IMG planning on landing a top radiology program. Can I do it with this roadmap?

Mar 11, 2016
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0
Hi. I'm an international student and I have quite recently begun to seriously consider radiology (in the US, that is). I'm a year 2 and have 4 years until graduation. This gives me a lot of time to prepare for applying abroad. I know that radiology is a highly competitive field, but I feel like if I double down on radiology by year 2, I can make it happen, even at a high level program. I was wondering about a few things though.

There are a lot of fantastic interventional radiologists at my home program. I will start to shadow one next year and plan to eventually turn it into a more clinical observership and an internship eventually. In my home country, rules regarding students touching patients is a bit more lax. With this, by the time I apply for residency, I will probably have a very deep understanding of radiology for a student.

With this plan, I will eventually start to do radiology research (having obtained enough knowledge to do so) and get my name on some publications. On top of that, in my later clinical years I'll go do radiology electives/observerships in the US (Our professor has worked extensively with US physicians and can probably arrange me something). So with this plan, I'm planning on becoming a very competitive applicant with an intense focus on radiology. I'm also planning on taking Step 1 next year to score a good score (will taking Step 1 in year 3, getting a good score and applying for residency 4-5 years later impact me negatively?).

All things considered, if I can execute this roadmap, would you consider me likely to land a top or a high second tier rads program in the US? Or is being an IMG still an almost insurmountable obstacle, like it is in neurosurgery? I recognize that I have to do a prelim year first. Will my competitiveness as a radiology applicant have zero effect on matching the prelim position and should I invest in some internal medicine to land that position as well?

Thanks for the help.
 

Cognovi

Knowledge worker
2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2016
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bit.ly
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Look at the bibliographies of some of the IMGs who are currently at top programs. They have h-indices of at least 5.
 

Rads312

2+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2016
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"There are a lot of fantastic interventional radiologists at my home program. I will start to shadow one next year and plan to eventually turn it into a more clinical observership and an internship eventually. In my home country, rules regarding students touching patients is a bit more lax. With this, by the time I apply for residency, I will probably have a very deep understanding of radiology for a student. "

I don't think having fantastic interventional radiologists at a foreign medical school really will matter much here in the states. You will have to do clinical rotations here in the states, not just observorships. Also, I don't think touching patients really has much to do with your competitiveness for radiology - having a ' deep understanding ' of radiology will depend on hitting radiology texts hard and you won't have time for that as a student.

The most important question really is - are you an american citizen? If you're not, your chances are realistically pretty slim to none. IMG's are a rarity in radiology ( even with citizenship / visa ) - our program has taken 1 in the past 15 years and he had some pretty crazy scores and internationally renowned research.
 

jfgavina

7+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2011
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You should focus on getting US clinical experience in internal medicine and doing radiology research. And aiming for more than 250 step 1 and 260 step 2