HMS Global Academy Online Course for IMGs

September 23, 2016 Leave a comment


I am thrilled to announce the launch of a HMS Global Academy Course for IMGs. Founded by Harvard Medical School, the HMS Global Academy is an online learning destination offering high-quality courses to learners everywhere.

I am the director and instructor for the HMS Global Academy Course on the Introduction to the Practice of American Medicine. This is a self-paced inexpensive online course that will be released on November 1.  The course has lectures on topics that are geared towards IMGs who are applying to residency through the match. We have recorded and produced the course with the goal of assisting IMG applicants to be as successful as possible in attaining a residency match.

Lectures include:

The Difficulty in Matching
Application Roadmap
Attaining High USMLE Scores
What to Expect in a Clinical Elective and How to Make it Count
Curriculum Vitae Preparation
How to Write a Personal Statement
Letters of Reference
Which Residency and Where to Apply
Interview Preparation

Enroll here on November 1.  I hope that this course is helpful.

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

Introduction to Clinical Research Training (ICRT) Program


I wanted to let you know about a groundbreaking program from Harvard Medical School that I direct called the Introduction to Clinical Research Training (ICRT) Program. The ICRT program utilizes an innovative, blended-learning approach. Two face-to-face workshops, each three days in length, flank the six-month core curriculum, combining traditional live teaching methods with online instruction, team projects and interactive webinars. This unique mix of individual and cooperative learning provides each student with strong critical thinking skills, while also exposing them to the challenges and opportunities of collaborative research efforts.

Six-month research training designed for physicians interested in patient-oriented clinical research
Top teaching faculty from Harvard Medical School and affiliated institutions
Combination of online learning and two intensive 3 day workshops in Dubai, UAE:
First Workshop: Sunday, December 4 – Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Second Workshop: Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29, 2017

ICRT Venue

ICRT Venue

Applications are Open now
Applicants should have an MBBS, MD, PhD, DDS, PharmD, DNP, or equivalent degree.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, October 31, 2016, 12:00 pm (EDT)
The ICRT program application is available here.
For more information please visit the ICRT website here view the program details here or send email to

ICRT instructors

ICRT faculty Dr. Garcia-Larsen of Imperial College London, and Drs. Christopher and Quraishi of Harvard Medical School

Graduation ICRT 2

ICRT Students and Faculty

ICRT Graduation Mosaic

ICRT Graduation


ICRT Graduation

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

Master of Medical Sciences

Wanted to let you know about a degree program offered by Harvard Medical School in clinical research called the Master of Medical Sciences in Clinical Investigation.  The MMSCI degree is a two year residential program focused on clinical science.  The 2016 – 2018 program begins on July 11, 2016 and ends on April 27, 2018.  The program is accepting applications and is geared towards physicians who want to expand their skill sets into the clinical research realm.

United Kingdom Clinical Scholars Research Training Program

I wanted to let the IMG community about a special 6 month clinical research training course called the United Kingdom Clinical Scholars Research Training (UKCSRT) program 

The UKCSRT program is wholly based in the UK. It is a unique collaboration between Harvard Medical School and the Royal College of Physicians of London, and two academic Partners – Imperial College and University College London. UKCSRT provides an intensive introduction to patient-oriented research using an innovative model of blended learning that combines live workshop teaching with online lectures. It represents a unique educational collaboration of clinical scientists from two premier academic medical institutions from both sides of the Atlantic – Harvard University in the United States and the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

Applications for the UKCSRT Program will be accepted until November 4, 2016

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

Global Clinical Scholars Research Training program

Harvard Medical School Global Education has a wonderful program for those interested in training in clinical research.

The Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) program ( is a one-year program of blended learning intended for clinicians and clinician-scientists who desire rigorous training in the methods and conduct of clinical research.

GCSRT London

The program’s three main goals are to build skills in clinical research, provide knowledge to address issues critical for success in contemporary clinical research, and develop a global network. With this training you should be able to:

Learn skills in designing and implementing a trial or observational study.
Understand the different statistical approaches and become skilled in transforming data for both descriptive and analytic purposes.
Develop writing skills for publications and learn the “tricks of the trade” for submitting papers to high impact journals.
Become a better leader of highly functional teams.

The GCSRT program will consist of three in-person workshops-two in London and one in Boston-in addition to about 60 online lectures and 30 webinars as part of the curriculum that includes biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical trials, surveys, drug development and regulation, and leadership. Pictures from the workshops can be found here.

Class photos

GCSRT workshop in London

The program is open to candidates who hold an MD, MBBS, PhD, PharmD, DMD, DDS, DNP, and DO degrees.

