IMG Residency Application; To Apply or Not? What is the last date for application? - USMLE Forums
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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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  #1  
Old 04-04-2011
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Arrow IMG Residency Application; To Apply or Not? What is the last date for application?

This question has been frequently asked in our forums and so I thought let me write about it a little bit.

The common dilemma is this ... Should we apply in September with deficient profile or should we wait until later on (after few months this year or the next matching season) when the profile is complete?

By deficient profile I mean (not all scores are ready or the ECFMG certificate is not yet ready or no US letters of recommendations are available yet). By complete profile I mean these things are available and complete.

In my opinion it's better to apply with a complete profile even if that means you wait until the next matching season. The reason is that most residency programs (perhaps 80% of them) do not accept "incomplete" IMG applicants and filter them out. Even if they do accept incomplete applications, your opportunity is still low because there are thousands others applying with you who have complete profiles.

So why wasting money? Even if you don't care about the money, it's still not a good idea because residency programs do not like repeated (second year) match applicants, in case you failed in getting a match.

Now the next question is ... Can I postpone my application to a date later than September 1st?

Answer) Most residency programs finish their initial job of selecting candidates for interviews by late October and many of them actually finish the job even earlier in October. Only a small percentage of programs will still be looking for IMG candidates in November. Therefore, the latest date that you can apply and get good chances is the last week of September. I am not saying that those who apply in October do not get interviews, all am saying is that they will have less chances.

Example Number 1:
2009 Graduate, ECFMG certificate will be ready mid September 2011. US LoRs are not yet ready. Should apply in 2011 or 2012?
Answer:
Better to get LoRs and apply in 2012 despite the negative impact of changing from 2 years since graduation to 3 years since graduation. A complete profile is more important than this year of freshness difference.

Example Number 2:
2001 Graduate, Scores and LoRs are ready but the ECFMG certificate will be ready on September 21st. Should apply in September 1st or 21st?
Answer:
Apply on September 21st. Again, a complete profile is more important than losing some chances by a little bit delayed application.

Wishing you all good luck
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2011
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Default thnx step taker

Thanks a lot.
I was really wasting my time thinking about applying this year,,,
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Old 05-18-2011
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Default 2012 residency match when to apply?

  • what should be the latest date to apply to programs if not September 1?
  • or can I apply to a few programs on September 1 and apply to all others with step 1, 2 CK and CS?
  • if i apply with step 1 and cs result on September 1 to all programs and put my step 2 ck on automatic transmission and get my score around mid Oct will the programs still look at my updated application and call me for interviews? I am 2010 IMG, US citizen with 90 on step1, going to give CS in June, 3 months of USCE plz anyone reply
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Old 05-19-2011
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Originally Posted by cooper View Post
  • what should be the latest date to apply to programs if not September 1?
Different for each program. Generally speaking, in the case of IMG friendly programs, late September to early October.
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Old 05-19-2011
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  • or can I apply to a few programs on September 1 and apply to all others with step 1, 2 CK and CS?
Yes you can.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2011
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Originally Posted by cooper View Post
  • if i apply with step 1 and cs result on September 1 to all programs and put my step 2 ck on automatic transmission and get my score around mid Oct will the programs still look at my updated application and call me for interviews? I am 2010 IMG, US citizen with 90 on step1, going to give CS in June, 3 months of USCE plz anyone reply
Yes, it's possible but your chances would be much lower than if you were ready by the beginning of September.
I'd say you will cut 50% of your chances (just a wild guess, not based on any sort of documentation or statistics)
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2011
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How about graduate 2009, no CS results till end november and no US LORs? should i apply for 2013 instead?:S
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Old 05-19-2011
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Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Yes, it's possible but your chances would be much lower than if you were ready by the beginning of September.
I'd say you will cut 50% of your chances (just a wild guess, not based on any sort of documentation or statistics)
Okay thanks a lot StepTaker I think I will take my chances. Can you plz tell me what do you mean by early Oct? plz specify a date
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Old 05-19-2011
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How about graduate 2009, no CS results till end november and no US LORs? should i apply for 2013 instead?:S
Very small chances, I'd say close to 0%. So yes, apply for 2013.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2011
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Okay thanks a lot StepTaker I think I will take my chances. Can you plz tell me what do you mean by early Oct? plz specify a date
I intentionally did not specify a date because again there's no rule. Each program has different schedules, even the same program itself has different schedules from year to year.
There's no magic date to specify. Some program stop looking at application by September 10, others continue to look until mid November.
However, if you insist, I'd take a wild guess and say October 10th as a deadline date.
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Old 05-19-2011
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I heard that most university based hospital will not review the application until November, is this information valid ? If it's true, we can apply until October, can't we ?
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2011
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I heard that most university based hospital will not review the application until November, is this information valid ? If it's true, we can apply until October, can't we ?
It is true that University Programs review applications "usually" later than community based programs and sometimes they wait until November. But also remember that the reason behind that is that they are waiting for US med students "MSPE" which is released in November, this means that this rule does not apply to IMGs.
Generally speaking, if a program is interested in taking an IMG, then they usually review the applicants earlier than November.
Again, that's a general rule, there are exceptions of course.
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Old 05-20-2011
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even for IMG the eras releases the deans letter n MPSP on 1st nov? Isn't that correct? I was just concerned over the point that what do programs do to applications with score of step 2 CK on automatic transmission do they wait and check again in Oct? so what's better to do, apply on 1st Sept and put scores on automatic transmission or simply apply on Oct 10th?

