How to get a Surgery Residency as an International Medical Graduate (IMG)

Hey, what’s up you guys? It is Buck Parker again.

In this video, we’re gonna talk about, somebody asked me if I had any advice for international medical graduates on how to get a residency in the US. How to make sure you get a residency in the US. I actually did that. If you see some of my other videos, I explain what I did. I went to St. Matthew’s University Medical School. It was Thai and was in Belize, and they actually ended up moving the entire school to Grand Cayman Island because there was a big hurricane there, which I was in. That was a little adventure on its own, but in general, for…I’ll just do in general for International Medical Graduates, how you get a residency in the US being an IMG.

I think the biggest thing, if there was one thing you could pick out, it’d be the USMLEs. If you do not have good USMLE scores, step one and step two, you’re gonna have a really tough time getting a residency. And specifically, a surgery residency.

I was from a no-name school, and I got a surgical residency, which was pretty tough to do. The reason I was able to do that is because I scored, like, a 90 percentile on the step one. Step one’s probably the most important, and step two, I got, like, I think I got an 88 on step two. And then step three, which is during residency, which doesn’t matter anymore, I scored the highest. It was a 94, which probably doesn’t make any difference.

But that’s the one, I would say the one thing that you can do to make sure you get a residency. When I was interviewing, I was getting interviews in places where the US students were scoring – and I talked to them there – they were scoring in the 80s. Low 80s, high 70s. I think, what’s the passing? It’s 75 or something I think. But they were scoring in the high 70s and low 80s, and I with a 90 and a high 88 was getting the same interviews at these hospitals. Some of them, they were interviewing me. But I could tell they weren’t really that interested, and I was their last-ditch effort. Last resort if they had nobody else, they would choose me.

That’s the biggest thing. I would say, to enable yourself to do that, you have to do really well in school because the USMLEs are just your classes. If you don’t do well in your classes, then you come to the USMLEs, you’ll never be able to do well on them. In order to do that, you have to take every semester and do really well. For me, I had my mindset that I’m in a Caribbean school, I’m not gonna be looked favorably upon by these US schools, and I need to get an A on every single test. That was my mindset. If you go into your school thinking that and holding yourself to that, then you’re gonna have a lot better chance at getting a really high score on the USMLE.

And then being able to get into a residency. If you want a non-surgical residency, it’s much easier. Family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and stuff like that. Then you don’t have to score quite as high. But if you don’t, then you’re just putting yourself in a disadvantage. Obviously, there are some non-surgical residencies that are really tough like dermatology because you basically do nothing a make a lot of money. Probably pissed off some dermatologists, but I don’t really care because whatever. I’ll get into that later. Those are my two things for International Medical Graduates. You have to do well on USMLEs. And by well, I mean you have to score probably about a 90 at least on step one. And step two, you should do well. Step two, sometimes the score is not, if I can remember.

The score is not back by the time they choose if they’re gonna interview you or not, so step one is really the most important. And again, you have got to do amazing in class. If you’re not doing amazing in class…For me, I always think that everybody’s smart enough to do this. Medicine is not difficult. It is difficult, but it’s not difficult in there’s certain people that are not smart enough. If you have an IQ over 100, you can do it. It’s just very time-consuming, and you have to stick with it. There’s nobody, really, that…If you’re not doing well in class, it’s because of other things. Not because you’re smart. It’s because you’re not sure why you wanna do it and so you’re not committed, you don’t have the motivation for some reason because you don’t think you can do it.

I was there in college. I didn’t think I was very smart, so I just didn’t try. I self-sabotaged, so I think a lot of people do that. You can get into a Caribbean school really easy, or an international school easy. Then you show up, and you don’t do anything because you don’t wanna…If you try really hard and you do poorly, then you think that, “Oh, I’m really stupid.” But it’s usually not the case. It’s usually that you’re doing something wrong. You’re studying wrong or something like that, and I’ve got a lot to say about that stuff. Especially the people you hang around with and who you’re studying with, those things can make a big difference too. That is my two sense for the International Medical Graduates and how to get a US residency, especially in surgery.

If you want more info on that, just put in the comments below your questions. And I’ll answer them. And subscribe to my channel, if you would. That would be awesome.

All right. Take it easy.

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