7+ Year Member
- Dec 30, 2009
- Medical Student
Is it possible for IMGs to match into this field? Thanks!
I may be able to offer some advice, as I came from a very similar situation and ended up matching last year (feel quite fortunate). I'm a D.O., which is comparable to IMGs when it comes to matching into difficult specialties such as Rad Onc (generally you need to be as good/better than US MD's in most categories if you want to match because you're already at a disadvantage). I scored about the same on USMLE step 1 as you, and was #3 in my class, etc. And while that will possibly get your foot in some doors, there is definitely more to it (without contacts in the field I probably would've only got 2-3 interviews).
Having said that, you should definitely pursue Rad Onc if it's what you want to do. It's not too late to get your ducks in a row if you're only an MS3. My advice would be to focus on research and LOR's, and start setting up away rotations for next summer/fall. Personally I did a 4-week research rotation (better if you can do it 3rd year and get something published/presentation by the time interviews roll around), and I also did several clinical away rotations at various sites. But even during my clinical rotations I was able to get involved in research projects resulting in several additional papers/posters (albeit most of them only "submission" status at time of application/interviews).
I ended up rotating at MDACC (off peak so I was the only student there during the month), and then at 2-3 other programs that were "middle tier" (that I had contacted the PD beforehand to ensure that they'd be willing to take a D.O. -- not a bad idea in your case to make sure they're open to taking FMGs). My thinking was this: Even though I didn't have a chance at MDACC (which proved to be true as they didn't even interview me despite getting honors and an ASTRO presentation out of it), I got exactly what I wanted out of it-- 2 great LOR's from well-known faculty and fantastic contacts. I then focused my efforts in trying to shine on my other aways, and got a few additional projects out of them as well.
Anyway, I feel lucky to have matched at all. There are definitely no guarantees, and anything could happen (I know very well qualified people that do not match). But in your case I'd go for it, and remember that it is a very small field so good contacts go a long way. The other option is to take a year off to do research if you're having a hard time getting everything set up like you want it. Good luck!