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Should I even apply for fellowship ??

zooplankton

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I graduate from a community (new medical school) program without in-house fellowship in 2018. I am an IMG on H1 visa. I am interested in Pulmonary and critical care fellowship. I only did posters during residency but have not published anything yet (working on two projects currently while working as a hospitalist). I passed CS only on my second attempt. My step 1 was high 250, ck high 260 and step 3 was 240. What are my chances for getting into fellowship? Will my CS-attempt filter my application out?
My biggest red flags are 1. IMG 2. H1 visa (limits me to only 20-30 programs all over the country) 3. CS attempt 4. Not a well known residency program 5. lack of research 6. 3 yr gap since graduating residency
Only plus points are 1. scores 2. passed critical care echo boards

I know the only thing I can work on right now is do more research and try to get many publications. I know I don't enjoy research as much as clinical medicine but will try my best to improve my CV.

What is your honest opinion considering my situation, should I even apply for fellowhip ?
Is it worth pursuing Nephrology fellowship and then apply for 1 year CCM ?
 
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I graduate from a community (new medical school) program without in-house fellowship in 2018. I am an IMG on H1 visa. I am interested in Pulmonary and critical care fellowship. I only did posters during residency but have not published anything yet (working on two projects currently while working as a hospitalist). I passed CS only on my second attempt. My step 1 was high 250, ck high 260 and step 3 was 240. What are my chances for getting into fellowship? Will my CS-attempt filter my application out?
My biggest red flags are 1. IMG 2. H1 visa (limits me to only 20-30 programs all over the country) 3. CS attempt 4. Not a well known residency program 5. lack of research 6. 3 yr gap since graduating residency
Only plus points are 1. scores 2. passed critical care echo boards

I know the only thing I can work on right now is do more research and try to get many publications. I know I don't enjoy research as much as clinical medicine but will try my best to improve my CV.

What is your honest opinion considering my situation, should I even apply for fellowhip ?
Is it worth pursuing Nephrology fellowship and then apply for 1 year CCM ?

I don’t think your application is doomed. In terms of things you listed as red flags, a lot of them are ameliorated by you having proved yourself (completed a residency in the US).

IMG: doesn’t seem to be too much of a deal breaker; plenty of IMGs even at prestigious programs

H1B: yes, limits your range, but still there are enough programs out there that sponsor H1Bs. Are you able to adjust your status before starting ROLs are due?

CS attempt: I know this is an issue for residencies, but I doubt it’s too much of an issue for fellowships. After all, the CS pass on first attempt filter aims to filter out people who don’t have the basic medical/language skills to function in medicine in the US. You obviously proved you can by working as an attending. This may be worth highlighting in a follow up email if you feel places have filtered you out based on that.

Not well known residency: somewhat of a factor, but probably more so in terms of LORs/networking.

Lack of research: doubt that will hold you back. I don’t have much research experience, and part of my motivation for pursuing a fellowship was to get research mentorship. Not everyone enters fellowship with a bunch of first author publications under their belt.

Gap: it’s not like you’ve wasted your time, you’ve been working as an attending!

I’d say apply, and don’t sell yourself short. You are a residency trained, board certified attending with high scores and echocardiography expertise. You bring plenty to the table.
 
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Doctor Bob

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This is going to be a strange year in terms of interviews.

Many places are going to all-virtual interviews. Which makes evaluating someone difficult because all you have to go on is their stats and a zoom conference call.

Applicants may be more inclined to apply everywhere since there's so much more uncertainty.

Because interviews are virtual applicants are likely to accept more interview offers. Why wouldn't they; instead of taking 3 days out of their residency schedule to go visit a place they only have to budget for a bunch of zoom meetings. You could schedule a bunch each day.

Nobody really knows if critical care will be more competitive or less competitive this year because of how the medical landscape has changed due to COVID. Maybe we'll get twice as many applications, maybe half... I'm eager to see how ERAS looks in August when the system opens to programs and I get that first day's wave of dowloads.

The administration (USA) keeps saying they'll limit visas. But... will they really? Or if they do will it affect medical education? Maybe. Maybe not.

All of this mixes together and as a result... we can't give good advice on all of the "what are my chances" threads. There's no precedent to base suggestions on. So... I think the best advice for you has already been given.

If you don't apply you definitely won't get in.

Apply and see what happens.
 

turkeyjerky

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Those are some high step scores. Do people really put a lot of weight in the CS? I would definitely apply. I don't know how competitive pulmonary is though. I hear it can be tough. But you gotta try.

Do USMLE scores really matter for fellowship applications? Asking mostly out of curiosity
 

chocomorsel

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Do USMLE scores really matter for fellowship applications? Asking mostly out of curiosity
Honestly, I doubt it. But I did an Anesthesiolgy CCM fellowship. Where the requirements are, literally a pulse, as they never fill. But I hear Pulm/CCM is competitive.
 
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Doctor Bob

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Do USMLE scores really matter for fellowship applications? Asking mostly out of curiosity
As has been mentioned, for IM-CCM, yes they matter.
I will usually screen out anyone with a step failure because... well.. I have hundreds of applications and only 6 spots so I have to start somewhere. A board failure is low-hanging fruit.

I give far more weight to step 3 than step 2 than step 1 (really for step 1 I just care that you passed it).
 
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