In the recent years, most of my time is occupied with work and studying for the USMLE. Now, I approached the base camp of my dream mountain as I became the official ECFMG® holder recently.

As far as I remembered, I just had a moment of happiness and then all the worries about my future career and life came back again. Okay, you passed the step 2. Now what? Of course, it’s time to prepare for step 3 ASAP. Getting into a residency program in the U.S, as you know, is very challenging and competitive, particularly for an IMG who has been out of medical school for more than five years ago. Let me list some top influencing factors determining the chances of getting an interview below:

  • Step 1 score followed by Step 2 CK score
  • Number of attempts at exam
  • Year of graduation
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation (LORs) and MSPE
  • Visa requirements
  • Connections

Of course, there are other factors that can enhance the odds of the matching process such as the title of medical school (if it is a prestigious one), your academic profile including awards, research, and publications. I automatically become an underdog in this competition. Having said that, I am trying my best and maybe even better than many others because I am so dedicated to it and no other choices or options like some other does.

I remember the old days when I just graduated and seemingly lost my career path. At that time, the whole batch of graduated doctors was not called for residency or further training. We walked our own career paths. Some of my friends become successful businessmen. Some went abroad to do public health or research. A few others like me left the country to continue as a clinician and seek the opportunity to get postgraduate training and that’s how I end up in Jamaica.

Now, I feel like I am at the similar sort of situation. Not knowing where to go. Like one of my teachers said, “Once you become the pig, you can’t afraid of the dirt and sh*t”. You have to do what you gotta do. Now, I signed up for the step 3. Anyone who would like to provide me with resources or become a study partner is welcomed.

In the next post, I will share how I keep myself busy and update while studying for step 3.


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