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should i continue this journey? - jaivee
hi everyone.

i am an old IMG from india. my YOG is 2014. i have been working since and completed home country residency in radiation oncology. i started my usmle journey 1 year back and gave my exam last month and got my step 1 results and it was 230! all my assessment scores were above 235. i dont know how the scores dropped. still in shock. slowly coming to reality. my target score was to get >245, aim is to get into IM in a university hospital to do fellow in future. just like anyother old IMG i gambled on my future by investing all the money i had, now i am almost bankrupt. my initial plan was to give step 1 by september 2020, step2 ck by jan/feb 2021. i took 6 moonths loss pay from my hospital and admist covid situation and lots family and my personal health issues i some how managed to give the exam after exhaustion. almost 3 times i postponed the exam, study period extended to 9 months instead of 6, also i didnt get my target score.

With cs not around the corner, can i again take this challenge and pursue this journey by reconsidering the timeline. now i have planned to take step 2 ck by may and taget was 250+.

i wanted to apply for this year september deadline.

1. with no money in the bank i have to work and study for ck. is is possible to score 250+ in ck with 4-6 hours of work daily?

2.even if i get this score and complete cs before september, what are my chance of getting atleast 4 IVs in city hospitals? can i get observership in US within such short period of time admist covid?

4.with 230 in step 1, is it worth pursueing this journey, considering my financial and time limitaions?

5. what are my chances in IM?

6.if not can i target for Paed/FM/Pshychiatry? if so what are my chances.

7. i have to plan ahead all these before applying for usce!

as i came to a point where i no longer have control over my surroundings, i m in a great confusion whether to continue this or not. anyway it is going to be my life changing decision , so any valuable advise welcomed! TIA
Seems nobody answered so I would like to speak with you a bit as an IMG like you.

I think it all depend on you. There is no right answer. You may be able to get in. But you may be struggle to find fellowship later. On the other hand, you may find even better future in India or other country after you gave up for this journey. If I were you, I would really imagine myself in both situation and decide. You are the only one who can decide your path.
I don’t think it is impossible but I do think it is pretty tough. Studying while working is a normal thing and I worked 8+ hour/ day 5-7 days a week and took ck. It did not reach 250 but it was 249. It all depends on how efficiently you study. One thing I learned is that after PGY5, it is very hard to get interviews. To get interview after PGY5, you need a very strong connection.

Sorry that I do not have a clear answer but it is good to think by yourself. Too many variables to give you an advice I think. But important thing is that only you can decide, no one else.
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