Skip to main content

Planning for U.S. Residency Match and Building a Competitive Application

by Lori Ramos

There is a tremendous amount of mythology and legend bouncing around the internet “echo chambers” about how to prepare for the U.S. residency match, mostly because the vocabulary involved, the cultural nuances, and the complexities at every stage of the process. It can be confusing and overwhelming. In this article we will lead you through a no-nonsense, jargon-free introduction to planning for the U.S. residency match and building a competitive application. We will cover preparation components and key issues, how to prepare a timeline flow chart for yourself, and some information on each component. Subsequent articles will exam each component in more detail.

As you begin thinking about seeking a position in a US residency program, first and foremost you must remember that this process is essentially a job search. It is critical to incorporate key job search strategies with the strategies you will use for applying to a training program. You should also understand that there is considerable risk involved in this process. These risks include large expenditures of money, time and energy, and there is no guarantee that you will be successful. Also the differences in the US economy vs. developing countries can make it even more expensive.


– A short Guide by Rizwan Khan




Visa experience from Chennai consulate- Ten year multiple entry

by Nikhil Madhuripan



I just received my then year multiple entry B1/B2 from the Chennai consulate and I wanted to place on record my thanks to all the contributors on and Dr. Umar for this wonderful resource.


I’ll just sum up my experience as there is not much of a need to go through it in detail again. I based my preparation solely on and immihelp. You could also refer path2usa (I didn’t use it). I went through all visa guidance and comments, and they help immensely to feel prepared. 

Visa fee is to be paid at designated HDFC

DS-160 is to be filled from the link, and interview is to be scheduled from the link.

Immihelp has a guidance page for filling DS-160 in the link.

I will walk through my Chennai interview in some detail as it might help someone out.

I arrived at the airport and it is around 12 km to the embassy. By bus- No 18a will take you to a stop near Gemini circle on Mount road(Anna salai). Auto rickshaw can be had at around Rs 175/- after haggling. If by bus, after arriving you can take an auto and request them to take you to a hotel if you have not already booked (it is best to book early as hotels near the consulate might be full). I stayed at Century residency opposite the consulate.

Comprehensive USMLE Step 2 CK Guidance (268/99)

by Ayaz M. Khawaja

Salam to every reader. Let me start in God's name whose blessings have been innumerable. My score is 268/99. This article would be a fantastic review especially for those candidates who wish to maintain their Step 2 study in parallel to their final year curriculum. It is highly advisable that you do this since the content is not too different and the USMLE curriculum gives a much greater stronghold over medicine and related disciplines rather than your own final year curriculum. This holds especially true for Pakistani medical students. I am not too sure about the situation for Indian medical students.

Let me start by reviewing some issues the same way I did for my Step 1 article.

Issue # 1:

Give Step 2 before Step 1?

I have heard this question a lot more than I expected, especially from students who thought about giving Step 1 before or within their final year but changed their minds. The answer to this question is highly relative and circumstancial. There's no easy answer however.

If you are at the beginning of your final year, and are serious about Step 2 preparation, I would strongly recommend attempting Step 2 before 1. The reasons are multiple. You have a full 1 year ahead of you for Step 2 preparation. You have just come off the fourth year with a strong background (hopefully!) in Pathological basis of diseases, Histopathology, Pharmacology and Microbiology. It would not require any extra effort other than a once-a-time revision of your old textbooks and/or notes which should not take much time. If you have studied the Kaplan series, this means it would be even more efficient time- and effort-wise to go through these subjects quickly.

Visa Experience

In the name of God the most Gracious, the most Merciful,

My interview didn’t have anything remarkable apart from the fact that it was too short and I got the visa, so I thought let me add some other details here for those of you coming to Delhi. Others may skip reading this!!

I had my interview on one these chilly and foggy January mornings at Delhi.

Well, I would, like everyone else here thank Dr Umar for this wonderful website. The experience of others does boost your confidence!

I had gone through all the experiences (in fact i took a printout of it and read it like a book!!) on this site but I found that Delhi’s are less in number.

I study at Delhi so that was a thing I found lacking. I didn't know the exact location, the directions, mode of transit to, and most of all how to find the correct entry point once i get there (very childish concerns, you see :-P) and of course like everyone else here i WAS scared of a rejection too!!

So that day, i woke up at 5, got dressed (it was too cold to sport only a suit, i wore a shirt, pants, a tie, stuffed myself with innerwear!!! and a jacket on top, i didn't have a "formal" coat and of course wore my adidas sport shoes-BLACK {& yellow})

Visa Experience

I too got a 10 year multiple entry B1/B2 visa. I prepared by reading all the experiences on this site. Much has been written about how to make appointment for visa go to american consulate site or google it the instructions on it are straight forward just follow them and make the appointment. Submit the documents more than 3 working days before your visa interview in case of mumbai consulate.

About the documents I filed them in by dividing them in 3 categories 

1) required for appearing in visa interview i.e. your hdfc slip, VFS appointment letter, the print out of your  D160 form print out (the barcode on it must be clearly visible), passport sizes photograph ( not necessary but take them just in case)

2) To prove my case- Financial and letter from university / Visa letter for step 2

For financial documents i took my an parents account print our, 2-3 salary slip, IT return but the best thing to carry is a document made by a chartered accountant stating total worth including all the assets it shows in one paper total of movable and liquid assets, it looks neat and is easy to understand for VO.

