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Old 04-21-2014
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Default how to explain study time for step 1...

I have been working as a primary care physician in my country while studying for step 1...the research options are just a simple waste of time in my country so i just tried to earn money while studying...is this enough to explain the gap?...i want to apply for pediatrics...
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Old 04-21-2014
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What you describe is not consider a gap, you have being working as a primary care povider, that is what you will add in your CV for that period of time. A gap is when you spend one year studying for the step 1 and don't do anything else (medically related) that is harder to explain.

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Old 04-21-2014
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Thank you very much for your response...This is just one of the many reasons that make me nervous about the exam...
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Old 04-21-2014
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I agree with usmlethree. Not a gap at all. Depending on your country and your work setting (ie. if you're affiliated with an academic institution) you could even think about getting a letter of recommendation from a senior physician attesting to your skills, etc.

I worked in Australia as a physician and had some LORs from heads of department, etc and it worked well for getting interviews and matching (although I would be give it a lot of thought if you decide to choose the same strategy as it won't work for all).
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Old 04-22-2014
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Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
I agree with usmlethree. Not a gap at all. Depending on your country and your work setting (ie. if you're affiliated with an academic institution) you could even think about getting a letter of recommendation from a senior physician attesting to your skills, etc.

I worked in Australia as a physician and had some LORs from heads of department, etc and it worked well for getting interviews and matching (although I would be give it a lot of thought if you decide to choose the same strategy as it won't work for all).
Hi, I pretty much took the whole of 2013 off to study for my steps. I worked at a private hospital on a locum basis. If I get a letter of recommendation from the hospital would that suffice to explain what I did during that time. Also I'm an IMG, so if I get around 6 months of USCE would that be enough to match??
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Old 04-22-2014
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Working as a locum physician is definitely not time off, so I think you're safe. In fact, that's pretty much what I did for a lot of my work while I was studying. What country were you working in? The key to LORs is to get senior authors who ideally have ties to an academic institution, who can describe your strengths, clinical skills and personality/teamwork, etc using good English.

With USCE, it's not necessarily the length of time that matters, although that can be important for some programs. If you can get good quality USCE for 6 months, then that's great and might be worthwhile. You should aim to get at least one LOR from your USCE if possible. If the USCE is mediocre or if you cannot get a LOR from the experience, then I would think a bit more about how to use that time better (although you may be able to make some connections through your experience). 6 months of USCE is a lot of time and money.
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Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
Working as a locum physician is definitely not time off, so I think you're safe. In fact, that's pretty much what I did for a lot of my work while I was studying. What country were you working in? The key to LORs is to get senior authors who ideally have ties to an academic institution, who can describe your strengths, clinical skills and personality/teamwork, etc using good English.

With USCE, it's not necessarily the length of time that matters, although that can be important for some programs. If you can get good quality USCE for 6 months, then that's great and might be worthwhile. You should aim to get at least one LOR from your USCE if possible. If the USCE is mediocre or if you cannot get a LOR from the experience, then I would think a bit more about how to use that time better (although you may be able to make some connections through your experience). 6 months of USCE is a lot of time and money.
Hi, thanks so much. I'm based in Srilanka and my fiance is in the US. Hence the decision to start USMLE. I've helped compile an undergraduate book on obs and gyn with a professor affiliated with the hospital. Would a recommendation from him have any weight? Also can you give me an idea how much USCE costs. I've noticed you helping guys like me on this forum, so thanks alot. It's much appreciated.

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Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
Working as a locum physician is definitely not time off, so I think you're safe. In fact, that's pretty much what I did for a lot of my work while I was studying. What country were you working in? The key to LORs is to get senior authors who ideally have ties to an academic institution, who can describe your strengths, clinical skills and personality/teamwork, etc using good English.

With USCE, it's not necessarily the length of time that matters, although that can be important for some programs. If you can get good quality USCE for 6 months, then that's great and might be worthwhile. You should aim to get at least one LOR from your USCE if possible. If the USCE is mediocre or if you cannot get a LOR from the experience, then I would think a bit more about how to use that time better (although you may be able to make some connections through your experience). 6 months of USCE is a lot of time and money.
hello. why is a problem only studying for the step 1? I currently study, some people say it is a problem. that's true?
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Old 04-22-2014
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@Volkmann: a personal story like having a fiance in the U.S. is actually excellent for residency applications. Which state are you hoping to match at? Or are you wide-open? If your fiance has ties to a certain state or city, that makes your application that much more compelling. Also do you qualify for a greencard by the time you apply for residency? Regarding getting LOR from your professor: I can't answer for sure how much weight that will have. If he has also worked with you, can attest to your clinical ability, etc. then yes, that would be great. I would definitely hope that he mentions your involvement in the textbook writing. If he can only comment on non-clinical aspects (eg. like you're a nice, hard-working person) but he cannot comment at all on your clinical ability, that is not as good. Residency selection committees want to know that you're able to work well in the US medical system and get through their residency program.

Cost for USCE really varies widely. The biggest cost will be loss of income as a locum doc, so I'd work hard to save now. Apart from that, it really depends on what you do. My USCE was free, but it was an observership that I arranged privately. I combined it with my CS and stayed at a backpacker hostel to save money. So in total it wasn't that bad. Others pay thousands to placement companies. If you're thinking 6 months, oh boy, that will be expensive.

I hope that helps!

@leydis: Sorry, I'm not quite sure about your question. Could you rephrase?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepsToResidency View Post
@Volkmann: a personal story like having a fiance in the U.S. is actually excellent for residency applications. Which state are you hoping to match at? Or are you wide-open? If your fiance has ties to a certain state or city, that makes your application that much more compelling. Also do you qualify for a greencard by the time you apply for residency? Regarding getting LOR from your professor: I can't answer for sure how much weight that will have. If he has also worked with you, can attest to your clinical ability, etc. then yes, that would be great. I would definitely hope that he mentions your involvement in the textbook writing. If he can only comment on non-clinical aspects (eg. like you're a nice, hard-working person) but he cannot comment at all on your clinical ability, that is not as good. Residency selection committees want to know that you're able to work well in the US medical system and get through their residency program.

