8 Points For Matching into Ob/Gyn as IMGs

This advice is geared towards international medical graduates (IMGs), but I’m sure it can be helpful to others. I found it hard to find specific IMG information for Ob/Gyn applicants so I hope this can be a help to someone! These are in no particular order:

Do well on your USMLE Step 1

This hands down is the most important factor in achieving a successful match. The USMLE is not like the MCAT where even if you pass, you can take it again. If you pass, even with a low score, you cannot take it again to get a higher score. You only have one chance to pass, so make it good! During medical school, we were advised that you want to score above the US average since being an IMG in itself can be a hinderance. Check out the NRMPs “Charting the Outcomes” document for the average USMLE Step 1/2CK/CS scores that are needed for Ob/Gyn.

Clerkships

You want to honor/high pass your Ob/Gyn clerkship. Of course you want to do well in all of your clinical rotations, especially in the field you want to match in (if you know it early on). For me, I actually started my third year interested in a completely different field than the one I finally decided I want to choose as a career. I tried to do my best in every rotation since I was unsure about what I wanted to do. Also, if I had a good relationship with an attending or clerkship director, I obtained my letter of recommendation right after the completion of the rotation. This was very helpful since I didn’t have to worry about scrambling at the last minute to obtain letters for ERAS. Also it is good to get the letters right after you finish a rotation since they remember you and can add specific information. Another tip: ask your letter writer if they can write you a “strong” letter of recommendation. The last thing you need is a generic letter!

My first rotation of third year was Ob/Gyn. I was terrified! Ob/Gyn was the last thing I’d ever thought I’d enjoy. I actually had my mind set to do emergency medicine or psychiatry. However, much to my surprise I enjoyed it so much that it changed my mind completely!

Electives

If possible, secure electives in any of the subspecialties of Ob/Gyn prior to the summer when you are applying for the match, so that if you need to obtain a letter you can get it before the first day of residency application submission (September). This is also helpful if you are still undecided if Ob/Gyn is the right choice for you. I did a Gyn Onc elective about 8 months after completing my third year rotation. This was really helpful because I didn’t have any Gyn Onc experience during my rotation, so it helped me to see another side of the field and solidify my choice to pursue Ob/Gyn. If you’re still short on letters, try to schedule a Sub-I during July/August. You want at least two letters from Ob/Gyn attendings, but i have heard of people matching with just one.

Indecision

If you are undecided between Ob/Gyn and another field, choose the other field. I was given this advice by an OB resident. Ob/Gyn is a tough but rewarding field and you really have to LOVE it in order to be happy. For me the risk of malpractice and other issues that may turn others away from the field were irrelevant since no other field seemed to “fit” me like Ob/Gyn did. I was willing to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Even after doing rotations in the fields I was originally interested in, none gave me that same feeling like Ob/Gyn!

Extracurriculars

If you’re interested in research, go for it. I chose to show my interest in the field of Ob/Gyn through community service, but do whatever is best for you! During my interviews, the big academic programs asked if I did any research, while the smaller community programs did not ask as much. Also do things that interest you!

ERAS/NRMP

Like any other field for IMGs, apply broadly to IMG friendly places. I used my schools past match lists as well as others from two major schools in the Caribbean. I also checked individual websites to see where their current residents went to school. A lot of places had old IMG matches, but nothing in the past 3-5 years, so I tried to gear my list that has a consistent history of matching IMGs. In total I applied to 104 programs, which also included some non-friendly IMG programs just due to location. I was also flexible as to not restrict my residency programs to one part of the country. Ob/Gyn programs tend to be smaller than internal medicine or family medicine programs so its important to make sure you apply to enough places to get enough interviews.

Interviews

If you’re offered an interview, take it, even if you do not want to match there. Trust me, when ranking time rolls around you want to make sure you have enough programs. A program will most likely not rank you if you did not interview there, even if they offer you an interview. As with any interview, be professional and be ready to explain why Ob/Gyn. It was asked in almost every single interview. Try not to have a generic response such as, “I like to deliver babies.” Also a lot of programs were interested in my hobbies and other interests. They want to make sure you do more than stick your head in a book all day! Find some extracurricular activities that you enjoy, and it helps if they are related to Ob/Gyn!

When it comes to ranking time, rank your programs in the order of your preference.

