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Likelihood of Securing a US Residency in Surgery as an IMG?

  • Highly Likely

    Votes: 1 3.0%
  • Likely

    Votes: 2 6.1%
  • Likely Depending on Performance as an IMG

    Votes: 5 15.2%
  • Moderately Likely

    Votes: 3 9.1%
  • Unlikely

    Votes: 21 63.6%
  • If You Know Someone

    Votes: 4 12.1%
  • If You Know Someone Who Knows Someone

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    33

Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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I am a nontraditional, 28-year-old American from Boston, Massachusetts. I am set to earn my undergraduate degree by December 2019—a BS in Exercise & Health Sciences, minor in Biology. Aside from having previously changed my major like a hundred times before realizing my passion for medicine and medical research, here’s a little about me:

1. Expected cumulative GPA will be a 3.74.
2. Expected science GPA will be a 3.4 (which includes 2 repeated premedical courses).
3. I’ve shadowed over 50 hours of surgery.
4. I’ve been an Apheresis/Collections Specialist for 4+ years at American Red Cross.
5. I’ve also been a Clinical Phlebotomist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for 1+years.
6. I have ongoing, hands-on research experience in a Neurovascular Exercise Physiology Laboratory.
7. I expect to perform highly on the MCAT and international medical school entrance exams.
8. I’m 100% bilingual in English & Spanish. Moreover, I am in the process of applying for citizenship in Spain.
9. I do not originate from a wealthy family or background.
10. I am doing whatever it takes.

My question is this. If I applied to medical school in Spain (I have my eyes set on the University of Barcelona) and I perform very well, how likely am I to be excepted/match into a competitive US residency program in surgery?
 
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lumya

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There are always exceptions, but if you want to practice medicine in the United States, you should plan on attending a United States medical school.
 
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Goro

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There are always exceptions, but if you want to practice medicine in the United States, you should plan on attending a United States medical school.
Lumya is simply telling you the truth.

The odds of your being able to land a residency as an IMG are less than 50%. This is right from NRMP data. @gyngyn might be able to comment of results from IMGs going to school in Spain.

You have the stats and app to go to a US med school, and that includes the three in Puerto Rico that take mainlanders.
 
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twospadz

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It's gonna be harder to match as a IMG or FMG as more time goes by. There will be more US grads and for sure more cuts to Medicare funding that provide residency training spots. I see foreign grads all of the time 4-5 years out of their med school because matching is tough. It's your life though
 
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Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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It's gonna be harder to match as a IMG or FMG as more time goes by. There will be more US grads and for sure more cuts to Medicare funding that provide residency training spots. I see foreign grads all of the time 4-5 years out of their med school because matching is tough. It's your life though

Man, I appreciate your perspective. I’m finding that I’m actually learning a lot just from being on SDN. I mean the problem is that I’m not sure if I’ll even break a 3.4 for my cumulative science GPA. And I’m also at an age where I don’t really want to do a Masters program—I just want to finally get my butt into medical school.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
 

AlbinoHawk DO

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We are way past the time when FMGs are desirable in the US due to shortage of US graduates. Every year hundreds of FMGs with 250s+ get rejected from even FM, and you are adding to it the caveat of a competitive surgical residency

I think deep down you already know the answer, which is why you were offended when someone told you to go to a US school i you want to practice in the US. There is no magical backdoor into medicine. Nobody will be impressed by your Spain degree, and you will be treated the same as any FMG out there
 
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popopopop

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Why don't you think you're competitive for your state schools?
 
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gyngyn

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There was an insufficient number of successful US IMG applicants from Spain to be considered in the only data ever published on the subject: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uplo...tional-Medical-Graduates-Revised.PDF-File.pdf
With regard to matching in G Surg, of US IMG's (all countries), 61 matched in GS, 122 did not (see pg 95): http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Charting-Outcomes-in-the-Match-2018-IMGs.pdf

Available information would thus lead us not to recommend attending medical school in Spain with the intention of matching in G Surg.
 
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Goro

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Man, I appreciate your perspective. I’m finding that I’m actually learning a lot just from being on SDN. I mean the problem is that I’m not sure if I’ll even break a 3.4 for my cumulative science GPA. And I’m also at an age where I don’t really want to do a Masters program—I just want to finally get my butt into medical school.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
You're fine for DO schools!
 
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workaholic181

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Man, I appreciate your perspective. I’m finding that I’m actually learning a lot just from being on SDN. I mean the problem is that I’m not sure if I’ll even break a 3.4 for my cumulative science GPA. And I’m also at an age where I don’t really want to do a Masters program—I just want to finally get my butt into medical school.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

Going overseas would be a huge mistake. a 3.7c and 3.4s are totally fine GPAs. Pending MCAT you have a shot at US MD schools. You're definitely competitive for DO with a 505 or somewhere in that range.

Speaking of masters, a lot of FMGs end up doing masters programs in the US after their MDs to open doors at American residency programs. There is no scenario where going overseas would be beneficial to your timeline or your career.

