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* My Matching Story
  classicman - 07/03/20 23:33
  First of all, perseverance is key to any set out achievements.

I would like to share my match experience with the applicants, because it is important to believe in yourself at all times. My exam history had remarkable red flags.

I am an IMG/PR and my USMLEs were all below average as I didn't do well in them. I also had multiple attempts especially step 2 CK (passed on fourth trial). A lot of people asked why I kept on doing the exams as I had no chance of getting recognized let alone being invited for an interview. I tried multiple times to match but didn't get it. I applied for 5 years consecutively. Infact, during my 3rd ERAS application I spent approx $10000 (ten thousand dollars) submitting to programs. So do the maths, that will give you an idea of the number of programs I pushed in my applications. I ended up getting called up for 2 interviews that year. Lol.... I was depressed at that moment in time though! But I was not deterred by the negligible yield. I continued to apply with little faith but hopeful with slight optimism. Some of my usual referees for the ERAS applications developed cold feet to recommend me subsequently. One even suggested "Why don't you look for some other jobs as I am wasting time with my future". Of course I did not listen to them !!!. I recognized my gaps in my resume, and had set a plan to compensate for those I could fix in order to compete with other applicants. However the major gap was my year of graduation (2007) and exam attempts which were out of my control.

I already had my MPH training prior to my first ERAS application, likewise some research publications under my belt. I also had some clinical shadowing @ IM, FM, Occupational Medicine, Paed. However, I strived to get some Psych experience, but never got a green light from all my applications or inquiries. I also worked as a Post Doctoral Research position in Global Health and I was exposed to different research opportunities including contribution to book chapter. My frustration led me to apply for Doctor of Osteopathy program for two years in a row and I was finally accepted to go back to medschool on the 2nd trial. Notably, my inability to secure a residency also made me realize that years were passing by and I was still stuck on applications without any contingencies, Hence, I enrolled in a PhD program with the mindset that I can also make a career out of it. BUT I NEVER STOPPED APPLYING FOR RESIDENCY as well. I was able to garner great exceptional qualification that none of my peers at a resident or applicant level had, and was able to read, critique and conduct health research geared towards manuscript publications. I also became very proficient in Biostatistics and vast knowledge in epidemiological methods and techniques compared to my peers.

And finally I was able to match in Psychiatry afterward despite being old graduate with bad USMLEs. The program where I have matched offered me without me offering them any services nor lobbying. However, I did get some help to be called in for interview. But the interview process was all me. I do remember the program director telling me that my application is solid but the problem is that I didn't have psych experience. I did try to shadow at a private behavioral health office in my home state and I sent an update email to the PD via the coordinator with regards to my progress with details of my shadowing center address. I have no idea if the PD considered that in her ranking but the reality is that I matched in the end. On the day of the match, the PD called me to felicitate with me and confessed that it was a no brainer for them not to rank me higher because my research experience is really needed in the program.

Hence, do not underestimate any of your skillset because it may come in handy. Do not listen to discouraging comments. You will fail to match when you get depressed, and you chose to give up. It is your journey and try to make it that way. As IMG's, we have different distractions that makes it difficult to land those perfect scores but we can compensate with our level of tenacity. Right now, I am on my 3rd day of residency and it still feels like a dream. Now I am being referred as "Dr. ...." in the hospital, while few months ago, I was treated as another IMG with an overrated degree. I am in a happy place now and counting my days in the training. I wish you all the best and believe in yourself! ALWAYS!!!

I hope this is helpful
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* Re:My Matching Story
  braveheart_2020 - 07/04/20 04:09
  This story is inspiring, congratulations.
I have had similar match experience where I was also being discouraged from applying by some ignorant people, and I didn't listen to them, and finally did it. To all applicants, the one that should decide your future plan is yourself, believe in yourself and you shall get to your destination successfully.
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* Re:My Matching Story
  classicman - 07/04/20 09:39
  Thank you @braveheart_2020. Congratulations to you too. I thought I should share because such stories helped me when I was taking my exams. And could be helpful to others as well.  
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* Re:My Matching Story
  rometo2019 - 07/04/20 09:57
  @classicman did you do phd then?  
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* Re:My Matching Story
  classicman - 07/05/20 01:01
  @rometo2019 I was on my 2nd year Phd program when I matched.  
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* Re:My Matching Story
  p4 - 07/05/20 11:33
  I have completed my md pathology in do fellowship should I still write usmle to work in many yrs is pathology residency  
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* Re:My Matching Story
  classicman - 07/05/20 22:16
  @P4 I think it depends on the route you want to take. If you want to practice as a clinician, you will need USMLE.
However, I think there might be some certifications that can help you attain a job as a non-clinical pathologist. you may have to check for that on the web.
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* Re:My Matching Story
  docdocsun - 07/08/20 19:04
  Wow, Wow, Wow...this story is too good for words.

I am just so proud of you and happy for you man. Crying tear here for you.

I understand what you felt like. This is what being an IMG is all about!

Congrats again and all the best...

YOG 2011
Step 1: 262
Step 2: TBD
Step 2 CS: TBD
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* Re:My Matching Story
  classicman - 07/15/20 01:12
  thanks @docdocsun. I appreciate.  
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* Re:My Matching Story
  wishii - 07/23/20 17:54
  heyyy congrats,

This is such an inspiring story and would love to talk to you in person if you get a time. Please message me at
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* Re:My Matching Story
  classicman - 08/01/20 14:34
  Sure will do @wishiii
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