Never Lose Your Confidence

  • IMG
  • Caribbean School
  • 2-1/2 year gap
  • A Failure on Step 1
  • Two unsuccessful attempts at the Match!

Hello Dr. Barone,

I’ve never been a Kaplan student but I’ve used your website and Facebook posts as inspiration along this journey to a successful match. I am an IMG who graduated in December of 2012, failed step 1, but now matched into FM.

One piece of advice I will give is to not give up. Keep trying, show your commitment by what you do during the gap, and never lose your confidence - you will get there.

Are you an IMG and what is your Visa status?

I am an IMG from a medical school in the Caribbean and a US citizen. I have a 2-1/2 year gap.

Tell me about your experience with the Step exams?

As for my USMLE experience. I returned home to study for step 1, big mistake. When I arrived home the responsibility of being the eldest child of immigrant parents fell on me and I didn’t make the conscious and also the vocal decision to say No.   I studied 6-8 hours a day but my focus was divided. When I failed I was devastated. But thank God for family and friends. The second time around I figured out what my study environment needed to be like. So I went full hermit. I hid away for 6-8 weeks and reviewed study aids along with practice questions. Studied 8-10 hours a day and took one day off every week. Passed step 1. Did the same for step 2 ck and cs and passed on first attempt.

After not being successful in the last two matches and because of the counsel of friends that are now residents I took step 3. Using the same study program, review study aids and practice questions, I was successful.

Tell me about your Match experience?

The first year, I had 1 interview. I felt it went great. Went back for a second look. Was even called by the PD around ROL time. However, no match. Then the second year, I had 4 interviews. That year I showed my commitment to FM by volunteering and working as a health educator. I also participated in a medical mission - which is something near to my heart. Three of those four interviews were amazing. I believed I expressed my passion and showed my commitment to the profession. However, no match. At this point I like to talk about being disappointed but not devastated. I don’t want to use a cliche but it is true - everything that is worth having is worth fighting for. Yes its ok to be disappointed, but don’t become so devastated that you can’t move forward. This year I had two interviews and one of them was from a program that I interviewed the year before. This time I matched!!!

What do you think was the most important factor in you matching?

I believe it was not losing confidence and showing the PDs my commitment by working in the field and passing my step 3.

What advice would you give to students in a similar situation?

The advice I would give to other students and graduates is that everyone’s journey is different. Use these examples as inspiration. Find your passion. Pursue it. And don’t give up. 

Thank you for sharing these success stories and for everything that you do Dr. Barone. God Bless you.

S. H. 03/18/2015


Category: Success

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