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Timeline for the 2018 Match – July, August, and September

If you are about to start your 4th year of med school, now is the time to plan out your year to make yourself competitive for the 2018 Match! There will be over 5000 IMGs that do not match next year. Preparation to keep yourself out of that number starts now – Below are some ideas that will help you get organized for the next few months.

  1. Consider using a site like medmatchplus.com to get your video profile completed. IMGs are at a considerable disadvantage due to foreign names and the basic assumptions that some skills may be limited, particularly if you did not do well on CS or other STEP exams
  2. Follow up on Letters of Recommendation (LoR) – make sure they are complete and turned in. Email your letter writers and touch base with them (Things happen and they may have forgotten). Remind them of who you are (when you did the rotation and remind them of a memorable patient or time). Gently remind them of deadlines and let them know where to email letter.
  3. Pick your programs – do some research and see where others from your school have matched. Look for residents at programs who were also IMGs and reach out to them. Once IMGs match, many ascend to powerful positions like Chief Resident and understand the struggles of international medical graduates matching into residency positions. Shoot for the stars but be a realist – YOU NEED TO MATCH! Your most likely chances are internal medicine (IM) and family practice (FP).
  4. Look for programs that have a history of not filling – while they may not be desirable to you also, your goal is to match. Matching at a program not as strong is better than not matching at all. Reach out to these programs and see if you can make a connection or even possibly do a rotation. These programs can be your last resorts in case your first choices do not come through.

In summary, preparation is key! You can do it – believe in yourself and start now!

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