I am a U.S. citizen, International medical graduate. I have been trying to match for 6 match cycles now. I was turned to an old graduate by the system. My scores are above average in most steps.
My struggle has always been with finding clinical experience and to stay competitive for the next cycle. 99% of externships cost 400/week. The free externships are very few and very difficult to get them. Through the years, I did both free and paid externships. I volunteered in almost every hospital up to 85 miles away from where I live. I have 10 letters of recommendation from American physicians and 6 research publications. Every match cycle I either get no interviews at all or one interview. I get filtered out by programs possibly due to the year of graduation.
My colleagues from my medical school in my native country still match on H1/J1 visas. They are very surprised that I am a U.S. citizen and cannot match! It is really unbelievable to them! The struggle is real for U.S unmatched MDs.
There is no alternative career or pathway we can take to stay competitive for the next match cycle. The pool of applicants is huge and chaotic.
I am not against immigration, obviously, I am an immigrant but I am against the chaos in the selection process.
It is a matter of order and arrangement, the United States should help its citizens first, to match and then give out visas for international doctors if needed. Right now we have at least 6000 U.S. citizen unmatched physicians EVERY year.
In the middle of a pandemic we are waiting for international physicians on visas to serve in our home town hospitals while there are thousands of fully qualified American physicians who have passed all the required exams and some with great experience in their native country. Yet we are staying home not able to participate by an unfair system.