Last edited by cooper; 05-20-2011 at 01:03 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2011
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even for IMG the eras releases the deans letter n MPSP on 1st nov? Isn't that correct?
Yes, the Dean's letter and MSPE for IMGs won't be released until November as well, but it has much less impact compared to the AMG, in fact in many instances, it has no impact at all. Most residency program that do take IMGs do not wait for the dean letter or the MSPE at all, they often send them interview invitations in September and October.
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2011
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I was just concerned over the point that what do programs do to applications with score of step 2 CK on automatic transmission do they wait and check again in Oct? so what's better to do, apply on 1st Sept and put scores on automatic transmission or simply apply on Oct 10th?
Both choices are not good. Both choices will tremendously decrease your chances of getting interviews.
But if you insist on which option is better then I may choose applying in early September pending the CK results, but If you do that, I suggest you send specific email to each and every program you apply to and tell them that you will get your CK score soon, hopefully that will prevent getting your application from being trapped out by their filter.
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2011
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Default questions questions questions!

wow, this has answered so many of my questions but im left with some more. and though i have a lot to do before coming to them, im still left wondering. So im done with cs, have got my usce, and am going to give the step 1 by june 1st week. that gives me exactly 1.5 months for the CK (yeah i know) to get my results back by last week august or 1st week september (hoping to give exam 1st week august). My question is - how long does it take to be ecfmg verified with everything else in place and only the ck results pending? ?As in how many days would it take for me to get he ecfmg certificate after the results are declared with everything else in place? or is it just instant?
Im trying to figure out if i can make the rush for this year by 1st week september or not...and eventually deciding whether i should apply for match this year or wait another...thanks a lot guys!
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2011
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Originally Posted by bandar View Post
wow, this has answered so many of my questions but im left with some more. and though i have a lot to do before coming to them, im still left wondering. So im done with cs, have got my usce, and am going to give the step 1 by june 1st week. that gives me exactly 1.5 months for the CK (yeah i know) to get my results back by last week august or 1st week september (hoping to give exam 1st week august). My question is - how long does it take to be ecfmg verified with everything else in place and only the ck results pending? ?As in how many days would it take for me to get he ecfmg certificate after the results are declared with everything else in place? or is it just instant?
Im trying to figure out if i can make the rush for this year by 1st week september or not...and eventually deciding whether i should apply for match this year or wait another...thanks a lot guys!
Usually you'll get the certificate within 2 weeks. This issue has been discussed thoroughly before, please read the thread listed here
Threads Tagged with ECFMG Certificate
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  #18  
Old 05-31-2011
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Default Just to be pretty sure!

