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    Its definitely doable to match to top US residencies. There is a UK graduate who ended up doing a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Penn, but he had an insane resume including work at Imperial College with a top CT surgeon there.
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    (Original post by Ct12397)
    Hi just wondering if it's possible to apply directly to residency programmes in the US after graduating medical school? instead of applying for foundation programmes .

    Cheers
    Also requires the cooperation of your university to print out your degree certificate ready for you to be ECFMG certified. Most programs need the certification before match lists are published, which is usually late February (iirc)
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    Is it common for people to do the USMLE exams after graduating? i.e. during F1/F2 or finishing F2 and then taking a year out to do it.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I won't attempt to answer most of these questions as I've not prepared for the USMLEs myself. I just returned from a research year in the US where all of my colleagues were IMGs going through the matching process.

    I guess the obvious time to sit Steps 2CK and CS would be around the time of medical school finals as they aim to test clinical knowledge and skills.

    It might be worth pitching USMLE-specific questions at www.usmle-forums.com.
    Apologies for coming in rather late but i was wondering how you went about gaining a research year in the US?

    I know that there are things like Fulbright and Kennedy scholarships but have also seen that some places advertise year long research placements for students (eg hospital for special surgery with their year long Ortho trauma research fellowship). Did you undertake a specific programme or simply approach a department? Do you think having Step 1 is of benefit in gaining a place on these programmes?

    Additionally, if it isn't too intrusive, could you tell us what your year was like (where you went, how it compared to doing a research year in the UK, what was expected of you, how you matched up against the US students, what your CV was like before/after the year)?

    Apologies for all the questions, it's just something i am quite interested in trying to do post F2.
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    (Original post by plrodham1)
    I know that there are things like Fulbright and Kennedy scholarships but have also seen that some places advertise year long research placements for students (eg hospital for special surgery with their year long Ortho trauma research fellowship). Did you undertake a specific programme or simply approach a department? Do you think having Step 1 is of benefit in gaining a place on these programmes? Additionally, if it isn't too intrusive, could you tell us what your year was like (where you went, how it compared to doing a research year in the UK, what was expected of you, how you matched up against the US students, what your CV was like before/after the year)?
    I was a Fulbrighter but certainly met Knox/Kennedy scholars as well. US research departments need junior researchers and will sometimes advertise funded research fellowships as well. These often attract non-US doctors (e.g. from the Indian sub-continent) who are looking to elbow their way into a residency programme. Just like departments in the UK, some research groups will be sufficiently well-funded to support someone they like even if they hadn't advertised a specific post. I personally would put out feelers well in advance, explain that you are exploring your own funding options, and ask whether there are internal scholarships you could apply for in case these applications aren't successful. Something will come off if you are persistent.

    In terms of competition, you will need a CV that makes someone want to put in the effort to work through visa/funding hurdles with you.*Step 1 probably won't help that much if you're applying for a research year. It might even be better to come across as someone who's generally interested in the research programme rather than just wanting a leg up into US residency. Obviously, if residency is your goal, getting these exams underway soon is a very good idea.

    Fulbright/Kennedy/Knox scholars have usually been quite successful up until that point but most are final year (non-medicine) undergraduates and so you may already have an advantage as a doctor who has had many more years in which to do things. My personal background probably doesn't matter much (we aren't in competition!) but most funding programmes provide scholar profiles on their websites.
    **
    The only potential catches are that Fulbright/Kennedy/Knox explicitly prohibit clinical work - I presume clinical observing is okay but I wouldn't make them nervous by asking about this directly!

    The scholarships also might not completely cover all your costs, depending on your circumstances (e.g. family...) and usual standard of living. Cities such as New York and Boston are particularly expensive. If you are registering for an MPH or something similar then you will gain a lot (as they usually cover course fees) but you are likely to be reduced to student living again...*Friends tell me that it's perfectly possible to complete a Harvard (or something similar) MPH while being involved in an active research programme as well.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I was a Fulbrighter but certainly met Knox/Kennedy scholars as well. US research departments need junior researchers and will sometimes advertise funded research fellowships as well. These often attract non-US doctors (e.g. from the Indian sub-continent) who are looking to elbow their way into a residency programme. Just like departments in the UK, some research groups will be sufficiently well-funded to support someone they like even if they hadn't advertised a specific post. I personally would put out feelers well in advance, explain that you are exploring your own funding options, and ask whether there are internal scholarships you could apply for in case these applications aren't successful. Something will come off if you are persistent.

