You’re an international medical graduate, done with USMLE Step 1, and planning on the rest of the steps. Now what? Everyone knows how crucial LORs (Letters of Recommendation) are when it comes to your application. Not only that, American LORS are virtually essential. How does an IMG earn those?
For me it was fairly simple. I went to Medclerkships and it was pretty much effortless from there. They provided a list of various clinical specialities, along with the locations. I chose a month of Internal Medicine in Brooklyn, NY and Family Medicine in NJ. For Internal Medicine, we got hands on clinical opportunities, along with hospital experience.
The Family Medicine externship was a real game changer for me. Students, normally, tend to choose FM as a backup plan. I was one of those. It was only after Medclerkship’s FM externship that I decided I wanted to pursue this as a career. I have no words for how enriching this experience was! Getting to work one on one with a Family Medicine Physician, taught me so much more than I could’ve imagined. For that one month, you get to step into the shoes of an American MD and get a glimpse of what it’d be like to practice in the USA.
So you’ve done your clinical externships and gotten those LORS. How do you really stand out amongst the thousands and thousands of graduates that are applying for the match, though? The more diverse the resume, the higher the chances of one matching. Medclerkships helps out with that, too. It’s not only clinical externships they offer, but research opportunities, as well. Each student is assigned a mentor, who is an American MD. This MD guides the student personally through the entire process of working on a research paper. This is a very complex process, and for someone who hasn’t done this before, it can be rather difficult. However, the MD whom I was working with, made it seem so simple. As an IMG getting to work, on a research paper, alongside an Amercian MD is virtually impossible, and this is where your application will really stand out.
There were two types of research offered. The first one was a paper which is published in an American Medical Journal, and the second was writing board type questions for a Qbank website being developed for students. The latter is something you cannot find anywhere. This is research and education in one. One gets to study research papers in order to compose board type questions.
Imagine telling your program directors you not only gave your steps, but wrote the questions for future students as well!
So basically, all you have to do is ace your steps and let Medclerkships handle the rest. They have a brilliant team of advisors and MDs, willing to do whatever it takes to help IMGS achieve their dreams of practicing in the States. Not only that, but they offer career counselling. This includes: how to go about the match application, interviews, and etc. They really do go the whole nine yards.
It’s tough as it is being an IMG, you must do whatever you can to get an edge above others. Getting good scores won’t suffice, and even if you haven’t gotten great scores, don’t give up. You can always increase your chances by going that extra mile. Get your LORs (Letter of Recommendation), get a paper published, do whatever it takes to get in!
I too was an IMG with no American experience whatsoever. Now a few months later, here I am with 3 LORS, one research paper, and published board questions on the Qbank webpage. I only have Medclerkships to thank for that!
If I can do it, you can too.