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


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Old 06-25-2014
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Default UK IMG with GC and Publications: Too old?

Hello fellow colleagues:

Would appreciate your input. This is my scenario:

1- Medical graduate from England (2002) w/ honors and also a biomedical degree.

2- Came to US to do cancer research at prestigious university. Multiple publications, including book chapters.

3- Got US Green Card through my cancer research.

4- Had to return to Europe after research for family reasons.

5- Didn't want to loose my US Green Card so came back to the US.

6- Doing publishing work mostly, not in academic institution anymore.

7- I really want to go into the clinic (it's my real passion after doing research).

My questions are:

1- Is it unrealistic to attempt to get into a US gen surgery residency considering time from graduation (it's been ~ 12 years since medical school).

2- Can the fact that I have multiple publications and a green card help? Or is it now all too late?

3- If gen surgery isn't an option, I'd consider other clinical specialties, which ones might be more amenable to my circumstances?

Opinions, tips and advice would be great.
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Old 06-25-2014
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The best thing you can do is to get in touch with any contacts you have at the university in the US where you did research, ask for their help and try to get some kind of observership or other clinical exposure.

Good contacts and very good USMLE scores would probably allow you to overcome the time gap since graduation. Your research, publications and USMLE scores will prove your academic ability, you will need to find ways to demonstrate clinical ability. Clinical experience in the UK is well regarded, for general surgery I imagine you would need to have had some surgical clinical experience since you graduated with good references to have a good shot at getting into a residency...but IMO with contacts and good scores nothing would be impossible
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Old 06-25-2014
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Thanks USMLEUK. Very eloquently put. Would you have the Step 1 scores in hand (for better credibility) before approaching the ex-colleagues ?

Also, do you know directly of any people in my situation? I think that one of the most difficult parts of this process is how alone one feels.

Cheers
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Old 06-25-2014
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My concern with getting the steps done before approaching your contacts would be that this would only make the whole process take more time. An ideal scenario would be to have some kind of clinical experience lined up for as soon as you are done with step 1.

Unfortunately I don't know of anyone in your exact situation, I'm a 2010 graduate and applying for the match this year. But from my own experience it is the contacts I very luckily had in the US that will make a big difference to my match chances, in terms of opening up opportunities and getting references.

My advice would be that if you are serious about applying, aim for the next match and spend this next year doing the USMLEs, getting ECFMG certified, and getting whatever advice/clinical experience in the US you can. Probably the sooner you can apply the better given the time since graduation. I would imagine that being able to tell your colleagues that you are planning to apply to the match next year and showing a general understanding of the process will be enough to demonstrate how serious you are. Finishing the ECFMG process in a year is definitely do-able with a bit of planning, but my experience was that it required a lot of dedication and to get the scores needed.
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Old 06-25-2014
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Also, i completely empathize with the alone-feeling. I dont know anyone personally that has made the move from the UK to the US and it was a huge leap to resign from my training post here. I found forums like this somewhat helpful with getting to grips with the process , but at the same time its easy to become pessimistic and doubt yourself reading some of the posts here. Trying to get some kind of a mentor in the US who can give you an honest assessment of your position would be the most valuable thing you could do. Many aspects of the healthcare system and training process in the UK seem to be viewed upon in a positive way, try to use this to your advantage!

Last edited by USMLEUK.; 06-25-2014 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 06-25-2014
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Thanks so much and congrats for being at the stage of applying for the match.

It's rather refreshing to hear such direct and honest advice. As you mentioned, I find some of the info in this forum useful, however due to the nature of the group, it is sometimes challenging if not discouraging, to objectively digest some of the contradictory or super negative experiences.

I apologise that I've taken the liberty to ask a few questions... How did you make your US clinical contacts? Was it through rotations you did here? Also, are you applying to gen surg? If so, do you know what a realistic minimum competitive score would be? I'm using FA as my main study tool, referring to other relevant books when necessary, and have subscribed to UW, which seems the gold standard for questions. Needless to say, a lot of the basic sciences are utterly daunting at this point of my life. If you ever share your USMLE strategy, I'd love to know it.

Many thanks for having taken the time to share your advice.
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sent u a pm
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Old 09-27-2014
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I am very interested in hearing your story also USMLEUK. Although I am not from UK rather from a commonwealth country (Australia) . I think my position is similar to yours since I am looking to match next year.
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