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IMG interested in a competitive Psych residency...

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by wolverine09, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. wolverine09

    7+ Year Member

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    #1 wolverine09, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
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  3. splik

    splik Professional Cat at Large
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    the answer is very few without having done step 2. Almost all the top programs require ECFMG certification before they will interview. how competitive you are is not just dependent on your USMLE scores but also whether you have good LORs and most programs require at least one from a US attending. Many top programs also require you to have done a US elective (and some specify hands on clinical experience NOT observerships etc). Another important factor it seems is showing some commitment to psychiatry in some way, especially as programs know that many IMGs apply to psychiatry because they think it is easier to get into. (This is not true, IM/FM is easier for IMGs) I don't know where you're from but your English fluency, and understanding of US culture are also important. Another factor is whether you need a visa or not.

    The only program that pretty much says 'we won't take IMGs into PGY1' is columbia, but even they have an IMG who did a prelim somewhere else. Stanford say they've not had any IMGs for 'many years' (and it has said that for many years too!) UCLA/NPI is a longshot.

    I am an IMG and am applying to the following 'top' programs: UWash, Penn, Pitt, MGH/McLean, Harvard Longwood, Hopkins, NYU, Yale, Columbia, Mount Sinai, Emory, and Duke and some others.
    - out of these Yale, Duke and Pitt in particular have had lots of IMGs over the years

    In cali - UCSD has a fair few IMGs.

    In sum, it is not true that top programs don't accept IMGs, with the odd exception they are looking for the people they think will make the best psychiatrists and if that happens to be an IMG they will take them.You do however have to be better than a US medical student - at the end of the day residency programs will go with what they know.
     
  4. wolverine09

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    #3 wolverine09, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  5. splik

    splik Professional Cat at Large
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    are you applying this year? If so you need to step 2ck/cs as soon as possible because most programs will not even look at your application without an ECFMG certificate and as an IMG ive been advised to get my app in on 1st september and no later than beginning of october.

    You scored a lot better than me - i got 209/87 for step 1 (245/99 for step 2). so yes your score is good enough but NOT ENOUGH. which is to say no top program will interview you just cos you have a good score - you need to have seriously good LORs, and something else e.g. PhD, research, teaching, publications/presentations, extracurriculars, and shown a genuine interest/commitment to psych. there is also an element of nepotism - people calling up putting in a good word apparently goes a long way.

    Not applying to cambridge - im only applying to academic programs and they only sponsor J1 visas anyway. I get the impression it is a longshot for IMGs (e.g. they say they want 6 months clinical experience in US!)
     
  6. wolverine09

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    #5 wolverine09, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  7. splik

    splik Professional Cat at Large
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    well that changes a few things - if you are still a student you cant get your ECFMG certificate until you graduate. as i said this will significantly limit the number of programs that will consider the application.

    the second thing is i get the impression that not all medical schools are seen as equal. many of the most competitive places could filter you out just because you went to a caribbean school. (they can do what they like).

    If you did all your clerkships in the US your clerkship grades will probably be an important factor.

    Hopefully you will get some interviews but it sounds like you are cutting it a bit fine. step 2ck is a much easier exam than step 1 if you learnt stuff during your clerkships you should be able to do well without too much prep.
     
  8. wolverine09

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    #7 wolverine09, Aug 11, 2011
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  9. pimoa

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    Hi,
    I am an IMG applying for psych.Step 1(225/97),Step 2 CS pass(1st attempt).I got my Step 2 CK today.210/88.
    I have got 3 observerships in US and will get recommendations from them.
    I am very scared with my step 2 score.Do I stand a chance at any program this year, or do you guys think I should pursue research for an year to build up my CV?
    Thanks
     
  10. splik

    splik Professional Cat at Large
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    there is no point being worried about your score, there is nothing you can do about it now. now whilst not brilliant, it is a solid passing score and according to the NRMP survey only 29% of programs had a cut-off for step 2ck and the average step 2ck score that interviews were almost always granted were 209. obviously this is not IMG specific but should be reassuring. (http://www.nrmp.org/data/programresultsbyspecialty2010v3.pdf)

    you have absolutely nothing to lose by applying. if you dont apply this year you will have wasted a year. make sure you apply 1st sep and that all the other parts of your application are in order.

    i dont think doing research is of any direct help to your application. indirectly it can help through tangible outcomes like a good LoR from someone well known or good publications/presentations. given the amount of time it takes to get things published i would suggest asking if there are any papers that need writing including case reports etc, and esp things that can be submitted to conferences e.g. as a poster presentation. you may find someone has been commissioned to write an review article and you could assist with this. letters to the editor are another quick way of getting a publication. whilst not as impressive as a full original research paper it is better than nothing (assuming it is in a decent journal - a rubbish article/letter in a rubbish journal is worse that nothing).
     
  11. cleareyedguy

    cleareyedguy Junior Member
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    I would also emphasize to you (and to anyone) that "observerships" shouldn't be an opportunity to passively observe. Try to see patients independently as much as possible, get aggressive with reading up on specific cases, stay on rounds late, write notes, act curious.

    Residencies may or may not like your research background, but what WORRIES them is the range of clinical acumen demonstrated by IMG's. Fair or not, the stereotype is that some IMG's are very good, while others aren't. This holds true for everyone, everywhere, in everything, of course, but there is a perceived broader range in effort/aptitude among IMG's, and programs are desperately trying to avoid residents who they perceive as risky.

    In other words, Reassurance is Job 1
     
  12. pimoa

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    Thank you for your reply.It was encouraging.I will applying broadly all over the country.I am working on a case report presently in my observership.How else do you think I can work to improve my CV?
    How important would the PS be in obtaining an interview?I have read in some threads that it is more important post interview for matching than pre?
    should I also apply to prelim med and then change to PGY-2?
     
  13. pimoa

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    also do you think , i should give step 3 ASAP to mask my CK score?
    Thanks!
     

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