First thank you so much for this clarifying post.
Itīs really awesome and it has been an eye opener for me.
About the Deanīs Letter for IMG do you think it will be safe enough not to worrying in getting it?
I know youīve been very specific and talked about it..but just to double check...
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Old 05-31-2011
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First thank you so much for this clarifying post.
Itīs really awesome and it has been an eye opener for me.
About the Deanīs Letter for IMG do you think it will be safe enough not to worrying in getting it?
I know youīve been very specific and talked about it..but just to double check...
Yes, it's safe not to worry about the dean letter at all.
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Old 06-04-2011
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Hi,

THis post did clarify alot of my questions but still just one more to go

I have passed Step 1 and CS. I am planning to take step 2 CK on 3-4th August 2011. Do you think i will be able to get ECFMG certification within first week of September so that i can apply or should i try to take the exam even earlier like in last week of July ?

Your help will be appreciated. Please do not re-direct to ECFMG Certificate labelled posts as i have already read all of them :P

Thanks alot
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Old 06-14-2011
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Default hi

I have done with my step 1 and scored 234/99 and scheduled my ck in the month of august and also scheduled my CS in September. Should I apply this yr or should I wait till next year. And I got graduated in June 2010.

I thought of taking CS exam earlier but My CS visa got rejected twice. So will be going to visa again in the month of august. Hopefully I get it this time..
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Old 06-14-2011
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Originally Posted by checkers View Post
I have done with my step 1 and scored 234/99 and scheduled my ck in the month of august and also scheduled my CS in September. Should I apply this yr or should I wait till next year. And I got graduated in June 2010.

I thought of taking CS exam earlier but My CS visa got rejected twice. So will be going to visa again in the month of august. Hopefully I get it this time..
Wishing you all the luck in getting your Visa.
If you were able to secure all your results by September then you have a good chance this year, but if not, then your only option is to wait until the next season. In September 2012, you are still less than 3 years since graduation and your chances would still be high.

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Old 06-14-2011
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Default hey

Thanks a lot,
Hope i get it this time...And I would be having my step 1 and step2 scores by September and would be Hopefully(if visa goes fine) taking my cs in September but the results will be out in Dec 5. Should I apply with a pending CS result ?? What would be my chances?? I am not looking for a good university program, any kinda community program would be fine for me.
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Old 06-14-2011
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Originally Posted by checkers View Post
Thanks a lot,Hope i get it this time...And I would be having my step 1 and step2 scores by september and would be Hopefully(if visa goes fine) taking my cs in september but the results will be out in Dec 5.Shld i apply with a pending cs result ?? What would be my chances?? I am not looking for a good university program ,any kinda community program would be fine for me.
I answered you in my previous post and mentioned that in all the posts above.
If you don't have complete profile by the end of September your chances are very low.
It's better to postpone to the next match. During this time get some USCE to boost your chances.
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Old 06-17-2011
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Stop Take the CK before August 3rd

Quote:
Originally Posted by hammad16 View Post
Hi,

THis post did clarify alot of my questions but still just one more to go

I have passed Step 1 and CS. I am planning to take step 2 CK on 3-4th August 2011. Do you think i will be able to get ECFMG certification within first week of September so that i can apply or should i try to take the exam even earlier like in last week of July ?

Your help will be appreciated. Please do not re-direct to ECFMG Certificate labelled posts as i have already read all of them :P

Thanks alot
If you take the CK on the 3rd or 4th, you won't be able to get the ECFMG certificate until end of September or perhaps early October.
There's new announcement about a delay in CK score reporting, read details here
New Changes to USMLE Step 2 CK Exam

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  #26  
Old 06-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
If you take the CK on the 3rd or 4th, you won't be able to get the ECFMG certificate until end of September or perhaps early October.
There's new announcement about a delay in CK score reporting, read details here
New Changes to USMLE Step 2 CK Exam

-
Yes i have read that news, so i am thinking of taking it on 2nd August, so my result should be available by 24th August or so. Will i be able to have my ECFMG certificate by 1st sept then ?

I checked the OASIS and in the ECFMG Certificate section, the date of issue is also mentioned, so i dont need the hard copy of certificate to apply. Right ?

Thanks for helping me out in this
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Old 06-22-2011
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Originally Posted by hammad16 View Post
Yes i have read that news, so i am thinking of taking it on 2nd August, so my result should be available by 24th August or so. Will i be able to have my ECFMG certificate by 1st sept then ?

I checked the OASIS and in the ECFMG Certificate section, the date of issue is also mentioned, so i dont need the hard copy of certificate to apply. Right ?