    In terms of competition, you will need a CV that makes someone want to put in the effort to work through visa/funding hurdles with you.*Step 1 probably won't help that much if you're applying for a research year. It might even be better to come across as someone who's generally interested in the research programme rather than just wanting a leg up into US residency. Obviously, if residency is your goal, getting these exams underway soon is a very good idea.

    Fulbright/Kennedy/Knox scholars have usually been quite successful up until that point but most are final year (non-medicine) undergraduates and so you may already have an advantage as a doctor who has had many more years in which to do things. My personal background probably doesn't matter much (we aren't in competition!) but most funding programmes provide scholar profiles on their websites.
    **
    The only potential catches are that Fulbright/Kennedy/Knox explicitly prohibit clinical work - I presume clinical observing is okay but I wouldn't make them nervous by asking about this directly!

    The scholarships also might not completely cover all your costs, depending on your circumstances (e.g. family...) and usual standard of living. Cities such as New York and Boston are particularly expensive. If you are registering for an MPH or something similar then you will gain a lot (as they usually cover course fees) but you are likely to be reduced to student living again...*Friends tell me that it's perfectly possible to complete a Harvard (or something similar) MPH while being involved in an active research programme as well.
    Thanks for the detailed reply. I will definitely be looking at the fulbright/kennedy scholarships but don't believe i'm a terribly strong candidate for these. Academically i think i am sound but the extra-curriculars that some of these people have is insane!

    I'm definitely not wanting to undertake residency in the US, i'd like to simply undertake a research year and return to hopefully an ACF here. I'll definitely begin to put out some feelers, would you just e-mail the heads of labs or do the US institutions all tend to have research coordinators?

    I'd also taken a look at the Harvard MPH however by reading through their site it seems to be completely module based? Did your friends have to arrange their own research outside of the course?
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    (Original post by plrodham1)
    Academically i think i am sound but the extra-curriculars that some of these people have is insane! Would you just e-mail the heads of labs or do the US institutions all tend to have research coordinators? Did your friends have to arrange their own research outside of the course?
    Still worth keeping Kennedy/Fulbright/etc in mind. They are looking for people that will (a) be good ambassadors between the UK and the US and (b) are likely to go on to be leaders in their fields in the future.

    It would help if you had some idea what you wanted to do (in terms of specialty and research) then read to find out who's doing what and which groups are most prolific. I would definitely favour emailing academics themselves (brief email and short CV) and then following up with their admin teams if/when you don't get a prompt response. Their support will help move along the admin. If you do this far in advance, you can afford to contact one person at a time and leave them some time to respond.

    The Harvard MPH is almost fully taught but fairly light touch. You might spend 2 days in classes and 1/2 day on assignments, which leaves the rest of the week for research.*Harvard is full of research centres and I suspect any of them would provide you with a desk, colleagues, and mentorship if you were undertaking the MPH and interested in their research agenda.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    Still worth keeping Kennedy/Fulbright/etc in mind. They are looking for people that will (a) be good ambassadors between the UK and the US and (b) are likely to go on to be leaders in their fields in the future.

    It would help if you had some idea what you wanted to do (in terms of specialty and research) then read to find out who's doing what and which groups are most prolific. I would definitely favour emailing academics themselves (brief email and short CV) and then following up with their admin teams if/when you don't get a prompt response. Their support will help move along the admin. If you do this far in advance, you can afford to contact one person at a time and leave them some time to respond.

