Help to get FM residency in community hospital

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10+ Year Member
May 28, 2011
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I made up my mind for focus on FM in community hospital for next match.
Please guide me which strategy is good to enhance the residency application, I am a Canadian, J-1 visa needed.
220/235/cs first attempt, 2016 graduate, Caribbean med school
1. externship/observer ship in good university programs (at least two programs)
2. Research in university program either Canada or US
3. observer ship in private family physician clinic in Canada
4. Job in private family physician clinic in Canada
Your guidance and advice will highly be appreciated

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Have you already gone 1 cycle and not matched?

If so, your focus should be ANY FM program, regardless of how it is structured. As a fellow Caribbean grad, I usually went to programs' websites and saw where their current crop graduated from. It gave me an idea if it made sense applying or should I spend my application fee somewhere else. As a Caribbean grad, things are getting tougher and tougher but I'm sure I don't need to be the one to tell you this. Good luck.
Agree with above and would add a couple things

1) If you've been away from clinic medicine, having regular clinical exposure is critical. Even if all you do is shadow, you must try to have regular patient contact and keep your medical knowledge sharp. Many programs will ask about it. Some programs will appreciate research, some won't care, but most will want an applicant demonstrating active engagement with medical knowledge and skills.

2) Apply widely and, during lulls in the interview season, call frequently.

3) Research thoroughly. Don't pay some service to do your work for you. Visit program pages to get relevant info (step score cut offs, years since graduation/ years away from medicine cutoff, visa cutoffs, percentage of Canadian/IMG grads) and make a list. Call programs that don't have this info on their pages. FRIEDA is a place to start.

4)Treat every interview as your last, no matter how crappy the program. Prepare appropriately, behave yourself, and don't get sucked into stupid conversations with other candidates (e.g. "Oh this hospital is ok, I liked the one in NY better. What do you think?"), you will be overheard and knocked off the rank list. A book I used and benefited from "
60 Seconds and You're Hired!: Revised Edition" by Robin Ryan

5) Network. Go to conferences in the U.S.A. if you can.

6) Community based programs often have community physicians as faculty or have residents rotate with community physicians. If you can connect with local physicians for shadowing opportunities, you can get exposure to program faculty, residents and PD, as well as develop rapport with program and get a direct personal reference from a physician respected in that circle. You can potentially build allies in the program through the residents in this way as well, which can be important in smaller programs.

Best of luck