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


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  #1  
Old 12-24-2017
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Default Preliminary Surgery Match with only step 1 score

Hello, i am an International medical graduate. Graduated in Jan,2016. My question is that Do i have any chance to match into preliminary surgery with step 1 score only? Without ecfmg certification? Can i apply directly into SOAP? Or Do i need to apply firstly in Sept. Match, only then i'll be eligible for SOAP? I want to apply for next year match. Means i'll take usmle step 1 in june, 2018 & matching process starts in july. N am planning to take step 2 CK in Nov. 2018 & then step 2 CS in January 2019. What would be the best? Should i apply in Sept. Match with step 1 score only? Then get all steps done, & show up in SOAP with all steps done which is supposed to be in March. What should i do? Really confused?
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Old 12-25-2017
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Someone help. Need a advice
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Old 12-25-2017
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In order to apply for the MATCH as an IMG you MUST be ECFMG certified. And I would suggest you be ECFMG certified before your application is released to programs.

Some will argue & say that one needs to be ECFMG certified by the rank order list deadline or something like that (which is true) but programs won't invite an IMG for an interview if they are not ECFMG certified.

The MATCH is a lengthy, stressful & expensive process as you already know. In a perfect world you want to apply once and Match. if you sadly do not match the first year you then end up spending more money - IMGs often apply to 200+ programs (I will let you do the math). I am also worried that programs would see an unsuccessful Match attempt as a red flag.

Long story short - applying for the MATCH with a Step 1 score only would be a huge mistake to me.
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Old 12-25-2017
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Thumbs Up @Joe Dirt

Thank You Joe for realistic advice. I'll apply only after i become ecfmg certified. Thanks
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Old 12-26-2017
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Hey Saimi,

This is my realistic advice, but it is also important you do more research and talk to people. Having connections is probably the most important thing for Matching after having good Step scores. If you end up meeting somebody, who knows somebody... you could potentially be shortlisted and invited for an interview even only with a Step 1 score. But the likelihood of this happening would be very small. You still have plenty of time before applying for the Match: do your research, keep posting questions. But it is true that I stick to what I previously said: you want to be ECFMG certified before your application is released to programs. Good luck !
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Old 12-26-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Dirt View Post
In order to apply for the MATCH as an IMG you MUST be ECFMG certified. And I would suggest you be ECFMG certified before your application is released to programs.

Some will argue & say that one needs to be ECFMG certified by the rank order list deadline or something like that (which is true) but programs won't invite an IMG for an interview if they are not ECFMG certified.

The MATCH is a lengthy, stressful & expensive process as you already know. In a perfect world you want to apply once and Match. if you sadly do not match the first year you then end up spending more money - IMGs often apply to 200+ programs (I will let you do the math). I am also worried that programs would see an unsuccessful Match attempt as a red flag.

Long story short - applying for the MATCH with a Step 1 score only would be a huge mistake to me.
I agree with Joe Dirt. Technically you can apply without ECFMG certificate. But IMGs are already at disadvantage of being reviewed. You need to be strong in EVERY possible aspect to be competitive. Here's some important factors that you need to work hard to excel:
  • Step scores.
  • ECFMG certificate. Don't assume you'll automatically get certified once you completed the tests. Some medical schools are slow and you need to push.
  • Letter of recommendation. Who can write you a strong letter? Identify potential writers at the very beginning. Better to have one from your home country and 3 from US faculties.
  • USCE. Hand-on USCE is the best. But observer is still better than nothing.
  • Connection. Meet people who can advocate on your behalf.
  • Research. Have 1-2 papers, case reports, or posters are very important. However, don't spend too much time to get your 3rd or 4th research items unless research is your main story.
  • Visa. You might be able to apply green card for yourself. You might want to marry a US citizen. At least you need to know what J and H visa means to you.
  • Home base. Where are you going to stay during interview season? Plan ahead. This could be a research volunteer, or dedicated vacation. Whatever that is, you need to plan ahead.
  • Resources. The match itself, the traveling, and inability to work during interview season mean that you need to have some money.

Plan ahead, and good luck!
__________________
25X/26X/Pass/YOG 10/EAD/Research+
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Old 12-26-2017
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Default @ph2016

Thnkew for such a detailed info. I apprecite the help. I have no issue regarding my stay in US coz i'll be living with my cousin bro & family in Jackson,MS. Also i have my best friend who lives in philadelphia & another friend of mine lives in Arizona. My only problem is to find research spot. As i don't knw how to go about research. Also i think even if i apply in sept.,2019 match, i wont be having much time.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2017
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Default @Joe dirt

I know building contacts is most important. But all my frns are doing IM residency, no one is in surgery. I think i'll have to figure it out on my own. Coz i have heard to get match u need to have connections with people. I think I am too late coz i am 2016 graduated. 2017 already gone. Finding research spot seems impossible before sept.2019. i am going to be old IMG. there is so much to do... by the way m grateful to ur advice
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2017
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Your friends are doing IM residency. They might know somebody in Surgery where they work. Or at least they could talk to somebody on your behalf, and ask for advice. Your friends can be of great value for you!

Research can help you Match, but people Match without prior research work. Do not base everything upon research. If you can do some that's great, if you can not then focus on something else.

You being an old graduate by 2019. Check the surgery residency selection criteria. I have just checked 3 general surgery residency programs for you and none of them mentions a YOG criterium on their website.

Everything you add to your CV can obviously help, BUT you must focus on your Steps first. Aim at 240/250 on first attempt.
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Old 12-30-2017
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Default @joe

Thanks a lot. I think i should concentrate on things which i can do on my own like scoring high on exams, observerships... Thnks a lot for ur advice people
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