Hey guys, hope everyone is well!

I am an IMG who graduated from med school in 2017, and have been preparing for the USMLE because I am interested in practicing in the US.
I am searching to gain clinical experience in America, to further raise my chances to get matched in to a residency program, and have been looking into the various observerships/externships the internet has to offer.*

Currently I am occupied with an internship at a hospital in my country, which will come to an end soon.

It is preached over, that at least 3 LORs, give a huge boost in the matching process in America, and since I canít do clinical electives/clerkships anymore, I am resorting to these programs.*It has been hard to select a suitable program for myself, since the ones I came across were too expensive and others are claimed to be insufficient in order to get matched because they donít provide with LORs. Many also required an ECFMG registration which I donít have at the moment.

I am writing to inquire the importance of these programs, and how they are going to be beneficial for me when applying for the match.

First of all, Iíd like to hear your opinion about the*ďfor-profitĒ*observerships such as*FMG Portal*and*AMO Opportunities? Are they going to be worth the money, clinical experience and most importantly an LOR? As I did mention earlier, that the programs were expensive, so would anyone kindly recommend any other programs, or give your own advice that if I should still go for the ones mentioned above or any other.

Furthermore, I came across an article and it pointed out that a clinical experience would be strengthened if it consists of a research opportunity. Can you shed some more light on this, and recommend any programs that do offer these opportunities.

Lastly, is it possible to get attached in other hospitals through networking in a single observership? Itís difficult to search for these programs on the internet, since they all have different requirements and timings. One comes across many of these on the web, and those that might be a perfect choice can go easily unnoticed.

I understand the step 1 and step 2 ck are the main requirements for anyone to get matched, but me being a NON-US citizen, it puts me at a disadvantage to get matched. If there are any IMGs here who were in the same boat as me, and did match, can you please share your experience here?

I am keenly looking forward to your replies.

Thanks a lot for taking out the time to read this.