Just do your best on the MCAT and reassess MD or DO or both at that time.
 
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Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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We are way past the time when FMGs are desirable in the US due to shortage of US graduates. Every year hundreds of FMGs with 250s+ get rejected from even FM, and you are adding to it the caveat of a competitive surgical residency

I think deep down you already know the answer, which is why you were offended when someone told you to go to a US school i you want to practice in the US. There is no magical backdoor into medicine. Nobody will be impressed by your Spain degree, and you will be treated the same as any FMG out there

Fair enough. I appreciate the honesty and am amazed by the supportive words of everyone posting.
 
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Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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Lumya is simply telling you the truth.

The odds of your being able to land a residency as an IMG are less than 50%. This is right from NRMP data. @gyngyn might be able to comment of results from IMGs going to school in Spain.

You have the stats and app to go to a US med school, and that includes the three in Puerto Rico that take mainlanders.

I appreciate that––reassurances are huge for me. I do not hail from physicians or anyone in the medical field for that matter, so it's been entirely self-guidance up to this point. I'm grateful
 
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twospadz

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I mean you still have a shot as a FMG or IMG if you go to non competitive specialty in a non desirable area in the US. However, many programs directors will view your education as either substandard or they will think you are trying to cheat the system by "going through the back way". Many IMGs find themselves doing research or working to prove themselves post med school. You have a long ways ahead of you. Just realize the golden days are getting dimmer and dimmer
 

Doctortobe99

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If you're a US citizen, I highly advise you to do your best to attend a USmedschool, if not possible, DO school, worst scenario, go to the carribean schools that give you the chance to rotate in the US.

Surgery is not as competitive as most people think. yes it's harder to find a surgery spot compared to IM/FM/Peds/Path, but you can still get it.
 
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Chimichica

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@Goro are the schools in Puerto Rico not in the same basket as all the other Caribbean schools? Personally, St. George's is the only school I have seen worth going to in the Caribbean. But there is above average number of practicing physicians from there in my area (in multiple specialties). Which influences my opinion for that school specifically. And do the Puerto Rico schools have equal footing with mainland residency match also?
 

TheRealCookieMonster

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So as far as I know the University of Puerto Rico is on a completely different level from "Caribbean" schools. I'm not sure about their placement data in the states or whether or not they are considered US MD. But I do know they have sponsored residencies in Puerto Rico and require Spanish fluency to be admitted. I'm sure I will be corrected if I'm off base here, but if you attend that school you will have a vastly larger number of opportunities for surgery and the attrition rate will not be 80%. Additionally, the school is public... not for profit so your tuition will likely be better.
 

Goro

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@Goro are the schools in Puerto Rico not in the same basket as all the other Caribbean schools? Personally, St. George's is the only school I have seen worth going to in the Caribbean. But there is above average number of practicing physicians from there in my area (in multiple specialties). Which influences my opinion for that school specifically. And do the Puerto Rico schools have equal footing with mainland residency match also?
No, the PR schools are LCME accredited. They are US schools, but one of the four doesn't take mainlanders.

Google their match lists
 

Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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I got an A in Bio-1, and an A in Bio-2. I got a B in A&P 1, and a B+ in A&P 2. I got a B+ in Cell Biology. I got a B- in Physics 1. I got an A in Statistics.

I’ve withdrawn from general chemistry once. Then I got a B in General Chemistry 1 lecture, and a B in General Chemistry 1 lab. I then took General Chemistry 2 during the summer and got a C- in the lecture but an A in the lab. I am currently retaking the lecture portion of General Chemistry 2 and am expecting at least a B+/A-.

I got a C- in precalculus (years ago), and then withdrew from calculus (4 years ago). I’ve withdrawn from Organic Chemistry once, but it was because I realized that I want to just complete my degree and then finish up my premedical classes after graduating.

Do I really even have a chance given my track record? I love medicine and know I’d make an awesome physician, but I truly seem to suck at the premedical coursework. Granted, I’ve been working part-time/full-time and sometimes 2 jobs while trying to succeed in academics.
 

Prescribe_Rock&Roll

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Why don't you think you're competitive for your state schools?

Dude I changed my major like 5 times and, while my current GPA is good, it doesn’t account for some of the coursework I had at my prior schools (a few C- grades, a couple of C’s, and so on. Although, I was still figuring out what I wanted to do. Moreover, I’ve had to bounce around a bit due to finances and a dysfunctional immediate family.

I’be withdrawn from calculus and organic chemistry in the past, and I’m retaking General Chemistry 2.

