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IMG friendly programs?

Discussion in 'Orthopaedic Surgery' started by IFNgamma, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member

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    I'm an IMG from one of the Caribbean schools and I really want to do Ortho.

    I was just wondering if anyone knows which programs have IMGs or are at least a bit sympathic towards IMGs.

    and what are my chance? I got 231/94 for step 1 and havn't taken step 2 yet (holy crap, taking it in like 1 week!) I got some strong letters from some Ortho attendings at my hospital but they are mostly unknown. My clinical grades are ok but I got a great eval from my ortho rotation and I only got honors in internal medicine of all things.

    any input would be appreciated.
     
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  3. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member

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    I have seen a lot of people on these forums ask questions like this and I think that it is important to put it into perspective: The real truth is that Caribbean grads are very, very few and far between in the world of orthopaedic surgery and your chances are quite slim.

    The stats for the 2006 NRMP match (http://www.nrmp.org/2006advdata.pdf) show that 49% of U.S. IMGs went unmatched for any specialty. Non-U.S. IMGs fared similarly.

    In orthopaedics, there were 160 programs and 615 positions. 89.6% of orthopaedics positions went to US graduates. That means that there were 64 positions that went to non-US medical graduates.

    In that 64 are at least some MDs from other places that did full training in orthopaedics in their home country (e.g., China, Brazil, Sweeden), moved to the US for family reasons, did a few years of research, took Steps 1-3, and are now trying to practice again and have to do a US residency. I know of a handful of practicing orthopods (and a few in residency) who were (or are) in this situation. They have proven track records, dedication, and often impressive research credentials. Many of them worked in orthopaedics departments or did year-long observerships are known to the faculty, chairs, PDs, etc.

    For you personally, your application is quite weak. Your board score is middle-of-the-road for orthopaedics, and other than that, you don’t have much going for you. Frankly, without an impressive CV or someone who is close personal friends with a PD owing you the biggest favor of his life--I don’t see you getting many (if any) interviews. I think that your chances of matching are very, very slim. It is a competitive field and there are many more applicants with more impressive CVs, grades, Step 1 scores and LCME accreditation. Unfortunately, you are probably not like the types of foreign grads that are in the group of 64 above who matched into orthopaedics.

    You need to be careful and informed before going 'all in'.

    Sorry for the poor prognosis of your chances,
     
  4. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member

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    I agree with moquito. I did research in path, and a lot of the residents were from Caribbean schools (3 from Ross and 2 from St. George). They told me they were happy that they loved pathology, which is non competative, because they knew if they wanted to go into something competative, like surgery (not even talking about ortho), it was going to be VERY difficult. These residents scored VERY high on step 1 and 2 and they were telling me this.

    In response to your question, I cannot tell you which programs are friendly to IMGs. The IMG path residents told me the way they and their friends found programs was to find the match list and email info of the IMGs for the past 4 years from their specific schools. They then emailed as many people as they could to try to get responses. Look to see if any from your school or if you can get your hands on it, from other international medical school's match and contact info, find anyone in ortho, and email them to ask for their advice as to where they interviewed, how they got it, and if they'll share it, what their specifics were.

    I can't say anything is impossible, but I can also find a ton of dissappointed people who "went all in", to borrow the term from moquito. Even away rotations may be a waste of time as you could do them in another field. Paradoxically if you have ANY chance for ortho, then I would say its IMPERATIVE for you to do aways during your 4th year in ortho. Sorry for the bad news. Good luck.

    sscooterguy
     
  5. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member

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    thanks for the advice. I know my chances are slim since no one from my school (SGU) has matched in Ortho the last 2 years, although 2 people managed to match in neurosurgery last year.

    Which programs are considered "lower tier"? if they exist at all? I wouldn't mind doing Ortho at the worst program in the country if that's what it takes.

    I'll see what I get on Step 2 to decide whether I'm even going to apply or not, or would it not matter even if I got like a 250/99?
     
  6. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member

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    There is no such thing as a low or middle tier orthopaedic surgery program. All US MD programs are top notch and attract the best of the best medical students from US schools.

    The so-called 'less-desirable' or community programs attract a certain type of applicant--usually someone who is very bright, AOA, very high scores (240+) who wants to do community orthopaedics, doesn't want to do research and/or wants to be in their hometown. These people are very highly motivated! Also, smaller programs are even more selective than the larger ones. (A 10-resident program can’t ‘dilute’ like a 40-resident program can.)

    At highly academic centers, applicants are also top of their class, AOA, 230-240s and are bright, interesting people with research publications and an interest in academia.

    In both types of programs, there are lots of smart and motivated people. Thus, there simply isn't a 'worst program' out there.

    About Step 2, I don't think that your board score is the limiting factor in your application, so I don't think a 250 would really help you. The application is much more than number crunching.

