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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm an IMG and a die hard surgical residency aspirant.. I know its difficult to get into surgery for an IMG, however not impossible.. I'm just starting my preparation fot step 1.. I would like to know everything that increases chances of getting into surgery..
 

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Factors that help

The following increases your chances:

  • High scores in USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK form first attempt
  • Pass USMLE Step 2 CS from first attempt
  • Do research
  • Have articles in your name in peer reviewed journals
  • Do hands-on surgical clerkships in USA
  • Get strong LoRs from US surgeons
  • Apply as early as possible after graduation
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks

Clerkship can be done when you are a medical student right? I've already graduated.. How do I get my name in an article of peer reviewed journals? And what kind of research work I should particularly do?
 

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Answers

Clerkship can be done when you are a medical student right? I've already graduated..
You can do externships instead of clerkships

How do I get my name in an article of peer reviewed journals?
You have to publish (alone or participate with others) an article in a journal recognized by Medline.

And what kind of research work I should particularly do?
Clinical research in surgery would serve you best, this means that you participate in a the work of a clinical trial for example in a research center or in an academic hospital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Could you please help me with the externship programs in Surgery? Which institutes provide it?

I'm still less understood with publication of article.. I'm an IMG just started preparing for step 1.. I don't have any idea about how to publish an article in jornal..
 

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Could you please help me with the externship programs in Surgery? Which institutes provide it?

I'm still less understood with publication of article.. I'm an IMG just started preparing for step 1.. I don't have any idea about how to publish an article in jornal..
They are medical and surgical journals all over the world. The ones that are usually recognized by US program directors are those that are recognized by the Medline. If you publish an article in any of these journals your chances increase tremendously.
I cannot tell you how to publish an article or do research as this is beyond the scope of this forum. However, I can give you some initial ideas;
The easiest article that you can publish is a Case Report. So for example you see a nice interesting case in your practice such as a rare disease or a rare presentation of a common disease and then you go an write a case report about.
When you write, you have to quote your text from recognized references and then you submit your draft (manuscript) to the journal. You have to follow their criteria like spacing of the rows, how to quote references, ...etc. Then they will review your manuscript and if it's approved they'll publish the article in your name in their journal.
Publishing an article is not an easy job. It might take months just to publish a case report in a high profile journal.
 

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Surgical residency

I am an Indian Cardiothoracic surgeon, wanted to know whether integrated cardiothoracic or fast track residencies will be given to IMGs. Yet to give USMLE have Indian MD in General surgery and Cardiothoracic surgery. Can I get cardiothoracic residency or should I do General surgery and then a fellowship, does my surgical training have any significance during interview?
 

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I am an Indian Cardiothoracic surgeon, wanted to know whether integrated cardiothoracic or fast track residencies will be given to IMGs. Yet to give USMLE have Indian MD in General surgery and Cardiothoracic surgery. Can I get cardiothoracic residency or should I do General surgery and then a fellowship, does my surgical training have any significance during interview?
You cannot get into cardiothoracic surgery without doing general surgery residency first.
General surgery is very competitive and spots are usually given to American Medical Graduates.
IMGs have to be very competitive to be considered. Since you are an old graduate, it's very unlikely that they'll send you for interview.
The only exception is that if you have connection with the program and they take on a personal level.

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I've taken step 1 and I didn't do nearly as well as I hoped, 204 first attempt.
However, I have good grades on the boards, im a head RA and director at the dorms. I'm working my butt off to study for step 2.
I don't have any research experience, but I'm looking for it. I'm planning on picking all surgical electives to get great LOR's from US surgeons.
I;m willing to take any prelim position, and work my ass off to get a categorical. What are my chances, and should I even try?

Added: I'm a US citizen, no visa requirements.
 

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I am an Indian Cardiothoracic surgeon, wanted to know whether integrated cardiothoracic or fast track residencies will be given to IMGs. Yet to give USMLE have Indian MD in General surgery and Cardiothoracic surgery. Can I get cardiothoracic residency or should I do General surgery and then a fellowship, does my surgical training have any significance during interview?
Exactly what StepTaker said! There are no fast track residencies, its a Gen surg residency and then 3 yrs for a cardio thoracic fellowship. As an old IMG to even get a prelim surgery IV, you'll meed not just high Step scores but US surgery LORs and contacts in programs.
Your Indian experience wont have much of an advantage, plus you'll also need a visa. You are better off trying to get a research fellowship and use it to get into the system. Still not a guarantee, but at least it will help you establish contacts.
 

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"Realism" or "well meant" or "ignorant" : whatever is said let it be from 1st hand experience!

Exactly what StepTaker said! There are no fast track residencies, its a Gen surg residency and then 3 yrs for a cardio thoracic fellowship. As an old IMG to even get a prelim surgery IV, you'll meed not just high Step scores but US surgery LORs and contacts in programs.
Your Indian experience wont have much of an advantage, plus you'll also need a visa. You are better off trying to get a research fellowship and use it to get into the system. Still not a guarantee, but at least it will help you establish contacts.
Wow! Lena/ Step taker, you guys advise as though you sit on the selection committees interviewing for integrated CT and Vascular Programs.

I do apologise to be so blunt but the fact remains that when a committed and qualified IMGs asks for guidance (like for instance Ananda, the old IMG who is a CT surgeon from India), the advice given to many of them appears to be consistently lopsided bordering on pessimism (dismal, disappointing, bleak and discouraging) on the pretext or good intention of being realistic.

Plenty of popular opinions fly around in these forums and what really helps anyone joining this forum for advice is from 1st hand experience! All surgical specialties are challenging to break into, some more than others (always been so from dawn of Surgery: from students of Sushrutha till we put a man on mars! it doesn't surprise me). A bit more challenging for IMGs in the US, so what?

Let me break a couple of popular myths flying around

1.Old IMGs (> 10 yrs) getting IV calls to cat programs in Surgery is next to impossible, unless you have x,y,z. Many programs may exclude old IMGs generally but that is a program specific issue. We all need to break this box standard frog in the well thinking. No 2 IV candidates are the same.

2. You certainly DONT need contacts to get IVs (although your chances increase if you do).

3. Research experience is critical for matching (although desirable).For instance, one may make up for his lack of research with clinical training, experience, teaching experience, awards etc etc......

I have first hand experience of making it to multiple IVs into programs I had no connections whatsoever, didn't even know where they were geographically (we are talking about 5 year integrated programs). God knows if I will match, but having made it to multiple General Surgery and multiple 5 year integrated programs thus far, I can confidently advice Ananda "Go, all out for it man!"

Don't waste your time applying for dedicated research fellowships and with your clinical background all you need is a paper or two and this is something you can always achieve in an externship for a couple of months.

Ananda, my background is kind of similar to you (visa status, old IMG, General & CT surgeon ,no US LOR etc, only difference I have some publications and I am working in Europe) and I am quite happy to guide you if you contact me on skype (ID mark_usmle). I don't think it is necessary at this point for me to share publicly on this forum as to where I was interviewed etc (I have already shared enough on my profile on my background)... as we are not in a comparison race, but I am quite happy to talk to you personally, so free to contact me. I feel you need some one to give you a pep talk and get your CV and statement in order. That is exactly what you need. All the best!
 
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