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AMA - Canadian graduated from USMD, now in US residency.


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Hi, I have some time on my hands and I can answer some questions. 

My background: Canadian citizen, Canadian undergrad, graduated US MD program, now doing residency in the USA on H1B. I have also met a lot of other international students along the way who came from different backgrounds, so I have some knowledge of pathways that are different from my own. 

I'm happy to answer any questions regarding this process or anything else. 

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On 5/27/2022 at 12:53 AM, Xbox Skully said:

Do you plan on coming back to Canada after residency and did you pick a residency that is the same length or more as the Canadian one?

I plan to stay in the US after residency. I have always wanted to move to the US ever since I was very young. Although I have friends who are heading back to Canada even though their residency years don’t match the Canadian system. They either do a fellowship or are doing the 1 year supervised practice route. Either way it isn’t very hard to go back to Canada. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks a lot for doing this. I am wondering during your matching process for residency, did you feel that the PDs were biased against you at all because you need H1B visa sponsorship? If so, would there still be a slight disadvantage even if we take J-1 instead? 

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On 6/6/2022 at 10:34 PM, MedDragon said:

Thanks a lot for doing this. I am wondering during your matching process for residency, did you feel that the PDs were biased against you at all because you need H1B visa sponsorship? If so, would there still be a slight disadvantage even if we take J-1 instead? 

On residency applications, there’s a check box that asks you if you need visa sponsorship. I suspect a lot of people who check that box are true IMGs who went to non-US med schools then came to the US to match, since there are so few international students in US med schools. I do feel that I didn’t match as well as I expected, but I don’t know how much my visa status played into that or maybe my specialty just had a competitive match that year. A lot also depends on your specialty. Like IM is extremely friendly to international students, and Canadians in my class who applied to IM matched very well. 
 

Nothing in the application asks whether you wanted H1B or J1, and whether I wanted one vs the other didn’t come up in the interviews except when I brought it up myself. I feel that J1’s advantage during the match comes from having so many more programs willing to sponsor it compared to the H1B, not from programs differentiating applicants based on who want which visa.
 

 

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12 hours ago, summergirl said:

On residency applications, there’s a check box that asks you if you need visa sponsorship. I suspect a lot of people who check that box are true IMGs who went to non-US med schools then came to the US to match, since there are so few international students in US med schools. I do feel that I didn’t match as well as I expected, but I don’t know how much my visa status played into that or maybe my specialty just had a competitive match that year. A lot also depends on your specialty. Like IM is extremely friendly to international students, and Canadians in my class who applied to IM matched very well. 
 

Nothing in the application asks whether you wanted H1B or J1, and whether I wanted one vs the other didn’t come up in the interviews except when I brought it up myself. I feel that J1’s advantage during the match comes from having so many more programs willing to sponsor it compared to the H1B, not from programs differentiating applicants based on who want which visa.
 

 

Thank you for the detailed comments.

 

I read some interviews of PDs from top programs, and they mentioned that they use filters to go through their ~10000 applications before reading each application individually. Unfortunately, one of the filters that they commonly use is visa status. This made me wonder whether we might get screened out at some programs even before the interviews. Did you feel you also received fewer interviews than expected, or the problem was only the match result itself?

 

I am also interested in matching into US IM residencies, preferrably at a top program to make it easier for competitive fellowships and international opportunities. Do you know where your Canadian classmates matched to for IM? Could you also comment on the level of difficulty of matching into T20 IM programs as a Canadian from a mid-tier USMD program, and whether I will likely have to settle for a J1 over H1B. 

 

Thanks a lot. It was very helpful of you to create this thread and share the info. Really appreciated. 

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