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


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  #1  
Old 05-06-2014
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Default Need some guidance for matching

Hello,

I am a Caribbean student from Canada who did not match this year (I had very few ivs). My step 1 is 234 and step 2 245. I have a second attempt on CS. I did all my rotations and electives in the US.

Since match day, after finding out my fate, I contacted programs about observerships and research and I have not had a positive response.

My questions is: Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application? Should I take Step 3? I will be applying to FM.


Thank you guys for all your help!
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2014
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Yes, Step 3 would help. Your scores are good, you should do well in step 3 too. For FM, I believe, you should preferably have some clinical experience specific to that specialty. I don't know how beneficial research would be for FM. Maybe contact some free health clinics or FM specialty clinics. I hope someone who has matched in FM can shed some more light regarding clinical experience.
Apply widely this year if you didn't last time. And if you don't already have it, do your best to get an LOR which would highlight your patient work up and communication considering your attempt in CS. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmd View Post
Hello,

I am a Caribbean student from Canada who did not match this year (I had very few ivs). My step 1 is 234 and step 2 245. I have a second attempt on CS. I did all my rotations and electives in the US.

Since match day, after finding out my fate, I contacted programs about observerships and research and I have not had a positive response.

My questions is: Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application? Should I take Step 3? I will be applying to FM.


Thank you guys for all your help!
How many are "very few" interviews? I think working on your communication skills maybe equally important among other things. Your scores are solid and your LORs and USCE can easily overcome that CS attempt.
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  #4  
Old 05-06-2014
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MKMD, do you have any USCE? And whats your year of graduation?
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Old 05-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
MKMD, do you have any USCE? And whats your year of graduation?
"I did all my rotations and electives in the US"
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by water View Post
MKMD, do you have any USCE? And whats your year of graduation?
I do have USCE, I completed most of my core and elective rotations in the US, some in the UK. I graduated this year.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmd View Post
Hello,

I am a Caribbean student from Canada who did not match this year (I had very few ivs). My step 1 is 234 and step 2 245. I have a second attempt on CS. I did all my rotations and electives in the US.

Since match day, after finding out my fate, I contacted programs about observerships and research and I have not had a positive response.

My questions is: Is there anything else I can do to strengthen my application? Should I take Step 3? I will be applying to FM.


Thank you guys for all your help!
Your scores are way above average for family medicine programs so there's something else in your application that's not working. Seeing as you have a second attempt at CS, I'm guessing it might be your communication skills. Work on interviewing better. As for what you can do, study for Step 3 and make sure to apply for the old version of Step 3 by July as that's the last time you will be able to register for the old sitting. The new exam will begin in November and you won't get your results until April 2015. Stay involved in a clinical setting in the meantime in the form of an observership or an externship. I'm not sure if Canadians can do externships in the US but that's something you might want to look into. Review the kind of letters you have and what not and strengthen your personal statement.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2014
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You are a fresh graduate. You will get many IVs if you get FM USCE. Do you have a Green card?
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  #9  
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Thank you everyone for all your input. I really appreciate it!
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You are a fresh graduate. You will get many IVs if you get FM USCE. Do you have a Green card?
No I don't have a green card.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2014
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Im impressed by your scores. Probably its the Observerships in FM you diddnt have that hurt you. Not the CS failure.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2014
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Why do all Carribean students from Canada go for FM in US? Just wondering.
Your scores are great, even with an attempt in CS it shouldnt make much of a difference. As someone else pointed out, maybe you need to work on your communication skills a bit more. My personal opinion is that you should get involved in research and not waste this time. It will strengthen your application many folds. Considering you already have USCE from rotations, you dont need anything more than to involve yourself in research. Luckily, you are in Canada where research opportunities are not hard to find. If you are in GTA - browse through ICES, Keenan Research Center, Sunnybrook, Toronto Western, Toronto General and Sick Kids hospital websites, find the on going research page within and start emailing all the scientists. You may find yourself mailing 200 unresponsive people, but eventually you will strike one who will take you on board. It will help and you will get an LoR from an academic setting. Good luck.
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  #13  
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Have you seen a webinar called "I didn't match, now what?" It was presented by ECFMG and AMA last month. You can access the webinar on the ECFMG website here. It does have some helpful information that you might be helped by (I've also summarized the webinar on my website too, if you're interested).

During the first part of the webinar, they talked about how to strengthen your application for next year's match. Later on there's QnA as well, where this is covered in more detail. There's other things that you may not be interested in, like alternative careers and career as a physician assistant. You can skip though these parts.
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  #14  
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A lot of the Canadians go for FM in the US because it opens up an option for them to return to Canada (if they want to) in future and practice - GPs earn good money there. Plus it's comparatively easier for Canadian IMGs to return as Primary Care doctors and take up jobs in remote areas than be specialists. Regardless, getting back into Canada is maybe 5 times as hard as getting into the US.

Also, while some Canadians like to think that they are just like Americans (proximity to the border, cultural & lingual similarities and strong US-Canada relations), when it comes to applying for residency - they are still visa-requiring candidates. For a program, if they don't sponsor visa as a policy, whether a candidate is a Canadian citizen or from the middle east, it won't matter much as both need a J/H visa. I've seen many Canadians be surprised or frustrated by this fact, but it's the harsh reality that requiring visa sponsorship is an automatic road block.

Lastly, I agree with the above posters. Assuming you graduated recently, there is not a whole lot of time left before September comes around. Get Step 3 out of the way and work on your personal statement. I've heard conflicting things about mentioning failures out rightly in your PS (I didn't, but I know some people recommend it). Above all, work on making yourself more sell-able to the program. Target programs where your school grads have matched and make a list. Email them beforehand, stating a SOLID reason as to why you'd like to train with them. It will also help to target programs where you rotated at, as they will be more forgiving of your CS attempt.

This year was a tough match, no doubt. And PDs are very well aware of the increase in CS failures - which I see as more of a reflection of the change in standards rather than a candidate's inter personal skills. CS is no longer the "easiest of all Step exams".

I'd focus more on building contacts rather than "strengthening your CV". It's already pretty solid. Good luck!
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  #15  
Old 05-07-2014
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Your exam scores are solid (as most here already told you). What's hurting you is this:

1. no green card
2. CS not passed
3. FM programs don't know you

You're competing with "call-ins" which are individuals that directly call the PD and mention you by name. These individuals are set aside and their applications completely reviewed, and most times, an interview granted. Even though FM is not as competitive as the others, students are doing anything to match anywhere these days with the reduced funding to Medicare and more graduates than available program slots.

You need to be realistic - if you call PDs, you'll never get through and if you do, their staff will kindly tell you they cannot speak to you.

Are there any programs local to you? If so, start volunteering at that hospital. That's how you get your foot in the door, as well as pad your resume with familiar names.

There's an art to matching - and every situation is different. You received some great advice from others here - I'd seriously consider building relationships over anything else.

A known evil is much more desirable than an unknown.

IronRock
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2014
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Can I ask what school you went to in the Caribbean?

Also, did you apply to FM this year? Or is that your plan for next year? Do you have any publications currently?

The advice above seems sound, I think Step 3 would help the most aside from getting a GC somehow.
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