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US residency for CMGs - deciding very late

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Hello! I am a med-4 at a Canadian school who may have to apply to the US for residency for pretty compelling personal reasons. I really didn't anticipate this till now and as such, have not taken any of the Step exams. My question is: will I really be shooting myself in the foot if I voluntarily forego carms this year and take a year off after med school to write the exams/rotate in the US and apply to ERAS? Any advice at all would be super appreciated! Thank you!

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That would be a path not often taken. I don't think it would be impossible, what specialty are you thinking? I think it would obviously hurt you a bit but I don't think it would be a dealbreaker. You really need to check if your medical school is okay with this, because they need to allow you to remain a medical student, otherwise you can't do electives in the US. You should also talk to Canadians who've matched to the US and ask about their experiences.

If there is a will there is a way like they say. 


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Would not recommend....programs look at years post grad (you’ll have gaps), also if no citizenship status limited choices, USA clinical experience  and most important your step 1 and 2 scores


basically you are considered a foreign grad 

I was a USA med student and USA resident for family medicine...so maybe psych may be different...my program only accepted citizens/green card holders and filtered out foreign grads first 

you are a bit too late, If you already completed steps and had USA clinical experience and no gaps/not a late grad then it’s a different story 

not sure what situation is now but when I was applying applications were already open and interview invites already happening after July 1


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You have 10 months left in M4, use this time to do as many psych electives in Canada and if possible some in the US. Ask your school to allow you to delay graduation so you can keep doing some US electives and be ready to apply - you need step 1 done  and ideally step 2ck. You take the risk with the gap year, but if its "compelling personal reasons", then its worth a shot given you dont wanna commit 5 years to a city in Canada if you need to be in the US.

Just be sure these compelling reasons are good reasons.

I think its doable - IMGs match to residencies in the US all the time, a well prepared CMG with US electives and strong LORs from your Canadian psych rotations also, you should be able to match somewhere. The problem is does "compelling personal reasons" mean you are targeting a specific region? That makes things ALOT more tricky as Drake19 pointed out, would significant decrease your chances...in which case you're better off just going into carms right away and figuring out other compromises. 

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On 7/25/2021 at 1:21 PM, bluemonkey said:

Thanks so much Edict!! I hope to match to psych! Really good to know that I would have to remain a student to be able to do electives in the US!! Definitely have loads of things to figure out, but nice to know it's not impossible!!!

Definitely doable, but I would imagine that you need to talk to your school's career counsellors and lay out what you can and cannot do electives wise. Study hard for step 2 scores because that is crucial as you will be an unknown quantity.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/25/2021 at 11:21 AM, bluemonkey said:

Thanks so much Edict!! I hope to match to psych! 

Keep in mind that if you want to ever practise psych in Canada you will need an extra year of postgrad training because US psych residency is 4 years vs Canadian which is 5 years.

FYI i have heard on US psychiatrist groups that I am in that psych is becoming quite competitive in the USA.

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