Been longing to write this post and finally!
Matched into IM! - 1st Cycle
Visa requiring non US- IMG
Step 1: 224
Step 2CK: 237
Step 2CS: passed
(all first attempt)
Step 3: result pending
USCE: 8 months (multiple observerships- clinic, non academic hospital and academic programs. Started off in a clinic without any contacts. Then connected with a doctor in a non-academic hospital that was affiliated with that clinic and built my way up from there)
Volunteer experience : Had 11 volunteer experiences including a couple of them done during med school. Volunteered as much as I can to avoid any gaps in CV while preparing for steps, both in US and in home country.
Research experience : 2 research projects and 1 QI project. No publication though, but I was asked about these in detail during one of my interviews.
Prep for the match : Applied only to categorical IM programs around 190. Applied on September 12th; Uploaded my other documents like MSPE and transcript before August 15th. I would encourage the future applicants to get everything ready as early as possible to avoid unnecessary anxiety towards the application deadline. Checked and got my personal statement proofread with my US attending mentor as well as a resident who were very kind enough to get back with suggestions. Had 5 US lors (all waived) and 1 home country Dept lor (Applied for match with 3 US lors and 1 home dept lor).
No. of iv’s: 5; Got my first iv in September, 2nd and 3rd in early and late October, 4th in Early November and my last in late December.
I know I had very average scores and had to shine through my interviews to have a better chance. So I prepared as much as I can for the interviews. I used the interview resources available here in the files section of this group. Read through each and every one of them. Combined all the questions, it came up to a 100 (I know that’s a lot lol, but wanted to be well prepared) and wrote answers for all of them. Then I practiced regularly with my study partner and kept improving my answers until they sounded better. Please do not memorize the answers, have an idea about what you are going to say for a particular question and sound natural in your answers which will definitely help you connect with your interviewers. I enjoyed all my interview experiences and felt I had done my best. Smile and be polite to everyone you meet on your iv day, offer to help even in the smallest circumstances which will never go unnoticed.
I also sent interest emails (most of them personalized to the specific program) to the programs I had applied to twice during the interview season, along with an update during the 2nd time. I’m not sure if that helped me get one of my interviews as there was atleast a gap of few weeks between the email I sent and the invite. Anyway it doesn’t hurt to email, but make sure it is personalized rather than a generalized one. A few of them reply and some might send rejections right away, don’t lose hope and keep improving your CV if you can during that period and reach out again to other programs with the new update.
I will be happy to share my journey and help to the best of my ability to whoever needs any sort of guidance. I would like to thank the seniors George Koshy Vilanilam Zin Mar Htun Zeeshan Mansuri and fellow applicants Gargi Bhattacharya Karen Anderson Lakshmi Nair Fatima Ali in this group who constantly kept answering all our questions and guiding us! We meet wonderful people through this journey and I thank everyone of them and my family for helping me to start living my dream! Special shout out to Vuha Shruthi my sp, for being a great source of support and the wonderful friend that she is!
Congratulations to everyone who matched and all the best to future applicants! To those who went unmatched, no words can soothe your pain, but remember coming this far is a great achievement all together! Keep fighting and you will be there soon. If I can do it, you can too! Good luck!