Most Popular Specialties for IMGs in the 2017 Match


And what about the most difficult.....

Category: Match

Most Popular Specialies for DO students in the 2017 Allopathic Match

Category: Match

Match Strategy

****  Want to know what residency directors ****

****  are looking for in US Grads?  Criteria  ****

The key to Matching is to make yourself the best candidate that you can!

Scores:  Obviously are a big deal. Great scores, open doors!  You only have one chance... so ROCK the exams.  260 baby! 

US clinical experience:  Critical for making connections, getting letters, and impressing the right people.  Sometimes it's all about who you know! 

Visa Status:  Hard to change so start researching the programs that give the H1 visa.  They are the most competitive programs so get yourself into those hospitals and show them your skills.

Gaps:  Again hard to control so make sure to use that time to productively if possible.  Be ready to explain on the interview.

Letters of Recommendation:  You want 3 good ones.  US preferably with at least one from the specialty that you are applying to!   Residency directors and chairmen are the best.

Personal statement:  Students stress the most about this... and the program directors put the least weight on it.  Show it to as many good english speakers as you can.  Don't copy from someone else... they can find out.  Cut out the BS and use concrete examples. One page, 4 paragraphs at most! 

Research:  Important for competitive specialties such as Derm, Plastics, Neurosurg, etc.  Most important... is who you meet and impress during your time there.

Application:  Don't wait till the last minute!  

Interviews:  You only get one chance to make a good impression.  Make sure to read my interview tips!

Good Hunting!  I'll be rooting for you!

 Dr. Barone


Copyright ©2013 Thunderpath Media Inc.

Category: Match

Here's two neat little guides which give a basic overview of the Match process:

Strolling through the Match 2016-2017

Roadmap to Residency:

From Application to the Match and Beyond



Category: Match

Average Yearly Salary of a Resident

Yes!  You worked so hard to match and you got your residency spot!!! Congratulations!!! 

Here's what you've working so hard to get... the average yearly salary for residents:

Read more: Average Yearly Salary of a Resident

Category: Match

Probability of Matching based on USMLE Scores and Attempts

Here's some interesting data about the probability of an IMG matching in their preferred specialty based on their USMLE score!

Read more: Probability of Matching based on USMLE Scores

Category: Match

Probability of Matching based on the number of USMLE Attempts

Here's some interesting data about the probability of an IMG matching in their preferred specialty based on the number of exam attempts!

Read more: Probability of Matching based on the number of USMLE Attempts

Category: Match

2014 Match Results

I Like this Trend!!!


In which specialties did IMG's Match?

Which are the most competitive specialties for IMG applicants?

What are you going to do to make sure that you are one of the matched?


Category: Match

Summary of Findings:


> Everyone has a Shot!

Residency programs don't base their interview decisions solely on USMLE step 1 scores.   Students with weaker Step 1 scores actually submitted fewer applications per interview received compared to students with solid or marginal scores.   Residency program interest in students is multifactorial and depends on more then just scores.


> Don't miss opportunities to market yourself!

IMG's who didn't attend all interviews missed important opportunities to match.


> If you Dance (interview) you have a chance!

Non-matching applicants didn't rank all the programs they interviewed at.   A small number IMG's would have matched if they had ranked programs that ranked them.


> If you like it put a rank on it!

Non-matching applicants didn't rank all the programs they would be willing to attend.


Mistakes that non-matching applicants were more likely to make:

  • Failed to rank all the programs they would be willing to attend.

  • Failed to rank a mix of competitive and less competitive programs.

  • Ranked programs that didn't interview them.  Applicants will not match at programs that they have not had an interview.

  • Ranked programs based on their likelihood of matching rather then preference.


Here's what you should do to be successful:  Rank List Advice

Source: “Understanding the Interview and Ranking Behaviors of Unmatched International Medical Students and Graduates in the 2013 Main Residency Match” Journal of Graduate Medical Education, December 2015; 610-615

Category: Match

Successful IMG Traits

Here are some findings from the latest NRMP/ECFMG Bulletin:




Category: Match

Advice for making your Rank List

Here's some advice for making your Rank List based on match data and information from students who have been successful in matching:



1. "If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it!"

Rank all of the programs that you really want, regardless of your chances of matching in those programs. 



2. "To rank or not to rank... that is the question"

Don't rank any program from which you wouldn't accept a match position.  After interviewing, if you know that you would be miserable working at the program then that's a good reason not to rank.  If on the other hand, you don't like it as much as the other programs then you should still rank it. Always ask yourself, "Would matching at this program be worse then not matching?"





3.  "They want me!"

Rank all of the programs that have expressed an interest in you and that you would accept a position from. 

