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Canadian graduate red flag

littlereddot

Full Member
Mar 22, 2015
56
12
  1. Medical Student
    Hey guys,

    I am applying for NRMP residency match in pediatrics next year and I am really nervous about my chances.

    I graduated from a Canadian medical school in 2014. I am currently doing M.Sc in Epidemiology and I am a principal investigator in 2 research projects which will be completed next year. I don't have any publications.

    Step 1- 237, Step 2 CK-233, CS-1st attempt. I am taking Step 3 in 2 months.

    All of my electives were done in Canada and my LORs are from Canadian pediatricians.

    I will only be applying to programs which give H1b so my choices are very limited (only ~40 of them sponsor H1b).

    Are canadian graduates considered equivalent to AMGs or IMGs? What do you think are my chances of matching? Should I back up with Internal Medicine as well?

    My only red flag was that I graduated in 2014 and I have 2 years gap of clinical work (Doing a masters in epidemiology and my thesis project is on pediatrics). How much do programs look at that and does it look bad? Is it going to affect my chances of matching?
     

    the argus

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    Mar 3, 2015
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      so few Canadian grads apply in the US yearly that it's very difficult to definitively say how you will be viewed (this year 24 applicants with 17 matches, last year 14 applicants with 6 matches). My guess would be somewhere between an AMG and IMG, but it probably depends a lot on the individual applicant and whether they have a compelling reason why they want to do residency in the US (the reasons are obvious for someone from India/Pakistan/etc, less so for Canadians).

      Your scores are competitive for pediatrics. Definitely back up with IM programs if your goal is to do residency in the US more than it is to be a pediatrician, but remember that no IM program is really going to take you seriously if you only have LORs from pediatricians. I would think US clinical experience would be less of an issue for you than other IMGs since you are coming from North America, but setting up some observerships certainly wouldn't hurt.

      Being out of clinical work for a couple years is less than ideal, but you have been doing something relevant so I think that it will be less of an issue. Definitely try to volunteer at a free clinic or something similar to show that you are keeping your clinical skills fresh.

      Good luck.
       

      Aequanimitatis

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      Sep 14, 2014
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        so few Canadian grads apply in the US yearly that it's very difficult to definitively say how you will be viewed (this year 24 applicants with 17 matches, last year 14 applicants with 6 matches). My guess would be somewhere between an AMG and IMG, but it probably depends a lot on the individual applicant and whether they have a compelling reason why they want to do residency in the US (the reasons are obvious for someone from India/Pakistan/etc, less so for Canadians).

        Your scores are competitive for pediatrics. Definitely back up with IM programs if your goal is to do residency in the US more than it is to be a pediatrician, but remember that no IM program is really going to take you seriously if you only have LORs from pediatricians. I would think US clinical experience would be less of an issue for you than other IMGs since you are coming from North America, but setting up some observerships certainly wouldn't hurt.

        Being out of clinical work for a couple years is less than ideal, but you have been doing something relevant so I think that it will be less of an issue. Definitely try to volunteer at a free clinic or something similar to show that you are keeping your clinical skills fresh.

        Good luck.

        The bolded makes no sense to me. Not only does it make no sense to back up Peds w/ IM from the clinical perspective, it also does not make sense from a competitive perspective (if one truly cannot match Peds anywhere, good luck matching in IM). OP, why the lack of interest in staying in Canada? At the very least apply both CaRMs and NRMP in Peds.
         
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        littlereddot

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        Mar 22, 2015
        56
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        1. Medical Student
          I graduated from a Canadian medical school but I am not a Canadian citizen so I was not able to participate in Canadian residency match (CaRMS). So my only option is to apply to NRMP.

          I am just really concerned about my 2 year gap in clinical work. Is two years out of medical school considered as a long time? I am wondering about doing paid externship (arranged by externship companies) in the US because I have no connections with any physicians in US for observership. Any ideas what PDs think about paid externship. Is it helpful or is it going to hurt my chances? I am also going to Africa in the summer for a month to volunteer as a physician assistant.