    The Harvard MPH is almost fully taught but fairly light touch. You might spend 2 days in classes and 1/2 day on assignments, which leaves the rest of the week for research.*Harvard is full of research centres and I suspect any of them would provide you with a desk, colleagues, and mentorship if you were undertaking the MPH and interested in their research agenda.
    I think i'll definitely look further into the mph. The Harvard Orthopaedic Trauma research division was actually one of those i was looking at attempting to e-mail as they do a lot of research looking at outcomes following pelvic fractures and bone healing which are the two areas that i am most interested in. In addition they also appear to take international research fellows as a separate position which would be a good way to try and get in should i be unsuccessful (as it has funding).

    Thanks a bunch for taking the time to reply to my questions, it's been very useful!
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    (Original post by plrodham1)
    I think i'll definitely look further into the mph. The Harvard Orthopaedic Trauma research division was actually one of those i was looking at attempting to e-mail as they do a lot of research looking at outcomes following pelvic fractures and bone healing which are the two areas that i am most interested in.
    The Chief of Ortho Trauma at Brigham & Women's Hospital is a nice guy and his equivalent at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) trained in the UK and was an NHS consultant in Leeds before moving to Boston. It's worth sounding one (or both of them in sequence) out early to see if they're in the market for a research fellow. I don't know but suspect that the ortho research scene is a little bigger at MGH, although the ortho trauma guys at the Brigham are very supportive.

    There will also be Professors of Orthopaedic Trauma at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital.*The advantage of MGH/Brigham are that they are part of the same partnership and so you might be able to sniff around both sites if you were pushy.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    The Chief of Ortho Trauma at Brigham & Women's Hospital is a nice guy and his equivalent at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) trained in the UK and was an NHS consultant in Leeds before moving to Boston. It's worth sounding one (or both of them in sequence) out early to see if they're in the market for a research fellow. I don't know but suspect that the ortho research scene is a little bigger at MGH, although the ortho trauma guys at the Brigham are very supportive.

    There will also be Professors of Orthopaedic Trauma at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital.*The advantage of MGH/Brigham are that they are part of the same partnership and so you might be able to sniff around both sites if you were pushy.
    I'm very interested in the stuff they do at Mass Gen and would love to try and go there. I also currently work with the prof who succeeded Raymond Smith at Leeds so hopefully could try and gain an introduction, it seems that in the American system your letters of recommendation play a huge role!

    The Brigham would also be awesome, particularly if their a friendly unit. Did you simply e-mail those you wanted to work with prior to going out?
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    (Original post by plrodham1)
    I'm very interested in the stuff they do at Mass Gen and would love to try and go there. I also currently work with the prof who succeeded Raymond Smith at Leeds so hopefully could try and gain an introduction, it seems that in the American system your letters of recommendation play a huge role! The Brigham would also be awesome, particularly if their a friendly unit. Did you simply e-mail those you wanted to work with prior to going out?
    I emailed directly - perhaps copy in the ortho trauma research administrator/coordinator/manager so that you have someone to harass if you don't get a reply in the first instance?

    You could ask your supervisor to write on your behalf but I suspect "I am a junior doctor interested in orthopaedic trauma and working with Professor G. at Leeds. I hope to spend some time in Boston in XXXX and I am currently exploring options, including the Harvard MPH as well as a standalone one year research fellowship..." would work just as well. Letters of recommendation are important for formal applications in the US but I don't think anyone would object to being contacted directly. It's always possible that the bosses don't get along of course !!*

    You could plan to go anyway if they are keen and (worst case scenario) funding falls apart. There's no reason why you couldn't visit as an observer and then collaborate from the UK.*
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    I emailed directly - perhaps copy in the ortho trauma research administrator/coordinator/manager so that you have someone to harass if you don't get a reply in the first instance?

    You could ask your supervisor to write on your behalf but I suspect "I am a junior doctor interested in orthopaedic trauma and working with Professor G. at Leeds. I hope to spend some time in Boston in XXXX and I am currently exploring options, including the Harvard MPH as well as a standalone one year research fellowship..." would work just as well. Letters of recommendation are important for formal applications in the US but I don't think anyone would object to being contacted directly. It's always possible that the bosses don't get along of course !!*

    You could plan to go anyway if they are keen and (worst case scenario) funding falls apart. There's no reason why you couldn't visit as an observer and then collaborate from the UK.*
    Yeah, i definitely think i'd have to have a chat before assuming that relations are amicable. I definitely wouldn't want to mention names without their knowing.

