We just logged another AMO physician panel into the books. Our third panel, which took place Friday, November 20, 2020, featured three AMO preceptors, with AMO’s COO serving as the moderator. While our first two panels provided general information on how COVID-19 has impacted healthcare and what it’s like to participate in a clinical experience, the topic of this panel was more complex.

During the event, panelists, Dr. Bhatt, Dr. Das, and Dr. Lin, discuss the journey to becoming healthcare professionals in the U.S. with foreign medical degrees. Both Dr. Bhatt, and Dr. Das made this journey themselves. Continue reading below for details on the discussion, panelist bios, and links to clinical experiences hosted by the featured preceptors.

Watch the Panel

Topics of Discussion

During the panel’s 45-minute run time, the panelists briefly outlined the requirements for applying to U.S. residency. They spent a large portion of the discussion addressing how IMGs can stand out from other applicants and increase their odds of matching into a residency program. The three preceptors recommend that IMG applicants participate in U.S. clinical experiences, not only to gain letters of recommendation but, to build out their resumes and CVs. Real-world experience with the U.S. healthcare system will become increasingly important as the USMLE moves to pass/fail come 2022. Applicants will not be able to rely on high scores to set them apart from others.

Dr. Lin recommends that IMGs commit to researching programs, specifically their acceptance rates for IMGs. While most U.S. medical student and IMGs strive to get into the best residency programs, these are the most competitive and, as such, are highly selective. Sometimes it is better to pick a program that has less applicants—which many be more realistic. Dr. Lin recommends that IMGs look at the match rates for various specialties as well. Some specialties have higher IMG match rates. His consultation service, imgmatch, aids with this research.

Lastly, the panelists discussed roadblocks to becoming a physician as an IMG. Although persistence is a good thing in many cases, Dr. Bhatt points out that it will not always lead to succes, or in this case, a residency seat. Dr. Das recommends thoroughly investing residency program applicant criteria. When she was applying for residency, Dr. Das researched prospective programs to determine which favored IMGs, and which did not. Both Dr. Das and Dr. Bhatt are IMGs who now have successful medical practices within the U.S.

For details on each of the topics above, watch the full panel.

Panelist Bios

Meet the speakers featured in this panel. Explore and apply for the experiences hosted by each preceptor.

Ben Bradley, JD, MBA

Benjamin Bradley is the COO of AMOpportunities. He founded the company alongside CEO Kyle Swinsky in 2013, at their alma mater the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ben and Kyle, have led AMOpportunities to help more than 3,000 international medical students and graduates find clinical rotations in the U.S., grow to 30 employees, raise $4.1 million in total funding, and create lasting partnerships with institutions such as the University of Miami, Saint Anthony Hospital, Georgetown University, and the University of Chicago. Benjamin later went on to get his JD/MBA at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University while serving as the COO for AMOpportunities.

Dr. Samuel Lin, MD, FACS, MBA

Dr. Samuel Lin is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and holds appointments as an attending Plastic Surgeon at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts. He is board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Lin graduated from medical school in 1998 and has been practicing plastic surgery in the Boston area since 2007.

Apply a plastic surgery experience with Dr. Lin >

Rajat Bhatt, MD

Dr. Rajat Bhatt is an experienced, board-certified Rheumatologist in a private practice located in the heart of Texas. His expertise includes the use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatics drugs (DMARDs), biologic, and small-molecule medications, including IV infusion therapeutic protocols. Dr. Bhatt has extensive teaching experience as an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, and was on the panel for residency and medical school admissions.

Apply for an internal medical experience with Dr. Bhatt >

Namrata Dass, MD

Dr. Namrata Dass is an expert, board-certified endocrinologist. After earning her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she went on to complete her residency with the Department of Veterans Affairs, becoming chief resident for the internal medicine program at Mt Sinai Hospital located in New York City.

Apply for an internal medicine experience with Dr. Dass >