QUOTED: Senior IMG applying for residency


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Oct 11, 2006
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What are my chances of getting into a residency in IM or FM if i am 50 year old practicing ophthalmologist from the Philippines. I passed USMLE I & II in 1995 and my ECFMG has expired. Is it worth it to take the USMLE again.

Theoretically, your age should not factor into the question. It is illegal in this country to do so.

Will it anyway? Probably, but I have seen other US medical students your age be successful, so it certainly can be done. It will definitely be an uphill battle, frustrating, and expensive.

You have many hurdles should you decide to pursue this:

1. You need to retake the USMLE's, and do well. The material has changed since 1995, esp on Step 1. In addition, there is the CS portion of the exam which must be completed in the US. I believe that the ECFMG CSA requirement started in 1998, so you did not have this experience in 1995.

2. You presumably graduated from medical school many years ago. Many programs have an upper limit of how long ago you can have graduated from medical school. This will limit your options.

3. Many programs now want recent US clinical experience, which you may not have. Your ophthal experience is not very relevant here, since the overlap with IM/FM is small. This will also limit your options.

4. Visa issues can play a role also, should they apply to you.

5. Although you didn't mention it, your chance of getting an ophthal spot here in the US is very, very small, even if you were to get an IM/FM spot first. If that is your ultimate goal, it is very unlikely.

Good luck with whatever decision you choose.