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* Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  hobo - 06/05/19 12:02
  I am an IMG, YOG 2003. After my residency and short period of clinical research in my home country, I came to US with F1-visa. I did a PhD in Pathology with 3 lead author publications in high impact peer reviewed journals. I now work in a well-reputed Biotech company as a senior scientist, making a decent salary, married with kids. There is not one fleeting day in my life, I don't think about my days in medical school, and career in medicine. I would like to go back. I passed USMLE step 1 and 2 more than 7 years ago, so the scores are no longer valid. At the time I didn't have green card, I was finishing up PhD, region bound from family and young children. I want to go back, take the tests again. Is it worth the effort? I am based in California, which I hear is not the best place for IMGs. Please advise, and share your experiences. Any candid feedback will be greatly appreciated.
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  hobo - 06/05/19 12:18
  Forgot to mention that my interest has always been Pathology and I would aim for residency in Pathology. My current work is mostly in genetics and diagnostics.  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  tata_box - 06/05/19 23:48
  Never every give up! Where in Cali?

My Skype ID is:


We can study together and encourage each other.

I am doing pathoma right now. May be you can help me preparing for the exam.
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  farhastep1 - 06/08/19 11:43
  honestly... you have excellent chances....  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  esblklebsiella - 06/08/19 12:37
  Do not give up on your dream if you are still passionate about practicing medicine. Just accept the reality of how big a challenge we face as IMGs. I know someone who graduated in 2004 and just matched this year. Granted, it is not your every day story but it shows it is possible. When its time to apply, apply wide and smart. Focus on community programs with a good track record of accepting IMGs  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  kakakow - 06/12/19 14:55
  Hi. It is not impossible in pathology. I have seen residents in their fifties. it really something you want to do? Pathology is geographically limited. You will probably have to move for residency, again for fellowship, maybe for a 2nd fellowship, and for your job when you find one. Is your family OK with that?

The clinical scientist role is quite good in my opinion. I would not leave it for six years of training at low salary and repeated moves to random places.
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  kakakow - 06/12/19 15:20
  In one's 40s, there is no longer infinite time, so you have to think about quality of life for yourself and family over the next six years, not only quality of life after you are done.

Pathology residency is difficult. It is not as bad as many other nights at the hospital, CP rotations are like normal working hours. But it is also very long--4 years AP/CP + 1-2 fellowship. The programs that are friendly to older IMGs can be scut mills and the surgical pathology rotations can be very difficult. The AP/CP boards are difficult--especially if you come from one of these programs where there is a lot of scut work and little education. Assuming you are making $150k now, you will lose almost $600k (and the income if you had invested that $600k) in the 4+2 years you are in training and be unable to save for retirement or your kids' education.

And then after all of that is done, it will be difficult to find your first job. Look at -- the advertised jobs are in places like Bismarck ND, Boise Idaho, etc. and even those ads are drawing 80-100 applicants. If you are lucky enough to find a job near either coast, your starting salary may not be much more than you are making now (although eventually you may potentially make much more).

Maybe you love medicine so much that you want to do this. But understand that even though matching is the bottleneck, in terms of difficulty it is only the beginning.

It is human nature, especially in midlife, to look back and regret the roads not taken. I guess at the end of the day if you can think of no other way of being happy, you should pursue your dream. If you can adapt your dreams and be happy with what you have, your life will probably be much easier.
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