Updated: May 20, 2020
Please seat back, grab a coffee☕, relax & enjoy. 🙌
The post includes 80 Must-Know topics!!
INTERVIEW & MATCH QUESTIONS
ROTATIONS IN THE USA
USMLE EXAMS & APPLICATIONS
APPLYING FOR RESIDENCY
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
▪︎INTERVIEW & MATCH QUESTIONS▪︎
1. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐚 “𝐩𝐫𝐞-𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫”? Some programs (a few) would offer you a contract to be signed before match day. ∙𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗦: You don’t have to wait for the match and risk the chances of not matching. ∙𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐒: Maybe you match in a better program/ one that you like better if you go for the match.
∙My first interview actually offered me a pre-match. I didn’t take it, but it really boosted my confidence that I was doing something good, since it was the first one and they already gave me a job offer.
2. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫? (YOG) Some programs only accept fresh graduates. Eg, 1-2 years out of medical school, another programs 2-4 years/ <5 years. But overall, I would say like around 60% don’t look at that. (Correct me if I’m wrong).
∙I graduated in 2015 and applied in Sept 2019 for the 2020 match without hometown residency, so I couldn’t apply to any program that wanted <4 years out of school.
∙𝗡𝗼𝘁𝗲: If you have hometown residency some programs consider your YOG by the time that you finish your residency, so that’s good news for all the IMG specialists out there! You check check those special requirements in the programs website. Google: name of hospital you like + IM, FM, Obgyn residency (or whatever speciality you want) and you ll find the requirements that they ask for.
3. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐝𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐆𝐀𝐏 𝐢𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐞? Gap year usually is considered if you are >6 months without doing anything. At least you should volunteer 4 years a week at a place to not have a gap. It happens that we will have some “gap time”, as long as you can explain it, most of the times you will be fine; and some other times they won’t even ask you about it. 🙂
4. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡? ∙Indeed, most of the times helps, especially for surgical specialties.
5. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟏 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐨 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟏 & 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟐 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬? ∙Indeed they look at everything, STEP 1, STEP 2 CK, CS attempts.
6. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐏𝐃𝐬 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬? ∙Your LORs, US clinical experience/ observer, volunteer, research, hometown residency. Your school, medical grades, honors, etc are also seen by some programs, but this matters mainly for AMG (American medical graduates)
7. 𝐈𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝟑 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡? It’s better, boosts your chances to match and also helps you in getting a H1 type visa. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻: STEP 3 always helps!
8. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐡𝟏𝐛 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲? Look for the programs that offer HI1b visa, take STEP 3.
9. 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡: 𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 & 𝐃𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬? ∙𝗔𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀: They are obvious, you will be with your couple. ∙𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀: If a program ranked you but they didn’t rank your couple, then you are automatically disqualified for that program! 😕 10. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐦𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬? Improve your CV, get research done since that’s what most of University Programs like, and try to get a rotation in the place that you like, make contacts, connections are very important. (I matched with no contacts, but indeed they do to help to match!)
11. 𝐃𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧? ∙𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: It is offered in many programs, mainly for surgical specialties, and that’s a way a lot of IMGs get into the system. It means that they offer you a only PGY1 year in the program; and then you will have to continue your PGY-2 in another place or maybe there if you are lucky and a spot opens up. A lot of doctors than don’t find a PGY2 position after their prelim year, would apply again to a residency program, but this time categorical. Since now they have 1 year of USCE experience, it will boost their chances of getting a categorical spot. ∙𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: It’s the “normal way”, you enter, and after 3-5 years (depends on the specialty) you are done, and become a specialist. No need to re-apply to another program. Fortunatelly this is what I got for my OB/GYN residency position
12. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐚 “𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤”? Some programs during your interview will offer you a “Second look” if you liked you, sometime they offer it to all the participants. It means that you go back some other they to just work with the residents, get to know more about them and the program. ∙This will give you a better view of the program, and also show your interest to the program. If you are offered a second look, 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁! 😉
13. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐢𝐟 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟐 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝟐𝟎 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐬? ∙Indeed, the goal is to score 10 points more in STEP 2 CK compared to STEP 1. I scored exactly 10 points extra, so I was very happy about that. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻: CK has an extra block, so more chances to score higher.
14. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐈 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲? Eg, A general surgeon and now want to apply for IM. ∙𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻, a lot of people do it, as long as you can explain it and build a CV and get LORs on that other specialization, 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗕𝗘 𝗙𝗜𝗡𝗘! 😃
15. 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐭𝐨𝐩 𝟏𝟎 𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐈𝐌𝐆? ∙Yes, build a strong CV, get very good scores & make connections. Note: I’ll explain how to build a strong CV and how to connect better with people in another post.
▪︎𝐑𝐎𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 𝐈𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐔𝐒𝐀▪︎
1. 𝐃𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩/ 𝐎𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩/ 𝐄𝐱𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩? ∙𝐂𝐋𝐄𝐑𝐊𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐏: It a rotation as a medical student. The best you can do if you are an student! I wish I knew this when I was in medical school. The sooner you start building your CV, the better ∙𝗢𝗕𝗦𝗘𝗥𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗣: USA rotation after you graduate from medical school, without hand-on contact ∙𝗘𝗫𝗧𝗘𝗥𝗡𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗣: Hands-on experience after you graduate from medical school. Very hard to get, and the programs that offer it are usually private clinics that are not very great,and also they cost a lot of money.
2. 𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐛𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 For sure, your goal here is to impress your attendings and aim to get GREAT PERSONALIZED LORS!
3. 𝐔𝐒𝐂𝐄 𝐁𝐄𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐨𝐫 𝐀𝐅𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥? Always before is better since they are easier to get, cheaper, and tons of more programs offer rotations to international students.
4. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐒𝐀? On my page I already made a huge post including 50+ hospitals that offer a rotation in the USA.
5. 𝐃𝐨 𝐈 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐓𝐎𝐄𝐅𝐋 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧? A lot of programs do ask for it, check in their websites/ contact them.
6. 𝐃𝐨 𝐈 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟏 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧? Some programs do ask for it, check in their websites/ contact them.
7. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐕𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩? Indeed, also you can grow up a lot from a volunteer opportunity, meet people, network. This is in fact the way that I got my research experience, you can read here: How I got a research position starting as a volunteer.
8. 𝐈𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞/𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐬? It really depends, if you will get 2-3 amazing, personalized LORs from that program and can also get involve in research, then take that longer-elective option. By going to multiple hospitals, you also boost your chances of making more/wider connections.
1. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐖𝐡𝐲? Mainly 𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀, 𝗱𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 & 𝗼𝗽𝗵𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗺𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆. They are considered competitive because there are less spots, higher salaries, and lot of AMGs apply there. 𝐈𝐌𝐆 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐲 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬: 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗮, 𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗠𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗣𝗲𝗱𝘀 & 𝗣𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆. ( Anesthesiology& Psychiatric would fall be in the middle)
2. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐈𝐌𝐆 𝐭𝐨 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲? Building a GREAT CV, very good scores, research, connections will always help! Hometown residency also most of the times.
3. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲? You can check the mean for those score in the NRMP website:
4. 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐟 𝐈’𝐦 𝐚 𝐠𝐢𝐫𝐥? A lot of girls match in OB/GYN, dermatology, and now general surgery is becoming more and more friendly for women.
𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀: At Lincoln Hospital, the hospital where I matched for OB/GYN the interns are 3 girls + me. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻: 75% females. At Cedars Sinai, the hospital where I did my research, this year the doctors that matched in general surgery are all women. 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻: 100% females.
2. 𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭? Yes, most of the times it’s after your basic science classes that you can take it. (It would be after your 2nd or 3rd medical school year, depending on where your study)
3. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠? ASAP!!
4. 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭? I would recommend with the one that you more comfortable with, the one that you like the most, it’s a way to engage you in this long exam preparation journey.
5. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐝𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐬? ∙STEP 1, CK, & STEP 3: In the 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝐬 all over the world. ∙STEP 3: 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝐬 only in the USA.
