I'm an old IMG (YOG 6 years) failed USMLE Step 1 and just passed on 2nd attempt. 192 now I'm really scattered. Is there any chance of getting into residency if i pass step 2 & 3 with good marks and in 1st attempt & get some LOR? Is there any hope for residency?


Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

User avatar for Michael Schoch

Thanks for the clarifying notes! While your Step 1 Medical Licensing Examinations are very important for getting a residency, whether or not you get one will depend on a variety of factors.

First, know that you're not alone or doing anything wrong! Roughly 30% of international medical students fail The Boards the first time. This article gives a very in depth explanation of what program directors screen for when choosing residents. It confirms that USMLE scores are very important, but it also reveals that 36% of schools only require a passing score. It also reveals that your letters of recommendation, personal statement and the continuity of your education are all also heavily weighed.

If you think you can pass Step 2 and 3 with good marks and also produce very strong letters of recommendation, you may be able to find a residency. Try to accentuate any other strengths you may have such as volunteer work or specialized knowledge on your applications. I'm not an expert by any means, but I would imagine that directors will want to know what you've done during the six years since graduating medical school and as a result, I think it will be important to make sure that your CV reflects any and all unconventional strengths you have as a candidate.

There are also useful articles on Noodle to guide you through each step of your USMLEs.

I'm sorry I can't give you a more targeted answer, but without knowing more about you as a student it's hard to offer any definitive answers. Other articles and experts on the subject indicate that failing Step 1/ having low scores will limit your options for residencies, but it certainly won't disqualify you from getting a residency altogether.

Best of luck and feel free to ask more clarifying questions as you need!

Anonymous, anonymous

IMG = international medical graduate

YOG 6 years = year of graduation, 6 years ago

LOR = letters of recommendation

Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

User avatar for Michael Schoch

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I understand your question. I'm really sorry about that! Feel free to clarify or ask a related question. It may help my understanding if you refrain from using abbreviations or acronyms. Instead, spell everything out in its entirety. This way we can be sure we're on the same page!

Sorry about the misunderstanding, but feel free to write back any time!

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