- Score high in step 1 and step 2 CK, aim for no less than 240.
- Pass all exams in first attempt. Failure to pass in first attempt can be very detrimental to your application.
- Early preparation, this cannot be overstressed. The earlier you begin the better chance you have of overcoming the difficulties that arise regarding Match timeline.
- Reliable US contact and mailing address; that person will receive ECFMG correspondence on your behalf, cutting down on time lost due to post, especially if you are in Sudan.
ECFMG verification of credentials
- Make sure the name on your passport matches the medical school diploma, and the name on your ECFMG application.
- Continuously contact your medical school and ECFMG regarding the verification process.
- Reliable contact in Sudan, who can do the paperwork if you are not in Sudan
- This takes the form of Observership/externship with a US physician who can write a letter of recommendation supporting your application for residency.
- IMGs generally match better in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Pediatrics; Surgical Specialities are much more competitive.
Choosing the right program
- All the programs are listed in the FREIDA website, and most programs have their own website which gives application information. Important points to consider are:
- H1/J1 sponsorship if you need a visa.
- Number of IMGs in the program this is not always available on residency program websites, but available on IMG friely list.
- Cut off limits for year of graduation, USMLE results.
- Fellowship chances
- There are paid websites for IMG friendly programs list you can use as a reference for your search, use them to narrow the list and do not completely deepened on these lists (such as Matcharesident.com).
- Contact programs if no available information or for general questions as early as possible. The months between April – July are the best time to contact programs, as coordinators are less busy during that time.
Out of match position or Prematch
It is when a program which interviews you decides that they really want you and offer you a position outside the match. If you accept then you sign the contract to start residency, then withdraw from the match, and you won’t risk not matching.
Since the year 2013 the NRMP (National Residency Match Program) started the all in rule, the programs has to choose between giving all of its positions as prematch, or giving them all as match. There are still few programs that over prematch, specially in New York.
The decision of accepting a prematch is not an easy one. On one hand you can get out of the stress of the match. On the other hand, you lose the chance of matching at a better program.