But don't use 'expressed interest' to make your rank order. Rank order should always be based on your personal preference for a program and not what people promise you!



4. "Go for your dreams!"


Rank Order:  I always recommend that students rank the programs that they want in the order that they want them!

Put your 'dream' programs first!!! The match algorithm is weighted towards the applicant. Go with your gut!  Where do you think you will be the happiest?  Consider which attributes of a program are most important to you:  location, specialty, academic vs. community, name, feeling of the program on the interview, etc.




5. "Mix it up!"


You must rank a mixture of both highly competitive and less competitive programs and specialties to have the best chance of a successful match.  I have seen students with great board scores not match because they only rank the best programs.  It's critical to rank some 'safety' programs that you would accept a position at.




6. Always have a back-up Plan


Are you applying for a competitive specialty?

Scores lower then you’d like?

Got some red flags on the application?

You should seriously consider having a "back-up" specialty. Things have gotten very competitive. It’s not unusual for students to apply to several different specialties.  Remember to only apply to specialties that you would be happy doing and not just because they are easier to get into!!! Rank the specialty programs that you want the most first and then the back-up specialty programs next.



7. "Size matters!"

On average, students who matched had longer match lists then students who didn't match.  Hmmm.... it pays to have a long list! 

The more competitive the specialty, the longer your list should be.


8. "Making a list and checking it twice"

Make your list.  Sleep on it overnight.  Look over your rank list several times. 



9.  "Let it go!"

Let it go... let it go!  Release your positive intentions in the universe... and then certify your rank list!

Remember to certify before the deadline!

Rank order lists must be certified by 9:00 PM ET. on February 22th 2017!!!



10. "The Waiting Game!"

Congratulations on playing the 'Match game'.  Now it's out of your hands!  Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match!

March 13th 2017 Victory Day  - Applicants find out if they matched!

March 17th 2017 Match Day  - Applicants find out where they matched!



"Good Luck & May the match be with you!" - Dr. Barone



Category: Match

Residency Application Advice from Dr. Conrad Fischer

Medical Residency : Secrets of Success Series. Hosted by Dr. Frank Noto.


Conrad Fischer's Advice to Medical Students

CFI01:   How should I choose a medical specialty?

CFI02:  How important are the USMLE scores?

CFI03:  How hard is it to get High USMLE scores?

CFI04:  Which USMLE step is the most important?

CFI05:  How important is VISA status for obtaining a medical residency?

CFI06:  When should I submit my application for residency?

CFI07:  What other application tips can you offer?

CFI08:  Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

CFI09:  What else can I do to improve my chances of matching?

CFI10:  Should I PreMatch or go thru the Match?

CFI11:  What about the SOAP?

CFI12:  What do you look for in an applicant?

CFI13:  What are application RED FLAGS?

CFI14:  Does taking time off to study for the USMLE hurt my application?

CFI15:  How do I write the best Personal Statement?

CFI16:  How do programs select candidates for interviews?

CFI17:  The Interview and Final Thoughts

Click "Read more" to view the videos:

Watch the Videos Here: Conrad Fischer Interviews

Category: Match

Rock the Couples Match


1. Why should you consider the couples match?

You wanna stay close to your 'boo'!!!  of course! 

The most common reason to enter a couples match is to ensure that if you match you will match together at programs that you choose in the same geographic area. Let's face it, long distance relationships are a strain. :(


2. Is there a downside to this ability to match together?

The downside is that it is a bit harder to get the best programs because you need both partners to match. You also have to make sure to enter a lot of combinations. For example if one partner is a stronger applicant then the other and they want to be in an area that is competitive... if the program likes the stronger partner but not the weaker one.... neither will match there. :( So the stronger candidate will miss out on that competitive program which they would have matched at if they applied separately. Oh the sacrifices we make for our loved ones. So make sure to enter many combinations.


3. Does it matter that we want different specialties?

Not at all. You can apply to as many specialties as you both want. In general, the more competitive the specialties you are applying to, the more difficult it is to successfully couple match.   The key is to be very flexible, have lots of back up choices, and be willing to compromise to stay together.


4. Who can participate in the couple's match?

Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, significant others, insignificant others, partners, siblings, friends, beer buddies... anyone can enter the couples match.


5. How does it work exactly?

Check out the Tutorial Video to see how it works!  And read more on the NRMP website.


Here's some experience from a successful Couples Match in the 2016 Match:


For us it actually worked better than applying as singles. We both had very good board scores.

When I received any invitation, I contacted the program for her and she did the same for me.  So we doubled the number of interviews!  We attended all common interviews together at the same day.  It was a good point and it helped us to be remembered by the PD.

