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Hello everybody
I am a med student out of USA or Canada. And I began to prepare for USMLE step1. And I want to be a plastic surgeon. But as I see it is an extremely competitive branch of surgery. Especially for IMGs.

All I wanna know is this "Is it possible for an IMG to be able to match a residency program for plastic surgery and if it is, what can I do from now on to increase my chances to be matched to this program". And what results from USMLE exams would be helpful?

By the way I already have joined to research programs in my country as a volunteer and one of our work is about to take place on an American med magazine.

I want to know if this can help me to be matched in the future?
 

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Sorry to tell you it's impossible

Yes. It's almost impossible.
According to the official NRMP Charts, last year the percentage of IMG matching into plastic surgery was 0.3% and of their average USMLE Step 1 Score was 238.

So for practical purposes I can safely tell you that it's impossible for an IMG to be matched in plastic surgery.

Of course there are exceptions like for example if you are Nobel Prize winner in plastic surgery or the board chairman is a very close friend of your father then Yes by all means you can get matched :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
woaw what a statistic!!!


I am afraid I don't have any specialties you've mentioned about :( (that is so sad for me because I don't want any other branches maybe trying my chances in fellowship programs could be much more logical :( )
 

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Unlikely

The truth of the matter is it is extremely unlikely that an IMG can match plastics. The IMG that matched my year (2008) did 3-4 years of research at Yale before he was accepted, and everyone agreed that he was an exception. It can happen, but it is believed to be so unlikely that IMGs should plan on matching in a residency in something else, then try to match in a plastics fellowship (independent route). To apply for a plastics fellowship, you must complete a residency in general surgery, ENT, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics or ophthalmology. The ones that are most successful are general surgery followed by ENT; the others are almost unheard of.
You definitely need to apply for general surgery (or maybe ENT). You can apply for plastics also, just to see. If you match in a reputable surgery program and do very well (in the USA) then you'll have a better chance.
As far as Step I and II, you need to knock it put of the park in order to even match in the USA. You'll pretty much need 240+. If you can do that, the board score won't be the limiting factor.
This can be done. You just have to accept that it will take you a longer and more difficult path to get there. You'll have to do two or three years of research during your residency (or after, as a fellowship) to make yourself more competitive. So I'd look for a program that will let you do several research years, hopefully in someone lab who is associated with plastics.
Im not saying that I like the way things are for IMGs, but it's simply the reality. Bust your ass, become a competent surgeon in the US, and you'll be regarded as a candidate for plastics.
 

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I think you need to ask yourself first, do you really want to be a plastic surgeon? How do you know this? Or is just because of the money?

I've done electives in most surgical specialties now and found plastic surgery to be one of the most boring, and I know i'm not the only person to think this. I wouldn't do it for all the money in the world...

But if it's something you really want to do, go for it. But it'll probably be a very tough ride!

It could be worth considering even doing the residency in your country first, then doing a fellowship in US, then going for a US residency. I could be wrong, but i've been told that most of the IMG's who match into super-competitive residencies like these are typically older IMGs who have already achieved a lot and proved themselves in the field. But you could end up wasting years chasing your own tail.

Good luck!
 

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Plastic Surgery

Dear Applicant,

You must first look at the two seperate tracks to obtain Plastic Surgery Training, one you can apply to a Plastics program directly which is very competitive and is not where an applicant should solely focus on. The other option is applying to a Categorical 5 year Surgery program at a competitive residency, that has a history of sending graduates to Plastics fellowships, focus your 5 years on plastics doing research, and completing all your electives with a program that the categorical program has a good relationship with. In cases we are aware of some 5 year Gsurg grads go on to do research in plastics for a year or 2, it is quite a commitment no doubt, but with exceptional scores, and a good plan it is not impossible. You should for now if that is your plan focus on a very competitive 5 year categorical surgery path.

Good luck!

IMGPrep Team
 

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Not True!!

I'm a IMG, I matched at a great General Surgery Program and now I'm doing Plastics. I did general because in the beginning I had my mind set to do something different but during residency I got very interested in PRS.
You dont have to be a noble prize or super star like other people quoted. In fact, if you look at the SFM statistics from last and this year, less people now days want to go in to Plastics (independent).

I also have several friends who did a couple of years of research after coming from medical school before applying and they matched at great places for Plastics in this country and at no point they are "nobel prizes or super stars" they are just committed to succeed.

So do well on the USMLE, research with good publications, good letters and I'm almost sure you can get it. Dont let other people take you down. The fact of learning a second language, getting high scores on the USMLE and good letters with research shows that you as an IMG must be a great candidate.

I agree, it's hard but not impossible.

Good luck!
 

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I'm a IMG, I matched at a great General Surgery Program and now I'm doing Plastics. I did general because in the beginning I had my mind set to do something different but during residency I got very interested in PRS.
You dont have to be a noble prize or super star like other people quoted. In fact, if you look at the SFM statistics from last and this year, less people now days want to go in to Plastics (independent).

I also have several friends who did a couple of years of research after coming from medical school before applying and they matched at great places for Plastics in this country and at no point they are "nobel prizes or super stars" they are just committed to succeed.

So do well on the USMLE, research with good publications, good letters and I'm almost sure you can get it. Dont let other people take you down. The fact of learning a second language, getting high scores on the USMLE and good letters with research shows that you as an IMG must be a great candidate.

I agree, it's hard but not impossible.

Good luck!
The fact that San Francisco Match is showing less people applying to Plastic Surgery does not mean that it has become easier for IMGs. If you have statistics of the percentage of IMGs accepted into Plastic Surgery Residency (Not fellowship) it would be very informative and helpful.
 

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I agree, it's hard but not impossible.

Good luck!
Thank you for encouragement, but I want to add important info:
You said you did General Surgery first then Plastics...Then you applied for the match not less than 5 years...2005 match.
But now everything changed, more competitive, I even know 2 persons who succeeded in Neurosurgery & Orthopedics in the 2000-2002 period.
Everything changed now!!
NY is going to end Caribbean era there (Check this)!!
who knows what will be next few years!!
I am not pessimistic, but we have to be realistic!!
 

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is it still impossible if an img gets a crazy 250+ :confused: score on step1, has a green card, and with an externship??? just for info....
 

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guidence

This was a really helpful!!Thankyou Howere what do u suggest i do while studying for step 1.I just study all day.I have done research and graduated in 2016.I want to make my CV strong .Thankyouu
I'm a IMG, I matched at a great General Surgery Program and now I'm doing Plastics. I did general because in the beginning I had my mind set to do something different but during residency I got very interested in PRS.
You dont have to be a noble prize or super star like other people quoted. In fact, if you look at the SFM statistics from last and this year, less people now days want to go in to Plastics (independent).

I also have several friends who did a couple of years of research after coming from medical school before applying and they matched at great places for Plastics in this country and at no point they are "nobel prizes or super stars" they are just committed to succeed.

So do well on the USMLE, research with good publications, good letters and I'm almost sure you can get it. Dont let other people take you down. The fact of learning a second language, getting high scores on the USMLE and good letters with research shows that you as an IMG must be a great candidate.

I agree, it's hard but not impossible.

Good luck!
 
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