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Those without interviews

January 30, 2012

For those of you who are without interviews you need to take a step back and really evaluate yourself as a candidate.

The fixable reasons for no interviews are the following:

No US clinical experience
Application submitted after October 1
Not ECFMG certified at time of application
Application only to a limited geographical area
Not applying to enough community hospital programs

Non-fixable reasons for no interviews are the following:

Poor scores (below 210 on Step 1 or 2 or any exam fail including Clinical Skill exam).

If this is not your year, think about what you might be able to do to fix the problem. You can’t change your scores if they are low. A good score on Step 3 will not rescue a poor score on Step 1 or Step 2 or a CS fail.

Now I know of a candidate this year with low scores who got a pre-match and several candidates with amazing scores who got pre-matches. Hopefully many more of you will match this year.

Anyway, if your scores are over 210 and you have no interviews but you have no US clinical experience, well you need to get some US clinical experience and reapply. If there are things you can fix (other than scores/ attempts) then fix them.

Observerships at places that take IMGs may be helpful. If you do an observership at a place that takes primarily IMGs then the program gets to see you for days at a time and get a sense of you as a person. The observership wont allow you to see patients and show your clinical skills but people can get to know you. You may very well get an interview at that program if they liked you. Observerships at university hospitals give you an opportunity to see a big hospital in action.

The process is difficult and will only get more difficult over time. In the past, about 75% of applicants got in to a residency over 5 years of applying.

If after fixing what is fixable and you have applied without interviews then it is time to start thinking of doing something else or going home to practice.

The views expressed in this post are those of Kenneth Christopher, MD and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dr. Christopher’s employer Partners HealthCare.

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  1. February 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm
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