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


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Old 05-15-2014
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Info How to choose an IM program

Hi everyone,

I'm about to start preparing for the match... I have to choose the programs!

So, to the ones who already went through the match or who started to prepare: how do you choose the programs?

So far my only criteria are location and IMG friendly or not... What else do you consider?

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Old 05-15-2014
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First of all, great scores! Did you do an IM residency in your home country (which would be potentially very helpful for you). On paper I think you seem like a strong candidate (YOG is on the earlier side of average, but it seems you have good clinical experience).

My process of choosing a residency program started with where I most wanted to live. Then I looked at a spread of programs to the best to the so-so. I then spread out my search across the country, again looking at a range of quality of programs. I actually didn't care too much about IMG-friendliness, but it's definitely an important consideration for many people. I spead my applications across university-based programs, research heavy vs very clinical programs, a VA based program, and community/free-standing programs etc. to see what would be a good fit. It's actually nice to see a range for comparison. Other than that, I went by reputation of the program, how happy the residents seem (not easy to tell before you actually get to the interview), what the work schedule is like, compensation, etc.

There's a couple of helpful articles you should read:
-AMA article on how to choose a residency program
-American College of Physicians article on how to research IM residency programs

Good luck!
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Last edited by StepsToResidency; 05-15-2014 at 02:15 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 05-15-2014
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Thank you! I checked both and they are useful. I also checked your blog, it's awesome, bravo!
My thought was simply that programs with few (or none) IMG residents will unlikely get new IMGs
I want to match in IM, and I can't end up in a crappy program because my goal is oncology possibly with a fellowship in a nice place

I'm a general surgeon in the EU.
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I think its always best to create your own list. Go through FRIEDA to find all the programs in each state that you are interested in applying to. Look up individual websites of each program, and you'll come across the "APPLICATION PROCESS" link, click it and you'll find everything you need. Programs change their requirements regularly with regards to step scores cut-off, YOG cut-off, what type of visa's they sponsor (or if they dont), and how much and what kind of USCE is required (if required). No one but your own personal research will land you the results that are specific for your application - I encourage you and everyone else to do your own search and make your own list. Best time to do this is August. By then most programs have finalized their criteria for upcoming year and updated the websites accordingly. Good luck.
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Old 05-16-2014
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Sabio puts it beautifully in this thread:

How to find your IMG friendly residency programs list?
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Old 05-16-2014
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@Vero: I'm glad you found the articles useful. And thanks for the complement about my website!

@drsaid and rocksolid: I definitely agree that FREIDA is one of the best resources available. The information is sometimes not current as the programs need to update the website, but generally it's great.

And I think Sabio's article is great!

From my experience, I did all of my own research to find programs and that worked best. Another good resource to find good programs is the NIH funding ranking which shows which universities get the most research funding. Some of these programs may not be IMG-friendly but it does give you an idea about what institutions have good resources and quality.

I do think spreading out the quality of programs is a good idea because if you think you meet the program's basic criteria (even if it's Harvard or Yale or some top institution like these), you may be pleasantly surprised to get interviews. We all want to get into the best program possible. You just don't know for sure whose attention you will catch.
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Thank you guys!

Sabio's post is really helpful too.
I will do my own list and I will definitely try some highly ranked programs... you never know.
It seems time consuming but it will be worth it!
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Old 05-16-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vero View Post
Thank you guys!

Sabio's post is really helpful too.
I will do my own list and I will definitely try some highly ranked programs... you never know.
It seems time consuming but it will be worth it!
If you have a lot of money you should definitely try highly ranked programs. But if you are planning to apply nationwide, which I would given your YOG, you would want to save up the money and apply to as many IMG friendly programs. The cost of applying to about 140 IM programs would be around $3k (unless they make it more expensive this year). Best of luck.
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Old 05-16-2014
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may I ask if there's a residency review website? scutwork.com has many reviews but most of them were written back in 2006, the most recent in my memory was 2008
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