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* Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  hobo - 06/05/19 11:45
  Hello All,

I am an IMG, passing year 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 I passed USMLE step 1 and 2 more than 7 years ago, so the scores are no longer valid.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 12:17
  Forgot to mention that my interest has always been Pathology and I would like to do a residency in Pathology.  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  santhosh - 06/06/19 13:57
  Have you completed both the USMLE steps 1 and 2 exam within the 7 year period? because if you have completed bother the steps in 7 years and get ECFMG certified then there is no need to take step exams again.  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  kavya@4a1 - 06/15/19 13:19
  The chances may be tough but it is possible, by getting high scoes and completing all steps in first attempt. Also, getting multiple hands-on clinical experience in the same specialty you want to apply for match. Also, try to have connections it can be useful for your application.  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  drvandorn - 06/19/19 10:03
  Even though you graduated a long time ago, having a job in the meantime is better than not doing anything significant. That being said, you will need to retake your steps and get new rotations again, a lot of PDs will not like the fact itís been so long since you finished med school, so your chances are not great for matching.  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  kakakow - 06/19/19 13:02
  It is not impossible to match in pathology as an old graduate. I have seen IMGs in their fifties in residency.

However, while matching is the bottleneck it is still only the beginning of a long road. In the US, pathology is a small specialty with limited job opportunities except possibly in forensics--a career that is physically and emotionally very demanding.

Jobs are geographically scarce compared to other fields. Look at the job ads...current openings are in places like Boise ID, Bismarck ND, etc. Training is long compared to other fields--4 years AP/CP + probably 2 fellowships. Salary is not that high--for example the VA San Diego is hiring right now with a starting salary somewhere around $165k which may be less than what you make now as a scientist.

Almost everyone moves for residency, moves again for fellowship, maybe moves again for a 2nd fellowship, and then moves when they find a job. I am guessing as a senior scientist you are making at least $150k. Residency will take you down to $60-$70k for six years--you will not be able to save for retirement or kids' education. Your work hours in training will not be as bad as in other specialties but they will still be much worse than in your present job.

So consider whether pathology training is really something you want to invest a lot of time and money in pursuing. In my opinion, it's like a lottery where the prize is not really much better than what you have. Scientist jobs like the one you have are relatively competitive, and I think you are lucky.
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  symlin1 - 07/30/19 22:27
  Hey, same here. My USMLE scores are more than 10 years old. How do you know after 7 years we need to retake them? I understood as long as the gap between USMLE step & step 2 with STEP 3 is no more than 7 years, you should be able to get a medical license in almost every state. Please clarify. Btw, I have a friend who is anesthesiologist in home country who was able to do a fellowship in USA after almost 9 years of doing the STEPS.....  
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* Re:Chances of making it for a very old IMG
  kavya@4a1 - 08/08/19 14:20
  Once you are ECFMG certified then there is no need to retake USMLE steps again.  
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