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


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  #1  
Old 03-18-2018
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Star Matched!

First of all, I would like to thank this forum for the extensive database it carries which have helped me from the application process to finding interview questions. Thank you USMLE Forum Team, you have been the guiding torch for the potential residents.

Remember, 'There will be doubters, there will be non-believers and then there will be you, proving all wrong'

Credentials: 2014 grad; 215/247/CS 1st attempt/Step 3 done/2 pub, 4 pending pubs (home country)/4 months USCE/3 US LORs

Matched: IM categorical, 1st attempt

Okay, I would like to give you guys some wisdom that I gained in this journey of mine.

1. Decide: Never prepare for home country residency and USMLE at the same time. Backup like this never works. I have seen people fail in both.

2. Support: USMLE is a hard and long process, think it as a gamble of money, time. Talk to your family and partner- you need SUPPORT( financial and moral) throughout this period. So be open to your family and talk to them about this whole process, they should know what to expect (each exam costs around 800-1000 $, paid observership-500-2500$ minimum, travel expenses to the US, minimum 2 times for USCE and ivs, lodging, traveling for all this time)

3. Credentials : Don't run after people asking credentials or looking into NRMP charts calculating statistics for the possibility of Matching. Each person is unique, try to build your uniqueness in that time, that will change your whole statistics. My chances of matching in 2018 acc to previous NRMP charts were pretty low, but I did it(and many others did it too)!

4. Timeline: prepare a timeline for this whole period, I will share mine:-

2014 grad- I worked for 1 year

2015- 1st MISTAKE- confused with home country residency and US residency(thinking about financial support)

2015 Dec- 1st step- took in a hurry, got a low score (Most important credential of all, take it only when your scores are high enough in NBMEs-target 240-250)

Early 2016 - Started working full time

Mid 2016 - Step 2 CK

2016 - Applied to different observership positions(paid ones) and emailed around 100 physicians for free USCE; got 1 paid USCE and 3 months of unpaid

2016- Aug- Started contacting with one physician for free USCE

2017- a Scheduled visit to the US- CS+USCE (4 months) (try to combine this two, saves time and money, do all USCE back-to-back if possible)

2017 15th September- Applied to 150+ programs (Only IM)

2017 Oct- Step 3 (It does make a difference, programs give extra credits to those who have completed Step 3, I have witnessed with my own eyes, believe me )

5. CS- try to take it seriously, if you are an IMG, not done any USCE or not oriented to a US setup, you can take a CS crash course if your confidence is low. I did, it helped a lot(NYCS prep). The best thing was that I practiced with other students for 15 days and took 2 mock exams. I was confident for my exam, at least well versed with what to expect.

6. Step 3- Try to apply with Step 3 marks, otherwise at least try to get the results by the time you go for interviews (Remember to mention it verbally to the PD or PC at the time of iv, even though you have sent the official transcript and emailed the PC)

7. Contacts: Each program receives 3000 applications for 10-30 positions. Most programs are not able to check all applications. Contacts can at least help your application to get noticed. They interview around 10 applicants for each position.

Call, email, social network site, ask family and friends for contacts (anybody who is training or working in the medical field in the US) - I made 2 great contacts through family and friends and rest through Fb. They even helped me gain Ivs.

8. Motivation: It is like exercise; do it every day; motivate yourself with inspiring quotes from any site (I loved Pinterest's motivational quotes)

9. Websites: Some of the free websites which really helped me:- Radiopedia, Life in the fastlane (EKG), Medbullets (free questions), Slideshare(free books), Usmle-forum, some US universities share free anatomy and pathology slides.

10. Application process:
*Prepare your own list of programs to apply to(can cross check with 1-2 programs)
*Don't email programs before 1st October (AMGs get their MSPE on 1st Oct, so most programs don't download the applications till then)
* Send Thank you emails and handwritten emails after Ivs
* Prepare your Iv questions with a uniqueness (bring your clinical experience examples while talking about strengths, weakness)
- Use Voice recorder to record your answers- 2 min max for each answer
- Prepare "Tell me about yourself" very eloquently

There is a long list of Iv preparation, Google and gather every question asked so far, make up few points for each answer and practice with your friends/family.

Let me know if anybody has any queries, I will be happy to help! Goodluck! Don't doubt yourself, you will succeed! Everybody feels like quitting on and off but remember 'Rest you must, but don't you quit'!
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2018
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Hey...congratulations on your match.
V.motivationap story..loved it.
I have a few questions.
1) Can you tell us roughly the money(expense) you spent on exams+travelling+lodging etc...and break it down too...
2) you said you got USCE after your graduation. How to do that? I'd heard that you cant get usce after you graduate. Also, did you do it at a private establishment?
3) did you stay in the US during prep? Can you comment on Research positions and how they help in match or preparation.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UzayrS View Post
Hey...congratulations on your match.
V.motivationap story..loved it.
I have a few questions.
1) Can you tell us roughly the money(expense) you spent on exams+travelling+lodging etc...and break it down too...
2) you said you got USCE after your graduation. How to do that? I'd heard that you cant get usce after you graduate. Also, did you do it at a private establishment?
3) did you stay in the US during prep? Can you comment on Research positions and how they help in match or preparation.
Thanks!
1. It varies a lot, depends on location, duration of stay and type of USCE (paid/unpaid)
2. You can apply for observerships- paid observerships / unpaid in university websites. They put those on their websites. Google observerships/try to find those links in these forums
3. I went just for my Step 2 CS and USCE. I took the rest of my exams in my home country.
4. Research is helpful but not all kinds. There are different ways of using research to accomplish your goal:-
- You can get a Research position in the US, work there, get publication
-you can work in a research position, volunteer, make contacts, use those contacts for USCE or to get an interview in that hospital
- You can work in your home country in a university hospital and get publication which is also given good consideration.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2019
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Congratulations on your match! This is truly an inspirational journey/story to me and all the USMLE aspirants. Thank you so much for sharing. Not knowing how the medical system in the US is/what to expect outta the steps and uncertainty of the match, only makes one feel low and hope less. Reading this made my day and to not wanna give up no matter what!

Thank you so much for sharing your amazing journey!
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2019
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Congratulations, u must have done ur PG1 now, ur story is really helpful
Thank u so much
Plz suggest me how to obtain an observership or externship in us hospital ?
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2019
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Congrats!

I am img from Canada. So far I only passed cs. How important is American clinical experience if I want to apply for residency in the States in the future? I am studying nursing now in Canada, and my plan is to start working as a nurse while reapplying for residency so I can support myself financially and continue to network in healthcare. So after I finish step 1, and ck, I still need to get American clinical experience? Thank you!
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