    I wish you the best with your pursuits,
     
  7. Orthodoc40

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    So I guess you're telling me if I have to choose b/w a DO school and SGU, I should try the DO option? Even though I know that both will put me at a disadvantage for getting an ortho residency?... :(
     
  8. Hardbody

    Hardbody Senior Member

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    If there is one definite advantage of going Osteo over SGU (Ross, or AUC) it is your chance of getting into Orthopedics, since 10% of all D.O.'s in an Osteopathic residency are Orthopod residents (this is straight from the AACOM website). As an SGU grad you don't have that option. IMO this only holds true for Ortho because other Osteo specialty residencies do not have significant numbers. Just my two cents.
     
  9. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member

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    would it help any if I do a prelim year in general surgery and then apply for ortho the next year? Let's say I actually do a good job and my program director supports me, would it make much of a difference if I apply as a an intern who has done 1 year of prelim surgery vs. just an IMG? I'm going to apply for general surgery and I may end up with a just a prelim spot considering how competitive general surgery was last year, so I'm hoping this could be a route into ortho. thanks.

     
  10. sscooterguy

    sscooterguy Senior Member

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    This is what my attendings told me, as US student. What you suggest is difficult. A spot must open after someone drops out during or immediately after their internship year from Ortho at your institution for this to happen.

    If you have intentions of redoing internship, the problem is funding for residency lasts so many years. (DISCLAIMER from what I hear, not what I know first hand) Ortho would rather take a well qualified US grad applying traditionally and NOT worry about paying for the extra year.

    Also, how are you going to ensure exposure with the Ortho dept IN TIME for interviewing again? Prelims at my academic program aren't really treated very seriously, and I don't know if they even rotate on ortho.

    I think your best shot is to apply to both Ortho and a back up if you aced step 2.

    Alternatively, look for research fellowships now if there are such things in Ortho. My friend did not match in ENT and decided to do a funded ENT research fellowship in Pittsburgh for 2 years. A residency position is still not guaranteed, but she, as well as her advisors, think she has a good chance.

    Do some research on the NIH website, there are 1 year paid fellowships for post 3rd year med students. My roommate just finished one, and she had the choice to do research in almost any field. However, this also does not guarantee you a spot, and you will be applying again pretty soon after your research year started, so you may have to see what kind of connections they have or see if they have 2 year fellowships.

    Good luck. Whatever you do, you have to do it quickly. I hoped for your sake you aced step 2.

    sscooterguy
     
  11. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member

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    I still don't think this will help you. You have to remember--there is a class of motivated and well-qualified applicants EVERY year. There is another batch of peppy whippersnappers right behind you.

    Also, you will only be 3 months into your intern year when you have to apply. And like someone said, you may not even get to do ortho rotations. At the programs that I'm familiar with, prelim-surg interns don’t typically rotate on our service. Moreover, how are you going to take time off to interview? The reality is that you're not going to.

    Someone suggested a 2 year orthopaedics research fellowship. If you can do that, then do it. That is your best/only realistic option for doing orthopaedics. Even after that, you could still not match. Just be prepared for that and have a realistic plan.

    Best of luck,
     
  12. JBA

    JBA Junior Member

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    IFN Gamma,
    If I were you I would take what has been said so far on this post with a grain of salt. Without doubt ortho is competitive for a US grad and even more so as an IMG. But if you are sure ortho is what you want then you gotta go all in. I am currently at school in Australia and we had an ortho match in the 2005 and 2006 matches. Stats were 218/225 and 235/250 for Step 1/2 and both are Canadians with visa issues in the US. Neither is at a community program. So contrary to what has been said on this thread, matching as an IMG is possible and is not limited to career orthopods who are immigrating to the US.
    From talking to the guys that matched this and last year, they both agreed on one thing.....smoke your away rotations in ortho. This doesn't mean you have to be a total gun and know everything. Hard work and good personality can go a long way to making you a solid applicant. Plus your USMLE score is above the US average, and while it might not be amazing it won't get your application thrown out everywhere. Don't forget there are lots of arrogant US med students out there who want ortho and from what I've seen many of them would be a serious pain to work with. So personality definitely counts.
    Good luck with Step 2 and hope it all works out for you.
     
  13. jsaul

    jsaul Member

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    in the univeristy hospital here, there is an IMG ortho resident as well. and it's not the 1st time that happened.
     
  14. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member

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    so there is hope for me yet...if you don't mind letting me know, which hospital is this? I looking for programs right and gonna submit some applications soon. Thanks.
     
  15. k-wire

    k-wire Junior Member

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    i didnt read all of the posts above, so this may have been mentioned. during interviews, i went to lsu shreveport, they were interviewing 1 fmg on the same day as my interview day, and they have 2 or 3 in the program. that was the only program i went to that had fmgs in the program or at interviews. not to say there arent other programs that consider fmgs.

    if you want to do orthopedics, no harm in trying, just make sure you have a back up plan.
     
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  17. Debridement

    Debridement Member

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    Why on God's green earth would a program want to be known as the "FMG-friendly" program? That may as well be the kiss of death.

    No offense to you, but if any program has taken a few FMGs for whatever reason they want it to be a secret.

