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Author15 Posts

Hi everyone,

I'm an IMG, Grad 2003, USMLE 80/91/pass all with several attemps, ECFMG certification,

3 US LOR, 1US LOR from GI/Research at University of Chicago, 4 abstracts about colon cancer,

1y observership in ER, 2 hands-on clinical experiences in two private offices, and I'm studying for step 3.

Do I have a chance in Pathology?



Unfortunately you will have a hard time matching at most programs. Your best chance is to apply to some of the least competitive community programs.


Thanks Joelpi

Can you tell me why? or if I can do something to increase my chances.

I appreciate


IMG with several attempts on the steps? Why observership in EM when you want to do path?


When I came tothe US I didn't speak English and the only connection that I had was aa very nice EM doctor who spoke a little bit Italian. That why EM. I wanted to do IM so when my English improved I did the externships in Oncology and Family. One year ago I moved to Chicago bc I had the opportunity to do colon cancer research. My responsability in the Lab is immunostaining,immunofluorescence and laser capture microdissection. Spending most of my time in the Pathology Department I have realized that I like Path.

Thats my story!


So basically you were "searching for yourself"? That is OK, but what is going to hurt you are your USMLE stats (several attempts in particular). Actually, for path, you don't necessarily need LORs attesting to your clinical expertise. Maybe you should try to do an observership in a Path dept - clinical part with previews/signouts. That would matter, especially if you could do it at UChicago - they have great Path dept. Also, do Step 3 ASAP and try to ACE it. Any publications beyond the abstracts? GL


Hey Dario, I'm applying for pathology next year and, btw, I'm Italian too and I'm a 2003 graduate! Where did you go to med school?

I think you should apply and, if you work in pathology department don't be shy and ask for a letter from a pathologist. That is going to help a lot.

Good luck!


Ciao Algernon,

I graduated at Università di Parma. Thanks for your support, I'm sure I will ask for a letter.

Good luck to you too!


Parma! Bellissima!

My ex-girlfriend is from Parma... I love that city. I graduated in Milan.

Get that letter and do well on step 3 and I think you'll stand good chances. Of course several attempts are going to hurt your application but you can still get a spot in a decent place. Especially if you are open on where to go.

I recently finished step 3 and I have to say it's no walk in the park. I studied quite a bit for it. If you want any tip let me know, but basically what you have to do is study and go over a lot a clinical scenario. Some ppl will tell you it's easy but it's not. It might be easier if you are in residency and you just want to pass. But if you want give a boost to your CV a good score in step 3 will help, although just a passing score will also help (but less!).


Thanks Algernon for your helpful and hopeful suggestions. I know about step 3 and I'm fully agree with you.

I'm studying for it and I hope to get a great score. I'm going to read the Conrad Fischer's book, do you know anything about it?


Do one or several observerships. Thats the only thing in your hands that can improve your credentials. And you have to really impress the facutly during those observerships, and get good recommendation letters. That will improve your chance, and if you really excel you might get into one of those hospitals.


I don't know much about the Conrad Fisher books. Though I watched some of his video lectures and I think he is very funny grin (and a good teacher). Which book do you mean anyway? The qBook for the internal medicine board? Or the one for ethics?

Do a lot of questions (I would suggest do Kaplan at UW both). UW software for CCS is great and I think it's a must! Prepare well fro CCS since it counts for 25% of the score.

I studied Swanson (not all of it) but I also read some other book chapters in the fields I was weakest (like OB/GYN and Ped). I've got a very good score but I studied for a while (5 months). Though I mostly studied on the train while commuting to Boston where I work. If you have more time to study it might take less.


Dario: I am a path resident and from what I have seen both as an applicant and as a resident, most programs will take an american grad with mediocre USMLE scores over an FMG any time. Also, there are so many FMGs applying to path that programs can cherry-pick the best applicants and these will be people with USMLE scores of 85+ (1st attempt). Therefore FMGs who have had multiple attempts on the USMLE exams are at a severe disadvantage when trying to match at even the moderately competitive path programs. In fact, just geting an interview will be difficult.
Good Luck


hello joelpi. I am from India and my step 1 score is 95,single attempt.preparing for step2, have no clinical experience in US.. is it possible to get pathology without any observership,research or publicatons?please guide me


hey dario... i too love pathology & i already have 2 attempts on my step 1. i do not know much what the chances are to get into path, but i really wish & pray that you get into path... i will apply in path when my chance arrives!my question to you is, how did you mange to get into research in chicago? or anywhere for that matter.. what are the necessary criteria? pls could give me a little insight as to how to get into research... study well for step 3. good luck & "grazie" in advance!

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