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Researching Programs

Which programs to apply to will be the biggest question you’ll be facing in September. There is no clear answer as you have to tailor your application list according to your own career plans and geographical preferences etc. The biggest help as detailed earlier, will be going through last year’s match list and the seniors’ advice.

A few books are also available in the market which will definitely help you in polishing your application. These books will tell you how to apply and how to make your application look stronger; not where to apply. For that you have to rely on the word of mouth. First Aid for the Match is a very useful book for this purpose. It gives you a very nice overview of the whole match process and how to go about applying, travelling, interviewing, visas etc. It has an excellent section on personal statements and comes in quite handy while you are writing your own statement as you’ll need as many samples as you can lay your hands upon at that time. You can get it from Urdu Bazaars for a hundred or so rupees.

"First Aid for the International Medical Graduate" is also quite useful. Other than the routine application and interviewing stuff, it has some really nice sections on travelling arrangements and how to organize things once you get the residency; practical stuff like finding apartments and getting the social security number etc. I would recommend it. Another book worth-considering is The Successful IMG: Obtaining a U.S. Residency by Anagh Vora.

A wealth of information is available online. Some of the recommended sites are as following:

1. Program’s own website:
This will help give you a feel of the program, how academic or otherwise it is, what are the program’s goals, how many IMG’s are there, which visas do they sponsor etc.

2. FREIDA
http://www.ama-assn.org/vapp/freida/srch/
           As discussed earlier, this site has the most information about a program but you have to remember that this is coming directly from the residency program and not being verified by a third party, so there might be inaccuracies. Useful information includes the program contact info, size of the program, how many people do they call for interviews, vacations and other benefits.

3. Scutwork
http://www.scutwork.com/
    This is a helpful site if a review of the program in which you’re applying to is available as a lot of programs haven’t been reviewed yet. The reviews give you an insider’s peek into how life at the program is. A lot of reviews have been written by medical students but they are also very residency oriented and a good read. This site must be a part of your pre-interview homework: will make you think of a lot of questions to ask during the dinner or interview.

4. Student Doctor Network Forums
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/
    This forum is used mainly by U.S. medical students to get across their queries about the residency application process and the programs and they are answered by residents. However there are IMG specific threads too. Tons of useful information is available on this forum, just keep digging. The discussions get really interesting at times.

5. FMGResidency
http://www.fmgamerica.com/lists.html
    This site doesn’t have much to offer except for a table . Again don’t trust it too much as there are quite a few mistakes; just use it as a rough guide if you don’t want to go down the beaten path and are into exploring new programs.

6. US News
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/health/best-hospitals/tophosp.htm
    Most of the information about the residency programs is locked up and you have to pay for it. However a lot of information about the top hospitals, overall and speciality wise is available. You can get a good idea about the strengths and repute of a program, especially if you are interested in a particular subspeciality for fellowship.

7. Roadmap to Residency: From Application to the Match and Beyond
http://www.medschool.northwestern.edu/student-programs/residency/road_re....
    It’s a 38 page document released by AAMC giving an overview of the whole match process. There will be little stuff that you don’t already know but still it provides a nice summary right from candidate eligibility requirements to the transition from medical school to residency. Some more helpful links can be found in the bibliography and webliography.

8. The Residency Interview: Making the Most of It
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/6701.html
    This link has got some great tips for residency interview preparation. Make sure that it’s a part of your pre-interview homework during the initial interviews. Also roam around this site and you’ll find more useful stuff like tips on writing personal statements etc.

Note: This article has been derived from "Roadmap to Residency" authored by AKU graduates, with permission from few of the authors. Name of the original author, has purposely not been mentioned on request of one of the authors, for privacy reasons. If you are the original author of this article and want your name to be mentioned or wish this article to be modified/ removed from this website, please contact us and we would be more than happy to entertain your request. We fully respect your privacy, acknowledge your efforts put in authoring this article and appreciate your hard work involved in it.

Researching Programs

Thanks for sharing. I just readout interesting website’s your informative topic. I appreciate your thought about it. It’s really so useful for all especially for me because I want to get knowledge of every kind. I just want to say that your describing sense is so nice and easy to understandable therefore, I appreciate and love it. Thanks again.

Thanks a lot debora for your

umar's picture

Thanks a lot debora for your kind words... 

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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