∙STEP 2 CS: In 𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 located only in the USA (5 total: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia.
6. 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟐 𝐂𝐒 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐈𝐌𝐆 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐲? They are all the same, the way they grade us is standardized. There is also a myth about the LA center being the hardest one. A lot of friends, including myself took it there, everywhere there is so nice! It’s time to debunk that myth!!
7. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐛𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧 𝐮𝐩 & 𝐩𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐭? You have to choose a 3-month period when you pay for your exam, don’t need to pick a specific date, but I will have to be between those 3 months. If you are not ready, you can then postpone to the consecutive 3 months period. ∙Example: You can now choose Sept-Nov., and then postpone to Dec-Feb pays a fee (around $75), after that your money will be lost.
8. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐬? First pay in the ECFMG website, then book STEP 1 or CK in the Prometric site www.prometric.com, there is also where you check avaibily.
∙STEP 2 CS is done through ECFMG: www.secure2.ecfmg.org
9. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟏 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐬? ∙About 𝟮-𝟯 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀. For my I started Sept 2017, & applied for residency Sept 2019.
10. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝟐 𝐂𝐒? ∙Average 𝟯 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝟯 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝘀. For me it was 3 weeks and a half, only being able to practice with people during the weekend, since I was working a lot during the week. I will make a post & videos about STEP 2 CS preparation how to examine a patient quick and efficient, and how to write your medical history neat and precise.
11. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐈 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦? ∙3 to 4 weeks for: STEP 1, CK, & STEP 3 ∙3 weeks to 3 months for: STEP 2 CS You can check the CS reporting score here: https://www.usmle.org/step-2-cs/#reporting#reporting
For me I took it right after the cut off, so I had to wait 3 months! And my friend that took it one week before, waited only 3 weeks!
12. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐟 𝐈 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦? You can re take it, but attempts to hurt your CV, so 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆. As I mentioned I’ ll make a post on how to improve it with attempts
𝐀𝐏𝐏𝐋𝐘𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐈𝐃𝐄𝐍𝐂𝐘
1. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐝𝐚𝐲? You can start submiting it Sept 5, but the official day that it will released to hospitals is Sept 15.
2. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰𝐬? Sometimes as soon as 3-4 days after you apply on Sept! You might get interviews till late January! ∙ 𝗘𝘅𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲: I applied Sept 19, got my first interview 3 days later – Sept 22! 🙌, and my last interview I got it mid December and it was during the second week of January.
∙ 𝗙𝘂𝗻 𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁: I didn’t know that we would get our interview offers so quick, so during the last week of Sept and first week of October I planned a trip to Japan for the Rugby Cup, to cheer for my country Argentina. You have 12-14 hrs difference with America, so I was getting interview emails from programs sometimes at like 2-3 in the morning, and some of them you have to reply within 5-10 minutes, otherwise the spots will be fun and you will be on a wait list – yes it was a nightmare!! Haha 😂
3. 𝐃𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐒𝐌𝐋𝐄 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲? No, once you get it, it will be uploaded automatically. If you get it later than you apply it could be an excuse to email the programs to let them know, and you might get them to open your application In fact you don’t even need STEP 2 CS to apply, I have a friend that matched in Internal Medicine - Mt. Sinai NY and he got his STEP 2 CS results in October.
4. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲? ∙ 3-4 Lors (at least one in the specialty that you are applying to) ∙ Personal Statement ✅ ∙ STEP scores ✅ ∙ Detailed CV experience ✅ ∙ Select the programs ∙ Money 🤑🤣
Note: MSPE is not 100% necessary
to apply, I talk about MSPE in another post.
5. 𝐃𝐨 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐬? Not really, that’s mostly considered for AMGs. In fact, only one interviewer, in only one of my 11 interviews asked me about my medical grades. (You get 3-6 interviewers per programs that interviews you) It might be look up to if you are honor/ gold medal student 🏅 (Not my case)
6. 𝐃𝐨 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐔𝐧𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐝? Not really, this mainly applies for AMGs.
7. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐜𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐦𝐬?
Step 1 & CK around $900-1000 each. Step 2 CS $1500. I will make another post about how much it costs to apply for residency, and how much you spend during interview season with flights, hotels, etc. Also, with tips on how to spend the less possible!! Step 3 is paid by some Hospitals (but as I mentioned, I would recommend to take it even before the match)
8. 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧? You can buy your token (worth around $120) in the first week of June, and you submit your application Sept 15. (This year due to the pandemic application day is changed to Oct 21) Token is just the name they give to be able to use their application service.
If you are applying this year, I made a post on What to do till October 21.
9. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭’𝐬 𝐄𝐑𝐀𝐒? It’s the program/website where we apply for residency. Stands for Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
10. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐄𝐑𝐀𝐒 𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬? Around the first week of June is when Begins Applicants can register and start working on uploading their documents.
This will be the website: https://apps.aamc.org/myeras-web/
11. 𝐃𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫? No, I think cover letter is a myth, correct me if im wrong. But we don’t need one for ERAS
Click here: to Check this post to learn how to look for hospitals , IMG % in that program, if they sponsor visa, etc
𝐋𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐎𝐅 𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 ✉️
1. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐚 𝐋𝐎𝐑? ∙You do it through the ERAS website, you put the doctor’s email and an email will be send to them, they click there and upload it directly ✅ Easy breezy!
2. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐫𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐲 𝐋𝐎𝐑𝐬? ASAP! Doctors are very busy persons, so its better to request it ASAP so its ready by the time that you apply.
3. 𝐃𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐋𝐎𝐑? ∙ 𝗪𝗔𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗗 letters have more value, it means that you didn’t see it, you trust the doctor that wrote it that he will write something nice about you ∙ 𝗨𝗡𝗪𝗔𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗗 means that you will see what he wrote, and losses its value, if you did a great job, why would they write something bad about you? If you impressed them, they will just want to help you, they know how important LORs are. 😃
4. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐬𝐮𝐛𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐚 𝐋𝐎𝐑? You select the LOR-Program that you want to assign it to, very easy.
5. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐮𝐩𝐥𝐨𝐚𝐝 𝐢𝐭? Already explained: around the first week of June is when Begins Applicants can register and start working on uploading the documents. So, you have until September to work on it.
6. 𝐀𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐋𝐎𝐑𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐮𝐬𝐞?
∙Fresh LORs are always the best, if you have a LORs from past years, reach back to the doctor and ask them to please change the date to this year. ∙If for some reason you don’t have any more contact and its impossible to reach out to that doctor: 1. Get a LOR from another doctor 2. You can still submit it that old LOR, but it losses its value by a lot.
Note: If you have a hardcopy of the LOR and you can't reach the doctor for some reason I heard some people made an account and submitted it. I don't know if that's ok to do or not. Please check first, don't get in trouble, this is very serious stuff!
1. 𝐈𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐚 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭? If you are applying for IM or FM then it’s not that necessity, definitely is will help though. But don’t worry too much about it. It will help you to make contacts, and build a strong CV for sure though. If you are applying to a surgical or another competitive specialty, then research is almost a must.
2. 𝐈𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡 𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐚 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟐 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡? Similar answer, it will help you to make contacts, and build a strong CV for sure. If you are applying for a surgical specialty some programs love to see tons of publications. I wouldn't waste extra time though, time is pressure, don’t commit for too long if you won’t get much out of it.
3. 𝐃𝐨 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈’𝐦 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨? Not necessity, as IMG’s we take what we can. If you can that’s great, you can’t you are still getting the experience and getting some publications! ∙ Eg, I did research on heart transplant and Plastics & Reconstructive, and applied to OB/GYN.
4. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐈 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧? You can find everything I have worked on here: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victor_Arruarana
𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐐𝐔𝐄𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒 𝐓𝐇𝐀𝐓 𝐈 𝐇𝐀𝐕𝐄 𝐁𝐄𝐄𝐍 𝐀𝐒𝐊𝐄𝐃 𝐅𝐑𝐎𝐌 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐆𝐔𝐘𝐒
1. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐞𝐧𝐣𝐨𝐲 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧, 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗺𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝘆 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁? Guys, I just didn’t just enjoy interview season, I always try to enjoy life in general. I didn’t take it as a stressful thing. I enjoyed the process. I enjoyed the cities. The places. Meeting new people and visiting Hospitals. The interviews. Visited friends. I even went to museums in almost every city that I had an interview! That was interview season was all about for me, really enjoyed it. In my actual interview I was relax. Stress free. PDs can really sense that, maybe that was also what helped me making the difference. Since all the program directors from the hospitals that I Interviewed told me that I would be an excellent resident there. I studied & worked very very hard. Nonstop for 2 years studying for the steps and meanwhile doing research. I was so happy when interview season came, I got to travel, hang out with people, it was amazing! Something that I was deprived of for 2 years! Haha
2. 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐨 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞? I have always been like this, like I’m replying right now to all of your questions and making content to help everyone. When I was in Argentina studying medicine, I would do the same, help my fellows, then during my Usmle preparation, I started a group for Argentina USMLE 🇦🇷, gathering everyone that was studying for the American boards. Now that group has over 300 people. And this year we are the first ones to match (over 7 of us matched)
So that’s how I know a lot of people everywhere. Now I have a lot of new friends from the Middle East, Africa & India from you guys, so when I travel there or if you guys come to NYC I’m 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗲𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼!!
▪︎𝐀𝐋𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐘 𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐎𝐍 𝐌𝐘 𝐏𝐀𝐆𝐄▪︎
1. How to get 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗵 being an IMG? 2. 𝟓𝟎+ Hospitals to get a 𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗨𝗦𝗔 3. How to Study for 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟭? 4. How to improve your 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆? 5. 𝐌𝐲 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 & How did I match in a surgical specialty being an IMG from Argentina with 𝗻𝗼 𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘀.
7. More and more posts
▪︎𝐒𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐎𝐅 𝐌𝐘 𝐅𝐔𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄 𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐓𝐒▪︎
1. How to study 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽 𝟮 𝗖𝗞 & 𝗖𝗦? 2. How to get extra interviews from 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝘂𝘁 to programs?
3. How to 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 your 𝐂𝐕? 4. How to 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱? 5. Interview 𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀 and what is expected of students during these events? 6. How to know which programs are 𝐈𝐌𝐆 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐲 and where to apply? 7. How to 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 your attendings to get 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗟𝗢𝗥𝘀? 8. How to interview & 𝐧𝐚𝐢𝐥 your interview + tips? 9. Tips for your Residency Application. 10. How to improve my chances if I’m an 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐈𝐌𝐆 with attempts/ low scores? 11. How to write a 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 and what kind of 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 you should use? 12. How to match with 𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗽𝘁𝘀? 13. How to study during my 𝗱𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗱? 14. What to do when you are close to your exam? 15. How 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬/ 𝐟𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐬𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐦 will affect IMGs? 16. Debunking 𝗨𝗦𝗠𝗟𝗘 𝗺𝘆𝘁𝗵𝘀. 17. Why did I choose OB/GYN?
Please 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 this post, 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐞 it, and 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 it frequently since I’ll continue adding new questions to those topics. 😃
𝐓𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬 to like my page, 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 me to keep going & making this kind of content ❤️
A lot of Q&As that I wrote are things that no one ever tell us, and they are big time important to know!
If you think about any more questions that I should questions that I should answer or more posts, or if you found the post helpful 𝗽𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗹𝗼𝘄. Also, if you have any suggestions about how I answered a question.
I start my OB/GYN residency July 1
I’ll show on my Instagram @doctor.sebas what’s the life of a resident in NYC, and videos with Questions & Answers.
My idea about creating www.doctorsebas.com is to put everything that you need for USMLE together in just one place, so you don't waste precious time going crazy trying to find something, and instead use that time to study, work or do more productive things :)
All the best, love you all! ❤
I want you to succeed, & accomplish your dreams! 🙌 I'm so proud of all you!! ❤️