    Part of the main reason i would like to go is the collaboration (alongside the experience and obvious CV bonus), and these are relationships i would definitely like to maintain as i advanced in my career. I was at the AAOS in March and their seemed to be a sudden surge in the number of large US collaborative studies with 20-30 centres involved. Whilst i'd not been to the AAOS prior to this i'd not read many studies involving this many institutions in so am not sure if this is a recent phenomena or i've simply not read enough papers. I imagine if this is and increasing phenomenon (as it seems to also be in the UK), it won't be long before transatlantic collaboration becomes the norm.

    I know i've said this before but thanks again for all your advise, it has far surpassed anything else i have been able to find online regarding this topic.
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    Would it be a bad idea to take USMLE Step 1 in the summer holiday after the first 2 years of medical school? My 3rd year (BSc year) won't directly be linked to Clinical Medicine and the summer holidays in the later years won't be long enough to accommodate a solid 4 month period of revision.

    Is it absolutely necessary to have experience on wards to take USMLE Step 1?

    An issue is you have to complete all 3 Steps in 7 years
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    (Original post by Hazard82)
    Would it be a bad idea to take USMLE Step 1 in the summer holiday after the first 2 years of medical school? My 3rd year (BSc year) won't directly be linked to Clinical Medicine and the summer holidays in the later years won't be long enough to accommodate a solid 4 month period of revision.

    Is it absolutely necessary to have experience on wards to take USMLE Step 1?

    An issue is you have to complete all 3 Steps in 7 years
    Sorry i am late. In my humble opinion no because the step 1 will have a huge proportion of Pathology, Physiology and Pharmacology. The 3P's as my dad calls em haha, the thing is pathology is usually finished in the first half of third year and it would make sense to sit it at the end of 4th year anyway, mostly because the questions although are basic sciences they are actually pseudo clinical, its just the way they are framed. Also i would recommend intercalating a masters or at least intercalate a clinical degree in your Bsc and try to get published, every student there will have a bachelors degree, that is to say if you are aiming for something competitive like surgery. Best thing to do is still prepare for as much as you can but do not sit the exam.
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    Yes, USMLEs are essential, no way around it. However, just about passing USMLEs (say 200) means that you essentially have a very small chance of securing a job, and I mean tiny. If you guys want to do this, I would suggest you really get on it and make sure you get at least average step 1 scores, otherwise the chances of matching in the same place as IMGs will be pretty low as far as I can see. My friends who are going down the USMLE route are all doing electives in the US.

    Finally, make sure at least one of you is cool with family or internal med, or at worst gen surg. Tiny numbers of IMGs match into the competitive specialties - the stats are out there and for plastics, for example, the mean number of papers per matched IMG applicant was above 10.

    Also be aware of the visa requirements and know how you want to approach this. J1 requires STEP3 I believe, H1B is very quickly oversubscribed and needs a lot of planning.
    IMG = international medical graduate, which you guys are.
    If someone is being sponsored for a H-1B visa by a company which is s a non-profit entity that's related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education then the application will be exempt from any yearly limits.
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    (Original post by Bezoar)
    Hi there,

    Currently a first year medical student I (know it's early days but these things need planning!) seriously contemplating doing the USMLEs after talks with various doctors and medical students.

    A bit of research into it taught me that these exams are extremely expensive, and very intense - and because US graduates are given priority for residency places, realistically I need to be scoring very highly if I want to get into a decent place if and when the time comes. I don't want to spend all that money on these exams and only get a mediocre score (and therefore a mediocre residency).

    Has anyone here taken the USMLEs or currently in the process of taking them?
    If so, I have a few questions:

    1) How did you save up the money to pay for them?
    2) How long in advance did you study for each step?
    3) What year of medical school / training did you take each step?
    4) What textbooks and resources did you use?
    5) What general advice do you have for someone thinking of taking them?

    Thanks in advance
    Hi!

