Well, you are not reading this by chance as I think, either you are preparing for the match this year and looking for your chance in "will luck be my ally in Internal medicine?" Or you've just heard about the USA road in medicine and want to make sure that worths your efforts!
So, regardless of the reason that makes you here, I ensure that your destiny will smile for you!
What may make you think of internal medicine as your specialty? And I don't mean why are passionate at it, I mean what's your potential and if you think that it's enough for this?
Then, Let's take a closer look at "how your application will be evaluated during the Match process, from the moment it's been selected for interviews until you get accepted" or not accepted actually. Yes, you might trust yourself without evidence, so before you apply, you have to figure out how and why it will be going, so that you can know where exactly the weaknesses and how to escape from it!
Enough from persuading you that you have to be knowledgeable about this, and let's take a look at the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) results on a survey they made from all programs participated in the Main Residency Match, and what they knew from each program director on how the applicants are selected for the interviews and how they are ranked:
Firstly, factors in selection to Interview:
your USMLE step 1,2 CK and 2 CS:
It considered the first and most important factor, and it will affect your application if you have failed attempt on any of them ( >70%, of programs, care about it)
And for the scores:
You will always have interviews in yours are within: USMLE step 1: >228 (median: 230) USMLE step 2: >228 (median: 238)
And you might not have interviews if:
USMLE step 1: 200 to 220
USMLE step 2: 210 to 228
more than 60% requires USMLE step 2 CS
Almost 95% don't require the USMLE step 3
factors below are considered also while processing your application:
Medical student performance evaluation/ Dean's letter:
which is a letter of recommendation from the dean of your faculty, improving how much you were committed in your educational path.
letters of recommendation in the specialty.
personal prior knowledge of the applicants.
Grades in a clerkship in the desired specialty.
evidence of professionalism and ethics.
And others, but the listed above are the most important ones.
Also for the IMGs, don't worry, as the Visa status is not that much of importance, it only counts for 49% of importance, you can skip that anyway!
Secondly, factors in ranking applicants:
I mentioned above the importance of the USMLE steps' scores, and again they are also important in the ranking:
Almost 70% of programs care about the USMLE step 1 with a target score, and almost 50% care about USMLE Step 2 CK with target scores.
But there are some factors that count for you more than the scores:
interactions with the faculty during the interview and visit.
the fact of who you are matter in this, the way you communicate, interact with your fellows, how you express yourself, your doctor-patient communication skills, etc.
feedback from current residents.
how you'll deal in emergencies with your medical team, the crisis management, how you consider yourself in the team, because you're not superior on your fellows even if you have the lead, how you manage your role and others' role and formulating the responsibilities to make the best decision and get the best outcome, all of this is considered, and if you have that ability, it will be beneficial in your letters of recommendation.
Also, add the other factors of the interview selection to this, but the listed above considered more important!
It's not easy, right?!
Yes, and wherever you are in the USMLE way or in the preparation for the match, you have to work on your weaknesses, improve it to the best of you, and remember, all of what is said are just statistics on some surveys, it never the 100% thing, if you lack any of the factors, and it's unchangeable, like the scores or so, you can strengthen other factors, add your own abilities, as you deserve that position, you worked to reach it out, so don't waste any effort to get it!
For more information about this, you can read the whole article from the NRMP.