Q. I’ve tried and tried to get into a residency program, but I can’t get an interview. What can I do?
A. Applying for a residency in the U.S. is extremely competitive for IMGs. There are approximately twice as many IMGs applying as there are available residency positions. The best thing you can do is to get experience in a U.S. healthcare facility before applying to a residency program. It is particularly important to get experience in a facility with a teaching program. This can be difficult, but volunteering may be your best route. If you are unable to get experience in a clinical setting, try to obtain a research position in a hospital laboratory. This may lead to clinical opportunities.
You may also consider a medical career that doesn't require patient care. "Leaving the Bedside: The Search for a Nonclinical Medical Career," a book published by the AMA, is a practical guide that leads the reader through a well-reasoned sequence of steps leading to the successful development of a nonclinical medical career. You'll find the information, guidance, and direction you need to achieve your personal and professional goals. You can buy it from AMA Catalog OP#392096 for $25
Q. Do my five years of residence in my home country, or SAP pediatric certification count as possible credit and reduction in the U.S. residency time period?
A. Most likely the answer is no, but your residency program will have to evaluate your skills, experience and credentials to determine this request. The residency program may wish to consult with the state medical board or medical association.
Q. Is there a correlation between USMLE scores and getting into a residency program? I scored above 75% to pass the exam but have had difficulty in being accepted into a residency program.
A. We have heard that program directors often screen out applicants with criteria such as test scores and experience in U.S. hospitals. The AMA opposes this practice. The AMA believes that test results should only be reported as "pass" or "fail" and that residency programs should not discriminate against applicants by country of medical education. However, difficulty can occur because getting into a residency program is a very competetive process. The number of IMGs who apply for residency spots is larger than the number of available spots. In 2001, 7,115 IMGs entered the Match but only 5,900 IMGs were in PGY-1 residency spots.
(THE PROBLEM IS THERE ARE SO MANY DOCTORS WITH SCORES far above the minimum passing score) So with the volume of applicants with much higher scores you are precluded from any chance of an interview. The average three digit score was 215, now it is climbing up to 230.