Updated: Jun 22, 2020
This post is intended for students that are 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 their USMLE preparation to doctors that are 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 this year!!
Some points are easy to improve, other ones require time and hard work, and some other ones you can only do on a specific time of your carrier.
So it's very important that everyone reads this!!
1. 𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐏 𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐑𝐄𝐒
Get GREAT Step scores
I won't talk about this much, since it's the one thing that everyone will tell you, and 𝗺𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗻𝗼 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘀 😃
If you have attempts or low score in one exam, 𝐚𝐢𝐦 to get an excellent score in the next one. Also Step 3 is ALWAYS a plus!
I made a post previously with 50 Hospitals where IMGs can rotate in American hospitals.
Covid-19🦠 issue: I know now it’s difficult times due to the current pandemic, I heard that some hospitals are starting to accept students for in site rotations and other ones offer tele-rotations.
I’m not a fan of tele-rotations, but if you really need to apply this cycle and that’s the only way you can get your US LORs, then there is no option and you will have to do it.
Even though most of them are expensive, it’s not the same as if you are in campus seeing patients. But as I mentioned, if you want to apply this year, that’s the option.
Always remember your goal here is to impress your attendings and aim to get GREAT PERSONALIZED LORS! 🙌 ✉️
I'll talk with my PD after I meet him again July 1 about his insights about tele-rotations and make a post about it.
Doctors probably won't specify when they write your LOR that it was a "tele-rotation".
They will say that you saw patients, how knowledgeable and nice to work you are, ways that you impressed them, how you always went that extra mile, etc.
I don't think that will clarify that "tele-rotation", since that's not the main point of a LOR.
The main point is talking about you, how great your are, nice to work with, etc.
Also when you fill out ERAS, you will put "observership" or "clerkship".
Once you are in your interview they may or may not even ask you about it.
I'll soon make a live instagram video on @doctor.sebas clarifying everything about tele-rotation.
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.
𝐑𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐌𝐆𝐬 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞𝐬
Pros: You will make connections, they will get to meet you, and you impress them well enough, you can match with them!
👉This is the option that I recommend the most to 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 or people with 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐭𝐬/ 𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬.👈
Cons: If you are applying to multiple places, LOR from this places won’t count as much a LOR from a top Hospital.
𝐑𝐨𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐬
Pros: A LOR from this places will help you a LOT, even though we probably won’t match there, it will still help you TONS!
Eg, I got my LORs from Cedars Sinai, #8 hospital in the USA. I really impressed the doctors and they wrote amazing LORs.
Getting LORs from a top place WILL make you a difference, even if they don't won't take you there for residency!
I knew that I would’t match at Cedars since I was doing my research in plastics, and applying to OBGYN, I didn't work much in the OBGYN department, and also they haven’t accepted IMGs for the last 10+ years!
•Rotations in community, IMG friendly hospitals will give you a chance to impress those doctors and match with them.
•Rotations in TOP hospitals will give you a chance to impress those doctors, and match in other hospitals with their LORs.
3. 𝐋𝐄𝐓𝐓𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐎𝐅 𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐒
Get great, personalized, from US doctors. Programs really don’t care much if we were chair of a deparment in our home contry, or pretty much anything that we did there (except research and residency to some degree).
They don’t know the hospital or the way we do things in our home countries. They want to see that you gained the trust, and impressed US physicians. This is the most important fact after our Step scores.
Also those LOR must be AMAZING!
“Generic” Letters of recommendation are trash. PDs can tell right away when the doctor knows you well and was impressed by you, or he just copied and paste the letter and just changing the name.
If you didn’t do a rotation, then do research and get them that way, or contact family, friends or even people that went to your same medical school and try to see if they can offer help you out with this on some way.
I know a lot of you don't know anyone that pursued this journey and don't have any contacts or connections. It happened to me, and I made groups and chats with students and doctors from my country and now we are the first ones from that group to match, being 7 argentinains matching in different hospitals in the USA :)
Always remember to help yourself and others along your journey!💖
If you are applying for IM or FM then it’s not that very necessity, it will definitely help though. But don’t worry too much about it. It will help you to make contacts, and build a strong CV for sure!
If you are applying to a surgical or another competitive specialty, then research is almost a must.
5. 𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐀𝐑𝐂𝐇 𝐅𝐄𝐋𝐋𝐎𝐖𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐏
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 precious - waste is wisely. Don’t commit for too long if you won’t get much out of it.
👉If you are a repeat applicant, then you can get a research fellowship to make contacts, and build a strong CV for sure.👈
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 then on Plastics & Reconstructive surgery, and applied to OB/GYN.
6. 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓
Make sure you really work on it, start from now if you are applying this cycle. I made on my page on what to do till application day and how to use FREIDA.
I will soon make a post on write a 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 and what kind of 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 you should use.
Make sure to have many doctors and also non-doctors reviewing it.
APPLYING TO MORE THAN ONE SPECIALTY
If you are applying to 2 different specialties then you have to make 2 different