One of the aspect or cause of our failure to Match residency program here in USA is wasting of time in observerships. Residency programs don’t consider observerships/research/externship as USCE (United States Clinical Experience) for international medical graduates because whatever you do they think it’s not a quality clinical experience.
So I don’t know how much observership or externship really helps. It might help also depending on individual cases but it is my opinion that if a USA degree is mentioned like a master’s degree or strictly clinical experience like surgical assistant or something like that, it would look good on resume/CV. Honestly if you are in USA for more than 1 year just doing observership, its not gonna help. If you in USA for 3-6 months waiting for match or applying for match than it’s a good idea to do some observership/externship. People usually say observership is helpful, well it indeed but not for 2-3 years, program director might have applicants who did master or some post grad degree while in USA, so they would prefer applicants with some educational/academic activities rather than just observership/research etc.. I hope I am clear now. I have seen it myself and hopefully you will also be able to see the change in your CV when you do a USA degree.
The other thing is when you are in USA don’t waste time get some diploma or something so that even if you failed to Match for whatever reason you should always have a back up plan and something you can do. And lastly my friends “USA is not the end of world, wasting years and years in search of residency and driving cabs or working at gas station does not worth it”. If you have resources then please travel somewhere else and get your goals over there. So bottom line is “Don’t waste time while staying in USA waiting for residency.”
I am going to mention some link so that you can try them and find out, what is good for you:
1. Optometry is a degree which lets you practice as an optometrist and thinking long term you might get residency in ophthalmology. There is a school in Massachusetts, New England School of optometry, which lets foreign medical grads. finish the degree in just 2 years.
2. Master in Public Health, (MPH). It helps you getting a master degree and residency in occupational health, preventive medicine and even family practice. One example is a link below, there are almost 26-30 schools of public health in USA and it’s easy to get admission. Search the web for school of public health.
3. Surgical Assistant. Certified surgical assistant get good pay and great clinical experience.
4. Master/Ph.D. degree in any basic Medical sciences like Pathology, pharmacology etc… this is offered by a lot of university programs and it’s not very hard to get into. It definitely helps in getting residency and a job. One example is a link below, there are 100’s of universities offering masters programs. search the web for your program of choice
5. Non-accredited fellowships in USA. These are fellowships offered by different intitutions like post doc research fellowships and clinical fellowships. US graduates don’t do these because they are not accredited and don’t make the eligibility criteria for board exams purposes. Some of the examples are below and you can find opportunities like these on web. The clinical fellowships require you to have ECFMG certificate, so that they could issue you a institutional permit, to work with the patients. Post Doc research fellowships could be in any field, pharmacology, pathology, biochem etc.. Clinical fellowships are in CV surgery, ENT and other subspecialties.
If you failed to Match there is also another option of “School of perfusion technology”. The perfusionist makes good money and it’s a technical work. Basically it is the person who runs the By-pass machine during cardio-thoracic surgeries. It’s a good field but schools in USA don’t emcourage IMGs to do this course but there is no harm in trying.
6. Physician Assistant is also another option if you failed to Match but most schools require that you have BS degree from USA to enter into the school.
7. Postgraduate medical education in the other countries of the world.
Guys, we have to help each other by spreading the information, so don’t keep the info to yourself - spread it. It might help somebody like you.