It’s not only the Clinical rotations but applying for residency is a stressful process and an applicant feels that things are out of their control. In truth however, there are some very important actions that can be taken to maximize your chances for success. For international medical graduates (IMGs), the road can be more challenging than others, so it is particularly important to do everything possible to increase the potential for a positive match outcome.
We at Medical Student Rotations have done extensive research in this and here are a few recommendations from us that we are sure will help you secure a residency spot of your liking.
Some people think that doing clinical medical rotations or USCSE (United States Clinical Skills Experience) alone is the most important determinant and will get them in residency programs. The first and most important thing is to ACE your USMLE Exams. That’s a smooth start to your sail towards your objective. But everybody does not ace their USMLEs and there are ways and means to still have a smooth sail. Below is our recommendation that will help you: –
- Apply for away rotations and hands on clinical rotations. Clinical Rotations in USA and with mentors from here definitely relates to program directors that you are more motivated and dedicated to learning the American way of practice of medicine.
- Be a medical volunteer.
- Find a job in a clinical setting.
- Take the USMLE Step 3 exam.
- Try to avoid making senseless or grammatical errors
- Inauthenticity is easy to detect, so be authentic and truthful. Be genuine and sincere.
- Making connections is a very important fact that includes connecting with residents or professionally through your attending physician or through a research opportunity. You should foster these connections and keep in touch with them for potential future returns.
- Relate to each program as to why you are taking a particular interest in that specific program.
- Let them know why you think you’d be an asset to their program, like a language you speak, and the hospital caters to that population.
- Get involved in research, if possible, write up articles, present them in seminars, try to submit an abstract if you can.
- To increase your chances of matching, you should research each program’s IMG-match rates and overall match rates. You are more likely to match in an IMG friendly residency program than an AMG friendly residency program.
- If you’re applying for residency as an older applicant, meaning you graduated medical school more than five years ago, you should also look at the age trends among current program residents.
NOW COMING TO PERSONAL STATEMENT WHICH IS ONE OF THE CORNERSTONES OF RESIDENCY APPLICATION.
It’s not uncommon for medical applicants to treat personal statements or essays as “throw-away” components of their applications, but residency program directors who are consultants on our team point out that this would be a major mistake. “We do read every piece of the application,”
The bulk of your application materials will be comprised of objective data, LORs and outsiders’ perspectives of you as a potential physician. But your essay and your personal statement gives you the opportunity to show program directors your humility, sincerity and who you are outside of your academic profile. Residency Programs and Program Directors look at communication skills, leadership qualities, and your drive and dynamism. They want to know about your achievements and competitiveness, whether you are a team player, and whether you will fit into their program.
Before your residency interview your essay is the only real chance to reveal some of the more personal aspects of who you are as a medical student—defining experiences, specific aspirations, and more. Crafting a thoughtful personal statement can make or break things for you!!
If you have had some “bumps in the road,” such as a failed exam or long leave of absence, the personal statement is the perfect place to address them. Briefly explain how you have grown because of this. If you have a strong experience as being a valued team member or perhaps a team leader, it’s worth mentioning this in your personal statement.
Please convey the following points in your personal statement: –
- Communicate why you felt a calling to be in medicine.
- Try and show that you can connect with people/patients with examples.
- They need to know that you are going into this to be trained as a doctor, if you come across that you think you are already a doctor, they will think that they have nothing but a piece of paper to offer you.
- Relate activities that show your humanity.
- Emphasize to them that you can be a team player AND a leader.
- Don’t be afraid to list things that are unique about you.
- Exemplify your commitment.
- Avoid the perception of cockiness.
- Balance confidence with humility.
ANOTHER CORNERSTONE OF RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS IS Letters of recommendations LORS.
Ideally program directors like to see 4 LORs.
Generally, two letters of recommendation from practitioners of the specialty you are seeking, one from other specialty and one from Clinical Research. The exception to this is general surgery which often prefer three from surgeons and one from another specialty.
SO, REMEMBER THE 4 PILLARS OF GOOD FOUNDATION TO YOUR REDIENCY APPLICATION ARE: –
- Good Scores.
- Good Clinical Rotations in the US health care system.
- Good Personal Statement
- Good LORs (4)