Kaplan Test Prep Launches ResidencyPrep to Help International Medical Graduates Secure Increasingly Competitive Residency Spots in the U.S.

Fri Jun 7, 2013 8:30am EDT

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Kaplan Test Prep Launches ResidencyPrep to Help International Medical Graduates Secure Increasingly Competitive Residency Spots in the U.S.

Program Will Help Foreign-Born and Trained Doctors through “Match” Process and to Understand American Medical Culture

International medical graduates (IMGs) hoping to practice medicine in the U.S. face particular challenges. Like their American-born and educated counterparts, non-U.S. born doctors who attend medical school overseas must pass all three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to legally practice medicine. But, they also have to overcome language and cultural barriers.

Especially challenging for IMGs is the increasingly competitive process of securing a residency spot at a U.S. hospital, commonly referred to as “matching.” To help IMGs through the residency application process with the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP®), Kaplan Test Prep has launched ResidencyPrep, which includes three services:

  • Application Support: ResidencyPrep consultants, who have program director experience, provide three rounds of feedback on students’ applications, interview responses and personal statements with Kaplan Medical’s Application Support website. Four hours of On-Demand video explain every step of the application process.
  • Simulated Interviews: Students receive three practice interviews and extensive feedback on presentation skills via face-to-face video calls with standardized interviewers trained by program directors to precisely simulate the interview experience.
  • Live Online Seminars: Students get access to 16 hours of instruction on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies from program directors who are experts at training IMGs. This will help them understand the competencies required in residency before applying and become better candidates.

“By the time MDs are applying for residency, programs can see from their scores that they are smart. It’s here where interpersonal and communication skills and other competencies make the difference,”* said Greg Samios, president of health programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “Because the approach to medicine can vary from country to country and from culture to culture, it’s crucial that IMGs learn about the norms and customs in American medical education. If not, they’ll be at a distinct disadvantage.”

Samios notes that training foreign-born and educated doctors will help alleviate the worsening doctor shortage hitting the United States. The American Association of Medical Colleges, the organization that writes the MCAT, the medical school admissions exam, estimates that the doctor shortage will balloon to nearly 63,000 by 2015 and to around 100,000 over the next decade.

“The United States is in the midst of a historic doctor shortage**, which is predicted to worsen in the next few years. Twenty-five percent of U.S. physicians are international medical graduates and they have a huge role in caring for Americans, especially in underserved areas***. IMGs are going to be key to finding a solution to this crisis and our goal with ResidencyPrep is to better prepare IMGs for U.S. residency as well as continuing to help them to achieve high scores on the USMLE,” Samios added. “It is great news that U.S. medical schools have enrolled more students and will graduate more in the coming years, but this alone won’t solve the problem. The other important piece is increasing the number of residencies, which are currently woefully underfunded. If that piece isn’t fixed, the road to practicing medicine will be harder for all aspiring doctors, not just IMGs, and patients will likely suffer as a result.”

For more information on ResidencyPrep and the matching process, students can visit www.kaptest.com/ResidencyPrep. Journalists interesting in discussing how the process works and the unique challenges that IMGs face should contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com.

*Interpersonal Skills are rated 4.7 and Professionalism and Ethics are rated 4.5 out of 5 terms of importance in match decisions. Step 1 scores are rated 4.1 and Step 2 scores are rated 4.0 out of 5. Source: http://www.nrmp.org/ data/programresultsbyspecialty2012.pdf

**“U.S. doctor shortage will get worse unless Congress ups funds,” UPI, May 11, 2013:

http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2013/05/11/US-doctor-shortage-will-get-worse-unless-Congress-ups-funds/UPI-87481368309009/#ixzz2VHQJHmyx

***http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/img/img-workforce-paper.pdf

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Press:
Kaplan Test Prep
Russell Schaffer, 212-453-7538
russell.schaffer@kaplan.com
Twitter: @KapTestNews, @KaplanMedical

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