From university a letter addressed to consulate general or your approval letter, all your e mail interaction with registrar. 

Visa Experience

I thank umar bahi and this website because of which i got my B1/B2 visa with 10 year multiple entry.i will narrate my experience as well because i do strogly believe it call help others out a lot.

I had my interview in the mumbai consulate at 10 am.i had started from my home at 8:40 am but just because of traffic i reached at dot 10am at the vfs.I was already half freaked out because i was late but somehow i composed myself and got into the bus which took me to the the point is try to be early but even if u are late dont worry the way i was worried.just b calm.

It was a flurry of activity with lot of people.i got my finger printing done and then waited for my turn.meanwhile while i notice that the interview was going to take place in a small wooden cabin where the visa officer would be separated from you by a glass window.then fianlly mytoken number was called out.i went and stood out of the cabin.a couple in front of me were interviewed but were rejected which did worsen my already low confidence.then i went in......

v.o: show me your token please

i showed her.i tried smiling at her.

v.o: why do u want to go to america?

me: i have got an oppurtunity to do a four week elective in

v.o: whats your program?what will u be doing there?

Me: i ll be going in early dec.i ll be under the supervision of a faculty and i ll be looking at cases and patients.

V.o: are u studying in u.s?

Me: i said no...i m studying here

V.o: which college?

Me:..... college

she kept typing and typing meanwhile my heart thumped ....

V.o: ok mam, here is the issue,,,u have applied under the wrong category

Tips for CS

by Swapnil Lanjewar

First of all, I am very very thankful to lord that I passed my CS. I will share my experience to help my fellow colleagues out there preparing nervously for this exam. Now I know that there is already huge amount of excellent info regarding CS on this site. I will just narrate the plan I had followed.


Basic intro:


I dont think I need to explain the pattern of the exam. But, I would strongly suggest all of you to watch the official CS orientation video on USMLE site at this link-




   - Reading material: 


1) First Aid is THE BOOK for preparing for Step 2 CS. Even if you do only FA, Im sure you can pass. Infact  I personally know people who did only FA and still passed the exam. But it is always better to be on the safer side and read everything you can.

2) USMLE World Notes: The guidance for history taking and Physical is wonderful. Cases are respectable too. Would strongly advise to do it in addition to FA

3) Neeraj notes: Valuable addition. Good tips and few important cases like stress incontinence, picky eater etc.


These three together are sufficient and more than enough.


   - Approach:


First, do the history taking and Physical Exam explanation from FA. Then, proceed to the History and Physical Exam from UWorld.


TOEFL Guidance

by Sitaram Chilakamarry

Hello, everyone. I’m Sitaram Chilakamarry, an Intern at Kakatiya Medical College, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, India. I took my TOEFL test on 14th August, 2010. Received e-copy of my score online in my ETS account by the end of August (on the 12th Post-Op, oops, Post-Test day). By God’s grace and with blessings from Swami Vivekananda, I got a good score – 118. My Score breakdown:

Reading – 30

Listening – 30

Speaking - 28

Writing – 30

Having learnt from free and great advice given by previous test takers from all over the internet, I feel I have a duty to extend a small helping hand to the future test takers. So, here I am, writing this piece of advice. I’m breaking it down into concise points so that it is easy to take it all in.


       The test has 4 sections, READING, LISTENING, SPEAKING & WRITING. You’ll face these 4 sections in that same order. For further description, I suggest you read the official TOEFL guide and the Princeton Review book.  


I cannot speak for other students, but for those from India, immediately after your Final Year Part – 2 exams is the perfect time. You want to have your paper score card in hand before you apply for electives. The paper score card reaches your home usually 4 weeks after the day your e-copy of scores are available (which usually are posted in 2 weeks of the test date). This means, 6 weeks after you take the test. For e.g. I took the exam on 14th August, received my score online in my ETS account on the 26th of August, and the paper score report reached my home on the 25th of September.

Things you need to know on your First Trip to USA!

Here are few helpful tips for everyone regarding the whole travel, stay and living in US. I tried to explain everything in detail, making sure everyone gets the answers of their unasked questions. You might also like to visit a similar article by medisid by clicking here.

Leaving from Home Country:

If you have not air-traveled before, then here is a general overview of everything. First of all, you pass your luggage and yourself through security check. Then you go to the counter of your airlines, show them your e-ticket/passport/visa, get your boarding passes and submit your baggage except the carry-ons. After that, you might have to pass through another security check and then through the immigration/visa officers. After that you enter the lounge and wait for at the gate number mentioned on the boarding pass. When it is boarding time, they make an announcement and you board the plane. Make sure you are at the gate at the boarding time(generally 30-60 min before departure time).


Most the airlines going to and coming from US allow only 2 bags of maximum weight of 23 kg(50 pounds) and a maximum outside dimension(length+width+height) of 157 cm(62 inches). If you have an over-sized bag or an over-weight bag you might have to pay extra depending upon the airlines, your travel route, size and extra weight of the bag. You are given a couple of tags once you submit/check your 2 bags; make sure you keep them with you all the time; you should show them whenever and wherever you have a connecting flight and collect a boarding pass, making sure your checked baggage is transferred to the flight you are boarding in.

Syndicate content