Hello everyone, I would be very grateful if I could get some advice regarding my move to US and GI fellowship training! I am an UK grad currently in training in the UK (1st year resident). Due to my family circumstances it has become apparent that it would be best for me to move to US and continue my training there. My chosen specialty is obviously, GI, and I heard that GI is very competitive in America and that IMGs usually don't stand a chance due to limited number of spots. Now, since medical school I'd never thought about doing anything else, so I have to make this work somehow. I am planning to leave the training here so that I can study full time for USMLEs, but problem is, unfortunately I will have about 2 years gap in my career due to this (1st year will be spent on studying, and in 2nd year I will be attending for interviews / US externships...etc). Now I know that a gap in CV is never good, so I was thinking about doing a part time research degree (MS) while studying for USMLEs. Few days ago though, I have been informally offered to do a basic science PhD (not really GI related, but more GIM) here in the UK (which would take me 3-4 years max). I never thought about this option until now but thinking about it, I could finish my USMLEs while doing PhD and apply for residency 2 years later than I originally planned. This has pros and cons though, Pros - Publications (I currently only have one with 3rd authorship, and a national poster presentation) - Intense research training which would be invaluable later in my career (academic faculty is my ultimate goal) - I will be funded so I don't need to worry about make living Cons - I will be older! - I will have huge gap in my clinical training which could be considered big minus for PDs - Not ideal time to do PhD as I am yet unsure of which GI area interest me the most What do you guys think? Would it be better for me to focus on exams and get to IM residency asap or spend 2 more years here and get a PhD before applying? Would having a PhD will significantly improve my chance of getting into GI fellowship spot or is this just waste of time? Thanks so much for your time and advice - much appreciated!