    "Oh, look, there's Dr,. XXX. He's the chairman of that program that gets a lot of foreigners. Where are they again? Alabama? Oh, New Orelans! That's right. Katrina must have hit them HARD!"

    Do you think that anyone wants that said about them at conference? No.
     
  18. rhydewithdis

    rhydewithdis New Member

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    Just to give you some hope, I have a very good friend who is an IMG from the Caribbean who matched into Ortho with a very substandard background (220ish on both Step 1 & 2). Maybe two publications. He didn't apply for a residency the first time around and chose to continue rotating and doing research. He impressed enough people and had luck on his side and was accepted. Definitely not the norm though.
     
  19. Debridement

    Debridement Member

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    Once again, terrible story. I have an idea. Let's all post on this board of friends of friends that we know who won $10,000 off a scratch lottery ticket. Then we can tell each other to go by tickets.

    Maybe we can act like scientists and take an evidence-based, outcomes-based approach to this instead of telling fairy tales.

    Sheesh.....
     
  20. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    Dude, don't be a dick. No one is saying FMG-matching into ortho is a sure thing. Just that it is possible, but it's a TOUGH road and pretty unlikely.

    I echo the senitments above. If ortho is what you want, go for it. But have a SOLID back-up ready in case it does not pan out.

    I'm an MSIV though...so take what I say w a grain of salt (or several)
     
  21. dawg44

    dawg44 Senior Member

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    I agree and the minute they are known as that they will be flooded with applications for ortho from U.S. trained Students. Ortho was, is and will be one of the absolute toughest places to get a spot. We take 3 a year we had 400 applications, interviewed 12. Alot of times you have beat tremendous odds just to get an interview. I think you will find that wherever you look in ortho
     
  22. IFNgamma

    IFNgamma Junior Member

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    got my step 2 score...242/98, better than I expected, but is it good enough?

    Still debating whether I should apply. I've already submitted apps for general surgery.

    Another thing I was wondering about is applying for 2 specialties at the same hospital. Several students told me it's a big no-no. They all said the program directors talk to each other and they will know u applied for 2 things and that it shows you are indecisive or using the other program as backup. What do you guys think about this? I don't want to screw up my chances for GS if I apply for ortho.

    Thanks!
     
  23. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    DEFINITELY wrong on the first, and probably wrong on the third.
     
  24. moquito_17

    moquito_17 Member

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    My Chairman told me that when he was graduating from medical school, this is what his Dean told him:

    "Well, your grades are average, your scores are unimpressive and your evaluations are middle-of-the-road. Internal medicine and general surgery are out. I think that the best you can hope for is orthopaedics."

    How things have changed...
     
  25. raedslm

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    HI :
    I am Syrian orthopedic surgeon, i graduated from two years ago ,i was the first in national board exam in Syria ,after that two years of working in Ortho in FRANCE ,i made usmle step2=228/92 ,now i am going to step1.
    i don't know if i have a chance for ORTHO residency ,if not for FELLOWSHIP
    i got strong letters of recommendation from my PD in Syria and France.
     
  26. Tired

    Tired Fading away

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    On a related note, is there any equivalent of the TOEFL for prospective foreign students/residents? I'm guessing the answer is no, but God in heaven, there sure as hell should be.
     
  27. dawg44

    dawg44 Senior Member

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    Ortho was ranked by Merritt Hawkins last year as the hardest to recruit specialty in medicine. Starting salaries have jumped 100,000 in the past 5 years. Baby boomers getting older, less residents per year than 10 years ago means extreme competition for spots and continued growth in demand for ortho. That is unless 400 thousand to 1 million dollar a year jobs doesn't motivate any students.
     
  28. VincentAdultman

    VincentAdultman Senior Member
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    Not sure what your point was, other to say that ortho's really competitive right now. It's pretty common knowledge that was not always the case. Also, cyclic as these things are, I would be willing to be that there will be a time when ortho declines in popularity, baby boomers or not.
     
  29. dawg44

    dawg44 Senior Member

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    I would bet that ortho is the last to decline in all of medicine. In the future when most go to walmart or google their diagnosis and see a N.P. for a script, have your MRIs and CT scans read in Bangladesh, or anesthesia done by a CRNA. Ortho is the most insulated of all medical fields, it's going to take along time to make a robot rod a femur and you can't put granny on a plane to India to have her hip fixed.
     
  30. macabi

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    Hi,
    I'm a final year (6th year) medical student from PUCMM, Santiago , Dominican Republic. Currently interested in ENT.
    I'm looking for a funded ENT research fellowship just like the one you said your friend was doing. Any ideas on how to get into one.
    I was offered a 1 year fellowship at Boston Medical Center, but unfortunately there's no stipend and is full time, so I would need to provide board and food for myself for that year, which I cannot afford at the moment.
    I'm also open to doing research in a surgical specialty. I ultimately want to do a surgical specialty residency.
    Thank you for your time. I appreciate any help/input on the matter.
     
  31. danzman

    danzman The Ace of Spades

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    For what its worth, this thread is from 2006. You may have more luck in the ENT forum, or try PMing the author.
     

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