Statistics for Health Professionals: A.
A&P 1: B
A&P 2: B+
Cell Biology: B+
General Biology 1: A
General Biology 2: A-
General Chemistry 1: B in lecture, B in lab.
General Chemistry 2: C- in lecture, A- in lab.
****Retaking General Chemistry 2 lecture and expecting at least an A-****
Physics 1: B-.
 

baccpost

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Different perspective and sorry to bring politics into it ... there's talk about a physician shortage. The House just moved left. Trump has a chance of re-election but not a great one. I suspect that either the cap on Federally-funded residency spots will be lifted in the next 5 years (hasn't kept up with population) or states will find a way to help with their own funding, maybe with strings attached like you'll have to practice in an underserved area for x number of years. The current situation isn't sustainable or desirable.

Also, could you end up moving to Europe for good and practicing in the EU after a Spanish MD/MBBS program? Nothing wrong with expatriation, just depends on your priorities.
 

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I honestly wouldn't listen to people saying "oh, if you want to practice medicine in the United States, then you need to attend an American medical school." Complete and total BS. If this were completely the case, then a lot of foreign medical schools would not have agreements with the U.S. government for you to obtain federal loan funding, and they would not be accredited by the ECFMG. I mean seriously, use your heads.

My vote was cast for
Likely Depending on Performance as an IMG
This was the second highest-rated answer (which my vote made it the second highest), and it makes the most sense. You work hard and perform well (especially on your USMLEs), you will be rewarded. I was totally shocked that most of these people voted "unlikely." Seriously, what do they know unless they themselves were IMGs who didn't get into a surgery residency in the USA?
 

Goro

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I honestly wouldn't listen to people saying "oh, if you want to practice medicine in the United States, then you need to attend an American medical school." Complete and total BS. If this were completely the case, then a lot of foreign medical schools would not have agreements with the U.S. government for you to obtain federal loan funding, and they would not be accredited by the ECFMG. I mean seriously, use your heads.

My vote was cast for
Likely Depending on Performance as an IMG
This was the second highest-rated answer (which my vote made it the second highest), and it makes the most sense. You work hard and perform well (especially on your USMLEs), you will be rewarded. I was totally shocked that most of these people voted "unlikely." Seriously, what do they know unless they themselves were IMGs who didn't get into a surgery residency in the USA?
This advice is so so ignorant of the admissions process that's downright malicious. It's also been discussed in multiple fora.
 
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Goro

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I really love this podcast series. All I had to do was listen to Episode 1 where they talk about SDN and it really says it all about this website. My initial impressions were confirmed about its nature..."mythically misinformed" indeed!

I agree that SDN can be an echo chamber where angst and neuroses are amplified. Many newbie posters have an attitude that one has to be perfect in order to get into med school, and think that a B- in a single course is lethal, or applying in mid-June is too late for applying.

Even with its failings, there are actual Adcom members (myself included), Program Directors, residents and medical students, all of whom provide experience that more than compensates for SDN's flaws. I've lost track of how many med students and attendings here are Adcom members, but at least 5% of all US med schools are represented here, from faculty Adcom members that I know of.

SDN's worse critics are people who come here seeking confirmation of their notions, and get offended (sometime pathologically so) when they receive realistic advice, and not hugs and kisses.
 
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TheGoodDoc83

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I agree that SDN can be an echo chamber where angst and neuroses are amplified. Many newbie posters have an attitude that one has to be perfect in order to get into med school, and think that a B- in a single course is lethal, or applying in mid-June is too late for applying.

Even with its failings, there are actual Adcom members (myself included), Program Directors, residents and medical students, all of whom provide experience that more than compensates for SDN's flaws. I've lost track of how many med students and attendings here are Adcom members, but at least 5% of all US med schools are represented here, from faculty Adcom members that I know of.

SDN's worse critics are people who come here seeking confirmation of their notions, and get offended (sometime pathologically so) when they receive realistic advice, and not hugs and kisses.

Yes, that's very true. 5% isn't a big number either. It's also not good when people on here make assumptions about others whereby the advice really isn't realistic.
 

Goro

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Yes, that's very true. 5% isn't a big number either. It's also not good when people on here make assumptions about others whereby the advice really isn't realistic.
True, but we're not engaging in a study on the effect of opiates on depression. Multiple inputs from Adcoms has vanlue, wouldn't you agree?

Otherwise, why are you wasting your time on SDN?
 

TheGoodDoc83

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True, but we're not engaging in a study on the effect of opiates on depression. Multiple inputs from Adcoms has vanlue, wouldn't you agree?

Otherwise, why are you wasting your time on SDN?

It's better to address this in person actually, with an adcom member near me. I've experienced plenty of people whose online behavior differs than in person. That's the major drawback being behind a computer screen.
 

Goro

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It's better to address this in person actually, with an adcom member near me. I've experienced plenty of people whose online behavior differs than in person. That's the major drawback being behind a computer screen.
Are you aware that Faculty etc (the "verified" stuff) have to go through a two step ID process here? I had to give SDN my own webpage on my school's website, as well as work email addy. They know who I'm am.

Anyway, we've wasted enough ti,me. Placing you on Ignore. You'll feel some slight pressure between the eyes.
 
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