At one program , they only invited me and didn't invite her despite my e mail . But when I went for interview and they liked me, I told the PD about her and he sent her invitation immediately and she went for another day. We were scared of couples match but it worked better than if we applied individually. I will be glad to help anyone in the process of couples match.

Most of the interview's discussion was about our story and how we met and our plans in the future.

A. Z.  March 16, 2016


I will say this: think very carefully about couples matching - my SO and I thought we could but we only had one interview in common between us!

A.B. March 16, 2016



I will add this, as my husband and I were successful with the couples match. Don't forget that you don't necessarily have to get interviewed and match at the same exact hospital. You can create a general area with multiple hospitals instead. Example would be a city like Cleveland, Pittsburg, or Philadelphia where there are multiple hospitals within very reasonable driving distances. Doing the couples match like this multiplies your rank combination choices exponentially.

K.M. MArch 16, 2016


Category: Match

"No SOAP for You!"

Here's some depressing data from the NRMP!



As you can see, the success rates for IMGs to match in the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program® (formerly known as the scramble) is abysmal!!!!

This should give you even more motivation to make sure to Match! 


While these SOAP match rates are aweful, there have been success stories so learn from those who have made it:


Source: Results and Data 2014 Main Residency Match® and

Category: Match

Residency Director Series

Here are the answers to key questions about matching from three current Residency Directors:

RD1 = What traits do you look for in a resident?

RD2 = What initial criteria do you use in evaluating applications?

RD3 = What about students with multiple attempts at the steps?

RD4 = What about applying with a missing score?

RD5 = How about applying to multiple specialties?

RD6 = How will the rising number of US grads affect IMG's chances of matching?

RD7 = How can IMG's increase their chances of matching?

RD8 = What counts as US clinical experience (USCE)?

RD9 = What are some application RED FLAGS?

RD10 = Does it matter how long it takes to take the Step exams?

RD11 = What are letter of recommendation RED FLAGS?

RD12 = How important is clinical research?

RD13 = How important is it for IMG's to have US clinical experience?

RD14 = How important is it to go into the match early?

RD15 = What do you look for on the interview?

RD16 = What kind of questions should I expect on the interview?

RD17 = What about "Thank You" letters?

RD18 = What about "Second Looks"?

RD19 = How do you Rank applicants?

RD20 = How important is the interaction with residents, nurses, and staff on the interview?

RD21 = What advice do you have for Unmatched applicants?

Read more: Residency Director Series

Category: Match

Dear Program Director

With the way that this years match has been going, it's time to take things into our own hands and make them an offer they can't refuse! 

Read more: An Offer They Cant Refuse

Category: Match

2013 Match Results



Source: Results and Data 2013 Main Residency Match - NRMP


Category: Match

Visiting Electives for IMGs and US Students

Here's a few links to visiting rotations.  These are primarily for students IMG or US who are still in medical school.  Remember, you want to impress the heck out of them and rub the right elbows!  

Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, CA

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, CA

USC Keck School of Medicine, CA

Mayo Clinic, MN

University of Miami SOM / Jackson Memorial, FL

Johns Hopkins SOM, MD

Mount Sinai SOM, NY

University of Texas Medical School at Houston, TX

University of Pittsburgh SOM, PA

Duke University SOM, NC

The hardest thing is getting in the hospital.  If you are still in medical school, that's the best time to do an "audition elective"!

Good luck Hunting!


Category: Match

Here's more reasons that you must Rock your Step exams:

Results of the 2010 NRMP Program Director Survey

Read more: Motivation from the NRMP

Category: Match

Here are the Top selection criteria as stated by Residency Directors:

Read more: Resident Selection Criteria #2

Category: Match
FREIDA Online – Residency Program Search
This is a great resource to find out about residency and fellowship programs.  In the left hand column, click on “Residency Fellowship Training Program Search”.  You can search by specialty and by location in the country.


Category: Match

Residency/Fellowship Vacancies Listing

If you are searching for a residency or fellowship then you might want to check out this page from time to time.  When a resident leaves a program that spot needs to be filled.  Why not with you!!!!  Unfortunately, the majority of listings will be for upper level residents and fellows. But you never know!


Category: Match

How to Practice Medicine in California from a Non-Approved Medical School

QUESTION:  Can you practice medicine in the state of California if your medical school is not approved by the Medical Board of California?

Read more: Practicing in California

Category: Match

Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL)

If your an IMG who is interested in doing a residency in California ....  you MUST obtain the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) also known as a "California Letter"

Here is what you need to get it done:


Read more: California Letter (PTAL)

Category: Match

Can I practice in California without doing a residency?

This is a question that I get frequently!  Here is an interesting way for IMG’s who are well established in their own country to practice in California at a medical school?

Read more: California Faculty Permit

Category: Match

This is the lastest data available!

Category: Match

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