Coming to America for Residency: 5 Tips to Follow

Get ready for Medical residency in the U.S.

When you come to the U.S. for residency, what should you know?

If you’re ready to do your medical residency in America, you’ve probably done all the nitty gritty preparations of getting your paperwork and credentialing straightened out. If you need a quick refresher, take a look at this handy checklist.

But once you’ve got the forms figured out and your plane ticket booked, how can you make America feel like home?

Besides understanding the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit and that football isn’t called football over here — there are a few other things you can do to help ease your adjustment into American culture during your residency.

Let’s get started:

1. Stay connected to home

Once you move here, you’re going to experience culture shock. That’s completely normal, but to minimize the “strangeness” of everything, remind yourself of home. Download your favorite TV shows or movies … view full post »

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How to Prepare for the 2016 Match℠


Are you ready to submit your residency applications for the 2016 Match?

Is it May already? For those of you planning to submit applications for the 2016 Match, there is no better time to start thinking about how you can maximize your time and effort towards creating an inviting application – one that gets the attention of program coordinators and gets you those coveted interviews. Below are some specific steps you can take between now and this fall.

On Time is the Right Time

The best way to make sure program coordinators look at your application is to make sure it arrives as close to September 15, 2015 as possible for the 2016 Match. If you submit a late or incomplete application, you run the risk of not having your application read at all.  Programs have a set number of interviews to grant and they won’t wait to start offering them. Submitting a … view full post »

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What Matters Most in Your Residency Application?


What is the most important part of your residency application?

Kaplan Medical Advisors hear this question about as frequently as any other. There really are two aspects to consider: how do medical residency programs choose who to interview and how do they decide how to rank candidates? With this perspective, you quickly realize there are many options for the “most important part.”

What 94% of Residency Program Directors Want

In the 2014 NRMP® Program Director Survey, USMLE Step 1 scores were ranked at the top by 94% of residency program directors as the most important “factor in selecting applicants” to interview. Each residency program has their own way of deciding who to invite, but nearly all of them have filters that preclude certain applicants. Your USMLE Step 1 score is often the first filter. If you haven’t taken this exam yet, try our free diagnostic exam and … view full post »

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Are USMLE® Score Predictors Accurate?


Are USMLE score predictors accurate?

by Christopher Cimino, MD, FACMI
Vice President, Kaplan Medical

Everyone would like the reassurance of knowing in advance the USMLE® score they will get. Most of you would settle for any kind of score prediction. Surely it should be possible to take a USMLE practice test and get some kind of prediction from that, right?
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March 2015: The USMLE® Step 1 Test Change


What does the March 2015 bulletin mean?

by Christopher Cimino, MD, FACMI
Vice President, Kaplan Medical

What does it mean when the USMLE® reduces the number of questions on their Step 1 exam from 322 to 308?

The short answer is: more time per question, right?

Yes, but there’s more. What people really want to know is what’s really going on, but the USMLE organization isn’t offering an explanation. We know the 322 questions are composed of some questions that cover the stated topics in roughly the stated proportions as described in the USMLE Bulletin. We also know that there are a few questions that aren’t counted toward the score. These un-scored questions are new items that are being tested to determine if they are good enough to be used in future USMLE exams. Our best guess is that when these 14 questions are removed in May 2015, … view full post »

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My Match Story

My Match StoryHoo boy. Match Day. On Match Day, you actually get an email which is very obnoxiously titled “Did I Match?”


And so, I opened the questionably questioning email which seemed to take an eternity to load and…

Well, I should probably tell you a bit more about myself. I studied medicine in the Central University of Venezuela, which, as you may suspect, is located in Venezuela. I then moved to the U.S. and did all my steps with Kaplan, whom honestly was a great help. My Kaplan med advisor helped me with my personal statement for the Match even though she had already left the center to start residency. I made many wonderful friends in the centers, and learned a lot in observerships I found … view full post »

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How to Get A Great Letter of Recommendation

Letters of Recommendation for the NRMP Match

How do you get a great letter of recommendation? We’ve got some helpful tips.

I’m always asked if letters of recommendation are important.  They absolutely are, and I won’t even review an ERAS® application until I have at least two letters of recommendation uploaded, no matter how outstanding all of the other information might be.

I look closely at letters from other program or associate program directors or vice chairs of education. They might say something like, “I’ll be recruiting this person to my own program,” which is a great testament to that candidate’s characteristics and strengths. However, letters from hospitalist or ambulatory clinician educators and clerkship directors who have worked closely with the candidate carry as much weight.

Good letters incorporate how the writer knows the medical student, what specialty the candidate is applying to, the qualities of that person that make them an exceptional choice for the specialty in view full post »

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Your Road to Residency

Everyone has a role in this world, but your path is unique. Becoming a doctor in America takes more than a plane ticket and a great CV.

So, how do you become a doctor in America?

The path isn’t short, but every step of it is covered here. Check out the slideshow to learn more!


Your journey is just beginning. Visit to learn more about how you can start preparing for your medical career in the United States.… view full post »

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USMLE Step 2 CS: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Kaplan Medical’s Step 2 CS LivePrep program.

By: Melanie Piatkowski, Medical Programs Director for Live Programs at Kaplan Medical

How much thought have you given to the USMLE Step 2 CS when planning your road to residency? There are many aspects of this exam that I have seen students underestimate. I hope that by the end of this article, you will have gained insight as to the importance of this exam and how to avoid common pitfalls students encounter.

Don’t Underestimate the Cost.

It is important to consider the $1,480 cost of the exam itself as well as the additional travel and hotel expenses to one of the five USMLE Step 2 CS testing centers (Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles). Also, be aware of the new rescheduling fees (shown below).  Don’t underestimate the logistical and academic planning required in order to avoid having to pay up to $1,230 … view full post »

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Lessons Learned from the 2014 NRMP Match

med-Medical-Residency-Series-2014The academic year is in full swing. The interns are quickly learning the ropes and arcing the proverbial steep learning curve. It’s hard to believe that the new residency recruitment cycle is about to begin and that the ERAS mailbox has opened this week. As we prepare for the 2015 NRMP Match, it’s helpful to reflect on the 2014 match outcomes to see if there are lessons to be gleaned and predictions to be made.

Don’t miss the upcoming Medical Residency Event Series. Register here for free!

Medical Residency Applications: Advice & Tips from Residents
Thursday, SEPTEMBER 18 @ 8pm – 9pm ET / 5pm – 6pm PT

Medical Residency Interview Practice
Thursday, SEPTEMBER 25 @ 8pm – 9pm ET / 5pm – 6pm PT

Medical Residency Application Advice from Dr. Conrad Fischer
Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 30 @ 8pm – 9pm ET / 5pm – 6pm PT

Medical Residency Applications: Advice & Tips from view full post »

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