          I did a few internal medicine rotations back in 4th year of medical school and I have 2 internal medicine specific LORs so I think I can back it up with IM.
           

          Aequanimitatis

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          Sep 14, 2014
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            I graduated from a Canadian medical school but I am not a Canadian citizen so I was not able to participate in Canadian residency match (CaRMS). So my only option is to apply to NRMP.

            I am just really concerned about my 2 year gap in clinical work. I am wondering about doing paid externship (arranged by externship companies) in the US because I have no connections with any physicians in US for observership. Any ideas what PDs think about paid externship. Is it helpful or is it going to hurt my chances? I am also going to Africa in the summer for a month to volunteer as a physician assistant.

            I did a few internal medicine rotations back in 4th year of medical school and I have 2 internal medicine specific LORs so I think I can back it up with IM.

            Ah jeez I see. You have to be a Canadian citizen to be eligible for Round 1 from what I remember but not beyond that (ie Round 2). Of course this is less than ideal. There are very few non Canadian citizens in Canadian schools and you are also a non-US citizen given need for H1b.

            Wish I knew more to help, hopefully others will continue to shed further light. Good luck! Hope you get what you want.
             

            the argus

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              The bolded makes no sense to me. Not only does it make no sense to back up Peds w/ IM from the clinical perspective, it also does not make sense from a competitive perspective (if one truly cannot match Peds anywhere

              What I was saying was if the OP would rather do an IM residency than not match at all, then they should definitely also apply to IM.

              If you actually look at the numbers, I think its debatable whether peds is easier than IM for IMGs. There are way more IM positions (6770 this year) than peds (2668). Further, 1889 of those peds positions went to US MDs, leaving only 779 for everyone else. On the other hand, only 3317 IM positions went to US MDs, leaving 3453 for everyone else.

              In 2014, 3194 independent applicants matched in IM with average step scores 229/237. For peds it was 794 with averages 222/233. The OPs board scores are competitive for both, so I think including IM would absolutely increase the overall chance of matching.
               
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              littlereddot

              Full Member
              Mar 22, 2015
              56
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              1. Medical Student
                Thanks for the replies, guys! I appreciate it.

                Anyway, back to my issues and red flags. What do other people think about them?

                (1) 2 years out of medical school. Out of touch with clinical work but doing research projects on pediatrics.
                (2) My LORs were written in 2013 and are relatively old. Does it have a bad impact on the application?
                (3) What do people think about paid externship (arranged by companies)? Do they actually help or do they instead hurt my application?

                Opinions and input would be highly appreciated.
                 

                AStark

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                Dec 9, 2011
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                  I graduated from a Canadian medical school but I am not a Canadian citizen so I was not able to participate in Canadian residency match (CaRMS). So my only option is to apply to NRMP.

                  That's not true. Visa applicants who graduated from a Canadian medical school are eligible to apply to programs at Memorial University in St John's.
                  See here: http://www.carms.ca/en/residency/r-...riteria/summary-intake-criteria-visa-holders/

                  I am just really concerned about my 2 year gap in clinical work. Is two years out of medical school considered as a long time? I am wondering about doing paid externship (arranged by externship companies) in the US because I have no connections with any physicians in US for observership. Any ideas what PDs think about paid externship. Is it helpful or is it going to hurt my chances? I am also going to Africa in the summer for a month to volunteer as a physician assistant.

                  I did a few internal medicine rotations back in 4th year of medical school and I have 2 internal medicine specific LORs so I think I can back it up with IM.

                  It is a long time. It's unfortunate you didn't post here a few weeks ago, as there are actually a couple peds spots open at MUN. But the rank order list period started Thursday and closes in less than 48 hours...

                  I would nevertheless strongly consider applying for MUN programs next year, if only to add at least one more option.
                   
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