7+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2009
Medical Student
Hello guys,

I have an "interesting" problem. I would deeply appreciate any advice.

Please bear with me:
I am a FMG and want to pursue an academic career in hem/onc, I have a competitive profile with excellent LORs from internationally renowned faculty. I have an interview from a reputed research heavy program where I would absolutely love to match.

I did an elective at that hospital in a different specialty as a medical student 5 years back.

(tl;dr) In short I bombed that rotation. How do I talk about it during the interview?

Well, I did terribly because that was my first exposure to the American culture and health care system. I did poorly on my communication skills as it was completely different from my home country. However, the fellows were incredibly kind to provide me honest feedback on my performance.

I was upset, but I learned from my mistakes and improved myself and got excellent evaluations from the elective next month. The letters from the next elective helped me match into my first choice IM residency into a middle tier university program. I worked hard and made myself a competitive applicant and got very strong LORs for fellowship application.

Now on my interview day, how do I approach this aspect?
Should I say that "It's great to be back here" or should I skip it altogether?
I did mention in my PS and CV that I had rotated at this hospital before.

I would deeply appreciate any help


5+ Year Member
Jul 4, 2010
Fellow [Any Field]
I don't necessarily think that it might be a disadvantage to you. The fact that you started off shaky and then made it to the great applicant that you are says a lot about your ability to evolve and adapt.

I wouldn't walk in and say "It's good to be back" but I would just go with the flow. If that rotation is brought up (even though I am not sure it will because hospital programs generally don't keep evals of IMGs who rotate as electives), I would explain it just like you did here: new to the system and took me some time to start rolling, took feedback well and used it to improve on my performance as is evident by the following rotation.

Last but not least, if you are a good applicant, you will match somewhere good - be it this place or some other equivalent one.

Good luck!