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IMG/FMG Match question

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Beijingbono

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G'day, I'm an Australian graduate working as a first year resident in the outback.

I sat the USMLE step 1 and Step 2 CK for fun in med school (sick and twisted I'll admit). I scored 99/99 and am considering coming to do Step 2 CS this year.

My question is: if I do Step 2 CK in September or October this year, would I be in time to Match for 2009?

2nd question is: when is the deadline for doing Step 3 if I want to apply for H1B visa and match in 2009?

Last question: Would it be logistically possible to book Step 2 CS and Step 3 within one week so I can save money from an extra plane trip and carbon emissions? mainly the money.

Cheers!
 

Beijingbono

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Sorry, I meant to say sit Step 2 CS in September this year.
 

iamcatwoman

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G'day, I'm an Australian graduate working as a first year resident in the outback.

I sat the USMLE step 1 and Step 2 CK for fun in med school (sick and twisted I'll admit). I scored 99/99 and am considering coming to do Step 2 CS this year.

My question is: if I do Step 2 CK in September or October this year, would I be in time to Match for 2009?

2nd question is: when is the deadline for doing Step 3 if I want to apply for H1B visa and match in 2009?

Last question: Would it be logistically possible to book Step 2 CS and Step 3 within one week so I can save money from an extra plane trip and carbon emissions? mainly the money.

Cheers!

You have great scores, so that's a good start.

You need to be ECFMG certified in order to apply, so would need to complete CS and all necessary paperwork before your application will be accepted (Step 3 is not necessary for certification, but is needed for an H1B visa).

If you do CS in Sept/Oct '08, then you would technically be in time for the Match, but cutting it fine as the application period starts in September (with the Match in March) and most programs have deadlines in Dec/Jan. Also, that time of the year is particularly popular with US med students to take CS, so you may have difficulty with availability and the results will take longer to be processed, thereby delaying your ECFMG certificate. I took my CS exam in Sept 06, and didn't get my results until mid December. So if I'd intended to apply for the '07 Match, I would have been hosed. My advice would be to get CS/ECFMG certified earlier.

It would be possible to book your CS and Step3 in the same week. The CS is the limiting factor, so when you get your Step 3 date, you can then look for CS availability in that same week. There are only 5 centers/locations for the CS exam so you would need to take that into consideration when you book the location of your Step 3 exam.

I'm afraid that I don't know anything about the H1B visa.

Hope that helps!
 

Beijingbono

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Hey Catwoman, that's really helpful advice. Thanks heaps for your time.

I was planning to sit CS in September this year because that's the earliest date available now (in all 5 centres). Considering even then I won't be able to guarantee a Match in 09, I might as well just take it easy and plan to sit it next year for a Match in '10. Might take a holiday next year in the US and do Step 3 and CS on the way.

Not sure of my chances for Matching to a great residency program in the US since I'm a FMG so a bit blasse about the whole thing.

Thanks again, though!
 

Winged Scapula

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Just a clarification:

while some programs may require ECFMG certification and it is never a bad idea to have your certificate before applying, this requirement is not made by the NRMP or ERAS.

Therefore, it is not necessary to have your certificate to apply, only that you have all your exams and everything done except graduation (which you have already met) but the date your rank order list is due (usually mid February before the match).

This is an important distinction - it is not required by ECFMG/NRMP/ERAS to have your certificate but *some* programs may require or prefer you have it before inviting you for an interview. Thus, in your case it would behoove you to do it as early as possible. Clinical skills are well taught in Oz so you should have no trouble passing the exam.

Also make sure you understand the requirements for sponsorship to take Step 3. Without US GME, you cannot just show up at any old testing center to take it and you may need to register in a state (like CT) which does not require US GME.
 

Beijingbono

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Thanks mate for your help.

while some programs may require ECFMG certification and it is never a bad idea to have your certificate before applying, this requirement is not made by the NRMP or ERAS.