Fellowships

If you’re interested in pursuing a fellowship, you would want to train at a program that has a history of its residents matching to fellowship positions, in particular, in your field of interest. Also academic institutions tend to be more research oriented compared to smaller community programs. It also helps if the hospital has a Ob/Gyn fellowship in-house.

I hope these tips are helpful! While these are not golden rules to matching, these are things that I have learned along the way and have read/heard from other people. Good luck!

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20 Comments on "8 Points For Matching into Ob/Gyn as IMGs"

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Dr Abhishek
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Hey can you mail me a list of the IMG friendly programs? Or the list of the ones you applied to?

shirdani
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Hey I would also be glad to receive by mail your IMG friendly program list 🙂 Thanks

Maryam Fallatah
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Hi did you get the list ?

Anonymous
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Hi Dr.C !
great article up there,very helpful indeed. could you please share the img friendly programme’s one could apply for towards ObGyn? my email is : raisanoorkhan@gmail.com

Samira
Guest

Hi Dr. C,
I’m also from AUC and applying OBGYN this year. Would you mind sending the list of IMG friendly programs my way too please? I’d really appreciate that!

Maryam Fallatah
Guest

Hi did you get any answers fromy her?

B
Guest

I’m also an IMG interested in OBGYN, could I get a copy of that list? 🙂

AR
Guest

Hi Dr. C. Thanks for the excellent post, it really is a good guide for all imgs who aspire to get into OBGYN. I have done my residency in OBGYN from back home and will be applying this year. Could you please froward me the list of img-friendly programs too? Thank you!

saina
Guest

Hey AR! I am in the same boat. I have done residency in obg in my home county and now gonna apply this year. Did u match this year? Please share your email id, I would love to get in touch with you. Or u can email me to success.usmle14@gmail.com.

gia
Guest

Hey! wuld you send me IMG’s program list

Olive Osuoji
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Hi Dr.C. Thanks for thevery enlightening post! And gongratulations, there’s nothing like matching to the specialty you really love!! I’d appreciate it if you could forward me the list of IMG-friendly programs. Thanks!

Elayne
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Hi Dr. C, congratulations on matching to the specialty you are passionate about. 🙂 would you please forward me the list of IMG-friendly programs (elayne_ggonzalez@yahoo.com) I’d greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

FJ
Guest

Hi Dr. C, Thanks for posting this guide and congrats on matching. I’m an IMG and would appreciate it if you can forward me the list of IMG friendly programs you have compiled. Thank you very much!

Saba
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Hi Dr. C,
Thanks for the post!
Could you please send me the list of IMG friendly programmes you have compiled. It would be very helpful. 🙂 thanks!

Ale
Guest

Hi Dr. C:

Very helpful indeed! Could you please send the list of IMG friendly programs? Thanks in advance!

Osman Bhatty, MD
Admin
From Dr C — AUC/ROSS/SGU OBGYN Placements: A=AUC match, S=SGU match, R=Ross match 1. Abington Memorial Hospital, PA-S 2. Advocate IL Masonic Medical Center, IL-A 3. Albany Medical Center, NY-A, S, R 4. Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA –S,R 5. Arlington Hosp, DC-S 6. Atlanta Medical Center, GA-A 7. Atlantic Health (Morristown) Prog-Morristown, NJ-S 8. Aultman Hospital/ NEOUCOM, Canton, OH-S.R 9. Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, FL-A,S,R 10. Baylor College of Medicine, TX-S 11. Beth Israel Med Ctr, Newark NJ-R 12. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA-S 13. Bridgeport Hospital/ Yale University Program, CT-A,S, R 14. Brody School of Medicine… Read more »
Anonymous
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Hey guys,
I just wanted to ask for youtr advice whether it is a good thing or not to have LOR in internal medicine in case for application for OBGYN?
Thankss!

saina
Guest

Hey friend did u get any answer? I am also confused whether its wise to put LOR from internal medicine while applying fir gyne?

Paloma Rivero
Guest

could you sen dme the IGM friendly OB/GYN programs you did? thanks!

Anonymous
Guest

Hey everyone — the IMG friendly list in the posts so you can scroll up and see it.

As for using a LOR from IM to OB/GYN its OK to use a letter from another specialty if its a good one. I would advise that the majority of your letters are from within the specialty you are applying for though.

Hope tha thelps.

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