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.

Personal Statement for Residency Programs

Wring a personal statement can be a daunting task as it must be be carefully conducted and reviewed over and over again to have the right tone for residency program directors to notice it.  I didn’t know how important a person statement was until I had to research about it.  Your school may also need your personal statement before writing the MSPE letter (Dean’s letter).  Apparently it does carry a lot of weight because the personal statement is not based on any test scores or on any subjective perception from attending doctors or other people.
The personal statement should not be taken lightly as it could make you or break you when residency program directors read it. Some programs may give your personal statement a high priority and other programs may not, either or you want to be on the safe side and make the best out of your personal statement.
The following are some questions I gathered from researching online that could help you in writing your personal statement:
  • Why are you interested in the field you’ve chosen?
  • What are you looking for in a residency program?
  • What are your professional goals in the field you’ve chosen?
  • Why should a residency program select you?
  • What accomplishments should emphasize?
  • What contributions can you make to field you’ve chosen?
  • What contributions can you make to the residency program?
Other things to consider when wriring your person statement are as follows:
  • Make sure you have proper grammar on your statement as it will define professionalism.  
  • Choose your diction wisely.
  • Keep the length in 1 page or less, but not too less.
  • Make sure it’s high quality.
  • Review it over and over again. Also have at least 3 people, preferably medical students or doctors, to read it to give you a feed back of what they think.
The American Medical Association (AMA) have provided recommendations for writing a personal statement. Take a look at the AMA’s page, it has a sample of the personal statement.

Residency Preparation and Checklist

Whenever you are getting ready for residency, keep in mind that it’s going to be a lot of work.  I’m still trying to get my studying as I still need to take care of my board exams.  Also, taking the exam and getting the scores back in time is going to be an issue because it’s better for the residency programs to have all of your USMLE scores in their hands by the time of the application.  Also, make sure to get your letters of recommendation (LORs) very early, do not delay on that because attending doctors take forever to write them.
So far this is what my check list looks like.
  1. Get ERAS Token
  2. Get NMRP Token 
  3. Get AAMC ID; it’s usually the same as the MCAT for those who took the test before medical school.
  4. Get USMLE Transcripts
  5. Get MSPE (Deans Letter from school)
  6. Create a resume for residency program directors
  7. Letters of recommendation
  8. Write a personal statement
  9. Research on states that accept SJSM graduates
  10. Research residency programs
  11. Call up residency programs to see if they would accept my credentials
  12. Apply for ECFMG certification