    Bit late to this thread but just thought I'd add my experience in the hopes that it is helpful to someone out there.
    I graduated from medical school in the UK and moved to the US for residency a few years ago after F1/F2.

    Actually, think you are doing a great job by planning ahead, it is always better to keep your options open!
    Doing well on the USMLEs is very important, although many factors go into a good residency application, your USMLE score is certainly heavily weighted.

    In answer to your questions:

    1) I saved money by working a part time job during my holidays at uni. I also took the last past of step 2 (Step 2 CS the most expensive one) while I was an F1, so I had a little more income at that time.

    2) I studied for Step 1 for 4 months, Step 2 CK about the same and Step 2 CS about 1 month.

    3) I took Step 1 during my last year of med school (actually wish I had taken it earlier because the material was more in line with my pre-clinical years), Step 2 CK also in the last year of med school and Step 2 CS during F1 year.

    4) I used all the Kaplan books, the First Aid book and did THOUSANDS of questions (literally) on UWorld Qbank. The USMLE and Student doctor forums are helpful for getting more advice on this from people currently preparing to take the exams.

    5) Don't take them till you feel really ready. There isn't a way to repeat them to get a better score unless you fail and since you are paying all this money and taking all this time out of your life to study for them, you want to get the best score you possibly can.

    I am certainly no expert but I am happy to answer any questions about my experience of moving to the US, getting in to residency etc.

    All the best!
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    I know this thread is mainly about practising in the US, but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with getting a residency job in Canada after finishing med school in the UK? Currently looking into it and I think I have most of the process down, but would love to hear from someone who has done this.
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    Anyone has any idea about how competitive it is for IMGs to get a residency post in US for O&G, paeds, or General surgery?
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    (Original post by DCMed96)
    Anyone has any idea about how competitive it is for IMGs to get a residency post in US for O&G, paeds, or General surgery?
    Hi!

    Obviously, i'll preface this whole comment by saying that it is hard for IMGs to get any residency positions but from my experience, general surgery isn't too competitive (relative to surgical specialties). In fact, there have tended to be quite a few unfilled general surgery positions during the main match in recent years, which are then filled during SOAP (previously known as the scramble). The majority are preliminary positions, but a good portion of these will go on to categorical PGY2 positions. I know a few UK and non-UK grads who have got these positions, one went on to do a plastics fellowship.
    The surgical specialties, ENT, ophthalmology etc are incredibly competitive for IMGs, (although I did meet a plastics resident from the UK, and ENT residents from Colombia and Mexico, so I suppose it isn't impossible!)
    The important thing about applying to general surgery, is time since graduation, they tend to want people who are more recent graduates, this year I heard some programs won't take graduates who are more than 2 years post graduation. Important to bear in mind if you are thinking about doing F1/F2 prior to applying.
    Not sure about O&G or paeds.

    If you google "NRMP outcomes of the match for international medical graduates" you'll be able to see useful information about how many IMGs matched in various specialties as well as the characteristics of those who matched.
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    (Original post by Momo2810)
    Sorry i am late. In my humble opinion no because the step 1 will have a huge proportion of Pathology, Physiology and Pharmacology. The 3P's as my dad calls em haha, the thing is pathology is usually finished in the first half of third year and it would make sense to sit it at the end of 4th year anyway, mostly because the questions although are basic sciences they are actually pseudo clinical, its just the way they are framed. Also i would recommend intercalating a masters or at least intercalate a clinical degree in your Bsc and try to get published, every student there will have a bachelors degree, that is to say if you are aiming for something competitive like surgery. Best thing to do is still prepare for as much as you can but do not sit the exam.
    Point taken, I'm now thinking about doing a Physiology or Neuroscience IBSc which should be clinically focused enough. The only concern I have about sitting USMLE Step 1 after 4th year is that the summer between 4th and 5th year is only about 4 weeks, whilst the summer between 3rd and 4th year is about 3 months.

    Do the pros of completing 4th year outweigh the longer summer holiday after 3rd year? Can the "pseudoclinical knowledge" needed for USMLE Step 1 not be learned within 3 months?

    I understand everyone's different but I just want to know if the route I'm suggesting is realistic
 
 
 
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