AgentRaiden88

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2013
6
0
Status
Hello friends,

The title says it all: An IMG, I passed the USMLE Step 1 seven years ago and due to personal circumstances [parent's death], I had to take a sabbatical from medical school. I finished all coursework in 2014, however, I was unable to formally graduate due to financial constraints.

Now that things are financially better for me, I am getting back in the game and will officially graduate this year, having repeated IM clinical clerkship in the US. I was happy to repeat a semester since this counts as 3 months of USCE and have planned to take my Steps again shortly, with additional USCEs.

However, I have had a foreboding thought that the second attempt of Step 1 will greatly deter my residency application, given that many programs apply auto-filters to weed out applications with multiple attempts, regardless of the reason [i.e. fail or expiration of score]. I called ECFMG and they said that while indeed it will count as a second attempt, programs will be able to see on my file that this was because of my score's expiration and not because I failed, which may help.

I am not convinced though, I think my application will get axed at many placed and this will drastically reduce my chances of matching...

Any thoughts? Words of comfort?

I am aiming to apply to both IM and FM programs [around 250] in Sept 2018 for the 2019 match.

My creds so far: 3 posters, 4 publications, a global health Master's degree, plenty of global health and volunteer work experience [during those years when I was off medical school], 3 months USCE [clinical clerkship in IM] to-date and plan to do 2-3 more [observerships/externships]. YOG 2017.

Thank you!!
 

AnalisCanalis

5+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2013
149
116
Status
Medical Student
Hello friends,

The title says it all: An IMG, I passed the USMLE Step 1 seven years ago and due to personal circumstances [parent's death], I had to take a sabbatical from medical school. I finished all coursework in 2014, however, I was unable to formally graduate due to financial constraints.

Now that things are financially better for me, I am getting back in the game and will officially graduate this year, having repeated IM clinical clerkship in the US. I was happy to repeat a semester since this counts as 3 months of USCE and have planned to take my Steps again shortly, with additional USCEs.

However, I have had a foreboding thought that the second attempt of Step 1 will greatly deter my residency application, given that many programs apply auto-filters to weed out applications with multiple attempts, regardless of the reason [i.e. fail or expiration of score]. I called ECFMG and they said that while indeed it will count as a second attempt, programs will be able to see on my file that this was because of my score's expiration and not because I failed, which may help.

I am not convinced though, I think my application will get axed at many placed and this will drastically reduce my chances of matching...

Any thoughts? Words of comfort?

I am aiming to apply to both IM and FM programs [around 250] in Sept 2018 for the 2019 match.

My creds so far: 3 posters, 4 publications, a global health Master's degree, plenty of global health and volunteer work experience [during those years when I was off medical school], 3 months USCE [clinical clerkship in IM] to-date and plan to do 2-3 more [observerships/externships]. YOG 2017.

Thank you!!
The second attempt may filter you out at some places, but more importantly you have additional red flags that I think are probably more worrisome to program directors. Are you a US citizen? This may improve your chances of matching, which otherwise are frankly not that good.
 
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AgentRaiden88

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2013
6
0
Status
The second attempt may filter you out at some places, but more importantly you have additional red flags that I think are probably more worrisome to program directors. Are you a US citizen? This may improve your chances of matching, which otherwise are frankly not that good.
Thank you for your feedback. I am not a US citizen or GC. I understand that the long gap is a huge red flag; I am focusing on acing the USMLEs in the 240-250 range, and also looking into having more clinical experience in the US and research, which may help. Yes, it will be an uphill battle, gulp! I will give it all and hope for the best.
 
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sb247

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Thank you for your feedback. I am not a US citizen or GC. I understand that the long gap is a huge red flag; I am focusing on acing the USMLEs in the 240-250 range, and also looking into having more clinical experience in the US and research, which may help. Yes, it will be an uphill battle, gulp! I will give it all and hope for the best.
Did you have a 240 the first time?

Is that actually realistic or just a "goal"?
 
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AgentRaiden88

5+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2013
6
0
Status
Did you have a 240 the first time?

Is that actually realistic or just a "goal"?
I scored 225 in the first attempt; 240+ is my goal for the subsequent attempt. I have started on a solid study plan and will gauge how close I am to the goal with the NBMEs and the UW SAs before I do the real thing, which will hopefully be in Dec 2017. However, I will go ahead with the exam only when I see consistent high scores on the assessments, given that this will essentially make-or-break my shot at obtaining a residency position.
 
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