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


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Old 05-12-2014
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Default Worried about Family Medicine

Ok so my primary choice is family medicine. I have a step 1 score of 210, step 2 score of 220. I have 3 family medicine lors from us hospitals. Im looking to apply next years match. How many programs should i apply to? I was on the 2014 family medicine thread and it seemed that the majority of people with 220s were barely getting any interviews should i be worried?
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Old 05-12-2014
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There's a lot of factors that go into getting selected for interviews and so it's not easy to tell you what your chances are by looking at scores alone.

The things that are important to think about are:

- Your Step 1 and 2 scores are around the means of non-US IMGs who matched into FM from the 2013 match data. If you're a US-citizen IMG, you would have been above the mean of the matched candidates by 4 and 7 points for Step 1 and Step 2 CK. If you want to have a look at actual data, you can download the IMG match data from NRMP website. So from the 2013 data, you should get interviews by scores alone.

- It's good that you have US LORs. The quality of those letter are important. I wonder if you have read them and if they reflect well on you in categories including clinical skill, professionalism/ethics, teamwork and personality/your character. I know you can't do much about this now, but if your letters are not compelling, then your chance of getting selected for interviews at the better quality programs will decline.

- You should really look to target the programs you apply for, instead of focusing on the actual number of programs. I'd try to spread out the applications from your "best-case scenario" programs, some medium-level programs and some lower quality programs. A nice resource is FREIDA online (via AMA website). This is an online database of all US residency programs. You can get detailed data, such as number of positions, USMLE scores and requirements for IMGs. You need to create an account, which is free. You can look on the programís website for IMGs who have attended foreign medical schools.

- I've written articles on what program directors look for when screening candidates that may be useful for you. It includes more detail about the points I mentioned already as well as the importance of writing a great personal statement. You can access it here.

I hope that helps!
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Old 05-12-2014
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How important is the Year of graduation for FM?

Last edited by water; 05-12-2014 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 05-12-2014
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I'm just going by stats from the 2013 NRMP data here. The average yrs after graduation was 1.7 and 3.6 for matched US-IMGs and non-US-IMGs respectively. Non-matched IMGs averaged 6-8 years after graduation.

If you actually look further into the data, you can see that you can definitely still match to FM even if you're >5 yrs out. The odds just get slimmer in general. 13 IMGs matched between 16-25yrs after graduation and one US IMG matched >25 years after graduation! The data doesn't really tell us why these candidates were able to match, but I suspect that many of these matched candidates were practicing physicians or had good post-graduation research experience/publications.
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Old 05-12-2014
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Thanks for your reply.

Do you think that the ones who diddnt match that where >5 yrs post grad, diddnt match due to their low USMLE scores? What is your opinion based on your experience? Thanks in advance.
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I think lower scores may play a role, although I think there are quite a few other factors that are also important. The scores serve as just one of the criterias for interview selection. So you just have to get your foot in the door with a score that meets their criteria. Once you are selected for an interview, there are many other things that become more important than the scores (I've covered this topic in an article here).

Just brainstorming here about other things that may affect match vs failure for old-grads:
-gaps in training (older IMGs may have a significant gap somewhere that they may find difficult to explain)
-what you did after you graduated -> eg. having done a residency in your home country is much than not doing anything medical.

and general stuff that affects all IMGs
-good vs bad LORs
-need a great personal statement that really highlights why you want to do a family med residency so long after graduating from med school
-personality
-English speaking ability

Maybe a little off-topic to your question, there's a succinct article that's linked from the AAFP website called "What Residency Applicant IMGs Need
to Know When Applying to US Family Medicine Residency Programs". You can access it here.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-12-2014
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Great, thanks!!
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