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Thread: Building a resume for Residency

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    LostInMedSchool is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Building a resume for Residency

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    I was talking to a fellow future Ross medical student about residencies and some of the difficulties that IMGs have getting what they want. Part of the discussion was about the inherent downside to the way that Ross and other Caribbean schools curriculum is split up between island time and US rotation time. I know the downside can be overcome. I work with Ross docs that have done VERY well for themselves. I'm just wondering if anybody can offer some insight or prospective on this...

    I have friends at local medical schools that were able to get into research or extra projects as MS 1s and contribute to them all throughout their medical school time. Not only did it allow them to have something else to show residency programs besides STEP numbers and grades, but it also allowed them to build some critical networking relationships. However, Ross is a little different because there is island time, a mandatory Miramar rotation and then other rotations throughout the country. Even if all rotations are able to be accomplished in one area, the time that you spend there is still going to be relatively short. I know that test scores and grades are important, but so are extracurricular contributions and networking, especially when it comes to residency. Do you have any idea how Ross students are able to accomplish these, or is it just something that falls on the students' shoulders? I know that the island has an EMS system in which Ross students can be apart of, but is their anything else that is accessible to students that will really help bolster a Resume?

    Thanks for your input ahead of time. Happy new year!
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    leadsled is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostInMedSchool View Post
    I know that the island has an EMS system in which Ross students can be apart of, but is their anything else that is accessible to students that will really help bolster a Resume?

    Thanks for your input ahead of time. Happy new year!
    Happy New Year!

    First of all, in the medical profession, it is not called a "resume" but a Curriculum Vitae (CV). The CV is much different! I suggest you do an online search of medical Faculty, Professors, Physicians at US medical schools to get an idea of what a CV looks like and subsequently an idea of what to do to make your CV stand out! Also, having membership in a professional organization is a highlight that shows commitment to the profession.

    Here is a link to some samples:
    Sample Curriculum Vitae

    AMSA
    http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage/Me.../JoinAMSA.aspx
    Last edited by leadsled; 01-02-2015 at 07:35 AM.

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    LostInMedSchool is offline Newbie 511 points
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    I realize that I misspoken when I said Resume instead of CV. However, I think that the sentiment of the question is still the same: How does a Caribbean medical student produce a dynamic body of work to present to residency programs that is competitive with state-side medical students, when their education is so much more fractured between the time spent on the island and rotations?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to imply that the IMG path is at all inferior, I'm just wondering if there is any advice that I can consider along my path that will better serve me when i am applying to residencies.

    I will look into joining medical school organizations, thank you.

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    Haven't posted for a long long time, so I'll attempt tot reply.

    Your CV on ERAS is a fairly standardized format. You don't really make a formal CV you hand into a program director, although I do know of a few ppl that have done this as a supplement to their ERAS CV.

    To answer your question...

    I don't think your education between the island and beginning your clinical years is fractured. Keep in mind the curriculum has changed since I went through Ross, but when I went through the whole process, after 4th semester there was a short 3 week break before starting 5th semester, then after 5th semester if we passed the COMP and took the Step 1 shortly thereafter, we would be in rotations. So I wouldn't necessarily call it a fracture between your studies
    on the island and starting your clinical training stateside, unless you are planning a leave of absence after the island (don't to this).

    In terms of producing what you refer to as a "dynamic body of work" to place on your CV, that content just comes with the process itself of completing your medical education. You will progress through various checkpoints in your medical education such as completing basic science, step 1, step 2CK and CS, etc. All these items will naturally line up and fit right into your ERAS CV as they are completed. While basic science is an important component of your training as an upcoming physician, it is the least emphasized aspect of your residency application. Now of course if you've participated in activities on the island such as SGA, various clubs, etc, you can certainly place these on the areas of the ERAS CV that ask for such activities.

    If you are wanting to make your CV more marketable for the specialty your interested in applying to, then be sure you complete rotations in that particular specialty, do well obviously, and get letters of rec. Your evaluations from rotations include narratives that will be appended to your Dean's letter, hopefully clinical faculty that evaluate you will write more than just "good student" on such narratives. If you do some research and get to publish during your clinical years (not too many people have the time to do this), then that is a nice item to add to your CV and there is even a section for that on your ERAS CV.

    In terms of extracurricular activities, these are nice to have if you can have the time to accomplish them. They make for nice conversations during the interview. I will tell you as a former chief resident who helped interview/select residency candidates, we look at scores, scores, and scores. Then we look at the narratives in the MSPE or Deans letter and LORs. Yes it is a plus to know people who are connected. However I will say this with a caveat. It is helpful to know people within the program who have been in a position to evaluate your clinical skills as a medical student.

    This whole idea of knowing people who are in the residency program, but them having no idea about your abilities as an upcoming physician may not be helpful. I can tell you that people who have asked me (friends included) to speak on their behalf, but have never done a rotation in my department ultimately did not benefit from simply just knowing me. The most that ever happened in those situations was maybe another cursory look at their ERAS application, but nothing else beyond that.

    So with this being said, I recommend that if your intent is to network so you can either have a better chance at securing an interview later down the road, get to know faculty and residents very well that you work directly with during your rotations, especially at the places you intend to apply. Often times I've seen applicants even get moved up (or down) the rank list if another resident or faculty member comments about them during the rank meeting based on their clinical and interpersonal abilities.

    All the best. It will all fall into place for you as you progress through medical school.
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    Agree with TennisMan. If you look at the National Registry Match Program (NRMP) statistics from PD surveys, they care least about extra curriculars and most about grades in rotation of specialty, LOR from specialty, step scores, and how you interview. It's nice to have, but def not mandatory.
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    I was in the same boat. When I was chief resident, fellow, and now as faculty, it all came down to a few things
    1. Scores
    2. Scores
    3. Networking
    4. Extracurriculars.

    There's a trend here. Everyone has good scores. What sets you differently to compete against AMG's? It's the extracurriculars. I know it's difficult since some of them have done research, presented somewhere, etc, but you honestly can do the same things while on rotation. I did a research rotation when I was a 3rd year student. Some Ross students went to national conferences in the specialties that they were interested in to start networking at residency programs. I personally did away rotations at places that I considered doing residency in. In all of the cases I was the only IMG in a pool of AMG's, but hey I got an interview with the program after my rotation was done.

    There are ways to make yourself stand out in your CV. I know the emphasis is on scores, but what really can set you apart is your extracurriculars and networking.

    Best of luck!
    Hook 'Em Horns.

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    Better for networking is going to a national conference in the specialty you are applying. Go to their residency fair and etc. That will get some great contacts if you stay in touch with pertinent questions/follow up.
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