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Discussion in 'Otolaryngology' started by Ad33L, 04.14.12.

  1. Ad33L

    Ad33L

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    Hi everyone,
    I am a final year international medical student, trying to get into ENT. I want some input from you guys regarding my chances of matching straight out of med school. I know this hasn't been done before, but lets see:

    Step1: 265

    Step2: 275

    AOA: Not applicable, but I am in the top 15% of my class, which I guess is equivalent to AOA.

    Honors: A couple of basic sciences and clinical honors including ENT.

    Research: 2 case reports, 1 case series, couple of original articles in the pipeline, abstract/poster presentations here and there but nothing major because of lack of resources.

    Away Rotations: Will be doing at a very good fellowship program, and two low tier programs.

    Visa Status: Canadian citizen, so it shouldn't be an issue.

    Any input in this regard will be highly appreciated.

    Regards
  2. plauto

    plauto

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    what medical school?
  3. Leforte

    Leforte Member Moderator Gold Donor

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    Why do your ENT training in the USA? There are some excellent programs in Canada.
  4. Ad33L

    Ad33L

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    Valid question, its just that there are limited spots in Canada for surgery let alone ENT. They work on a quota basis and this year a very big ENT program in Canada will accept just 1 person from outside the province and not an IMG.

    Please provide me with your views on my chances at matching in US as I'm totally concentrating at matching in US and not in Canada.

    Regards
  5. WDeagle

    WDeagle

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    You still didn't answer the question. What school? If your from the caribbean then I really think your chances are slim.
  6. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending

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    This is the big question.

    And you have to be realistic.

    Otolaryngology residencies annually receive 200-300 applications with highly qualified, US citizens who went to US medical schools.

    These students have almost 0 language barriers and 0 cultural barriers.

    With such a pool of highly qualified students, the question is why they would want to bring you (OP) on board.
  7. Ad33L

    Ad33L

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    I am not from a Caribbean school and I don't think I can write the name of my med school. I study in Southeast Asia, top med school in the country.
  8. Ad33L

    Ad33L

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    Interesting point you raised. You are correct that everyone who applies to ENT is well qualified indeed. I am aware of the fact that I will have a tough time because of the fact that I am "FMG" and that is why I wanted to generate this discussion regarding my chances.

    As stated previously, I am a Canadian citizen and have lived all my life in Canada, I just left to do my medical training. Thus, I also have 0 language/cultural barrier as you mentioned.

    Now the question as to why they would want to bring me on board? Well I think my application should be able to stand out (if you ignore AMG/FMG status). I just hope that they don't filter me out based on my FMG status and take a good look at my application (board scores, number of pubs, LORs etc etc).

    Regards.
  9. Leforte

    Leforte Member Moderator Gold Donor

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    Unfortunately, many, if not most, will consider your nationality (less of an issue) and medical school (more of an issue) when determining who to interview. Aside from the fact of ensuring that you are able to start on time, due to licensing and immigration issues (it is always a gamble for residents since the match is now in March instead of January when I went through) - there will be the fact that many faculty may not be aware of your medical school curriculum, reputation (aside from the fact that it may be among the highest in your region), similarity with USA culture and expectations, etc. While there is a higher likelihood of attaining a fellowship with foreign qualifications (due to increased time allowed for licensure, visa, etc) - the same cannot be said of primary qualifications when entering the match.

    Most faculty understand that the USMLE is a licensing exam - and has little to do with clinical competence or personality traits - it is used as an initial tool for evaluating applicants. That being said - you have clearly excelled in that area. You have also done well in your research interests. That being said - The goal of USA residency programs is to train future otolaryngologists to meet the needs of the USA. Our funding for residents comes from the tax payers dollars, and it is estimated that it costs close to $1,000,000 to train a competent surgeon. While we look at FMGs when considering who to invite for an interview - there has to be some compelling reason to spend our communities dollars to train a surgeon. I can understand someone who went overseas to get their education - let's face it, admission to medical school can be a lottery - BUT, most of the FMGs we have interviewed in the past are local people who wish to practice in the community (whether that be academic or private). It would be difficult to justify accepting someone from another country, who studied in a third country, into our training program with the possibility that they would take their training (which, as discussed, is valued at close to $1M) abroad. Especially when considering that there is a severe shortage of ENTs here in the USA.

    That being said - several FMGs (or IMGs or whatever the PC term is currently) are successful every year, and you may be one of them. I would, however, have a back up plan and realise that you may need to either seek training in the country of your medical training, your home country, or may need to choose a residency that is less competitive.

    While the above comments may seem xenophobic - I assure that we recognise that there are many highly qualified applicants from abroad - and in fact many of them have academic credentials that are above local candidates - but the bottom line is that as USA academic faculty, we are obliged to train general otolaryngologists to meet our communities needs. At the fellowship level - things become a bit different. There is not the Medicate funding that comes for the residents, and at the sub-specialty level, we are training (hopefully) future world leaders in the sub-specialty fields. A fellow is often able to help defray the costs of their training via increased throughput in both the clinic and the OR (which I can assure you, a resident does not, especially in their junior years).

    Regardless, best of luck - as I am sure this is a stressful time for you.
  10. OtoHNS

    OtoHNS ENT Attending

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    I personally know/have met 3 FMGs who got a spot in US ENT programs in the past 10 years. Presumably there are more that I haven't heard of, so don't take this as gospel.

    1. This FMG grad did a prelim surgery year and was excellent/well-liked. One of the matched ENT interns at his program quit, and he was taken in that person's place. Don't know anything about his boards/research/etc.

    2. This person's father was a local private ENT and was personal friends with faculty at the academic center. Prior to matching, this person did an away rotation at the program and was well liked.

    3. This person's father was personal friends with the chairman of the program. Prior to matching, this person spent a year doing research where he eventually matched.

    So... the connecting theme for my N=3 study is that successful FMG applicants into ENT have substantial inside tracks into the programs where they eventually match.
    Last edited: 04.17.12
  11. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending

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    To be blunt, your application doesn't stand out.

    It's very good, but it's not unique. There are about 10-20% of applicants with your USMLE scores. Many have the research background you have. Many have BETTER grades in their core rotations.

    I think you stand a chance of getting interviews because most programs will cut off at a certain number. You'll have to convince those that do interview you that your education is equivalent (or better) and that you'll be able to work within a US system.
  12. Ad33L

    Ad33L

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    Thanks for your input...you've raised some very good questions.
    I will write a detailed response as soon as I get done with my exams :/

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