Facts to Know About Residency Process

The residency process is no easy ride. It will be harder than studying for the boards.  If you study for the boards then you have a good chance of doing well.  However, when it comes to residency you can have all your requirements but there’s still no guarantee of getting residency, even if you get a lot of interviews.

Consider the following when you apply for residency:

  • Apply to all your programs on the first day, it’s usually September 15th.
  • Don’t expect to get interviews from all the programs you applied to.
  • You will be disappointed from time to time, but always keep your head up.
  • Make sure you get all your USMLE scores submitted before September.
  • Make sure you “waive” your right to see your letters of recommendation.
  • Research the programs before applying to them; make sure you fulfill all their criterias.
  • Do not rely on “hookups” from your friends who are already in residencies.
  • The best and the only person you to impress is the program director.
  • Go to medical conferences before September.
  • Always apply to Family Medicine programs even if you are seeking another specialty.
  • When applying broadly, it means apply to multiple specialties, but remember to back your choice up if you get interviews.
  • Always be kind and courteous to everyone, especially to program coordinators, they are the gateway to a residency position.
  • Timing is everything so doing everything before September gives you the upper hand.
I hope this helps, and please give me your feedback.

No More SJSM Bonaire Campus

So what started in 2013 is about to be completed.  The debate of if Bonaire campus closing is finally here.  SJSM has confirmed it from their website.  At least students now don’t have to worry about the mistreatments by the locals.  During my stay there, the Bonaire locals gave me a hard time even when I did follow their rules.  Of course not all locals were like that, there are few from the rest that were very polite and nice.

This is bad news for the Bonaire economy but good news for St. Vincent, as the students bring in about $10 million a year as I heard when I was a student there.  I’m sure it’s more now with the new campus on St. Vincent and expanded class size.

SJSM St. Vincent has a sole campus built from ground up.  As of 2015, the school will be 15 years old clearing its way to apply for California whenever they apply for it.

Canadians Who Are Denied Statement of Need

The Canadian Ministry of Health is going to cap out how many Canadian citizens are allowed to get residency positions in the US.  I don’t understand the reason behind it because Canada needs doctors, but it’s important to know all the facts if you are Canadian citizen.  For those who plan to get a J-1 visa, you have you re-new your work visa every year but you need Statement of Need one time for ECFMG.

Get US Citizenship If You Can
If you are in basic sciences or in clinical rotations, do your self a favor and find a way to get US green card or citizenship. A strong factor for applicants to get residency is their visa status. Residency programs do have the ability to sponsor you but they will choose not to if they can avoid it because the fees and paperwork is overwhelming; also they don’t have the staff to do all that.

What if you are denied Statement of Need (SON)?
In a last post, I wrote that Statement of Need from Canada will be limited for the upcoming year.  To recap, SONs are needed to get ECFMG sponsored J-1 visas to start residency.  Unfortunately Canada sees the SONs as a whole for the entire country and the numbers are not correct, according to my research.  One way to get around this and get a SON from the Health Ministry is to call hospitals from your residential province and ask them if they need doctors for the specialty you are seeking to get residency in.  If they say yes, which is most likely, then get an office letter from them or an email, and send that to the Health Ministry. I’m sharing this because Canadians who were denied SONs in the past use this method.  I strongly recommend you stay away from specializing and focus on Internal medicine or Family Medicine to increase your chances to get an SON.