantages of being an "old grad" (eg. you already have 1 year of post-graduation clinical experience in your home country.)

What does matter is how you're spending your time now. Are you in the U.S. right now? Are you able to do some sort of clinical work, volunteer work or research? If you really need to take an entire year off medical work, you'll need be able to explain that at your interviews (I'm not sure what you've been doing for the past few years). A gap will not necessarily be a complete red flag as long as there's a compelling reason (and ideally you can be doing something medicine-related) and you are a good candidate otherwise. To get interviews in the first place, you should make sure to spend time polishing your application packet. Your personal statement would be very important for you to focus your energy on. Hopefully your LORs are good and can add weight to your application.

Good luck!
Thnak you, but I spent most of my time in the past few years practicing medicine in a private practice to make some money to pay for residency expenses in the US. I will return back to to the US late this year and do more US clinical experience, step 3...etc
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Old 02-18-2014
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I actually think that working in your home country can be a potential advantage over not doing any clinical work at all in the U.S.

I was in a similar situation to you when I was in the process of sitting for exams and applying to programs. I was working in my home country trying to save some money for all of the anticipated expenses. In my situation, this did not count against me. In fact, I think it had a positive effect because I was very comfortable with patient care and my interviewers noticed this.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
I actually think that working in your home country can be a potential advantage over not doing any clinical work at all in the U.S.

I was in a similar situation to you when I was in the process of sitting for exams and applying to programs. I was working in my home country trying to save some money for all of the anticipated expenses. In my situation, this did not count against me. In fact, I think it had a positive effect because I was very comfortable with patient care and my interviewers noticed this.
This is exactly what a lot of people told me. I don't think that a year will have a detrimental effect on my application, especially if I spend it doing clinical work. Let's just hope that they wont just stop accepting IMGs in 2015
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Old 02-18-2014
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No one can predict your chances come 2015 & as drsaid rightly said, 2014 match will be much more unfavorable for IMGs than 2013 & the trend continues.
I also want to remind you that the 4IM LORs you have will not be accepted by most if not all programs by 2015..you have to make plans for a fresh usce/lors.
Gluck
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  #11  
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I think that's a good point about LORs. I don't have personal knowledge about how having 1-year-old LORs may be completely detrimental to your application, but I would make sure to look into that.

But I can imagine how much of a headache it would be to try to do another round of USCE and get fresh LOR's (although this may be ideal). So the course of action would depend on resources and time.

Also depending on your country of origin and the authors of LOR's, I don't necessarily think all of the authors need to come from the U.S. Actually, all of my LORs were from Australian physicians and I did not have one U.S. physician write my LOR (which in hindsight was probably a bit risky!) I only did a one month observership in psychiatry in the U.S. and so the psychiatrist I worked with could not describe my strengths anywhere near how my attendings could at my home country.

That being said, Australia has a fairly comparable medical system to the U.S. Also, the authors were 1. director of the emergency department where I was a mid-level supervising physician 2. director of psychiatry training at my institution 3. head of an inpatient unit where I worked. I doubt any of their names would have been recognized in the U.S. but I think it was acceptable because of country of origin as well as positions of these physicians.

If you have been a practicing physician, I would not rule out having a LOR written by somebody senior and prominent in your area who can speak to your abilities and character as a physician.

Just some food for thought...

Last edited by StepsToResidency; 02-18-2014 at 08:18 AM. Reason: clarify
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  #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blade View Post
No one can predict your chances come 2015 & as drsaid rightly said, 2014 match will be much more unfavorable for IMGs than 2013 & the trend continues.
I also want to remind you that the 4IM LORs you have will not be accepted by most if not all programs by 2015..you have to make plans for a fresh usce/lors.
Gluck
Thanks blade for your advice, but how can anyone say that it's becoming unfavorable for IMGs to match with every coming year inspite the fact that we saw more IMGs matching in the past few years than any time before. Would you care to elaborate I will also try to get new LORs and do a couple of months of externship. Btw, is having high scores in step 3 going to help me because I heard that a lot of PD don't care about your step 3 score and ppl usually take it to get a visa which is not needed in my case

Last edited by r0ck_s0lid; 02-18-2014 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Originally Posted by r0ck_s0lid View Post
Thanks blade for your advice, but how can anyone say that it's becoming unfavorable for IMGs to match with every coming year inspite the fact that we saw more IMGs matching in the past few years than any time before. Would you care to elaborate I will also try to get new LORs and do a couple of months of externship. Btw, is having high scores in step 3 going to help me because I heard that a lot of PD don't care about your step 3 score and ppl usually take it to get a visa which is not needed in my case
It's obvious that every year, much more AMGs, Caribbean grads & IMGs vie for a stagnant residency quota which of course does not favor us IMHO.
I don't think having high step3 score matters at all, all you need is a pass & you should have known that by Nov, Ecfmg will no longer report step3 result numerical values instead it will be a pass or fail!
Yeah, step 3 is supposedly needed for visa sponsorship only but I believe passing it b4 Interview season gives you an edge atleast over other competitors that don't require visa especially for New York programs. I had 2 IM IVs in ny & they wanted to know when I plan taking step 3 even I don't need a visa. I guess most ny programs don't want residents that will not give 100% time to hospital work bcos they are preparing for step 3
Ok.i have rambled enough
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