derm83

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I am an IMG applying to Radiology next year but I'd like to do 1-2 years or research so that I can be more competitive.

I'd like to start contacting programs for research but I'm wondering what things I should be looking at in a program:

1. A program that takes a substantial number of residents(eg 10)

2. A top tier program which might make more competitive for other programs VS a low tier program where I might have chance matching into.

3. A place where multiple adjacent programs exists (eg Texas Medical Center) so that I have more chances.

4. Research with the PD or chief.

5. IMG-friendly state vs geographically undesired state.

On another note, do you believe 1-2 years of research will make me competitive enough to land a spot? (Non-US IMG, Step 1 99/230+, 2 months of USCE)

I'd appreciate any input.
 

Long Dong

My middle name is Duc.
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You sure you don't want derm? Something about your name made me think otherwise.
 

lapooh

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I would say go for the most top-tier research gig that you can find. Research at big name academic place tends to make you attractive to the mid tier academic programs as well. How much research will help depends on much much you are able to get out in terms in publications from it. Research should definitely help for radiology, even AMGs going into Radiology tend to have atleast some research experience.You would also do well with stellar reccos from your mentors.
Other things being equal, it might be a good idea to go for a place that has multiple programs, like TMC, because you will be able to network with more people. That might help you get interviews at those places.

With added research, you should be competitive for radiology. But I am no expert myself, just know a lot of radiology-crazy people .

For radiology, you might get more expert help on Aunt-minnie forums.
 

dragonfly99

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Agree with above advice, but I also think you should investigate on the NRMP web site to see what %age of radiology spots are filled by non-US seniors. This category includes US DO graduates, US citizen IMG's, and FMG's. The NRMP has a match report that lists the %age of people like this matching into spots in various specialties (all of them, really, so you can look it up and see how many FMG's matched into radiology). I would look this up before you launch yourself into a year or two of research.

I don't think your plan is bad, but I wouldn't do it unless you realize that despite doing the research you might not be able to get a radiology spot. Have a backup plan (either doing something like IM here in the US, or returning to your country to do radiology residency, etc.). There are quite a few US students with high USMLE I score who don't get radiology, so it's not a sure thing.
 
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derm83

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I don't think your plan is bad, but I wouldn't do it unless you realize that despite doing the research you might not be able to get a radiology spot. Have a backup plan (either doing something like IM here in the US, or returning to your country to do radiology residency, etc.). There are quite a few US students with high USMLE I score who don't get radiology, so it's not a sure thing.
I wholeheartedly agree. This is actually what's holding me back. I have the chance to match into IM this year, so it would be so frustrating if I fail to match into Rads 2 years from now and then go back to IM.
 

dragonfly99

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Alternative would be do IM now, and apply for radiology in a couple of years from now, having proved yourself clinically in the US. It might not help your rads application that much, however.

This all depends on your level of risk tolerance. Honestly, a year or two is not that long in the grand scheme of things. Even if you don't get the rads spot, you'll end up learning a lot about radiology that other IM residents won't know. Most of you all (FMG's) are quite young anyway, so even if you end up having to do IM you will probably still be younger than a lot of the US trainees...it's just a question of how you want to spend your time in the next couple of years, and how much risk you are willing to take on for uncertain benefit.
 
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derm83

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Alternative would be do IM now, and apply for radiology in a couple of years from now, having proved yourself clinically in the US. It might not help your rads application that much, however.
I believe it's not allowed to change specialities on J visa after PGY1, so I may get stuck forever in IM.

This all depends on your level of risk tolerance. Honestly, a year or two is not that long in the grand scheme of things. Even if you don't get the rads spot, you'll end up learning a lot about radiology that other IM residents won't know. Most of you all (FMG's) are quite young anyway, so even if you end up having to do IM you will probably still be younger than a lot of the US trainees...it's just a question of how you want to spend your time in the next couple of years, and how much risk you are willing to take on for uncertain benefit.
This is very nicely said. It's all about how much risk I'm willing to take. I'm really torn between the idea of "go for what you like no matter what/how long it takes" and the idea of "be realistic".

And yes, I'm gonna still be relatively young even 2 years from now.
 

dragonfly99

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I didn't mean bail out on IM after 2 years...have to apply for rads 2 years in advance, so I meant apply for rads during PGY2 IM, and then start rads (if you get in) after done with IM PGY3. Doing 2 years rads research would probably help your application more, though.
 
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derm83

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Yes, I also believe research would be more helpful.