Can I apply for the major residency programs through NRMP or ERAS? (No clue what they mean)

Therefore, it is not necessary to have your certificate to apply, only that you have all your exams and everything done except graduation (which you have already met) but the date your rank order list is due (usually mid February before the match).

All exams meaning CS and Step 3 if I want to apply for H1B?


Thanks again.
 

iamcatwoman

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Just a clarification:

while some programs may require ECFMG certification and it is never a bad idea to have your certificate before applying, this requirement is not made by the NRMP or ERAS.

Therefore, it is not necessary to have your certificate to apply, only that you have all your exams and everything done except graduation (which you have already met) but the date your rank order list is due (usually mid February before the match).

This is an important distinction - it is not required by ECFMG/NRMP/ERAS to have your certificate but *some* programs may require or prefer you have it before inviting you for an interview. Thus, in your case it would behoove you to do it as early as possible. Clinical skills are well taught in Oz so you should have no trouble passing the exam.

Also make sure you understand the requirements for sponsorship to take Step 3. Without US GME, you cannot just show up at any old testing center to take it and you may need to register in a state (like CT) which does not require US GME.

Sorry, i didnt make that clear, thanks for picking up on it! But i know that every program I applied to (35) required FMGs to be ECFMG certified before they'd consider the application. Not all of them will state this on their websites, so you should contact the programs that you intend to apply to be sure of what their criteria for FMGs is.

You shouldn't have any probs with the CS exam - I graduated/was working in the UK prior to moving to the US and had no probs with the CS.
 

iamcatwoman

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Hey Catwoman, that's really helpful advice. Thanks heaps for your time.

I was planning to sit CS in September this year because that's the earliest date available now (in all 5 centres). Considering even then I won't be able to guarantee a Match in 09, I might as well just take it easy and plan to sit it next year for a Match in '10. Might take a holiday next year in the US and do Step 3 and CS on the way.

Not sure of my chances for Matching to a great residency program in the US since I'm a FMG so a bit blasse about the whole thing.

Thanks again, though!

I took my time before applying for the Match, but that was because I wanted to stay in a specific city, so wanted to make wise connections and get lots of relevant clinical experience in that area. I moved to the US in '06, and Matched in '08, so it was fine for me. Just make sure that you fill some your time off with "good" stuff, namely with US clinical experience (try to aim for at least 4 months/year of experience)

Oh, and keep in mind the date of your graduation - most programs have a limit on this. Most of the ones that I applied for had a 5 year or 3 year limit. Some just wanted to know that you'd been in clinical practice (ie working as a physician) in the last few years. I graduated in '04 and this was acceptable to all the programs that i applied to for the '08 Match (with a 3 year limit).

Don't worry about not know much about the process - neither did I! It's a steep learning curve and there's lots of info on these forums.

you submit your application through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System) and the programs will download all your paperwork from ERAS, and the Match is conducted through the NRMP (National Residency Matching Program. So you need to register with both to enter The Match.

To get ECFMG certified, you need to pass Step1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS. There's also some paperwork that both yourself and your medical school will need to submit.
 

Beijingbono

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Thanks heaps Catwoman!

Paperwork is the curse of my life, and I'm hating it as a junior resident right now.

May I ask what made you want to move to the US from the UK, apart from the weather?
 

iamcatwoman

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Thanks heaps Catwoman!

Paperwork is the curse of my life, and I'm hating it as a junior resident right now.

May I ask what made you want to move to the US from the UK, apart from the weather?

I got married to an American. And not just any ol' American, but a rocket scientist - not much demand for those in London! So it was decided that it would be more easy for me to move over here. LOVED working in the UK (even as an A+E doc in London), but really looking forward to working here. There's a rumour that I won't have to wheel my own patients to radiology ... ;)
 

rox

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There's a rumour that I won't have to wheel my own patients to radiology ... ;)

Why do they hire nurses then in UK if they don't let them wheel patients to radiology? :D
 

Beijingbono

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Thanks again, Catwoman! All the best with the rocket scientist and hope you guys populate a genius village ;)
 
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