Factors for matching
Of all the issues that IMGs address, what factors are important for getting interviews and for the same reason matching into a program. There are several variables involved in the match process including step scores, USCE, visa status etc. Based on information from NRMP and inputs from fellow IMGs including myself, I have compiled a list of factors that make for a successful match.
Based on importance
I have arranged the factors in tiers of importance with tier 1 factors being most essential. Tier 1 factors are step 1 and step 2 scores, year of graduation and connections to a program. Next in the order of importance are tier 2 factors, which are USCE, visa status and step two CS results. Finally, the tier 3 factors are number of programs you apply to, specialty of application, step 3 results, publications and other degrees.
|Factor determining residency interview and match|
It is vital to note that the order of importance [from most important (green) to least important (red)] is inversely related to latitude of error that is allowed in that factor. For examples, errors or issues in tier 1 factors (low scores in step 1 or 2, very old date of graduation) can have the most detrimental effect on your application. Similarly, tier 3 factors, which are low importance, afford the greatest degree of latitude for error. Many applicants with low step 3 scores, no publications etc have and do match to programs of their choice. Some of this information is differentially weighted and then used in the algorithm here at the residency match and interview chances calculator.
In conclusion, focus on tier 1 factors for most success in residency and match process.