If your dream is to become a doctor in America, there are a number of steps you must go through, and finding the best clinical rotations for medical students is a crucial step in the process. Applying for a US Medical Residency as an international student can be arduous and pose a number of pitfalls difficult to navigate. These tips are intended to help readers get the residency they want, regardless of their home country of origin.

Ace Your Exams

Clearly, your chance of getting your dream medical rotation will hinge on your exam scores, so you want to ace them. Keep in mind that as an international residency applicant you will be competing against thousands of others who have the same goals. Your scores will be the main thing that advocates for you alongside any company you invest in that helps you get your ideal residency. Simply put, scoring well on your exams can’t be emphasized enough.

In some cases, an international student’s only chance at making a lasting first impression is through exam scores. So don’t take the USMLE Step I or II, or COMLEX Levels I and II for granted. This is exactly why students should create a solid plan throughout their preclinical years to achieve a high score on the USMLE Step I exam. Based on the school you’re attending, you may be required to take the USMLE Step I exam before or after your clinical rotations start. So plan everything out.

When most people are in their third year of medical school, they take the USMLE Step II and taken one year after clinical rotations start. And this is often the third year of med school for most students. Regardless or not whether your school requires the completion of a test after each main rotation, acquire a question bank to work with over the years and tackle each specialty during the corresponding prim rotation.

Finally, the scheduling of your USMLE Step II tests should be a concern because you will need to be ECFMG-certified (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) to be regarded as a considerable applicant for most American residency programs.

Personal Statements

All too often students put together personal statements out of necessity and give them little thought. And though they may not be regarded as crucial pieces, they in fact have the power to make your application stand out above the thousands of other applicants seeking American medical rotations and US clinical experience.

If you partner with an agency that specializes in helping international students get residency programs in America, they will likely help you with your personal statement. But if you are relying on your own capabilities to put this together, these tips will help.

You should have your personal statement completed by the time you request a recommendation letter. This will give a perspective on why you are choosing the specific specialty you are applying to. Many of the larger programs have several tracks such as research, global health, emergency medicine, and so on. This is why your personal statement should be customized to the track you are applying to. Avoid a generic letter and using a variety of specialties because it is rather telling that you are not as committed as others.