Discrimination in Residency Program Candidate Selection

You thought as America being the leader of the free world, discrimination would be gone in a high-end profession such as medicine, but you're wrong.  I have spoken to several medical students in the past year and current residents and I just had to point out something to those who are looking into which residency programs to apply to.  Just because you have good USMLE scores and the residency programs accept IMGs doesn't really give you the green light to apply.  They also look at your skin color.

How to screen residency programs:

  • Do not randomly apply a residency programs from ERAS.  Go visit the residency program website and take a tour of the website.
  • Visit their current residents sections, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year residents.
  • First check to see if they have 1 or more IMGs among their residents.
  • And then check to see if those residency programs have non-Caucasian (non-white) people in that crowd. 
  • If there is not a single minority among the residency crowd, then put it as a red flag and do not waste your money applying to that program.  Chances are that if you are a minority, they may overlook you.  If you have good USMLE scores, then you may have a shot at an interview, but look at their selection of residents and judge for yourself if applying to that program is worth it.
I just gave you my two-cents.  I could be wrong but I went through many residency programs and I'm making a decision that would increase my chances of getting interviews.  Good luck to everyone.

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Applications for Residency

It's been a while since I updated and I have fair reasons.  I am currently focusing on Step 3 and working on programs to look into.  It's imperative that from now till application season, you do all you can to rev up your applications.  You need to stand out and try to look at your self from a residency program director's point of view.  I have been in contact with residents, residency faculty, and other fully licensed doctors on what to do and what not to do.  Here is the list:

  • Do not wait! Apply to all the programs you will ever apply to on the first day.
  • Try to meet the chief residents and program directors in any way possible
  • Do clerkships in the hospitals you want to get into
  • Try not to apply to different specialities, if you want Internal Medicine (IM), then stay with Internal Medicine.  Do not apply to IM, Family, Psychiatry, Peds, at once.  
  • Get PERSONAL letters of recommendations from your attending doctors, and waive your right to see them.
  • Be ECFMG certified before applications go if you can.
  • If you graduated very early then get USMLE Step 3 out of the way.
  • If you graduated very early then work at a clinic, programs are looking for experience.
  • Start writing your personal statements very early and make sure they are free from any errors. Get your friends, family, even other medical students to read them.  Also, personalize each personal statements to the state.  Find a connection to the residency programs such as if you did rotations there, or you worked there, or went to undergrad there, etc.
I hope this helps.  I'm extremely busy at the moment running around doing many things so I'm not blogging as much.

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Jackson Park Hospital vs Mercy Hospital

Students of St. James School of Medicine have two hospitals in Chicago to to do their core rotations: Jackson Park Hospital or Mercy Hospital.  The hospitals are 15 minute drive from each other.  The question is which one will you choose.

Mercy Hospital

  • It's near South Loop
  • It's a clean hospital
  • It's in a safer area
  • It's hard to get A's
  • They sponsor J1 visas for Canadian students
  • They have multiple residencies.

Jackson Park Hospital (JPH)

  • It's near 75th street
  • It's not so clean hospital, but they are renovating
  • It's in a dangerous area, Southside Chicago
  • It's easy to get A's
  • They do not sponsor any visas.
  • They only have Family Medicine Residency
The problem with JPH is that while doing your core rotation, there isn't much guidance there.  It's more scut work for students than actually teaching.  No doubt you will learn hands on on so many various cases, but the guidance isn't there.  The residents are also not the happiest there.

Mercy hospital has proper teachers and guidance.  They provide a lot of support to students.  If you do rotations there than you can increase your chances in getting a residency there.  The same cannot be applied to JPH, they rarely give any students, who did rotations there, a residency position.

So in order to get the benefits of both, schedule all of your core rotations at JPH and conduct all of your electives at Mercy Hospital.  The rotations you did at JPH, if you are weak on that subject, then schedule it at Mercy.  By doing this you will not only get all A's in your core rotations but you will also learn with guidance.

I hope this helps.

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