In addition, scholarships are available:

Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR) has partial and full scholarships for qualified applicants from UAE, but candidates from the MENA region will also be considered (The MENA Region includes: Algeria | Bahrain | Djibouti | Egypt | Iraq | Israel | Jordan | Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Morocco | Oman | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | West Bank and Gaza | Yemen).

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) has full scholarships available for qualified applicants currently working in SEHA-affiliated institutions, hospitals and clinics and for SEHA-supported fellows and residents.

Harvard Medical School (HMS) has partial and full scholarships available for qualified candidates. These will be generally awarded to individuals from low-to-middle income countries.

Harvard Medical School also has funds available to support a limited number of partial scholarships to the GCSRT program for nephrologists from anywhere in the world. These scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit.

The deadline for scholarship applications is in March each year.

For more information about the program, go to the website.

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

Guest Post: How I matched

The following is a guest post from an IMG who would like to remain anonymous but wants to be of help to the IMG community.

Hello everyone, I matched into an academic internal medicine residency program this year and I wanted to share my experience with you, in hopes that it would provide some insight into the competitive nature of internal medicine for IMGs.

Just to provide some context, I’m an IMG from Asia with a US citizenship. My scores were: Step 1 – 260s, Step 2 CK – 250s, Step 2 CS – Pass. I graduated in 2014. I had 2 months of USCE in the form of electives at two of the three Harvard affiliated hospitals and I got 3 US LoRs out of the experience. In addition, I have a relatively strong background in clinical research with > 10 publications and posters.

I had a bit of an issue when I was submitting my applications. My step 2 CK score was reported 2 weeks after September 15th and my ECFMG certification came shortly afterwards. I am unsure if applying 2 weeks late to programs had any significant impact on my application process, but I strongly feel that if you can find a way to have everything ready by the 15th of September, then you should do that instead. I sent about 1/3rd of my applications on the 16th, 1/3rd after my CK score was reported and the rest when I was ECFMG certified. I did this based on the specifications reported on the individual program’s website, but I believe most websites have outdated pages for their IMGs.

I submitted my application to 108 programs all across America, mainly focusing on university programs with community programs as safety programs. I received interview invites from 16 places and attended 12 interviews.

My interview list was:

  1. Massachusetts General Hospital
  2. UTSW – Dallas
  3. Program that I matched into for Internal Medicine Residency
  4. Case Western Reserve University
  5. Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  6. Tufts University
  7. University of Louisville
  8. Rutgers NJMS
  9. Icahn School of Medicine – St Lukes/Roosevelt Program in New York
  10. North Shore LIJ Health System
  11. Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center
  12. Albert Einstein/Montefiore Community Program in New Rochelle, NY

I ultimately matched into the 3rd program on my list and am very happy.

Of all the IMGs I met in the process, I believe, 1 of them matched at their #1. I think that the interview process is rather erratic for IMGs. Just looking at my interview list should give you an idea of the diversity of programs that I applied to and the broad rejections I received from programs in various tiers. There are so many IMGs applying with similar credentials, that it is simply too difficult for programs to properly filter applications in a meaningful way. It, therefore, falls to the applicant to have something unique enough to warrant consideration for bigger programs. If you stay focused on your goal and plan ahead, I believe this is possible.  For the sake of anonymity, I have limited some details in this post.

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.

Tips for the Residency Match

December 4, 2014 Leave a comment

I wanted to let the IMG community know about a book called “Tips for the Residency Match: What Residency Directors Are Really Looking For” written by program director colleagues of mine and including a chapter that I wrote on IMG issues. The book can be found here and ordered here. The book will be published in March 2015. I hope that it is useful for those searching for a residency as it gives insight into the process from those of us who are involved in the decision process.

Here is a bit on the text from the author
“I want to thank Dr. Christopher for inviting me to post on his site. I’m excited to announce our new book “Tips for the Residency Match” which has now gone on sale in electronic version on amazon and iTunes. I have often been asked what are the keys to successfully matching and what do residency directors really care about. To this end, we’ve brought together an amazing team of co-authors from every specialty and most of the major US institutions including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins, Duke, Penn, Columbia…… Each subspecialty section is written by a program director in that field. The authors discuss what is most important to ensure a great match including what board scores are needed and how to interview. Dr. Christopher has lent his considerable expertise and written dedicated IMG portions. I wish you all the best with the match and hope that this new book helps you along your journey!”
~ Justin Kung, MD, Associate Director, Radiology Residency Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The contents are noted below:

The Match Alphabet Soup; Specialty Selection – Where to Begin; The Specialties; Path to the Match; The Selection Process; – Theirs; The Selection Process – Yours; The Application; The Curriculum Vitae; The Personal Statement; The Interview; After the Interview; Match Week; International Medical Graduate Specifics.

The views expressed on this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer Partners HealthCare, his hospital, department or division.