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TOPIC: IMG going for Ortho

9 years 3 weeks ago #29805

  • xela99
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I am an IMG hoping to get into an ortho residency,at this point I am wrapping up my first semester at a polish medical school. Any advice on what to do over the next 4 years to get into a program ,I have arrangements to do all of my clinical rotations in the US and take my step one next summer.Thanks!
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I'm not an IMG but 9 years 3 weeks ago #17852

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I'm not an IMG but I would say that you need to do very well on your boards (I and II) and during your 4th year rotate at programs that have taken IMGs in the past.
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Re: IMG going for Ortho 9 years 3 weeks ago #17862

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I am an IMG hoping to get into an ortho residency,at this point I am wrapping up my first semester at a polish medical school. Any advice on what to do over the next 4 years to get into a program ,I have arrangements to do all of my clinical rotations in the US and take my step one next summer.Thanks!


Hey, getting ortho as an IMG is statistically improbable. Quite a # of people have done it in the past so it is not impossible.

Your best bet is to transfer out to an LCME school. Check out this website:
caribbeantransfer.blogspot.com
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^edit: I assume that you 9 years 3 weeks ago #17863

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^edit: I assume that you are an American who went to Poland for medical school. If you are truly an IMG (ie Polish), then you probably will not have the opportunity to transfer.
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I'm an IMG from a 8 years 11 months ago #18373

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I'm an IMG from a European school who matched into ortho.

Here are a couple tips that I wish someone had told me before this process. Obviously some of these are my personal opinions, but I hope you find them useful.

1. Getting into a US ortho program will be a substantial investment of time and money, especially from a non-US student's perspective. I think this investment is well worth it, but you will need to decide for yourself.
Budget:
$4,000 for the USMLE steps alone with travel, prep books, etc.
$1,500 / month for expenses at rotations at US programs plus any tuition and airfare. If you manage 4 months of rotation, this adds up quickly!
$10,000 for applications, interview travel, hotels, etc. You will be applying to around 100 programs or more, which costs $2,000 alone for the application fee.

The mindset here is important - these are investments for the future and not money down the drain. It is likely (if unfortunate) that you will spend a lot of money rotating at a school that won't even give you consideration, but this is part of the process. There is a time to be frugal with your money in life, but this is not it. Consider seeking out family help or bank loans in advance to cover these expenses.

2. Your Step 1 score is the most important part of your application. Make sure that you do what you have to do to score above average for ortho residents (~238 I think). This is not easy, even for smart people and good test-takers, so give yourself enough time to study all highly-rated materials and take as many practice questions as possible. Reschedule the test for later if you are not pretty confident about destroying it. No one is ever completely confident of this, so pull the trigger if you've done all that you reasonably can.

3. Rotations at US programs are the next most important thing you can do. It is not a waste of time to go through all of the US residency programs' websites a couple years before you want to match and look for signs of IMG-friendliness (other IMGs in the program, visa sponsorship info, restrictions on IMGs for med school rotations, etc.). Lists of "IMG-friendly programs" that you find on the Internet are probably not very useful. I used my own research to make a spreadsheet with contact info, etc. Apply early for "4th year" rotations at the places that look the most open-minded in the summer and fall before your match year. I used vacation periods, elective rotations etc. and was able to do 4 of these rotations. Consider doing some 2-week rotations if you can't fit more time into your schedule. It is helpful to call frequently if you don't hear back about your rotation applications. Most residency/elective coordinators are genuinely nice and want to help you if they can. Being friendly and making phone calls got me into a rotation that was technically full. Call the orthopaedic surgery residency coordinator and ask how to rotate if you can't find good information about visiting student electives. He/she may be able to get you in for "shadowing", "volunteering" or some other type of unofficial elective.

Obviously, you will need to be a superstar in these rotations. Stay alert, learn the procedures and processes that are going on around you, and try to anticipate how you can be proactive and be useful in any situation. Grab positioning devices and have them ready at the bedside if you know they will be needed and have bandage supplies open and ready when doing dressing changes. Avoid the med student daze that is easy to slip into. Read about surgical approaches the night before in Hoppenfeld and go through the AAOS review book chapters or JAAOS review articles for whatever you are doing that day. Jump at opportunities to work or take call. Don't annoy anybody by talking too much or saying weird things - this is a good time to think before you talk!

Good luck! PM me if you have further questions.
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I'm an IMG from a 1 year 5 months ago #35627

Is the IMG orthopedics resident that commented on this thread still active? I could not figure out how to DM him or her. Thank you!
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