Thanks for helping me out in this
Most probably you'll get your ECFMG certificate date of issue by the second week of September.
Yes, you don't need the hard copy of the ECFMG certificate, but the date of issue in your OASIS account won't appear until they actually produce the certificate and mail it out to you. This usually takes 1-2 weeks after you pass the last exam (provided that your credentials already verified).

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Old 06-24-2011
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Thumbs Up

I just stumbled upon this post while looking for info on how to go about applying and to be honest it's a gold mine!
It not only answered my doubts about the application procedure but also about the credentials the timeline everything!!
thanx a lot StepTaker!!
really appreciated all the info!
keep up the awesome work
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Old 06-25-2011
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Default My question!!

Great thread!!! Might sound stupid, but I had to clear my head. I scored 246 in step 1, taking CK in early August, graduated in Sep 2010, no USCE. Now lets say things go perfectly and I get the visa on time, and a CS date around Sep/Oct. Can I apply without the CS result to say 20-30 extremely IMG friendly, not-so-good community programs or those that I have contacts in? What would be my chances in IM?
If I get in, can I apply for better and maybe university programs next year? This way atleast I will have full one year hands on clinical experience! Even if I don't get in this year, I wouldn't have applied to most of the programs and next year I can apply with a full application to those programs. I hope you got what I am trying to ask.
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Old 06-25-2011
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Originally Posted by doctorsmonsters View Post
Great thread!!! Might sound stupid, but I had to clear my head. I scored 246 in step 1, taking CK in early August, graduated in Sep 2010, no USCE. Now lets say things go perfectly and I get the visa on time, and a CS date around Sep/Oct. Can I apply without the CS result to say 20-30 extremely IMG friendly, not-so-good community programs or those that I have contacts in? What would be my chances in IM?
If I get in, can I apply for better and maybe university programs next year? This way atleast I will have full one year hands on clinical experience! Even if I don't get in this year, I wouldn't have applied to most of the programs and next year I can apply with a full application to those programs. I hope you got what I am trying to ask.
Yes, it sounds good. Go for it.

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Old 06-25-2011
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Thank you. YOU'RE FABULOUS! I wish I had seen this post earlier. The questions and answers below are helpful as well. So from what I've gathered it seems like it's better to have a complete application even if it means you have to apply later. I guess I'll get ECFMG certified and then apply later this year (early October) with a complete application.
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Old 06-25-2011
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yeah this has been a great post, thanks a ton steptaker. Im prob gonna finish up with this step 1 and with the new step 2 ck announcement it doesnt look like id be getting a result before end september (earliest) anyway, might still apply early without a complete application hoping for a good score and a somewhat application to be able to get some interviews. i suppose when the certification updates itself, might get some more calls...hopefully..if not, then onto the next!!!
but truely, some great stuff, thanks!
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Old 08-18-2011
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Default Dilemma!

An excellent post! dear step taker, I have a real dilemma and hope you could give me some insight.

I graduated this year. Step 1 263/99, 4 months USCE with good letters (based on feedback given by profs), one published case report. CS passed. I took CK on August 2nd but unfortunately got the new format questions. Now my score will be reported on September 28th and I will be certified by 12th October (2weeks after last score). I will need a visa. I want to get into a university IM program. Which is my best option:

1) Apply to all on Sept 1.
2) Apply to all on Sept 28th (after I get Ck result)
3) Apply to all on Oct 12th (after certification)
4) Apply to all community places on sept 1 and university places on oct 12th
5) Go for MPH/J1 sponsored research this year and apply next year.

Please help. Very dejected by this unexpected delay in my CK report.
Thanks
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  #34  
Old 09-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arsenal_vaibhav View Post
An excellent post! dear step taker, I have a real dilemma and hope you could give me some insight.

I graduated this year. Step 1 263/99, 4 months USCE with good letters (based on feedback given by profs), one published case report. CS passed. I took CK on August 2nd but unfortunately got the new format questions. Now my score will be reported on September 28th and I will be certified by 12th October (2weeks after last score). I will need a visa. I want to get into a university IM program. Which is my best option:

1) Apply to all on Sept 1.
2) Apply to all on Sept 28th (after I get Ck result)
3) Apply to all on Oct 12th (after certification)
4) Apply to all community places on sept 1 and university places on oct 12th
5) Go for MPH/J1 sponsored research this year and apply next year.

