USMLE and Residency-Match Strategies For IMGs

Thank you for visiting this International Medical Graduate-focused website!  Here you will find information on the entire process from the USMLE Step 1 all the way through to the residency match. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to read a bit about me.

On this website, you will find information about:

1. USMLE Books, USMLE Courses and QBanks 

The growing list of topics on this site includes how to prepare for the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK, and what resources such as USMLE question banks are popular and may be useful for your own preparation. More articles are coming on Step 2 CS and Step 3. It is very important to use the best USMLE books to fit your situation and to do many practice questions from the best Qbanks. Some of you may decide to do live or online courses and workshops provided by companies such as Kaplan and others.

2. Becoming a better residency applicant

Get advice on how to get the best US clinical experience, on preparing your personal statement, residency application CV, and on how to ace your residency interviews. I have evaluated applications, interviewed applicants and advised many IMGs, and I share my thoughts on the application process on this site. You can read more about me here.

3. Being part of a community with other like-minded, motivated IMGs.

You can SUBSCRIBE to get the latest articles emailed to you and I encourage you to join the Steps To Residency Facebook Community also. Please note that the the website forum will be inactive as of December, 2016.

“This website has helped me throughout every step in my journey towards residency, even from the good old days before Step 1! The information is laid out systematically and has proved fruitful in understanding the exams, what to do to have an edge in your application as an IMG and also links to other resources. Thanks so much!”

– N.S. (successfully matched 2015)


“I am an IMG from Greece and decided to give step 1 as a test for my ability to be a resident in US. I spent many hours searching on various forums about what source is the best to use, how much time to spend, what is the minimum score that I should get to have hopes for matching. I finally learned about ”Steps To Residency” and I mailed Shinji to ask him about the exam and US residency generally. Surprisingly next day I got a very motivating email which was also very informing and detailed. My score in step 1 came 257 and now I am studying for CK and thanks to the information on how to read for it I am very efficient from the beginning!”

– L.T.


“I’d like to thank you for all the wonderful articles you’ve written on the process of obtaining a residency – I have yet to see a more comprehensive resource on the internet!” – S.K.


“Your website has been a wonderful help. In my many hours of trawling the internet for IMG advice, your website has been by far the most useful and insightful. Please keep the information coming!!” – A.R.


“Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us IMGs out there. I am so pleased to have finally come across organised information from an insider like you and I wish I found out your blog earlier!” – E.M.


“I have been reading your articles almost everyday and compared to all the other websites, your’s by far has been the most helpful.” – S.I.


“I would like to thank you on this awesome website.It is really helpful for IMGs aiming for US residency.” – S.M.

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9 Replies to “USMLE and Residency-Match Strategies For IMGs”

  1. Areeb

    Hi, I’m an I MG with a US passport and I would like to be a part of the 2016 matCD. I still have to do my step 1 and 2 . Is it possible to meet the deadlines for the 2016 match?

  2. morvaridk

    Hi, I would like to know what’s the best duration time for an observership in the US for an IMG? Is the duration of 4 weeks good enough to obtain a good letter of recommendation ? Or does the duration of observership that is written in the letter make a difference to our application? Thank you very much!

  3. ruchir137

    Hey, i want to apply for observership in usa. i am an indian medical student studying in 2nd year of medical school. is it necessary to have an step 1 score , before applying for observership?

  4. mohib naseer

    hi…i m a medical student..i m looking for electives in us…. so i have few questions…
    1. in which year i should apply for elective
    2. best place to apply for surgery electives
    3. total expenses along with accommodation and and admission fees for three months electives. thank you very much

  5. Ria

    Hi, I´m a MD in Peru. I´d like to do my residency in the States. I would love to become a surgeon but I know it´s really hard and competitive. Can you tell me how possible would that be? my odds?

  6. asperger

    Hi! I am an old IMG without any clinical or research experience for many years. I passed my step 2 ck with low score on second attempt. I have not taken any other steps. I want to know if it’s worth working hard to get high step 1 score to get into any residency program? I just want to know if I have any chance and ways to improve my position. Need to make a decision now.

  7. Shinji Post author

    Hello, thank you for your questions. I have posted a categorized reply to all of the above questions in a post “USMLE, residency and USCE Q&A”. All the best.


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