Cost for USCE really varies widely. The biggest cost will be loss of income as a locum doc, so I'd work hard to save now. Apart from that, it really depends on what you do. My USCE was free, but it was an observership that I arranged privately. I combined it with my CS and stayed at a backpacker hostel to save money. So in total it wasn't that bad. Others pay thousands to placement companies. If you're thinking 6 months, oh boy, that will be expensive.

I hope that helps!

@leydis: Sorry, I'm not quite sure about your question. Could you rephrase?
Hey, thanks a lot. She's in Maryland. Close by would really be great. My YOG is 2010 but we have to do a mandatory internship over here which lasted well into 2012. I've done step 1(245) and am about to do step 2ck. I thought of applying for next year's match with my green card ready and some USCE under my belt. What do you think??
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Old 04-23-2014
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The reason for asking how to explain the year of studying is because i see a lot of people spending time on research,publications and studying...i wish i could do that, but if they are gonna ask me why just a locum position or primary care,well i will just give a realistic answer...i wanted to earn money and then in few words the difficulty with health care system in my country...hank
furthermore, research needs devotion and a lot of studying,i couldn't do both of them...
these are just my thoughts...
thank you all for your responses...you make this stressful experience mush easier...
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Old 04-23-2014
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The reason for asking how to explain the year of studying is because i see a lot of people spending time on research,publications and studying...i wish i could do that, but if they are gonna ask me why just a locum position or primary care,well i will just give a realistic answer...i wanted to earn money and then in few words the difficulty with health care system in my country...hank
furthermore, research needs devotion and a lot of studying,i couldn't do both of them...
these are just my thoughts...
thank you all for your responses...you make this stressful experience mush easier...
Honestly I think scoring well is worth having to explain the year off/minimal employment. Let's see. Good luck!!
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Hello guys I am 2012 July graduate and since then I didn't do anything related to medical just studied at home for the home country exam and now giving USMLE step 1 by august 2014. So how will I explain my Gap, is it gonna effect me through getting visa and then residency ? plz tell me coz I am worrying
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@Volkmann: I would really look into programs in Maryland if you will be happy to live there. Hopkins would be fantastic, although of course it's extremely difficult to get into, and I hear Baltimore is not the greatest place to raise kids. If you can, you should try and start identifying what programs you will be happy at. One strategy would be to try and get some USCE at the place where you most want to match at, which will help your connections. Your Step 1 score is great as is your greencard for applications.

@USMLErun: I think a good locum position is very reasonable. I wrote about my own experience locuming prior to residency here. I actually think it can be a very smart thing to do, depending on the quality of the position and your other credentials. I don't think you necessarily need that much research. It helps for research-focused programs but at the end of the day programs want to know that you can do a good job in their residency program and that you are a nice person. Doing a good job means that you can work well in clinical settings.

@dr.ali2011: You do need to be able to explain your 2 year gap. What did you do outside of studying for the exams? Did you actually devote your entire time to it, or did you have any other volunteer/work responsibilities? Were there any personal circumstances that led to this gap?
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@Volkmann: I would really look into programs in Maryland if you will be happy to live there. Hopkins would be fantastic, although of course it's extremely difficult to get into, and I hear Baltimore is not the greatest place to raise kids. If you can, you should try and start identifying what programs you will be happy at. One strategy would be to try and get some USCE at the place where you most want to match at, which will help your connections. Your Step 1 score is great as is your greencard for applications.

@USMLErun: I think a good locum position is very reasonable. I wrote about my own experience locuming prior to residency here. I actually think it can be a very smart thing to do, depending on the quality of the position and your other credentials. I don't think you necessarily need that much research. It helps for research-focused programs but at the end of the day programs want to know that you can do a good job in their residency program and that you are a nice person. Doing a good job means that you can work well in clinical settings.

@dr.ali2011: You do need to be able to explain your 2 year gap. What did you do outside of studying for the exams? Did you actually devote your entire time to it, or did you have any other volunteer/work responsibilities? Were there any personal circumstances that led to this gap?
hello
. I'm sorry for my short message. I'm living in this country, I came to this country in January 2013. Since that date I have studied, I never have worked in this country. My question is this: will i have any problem for receive residence?thanks
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Old 04-24-2014
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@Volkmann: I would really look into programs in Maryland if you will be happy to live there. Hopkins would be fantastic, although of course it's extremely difficult to get into, and I hear Baltimore is not the greatest place to raise kids. If you can, you should try and start identifying what programs you will be happy at. One strategy would be to try and get some USCE at the place where you most want to match at, which will help your connections. Your Step 1 score is great as is your greencard for applications.

@USMLErun: I think a good locum position is very reasonable. I wrote about my own experience locuming prior to residency here. I actually think it can be a very smart thing to do, depending on the quality of the position and your other credentials. I don't think you necessarily need that much research. It helps for research-focused programs but at the end of the day programs want to know that you can do a good job in their residency program and that you are a nice person. Doing a good job means that you can work well in clinical settings.

@dr.ali2011: You do need to be able to explain your 2 year gap. What did you do outside of studying for the exams? Did you actually devote your entire time to it, or did you have any other volunteer/work responsibilities? Were there any personal circumstances that led to this gap?
Thanks a lot for your advice. I'm not particular at all when it comes to a residency. I don't like peds, but anything else is perfectly fine. Did you get a good residency and was all the hard work worth it?? Thanks again.
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