US Clinical Experiences for IMGs: How to Identify Trusted Placement IMG Agencies
If you are reading this, you are likely considering an exciting new chapter in your life. This is where you continue your journey to carve out your career path, and with that your family’s pride likely rests on your shoulders. You may not believe it, but you are the hero in your family, and if you take a look at any classic hero’s journey, there is a guide that leads him or her along the way.
As a top trusted guide for delivering US clinical experiences for IMG students, ACE MD strives to make your hero’s journey one that saves you time, money, and that lays out all of your options and alternatives with total transparency.
Even if you don’t wind up working with us, we want to share the necessary information you need to help you in your process for finding the American medical rotation agency that can best help you get through this time-consuming, nuanced process with ease, and ensure that everything you need to be successful will be granted in a professional, respectful, courteous manner.
First Things First, Should You Even Work With a US Clinical Experience Agency in the First Place?
Most foreign students indeed benefit from working with US clinical rotations placement agencies, but the truth of the matter is this: if you have the right connections in America, or you have plenty of time to work through the process on your own, any reputable American medical rotations agency would first encourage you to try navigating the process on your own efforts to start with. We often recommend certain hospitals that are known to provide electives for current students, such as FIU, or LSU-Shrevesport. However, if you have other priorities for how you spend your time, and your family is financially supporting you to invest in an agency that can deal with all of the hassle and fight to get you the clinical experience you are looking for, or if you aren’t having luck finding rotations on your own, or would like to supplement those rotations with extra ones, then it absolutely makes sense to work with a trusted US clinical placement agency. But now we get to the next big question: how do you know which agencies are trustworthy?
Finding a Trustworthy US Clinical Rotation Placement Agency
Whether you are looking for a great teaching-hospital to get your LORs from while doing medical rotations in the US, or seeking US research opportunities, you must first find a trustworthy agency that excels at finding their students the absolute best American clinical experience. Here are some things worth identifying when you contact a placement agency for your US clinical experience:
Communication - Do they send out generic template-style non-personal emails, or do they focus on phone calls, and direct communication such as texting, to stay in contact and make things easier? The human touch always indicates a better level of service.
Phone calls - Do they go out of their way to make it easier for foreign students to reach them by phone, even on weekends and holidays? Do they expect overseas students to make long-distance and expensive phone calls, or do they make it easy to use WhatsApp (or some other free international phone service) and offer a number on their website?
Helpfulness - Does the clinical rotations placement agency make students do a pretty sizeable chunk of the work for arranging flights, and housing, or do they step up to take on all the steps necessary? Reading past reviews is the only way to truly know, as some agencies advertise housing assistance but don’t really get involved by connecting with true housing partners. They merely send you a few links to find housing on your own.
Extras - Will the agency offer to make group chats with trainees who have done rotations before? Or put you in touch with current US residents who can help answer general questions? If you are traveling to Houston for CS, does the agency connect you to other students or graduates who are also traveling to Houston so you can have a study partner, or to people staying at the same hotel as you? (Red Roof for example, a common place for IMGs).
Are they your true partner? Are they simply taking your money and doing a set amount of work based on an agreement, or are they really going deeper by learning about your family, your background, your goals, and understanding your needs & expectations?
Have a phone call with all of your potential agencies that specialize in securing US clinical experiences for IMG candidates or IMS trainees. Ask about their refund policy (hey, things in life can change), see if they are personable, and authentic, and most importantly make sure to get a feel as to whether or not they have your best interests at heart.