Vascular Surgery
10+ Year Member
Nov 25, 2004
  1. Attending Physician
I am an IMG going for a categorical gen surgery residency for the 2006 match. right now am doing my internship and giving the USMLE steps. I have 1 month clinical experience in gen surgery in july, 2003 (when i was starting my final year) with 2 good letters of recommendations.
Now the dilemma I am in is that should I go for another 1 month's externship/elective in general surgery before July (after which I graduate so no longer eligible for externship)


should I go for 1 month's externship/elective in some fellowship field like cardiothoracic surgery or colorectal surgery


should i go for a research position in gen surgery for a month in US


should I study for an extra month for step 2 (5 months instead of 4) and thus get a better step 2 score.
am giving step1 in april beginning. and cs sometime in june.

Another thing, how much US clinical experience is enough experience, and should it all be in general surgery only?

to sum it up, is a 95-96 with 2 months of clinical experience better or a 98 with 1 month of clinical experience (scores are hypothetical - desired ones haha)


2K Member
15+ Year Member
May 24, 2003
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do whatever you want. remember that...
(1) a month of research isn't enough for a publication, probably not even an abstract.
(2) studying for step 2 shouldn't take 4 months.
(3) how much US clinical experience?? as much as you can get. there are enough US grads applying for general surgery that PD's will need a good reason to choose you over them -- and the more US experience, the better.

Winged Scapula

Staff member
Lifetime Donor
20+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
  1. Attending Physician
I agree with doc05 - you should spend whatever time you have doing a US elective that will generate a good US LOR -whether that be a clinical elective or research based. General surgery or subspecialty electives are fine as are others like ICU, Anesthesiology, Gastro (ie, related specialties).

I also cannot imagine taking 5 months to study for Step 2, but hey...if you think you need it, go ahead.
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