Please help. Very dejected by this unexpected delay in my CK report.
Thanks
I'd choose option 2, and if it does not work then go for option 5.

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  #35  
Old 09-14-2011
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Default now or later

passed all steps: 82, 98, 89
have months of USCE with US LORs
certified my documents on ERAS but my LORs and School Transcripts won't be scanned by ERAS until approximately September 28.
Should I apply with incomplete profile now or wait until September 28?
I have pressure ulcers from searching the web for an answer. I think this is the best place to get it. thanks in advance.
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  #36  
Old 09-14-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taksyapo View Post
passed all steps: 82, 98, 89
have months of USCE with US LORs
certified my documents on ERAS but my LORs and School Transcripts won't be scanned by ERAS until approximately September 28.
Should I apply with incomplete profile now or wait until September 28?
I have pressure ulcers from searching the web for an answer. I think this is the best place to get it. thanks in advance.
Wait until September 28.

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  #37  
Old 09-19-2011
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Default when should I apply'??

Hi, I'm an IMG December 2009, Green Card holder
Step1 96/2011 (first attempt)
Step 2 CS passed (first attempt)
Step 2 CK waiting for results took it on august 24th, results are coming on September 28th
Credentials verified
2 LoRs from USA and 1 from Colombia. 1 month of observership experience.

When should I apply???
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  #38  
Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolrami View Post
Hi, I'm an IMG December 2009, Green Card holder
Step1 96/2011 (first attempt)
Step 2 CS passed (first attempt)
Step 2 CK waiting for results took it on august 24th, results are coming on September 28th
Credentials verified
2 LoRs from USA and 1 from Colombia. 1 month of observership experience.

When should I apply???
Apply on September 28th when you get the CK results.

This is my personal opinion.

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  #39  
Old 09-20-2011
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Default Apply or not to apply ?

Hi ..... I am a IMG and I am ECFMG certified recently with no USCE....is it too late to apply around this time or should i wait to apply next year ?
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  #40  
Old 09-30-2011
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Default hi

hello..what r the chances for IMG graduated in 2005 and not started usmle steps exams yet?!! i know BAD and may be close to zero but can u give hope for a very derperate out of chances fellow??:sorry:
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  #41  
Old 10-19-2011
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdrx View Post
hello..what r the chances for IMG graduated in 2005 and not started usmle steps exams yet?!! i know BAD and may be close to zero but can u give hope for a very derperate out of chances fellow??:sorry:
It's not bad at all, i know people whose age far transcended 50s and apply for residency, it's not about when you finished your internship, it's all about the last time you touched a patient, go for it.
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  #42  
Old 07-24-2013
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Default I need an opinion

Hello guys, I posted my case in this thread.
Should I Apply now or wait for next year?

I'm an IMG graduated in June, 2010. I want to apply to Diagnostic Radiology, I have a low low Step 1 score, and 240 in Step2 CK, I did the Step 2 CS the 4th of June and I'm still waiting for the result. I don't have USCE yet.

My Idea is do one year of research in Radiology but I haven't found any chance to do this yet, I have observerships in Neuroradiology for next September in Boston and October-November in Atlanta. I'm looking for a third place to do an observership maybe in NYC but If I find a chance to start research I'll take that as is my priority.

If I apply next year (match 2015) I will have 3 observerships, 3LORs and hopefullly one year of research (some publications), plus step 3 if I can do it. But it will be 4-5 years from graduation.

I have thought about applying this year, but I will go with my low score in step 1, no research, and 2 LORs (from my upcoming observerships which will be added in October and November)

Would you apply THIS YEAR in my shoes? I'm afraid of getting too old, getting gaps in my CV, and becoming a bad applicant because I graduated in 2010. Please advice.

Thank you in advance. I appreciate your honesty.
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  #43  
Old 10-20-2013
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Default 3 years post graduation

how much does it hurt your chances to get a residency if you apply to the programs 3 years post graduation ? need advise. please help.
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  #44  
Old 02-17-2015
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Yes, it sounds good. Go for it.

-
Is it possible to switch residencies from one year to another after accepting an offer? Wouldn't there be some sort of contract???
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