IMG residency candidates have to recognize and tackle many additional factors throughout their unique residency application process.
USMLE exams must be taken with enough time to apply to programs and/or qualify for the Main Residency Match and Post-Match. Additionally, depending on the specialty of choice, certain score levels will be required.
Many program require, or prefer to see some amount of hands-on clinical experience completed in a US medical environment. This can often be in the form of Externships, Clerkships, Internships, sub-Internships, and any clinical rotations performed in the US.
In order to have the strongest ERAS residency application, IMG residency candidates must obtain Letters of Recommendation that are recent (within a year of application), specialty specific, and from US clinical experience. Other Letters of Recommendation may be considered, but not as strong.
Writing the perfect Personal Statement is vital for an IMG’s residency application as the document serves as an introduction to Program Directors and Residency Interview Committees. The right Personal Statement focuses on dedication to one specialty and demonstrates strong English proficiency, medical knowledge, and positive skills and personality traits.
Letters of Recommendation and Personal Statements are very important considerations for the overall strength of any IMG ERAS Application. However, IMGs should not underestimate the significance of the other supporting documents in the residency application. Other documents include the MSPE, Medical School and USMLE Transcripts, MyERAS Common Application, etc.
Conducting proper research can be the key to an IMG’s success in obtaining interviews and Matching. IMGs must research IMG friendly states, IMG friendly medical specialties, and most importantly, IMG friendly programs. IMGs are expected to research individual programs to ensure those programs meet their potential visa needs, ECFMG Certification timeline, USMLE scores, and more. By researching programs, IMGs increase their chances of getting interviews to Match.