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Hi

This may seem a bit early, as I am currently in my third semester of my medical education, but from my understanding it is very important to plan far ahead when it comes to the match.

I have been hanging around for a while, reading on this forum, but I haven't seen any long plans or schedules. Hence I thought, why not post my own plan for feedback?

I am a, third semester, medical student from Sweden. I will graduate in june 2019 and I am planning (hoping) to do my residency in the US.

My plan, as for now, is:
Medical School: 2014-2019.
USMLE Step 1: 2017, after semester 7.
USMLE Step 2CK: 2018, after semester 9.
USMLE Step 2CS: 2019, during semester 11.
USCE: Semester 11, and maybe summer of 2018.
Publications: Research in Sweden.
Graduation: June of 2019.

Although I do believe that scores (USMLE1 and USMLE2CK) are what is most important, especially for IMGs, I do understand that it is important to get USCE and publications.

To get USCE my idea is to use the exchange progams of my medical faculty. We can do 4-8 weeks of Clinical Clerkships or Acting Internships in the US, with affiliated universities, during semester 11. From my understanding Acting Internships is preferable.
I am unsure if this is enough (8 weeks of USCE) and I am therefore thinking of applying for Clinical Electives, during the summer vacation of 2018, on my own.

If I am correct, research and publication is not as important as scores and USCE and my idea is to be content with the publications I will get during my medical education in Sweden.
I will be starting, my road for medical publications, this summer, with a research stipend, at a group with great connections with US universities.

Is my plan reasonable?
Am I thinking correctly when I order USMLE 1 scores > USMLE 2 CK scores > USCE > publications?
 

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I don't think you will need research if you manage to finish steps while being in school and doing rotations here in the US.
 

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First off, its great to plan this USMLE journey out well in advance.
However, realise that with so many years ahead of you, many things might change.

While I agree with yazz that research might not be necessary for IM, doing research is actually a great way of improving your CV AND learning about a specific thing in depth which there isn't much time for during med school.

You could definitely consider doing some research during one of the long summer holidays we usually enjoy in Scandinavia or even consider taking a year off med school to do research. I did that during 8th and 9th semester (I am from Denmark) and I think that was a great way of testing yourself in the field of research. And it will only strengthen your application - no matter what you choose to do. I am very happy I tried it.

Remember, that research could be a potential career too. We dont all have to be clinicians and run the threadmill in the clinics. Some are better suited for clinics, some might have their strengths in research and I support the view that at least trying research is very beneficial.

GL
 

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I disagree with some of the above forum members. If you are shooting for a good (say top 20) IM university program, research is extremely important. In fact it's more important than your scores. They would rather take a person with 240s, phd and 15 publications than a person with 270 and no research whatsoever.

Based on my experience, even having extremely high scores (~270) w/o research will only get you into low-mid tier university programs. On the other hand, being from Sweden + PhD/postdoc with a good number of pubs + very high scores (think 260s - doable) + >6months of rotations in the United States will definitely make you an extremely strong candidate. I have a friend who did his md/phd in Germany, completed almost a year of clinical rotations in the US, had relatively good scores and 8 publications (mostly reviews). He got interviews from Hopkins, MGH, Columbia, BWH and etc.

If your goal is a community program/weaker university program you will be fine with some usce (2 months) and good scores. No research required.
 

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I disagree with some of the above forum members. If you are shooting for a good (say top 20) IM university program, research is extremely important. In fact it's more important than your scores. They would rather take a person with 240s, phd and 15 publications than a person with 270 and no research whatsoever.

Based on my experience, even having extremely high scores (~270) w/o research will only get you into low-mid tier university programs. On the other hand, being from Sweden + PhD/postdoc with a good number of pubs + very high scores (think 260s - doable) + >6months of rotations in the United States will definitely make you an extremely strong candidate. I have a friend who did his md/phd in Germany, completed almost a year of clinical rotations in the US, had relatively good scores and 8 publications (mostly reviews). He got interviews from Hopkins, MGH, Columbia, BWH and etc.

If your goal is a community program/weaker university program you will be fine with some usce (2 months) and good scores. No research required.
I totally agree with you especially coming from a 2 year PostDoc experience what you mentioned is true, except you needed to elaborate on the value of the Year of graduation which is a critical point of evaluation in terms of "Matching preference"
Mid tier to low tier careless about research if compared to YOG "notice it's a conditioned sentence " .
Top tier Value: 1- Phd Holders 2-extensive research background but they also weight it with the YOG 3- previous residency back home.

At the end of the day its simply a job.
 

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Good point. My friend had an ideal situation being a fresh grad.

It is a job. However it is much easier to build an academic career at a prestigious place. If one is not interested in academia, a tier may not matter that much. Should be good enough for obtaining a desired fellowship though.

I totally agree with you especially coming from a 2 year PostDoc experience what you mentioned is true, except you needed to elaborate on the value of the Year of graduation which is a critical point of evaluation in terms of "Matching preference"
Mid tier to low tier careless about research if compared to YOG "notice it's a conditioned sentence " .
Top tier Value: 1- Phd Holders 2-extensive research background but they also weight it with the YOG 3- previous residency back home.

At the end of the day its simply a job.
 
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