QUOTED: Is age plus being an IMG a limiting factor?


Pastafarians Unite!
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Oct 11, 2006
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Dear All,

I am an "old" IMG (in terms of age), started studying medicine in "my thirties" and graduated two years ago. Afterwards I did my MPH and some research.

So far I didn't yet started with my preparations for USMLE, got some USCE ( 2 months) in 2002 with a LoR and was overwhelmed by the excellence of education, team work and dealing with patients.

My goal is to do a residency in the United States preferably in pediatrics but I am permanently wondering wheather my age (over fourty) plus the fact that I am an IMG lacking of clinical experience in my home country would limit my chances rigorously.

It is surely encouraging that U.S. Federal law forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, among others... but is it striktly followed in reality?

I would highly appreciate some feedback wheather there is a fair chance of getting a residency position in pediatrics from your point of view.

Many thanks in advance. I really appreciate your kind effort and help in this excellent forum.

Best wishes!

As you mention, it is illegal for PD's to consider age as part of the matching process. In fact, the ERAS program allows us to "block" your birthdate and age, so that we can't see it or screen/filter on it. Of course, by reviewing your CV it may become obvious that you are an older student (i.e. a previous career). I have had several residents in their late 30's or 40's, and have not noticed more problems with older residents. If you were >50, people might wonder about your ability to take overnight call, or about how long you would be able to practice after graduating.

Lack of clinical experience in your own home country is not usually a big deal. USCE is much more important. Your USCE is quite old and may not be perceived of much value now, although it depends what you did. If you have not had any clinical experience since graduating from school, that may be a bigger problem than your age.

If you score well on the USMLE's, possibly get some additional "refresher" USCE, and apply broadly you are likely to get some interviews for pediatrics, which is relatively non competitive these days.

Good luck!