UK graduate, US residency?

Resources and answers for IMGs applying to the ECFMG for US medical and surgical residencies.

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Poppy
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UK graduate, US residency?

Post by Poppy »

I am currently studying medicine at The University of Manchester in the UK, I am a UK citizen.

I hope to pursue a career in plastic surgery and I am currently trying to plan out my career/research into possible opportunities.

I was wondering how hard it is get a residency spot in plastics for an IMG, in the US? If I had extremely high USMLE scores, what else would I need to ensure I have the very best application possible to secure a spot in prestigious hospitals eg Mayo, MGH etc? Is it even possible for IMGs to get residency spots in such hospitals or are they relegated to 'lesser' hospitals in the middle of nowhere?

I will complete my entire medical school training within the UK, but I will spend 2 months in my last year in the US at Yale (I'm planning to apply for a Surgical Critical Care elective - http://medicine.yale.edu/globalhealth/i ... rgery.aspx) . Will I need more US experience than this? Is it compulsory?

Is there an ideal time-frame to apply for residencys? Eg if I graduate in 2012, would I be apply to apply for a residency in 2015? Or would I be 'too old' by then?


Thanks for any help!

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CaribMD
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Re: UK graduate, US residency?

Post by CaribMD »

Poppy wrote:I am currently studying medicine at The University of Manchester in the UK, I am a UK citizen.

I hope to pursue a career in plastic surgery and I am currently trying to plan out my career/research into possible opportunities.

I was wondering how hard it is get a residency spot in plastics for an IMG, in the US? If I had extremely high USMLE scores, what else would I need to ensure I have the very best application possible to secure a spot in prestigious hospitals eg Mayo, MGH etc? Is it even possible for IMGs to get residency spots in such hospitals or are they relegated to 'lesser' hospitals in the middle of nowhere?

I will complete my entire medical school training within the UK, but I will spend 2 months in my last year in the US at Yale (I'm planning to apply for a Surgical Critical Care elective - http://medicine.yale.edu/globalhealth/i ... rgery.aspx) . Will I need more US experience than this? Is it compulsory?

Is there an ideal time-frame to apply for residencys? Eg if I graduate in 2012, would I be apply to apply for a residency in 2015? Or would I be 'too old' by then?


Thanks for any help!


You will need US experience
You will need to take and pass all 3 steps the USMLE

Age is not a factor

GL.

Poppy
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Re: UK graduate, US residency?

Post by Poppy »

CaribMD wrote:
You will need US experience
You will need to take and pass all 3 steps the USMLE

Age is not a factor

GL.


Thanks for your reply, but I still have some questions - I hope you can help!


How much US experience will I need? Is there a minimum requirement? What's the average that IMGs have before applying for residency posts?

By 'age' I meant that I would have graduated 2 years before I apply. Will this count against me? I've heard that they prefer 'fresh' graduates, how true is this?

Will I it be impossible for me to secure residency posts at the more 'prestigious' hospitals because I am an IMG?


Thank you very much for your help!

Poppy
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Re: UK graduate, US residency?

Post by Poppy »

Can anyone help or at least point me in the right direction?

Thanks.

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Re: UK graduate, US residency?

Post by attendingmd »

You will have to take my advice with a bit of a gain of salt. I am not in plastics but have several friends in plastics and am somewhat familiar with UK medicine as I often visit my colleagues in London and have studied in the UK in the past. My daughter also studied at UCL.
There are two basic ways of training in plastics in the US. There are integrated programs where one starts in general surgery and progress through plastic surgery to finish in 5 to 6 years. The more traditional approach is to do general surgery or sometimes ENT for a minimum of three years than apply for a plastic 2- 3 year program. Many have completed a 5 year full surgery residency before applying for plastics.
A quick look at the NRMP shows that as an IMG that you have almost no chance at an integrated program in plastics which is one of the most competitive residencies in US medicine.
IMHO the only possibility for plastic training for you would be to match into a major University general surgery program and do well for 3 to five years, take a year or two along the line to do bench research in plastics than apply. Those I knew who did not match into their choice of surgical subs would often take this route through UCSF which used to have a brutal pyramid of a general surgery residency.
You are a student at what many would consider an above average UK medical school. There is a chance for you if you are doing well in your studies and can score well in your USLME. It will be a long road which would require a lot of work and dogged determination but possible. The odds however will be against you even if you are gifted and willing to work long, hard hours.

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