Will applying 1 year after graduating affect residency match opportunities?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Oct 6, 2021
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hello, I'm new here. I will be graduating med school July 2022. I am a US-IMG looking to match into Gen Surgery or Urology Residency in the US (goal is in Texas). I understand matching is very competitive for IMGs. After looking at the requirements, most programs require 3 Letter of Recommendation (from US based doctors/program directors) and some type of clinical experience in the US is a bonus. I only have 1 LOR from a US doctor.
I feel like my chances of matching are very low, even if I get high Step 1 and 2 scores (I could probably get 245-250 on Step 1), because of my lack of US LOR and clinical experience in the US. (I have plenty of clinical experience outside of the US, could get LOR from program directors outside the US, and also have a few research publications I am working on before I graduate, but it is my understanding that residency programs really only count US LOR and US clinical experience. I am currently conducting research in my social service year of med school under the head of the Urology department in the largest hospital in Mexico)

My question is: Should I take a research/postdoc year after completing med school in order to network, gain US clinical experience, and US LORs? This will probably give me the highest chance to match into surgery. But I know that residency programs also look at how many years it has been since you graduated, and it decreases the chances of matching the longer you wait and if you don't apply right away after graduating. Do the pros outweigh the cons?

All opinions are welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.