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


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Old 04-03-2019
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Default How to Start Preparing for the 2019-20 Residency Application Cycle

The 2018-19 Residency Application Cycle has come to an end, which means, its time to start thinking about the 2019-20 Application Cycle. Whether this is your first Match Season or you will be reapplying, just thinking about starting the residency application can be a little daunting. Below you will find a suggested timeline to guide you through preparing for the residency application.

If you are new to the Match Process, be sure to look into the following official services:

USMLE: You will need to take the Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS exams

ECFMG: Advocate and IMG services, your best friend. You will need to be ECFMG certified to start a residency

AAMC: Home of ERAS, the main application website

ERAS: Information for Applicants


Guide to Early Preparation Timeline

April - May
  • Work on completing any missing USMLE exams
  • Complete any possible experiences (Externships, Clerkships, sub-Internships, Research, Observerships, or Volunteer)
  • Contact prospective Letter of Recommendation Writers early to ask if they will be willing to write (or rewrite) you an LOR for the upcoming season
  • Start thinking about which specialties you will be applying to (you should pick a specialty, and a backup specialty...if not two backup specialties)

June - July
  • Continue completing any missing USMLE Exams
  • When ERAS opens for IMGs, obtain your ERAS Token from ECFMG
  • Start work on your ERAS Application
    • Begin drafting your Personal Statement (https://www.residencystatement.com/) for each specialty you will apply to
    • Ask for Letters of Recommendation to be submitted
    • Request USMLE and Medical School Transcripts
    • Begin drafting your MyERAS Application
  • Begin researching residency programs (https://www.matcharesident.com/)

July - August
September
This is a basic guide to preparation from now until next September. For more details, go to: How to Start Preparing for the 2019-20 Residency Application Season
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Questions about the medical residency program application process? Feel free to call Match A Resident at (858) 221-8510 or
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