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I need help

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by saudi arabia, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. saudi arabia

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    My dear
    I am International medical graduate IMG
    I have many questions about residency in ophthalmology in USA

    1- To get acceptance in any program just needed USMLE step1? thats mean no need to pass USMLE step2 ?

    2- I plan to finish USMLE step1 this year, what is best time to do step1 to enter sf matching 2009?

    3- I can work without salary (unpaid resident) because I am coming for USA for education not for mony and any financial issue is my Respinsipility
    , can this make more chane for acceptance?


    Thank you..........
     
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  3. toomanyeyes

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello!

    You probably have a long road ahead of you.

    1) You only need to take Step 1 but you need to do really really well if you want to have a shot as an IMG. The match stats for IMGs are pretty depressing.

    2) You should definitely take it before May. You should try to get results so that you are ready to apply.

    3) I'm not sure how much this will help honestly. Most of the positions are set and a program will mostly like not create a new position even if you can pay for yourself since it would create problems with clinical rotation schedules and call.

    Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
     
  4. saudi arabia

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    Thank you very very much toomanyeyes
    Yes I have more questions

    1-for started PYG-1 ( intern) need usmle step2 if I will go to ophthalmology ?

    2-what is your opinion, already I was accepted in Ophthalmology in my countary saudi arabia to start next october,Also I have other option to go to kaplan to preparation to usmle but will loos my position in saudi ? what is your opinion go to kaplan or stay in saudi? In both case my countary will sponser to my.I am now 27 years. I

    thank you
     
  5. MAYOphtho

    2+ Year Member

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    Well to practice in the US, you need to have completed all 3 steps of the USMLE eventually...and I think it's implied (if not required) that you finished Step 2 prior to internship.

    I guess my biggest question is, why would you want to train specifically in the US if you have a position in Saudi Arabia waiting for you already? Seems like you will be an Ophthalmologist either way, but the S.A. path is already a lot more clear for you.

    Either way, the best of luck to you
     
  6. MDEYES

    7+ Year Member

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    Based on my experience (I am an IMG) and what I heard during my path to residency, there are basically 2 ways for an IMG to get accepted into ophthalmology in the US:

    1. Get a clinical fellowship (cornea, glaucoma, etc) in the US (for that you have to be already an ophthalmologist in your own country), then you can make contacts in the US and apply to residency here and retrain. OR

    2. You can just get a position in research in an ophthalmology department, get contacts and apply.

    The year I matched around 25 IMGs vs >400 USMGs got in.

    Good luck
     
  7. eye dude

    2+ Year Member

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    How can I get a position in research????:confused:
     
  8. little princess

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    hi MDEYES. sorry to bother you, but I've got some questions concerning IMG's in US. I am 5th year student in my home country, Georgia, will graduate next year. I plan to take USMLE step1 in december this year, do you think that there is any chance of me getting in ophthalmology residency in US cause I have heard that there is not that much. but I really want to practice in ophtho very much. what can you advice me to make my chances higher for getting in ophtho residency in US? I have only one rec letter, I took an elective in ophtho in Ankara,turkey this summer, do you think this rec will be helpfull? I think I might need some more but have no clue on how to get them cause I think I don't have enough time to take one more elective as I am graduating next year. Can you advice me anything? :confused:
    thanks so much beforehand:luck:
     
  9. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    If you plan to come to the USA to become a resident, you are going to have to pass the USMLE and be licenseable here. You will also need a visa that permits you to work here, a subject I cannot advise you on and which is beyond the scope of this board. I don't know how much a letter from your elective program will affect your chances, except to say your chances as an applicant from abroad are comparatively low.

    If what you want is to practice ophthalmology, I think you will have an easier time by far getting training in your home country than in the USA. I am not saying it's impossible, it isn't, but the IMGs I know had exceptional personal connections and/or exceptional portfolios before applying to ophthalmology here. All graduated at the top of their classes from top-tier universities in their home countries. Some had to do other work in the USA before gaining admission--internal medicine at a certain world-renowned medical center in a city on Lake Erie in one case, research fellowships in another case--others had been trained already in ophthalmology in their home countries. It will be difficult for you--there is no advice anyone can give you except to plan another pathway in case your efforts fail. Even the weakest U.S. programs have no difficulty finding American graduates to fill their classes.
     
  10. little princess

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    orbitsurgMD
    so you are saying that my chancses for ophtho residency in US are like zero? :(
     
  11. MDEYES

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    If you apply with your current credentials, and only with the Step 1, YES your chances are ZERO.

    If you really want to do ophtho residency here in the US, you must prepare yourself for a long (and sometimes painful) path.

    Sorry, but this is how it works

    Good luck
     
  12. orbitsurgMD

    orbitsurgMD Senior Member
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    One colleague came from Colombia, did some residency training there (and mandatory public service practice in the sticks) followed by IM at the University of Texas. He got a spot at my residency program then went to Mass Eye for fellowship.

    One person I know about came by way of South Africa, a family practitioner and pickup ophthalmologist who immigrated, did a pre-residency fellowship then got a slot as a resident somewhere in California. He came from a top South African institution (rhymes with "fits".)

    One person I know came from Haiti, already many years in practice as a trained ophthalmologist with a very broad repertoire of surgery skills. He got a spot. He was a professor before becoming an American resident.

    One person was a top graduate at a very prestigious university in the most populous nation in North Africa (;-)) went to the Cleveland Clinic then to ophthalmology elsewhere, then teaching, then to another nearby country for fellowship. He now practices in the USA.

    One was a woman from the middle east who went to university there, medical school in Canada and did a research year at Harvard before doing an internship and her residency (and then fellowship at Wilmer).

    Another person was a woman from Brazil who was educated there and did a research fellowship here before getting a residency slot in Dallas, Texas.

    Another person was a dual-citizen who went to her ancestral home of Argentina for medical school and returned to the USA for residency.


    It isn't impossible, but it isn't easy. You must complete your USMLE, all three steps, apply to a U.S. program, be prepared to travel here for as many interviews as you receive invitations (and to secure the necessary visas for that travel), and you really ought to plan for doing something in the interim, like a year or two of residency, an ophthalmology residency in Tblisi or elsewhere, or a research fellowship, here or somewhere you can be assured of getting your work published in a significant journal (like the UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Australia).

    If you are determined, and have a good record, you can do it. But don't think you are going to get this as a walk-on. That won't happen.
     
  13. little princess

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    thanks for a good advice, but I didn't say that I thought it would be easy. I know it will be hard for me, maybe almost impossible but I just wanted to know if there would be any chances for me to get in ophtho residency program in US If I did everything for it. and I needed an advice in what I could do for it exept for getting over all USMLE examinations( i mean all three steps). I hoped for an answer 'bout this and it is not that I will stop on only my current credentials and on just step 1 for getting in the residency it is not like that and hope you understand, couse only an idiot might think that that will be enough, espacially for getting in Ophtho residency in US. :)
     

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