International medical graduates seeking the US clinical experience face a daunting journey: they must apply for residencies, secure housing, find the right hospital and mentors, and create a path to get the best LORs. And they do this amidst fierce competition as thousands of competitors strive for the same goals. As a result, families will invest in an IMG agency for their family member to help them avoid anxiety, spending loads of time when they could be with their family and getting their affairs in line, and to help give them the competitive edge. But how do you identify a great IMG agency from a subpar one? Here are three things medical graduates look for in an IMG agency to get the US clinical experience of their dreams.
- An IMG Agency that Communicates Well
Great communication is key. The IMG agency that medical graduates need are those that provide easy communication methods, effective modes, and all communication is done in a timely manner. For example, email alone is not good enough. Medical graduates should be able to call an IMG agency without racking up an expensive phone bill. An ideal IMG agency will have a WhatsAp and Viber number that graduates can call free of charge. You should be able to reach your agency 24/7, and if you opt for email the response time should be quick (24 hours is acceptable, but within hours is preferable) and the emails should be authentic and not a template response. Good, thoughtful communication is a clear sign that the IMG agency goes above and beyond for their clients by offering the best customer service while staying focused on getting great results.
- The IMG Agency and Attaining LORs
Your goal is to get the best letters of recommendation from hospitals. That said, when working with an IMG agency they need to be hyper focused on helping you achieve this goal. An IMG agency will look at your scores, take your desires into account, and pair you with the right hospital and mentors, in the field of your choice, to get sterling LORs so that you can advance forward in your medical career. Savvy graduates look for an IMG agency that can get them the best medical rotations within a US clinical experience that will foster the needed LORs to get ahead.
Not all IMG agencies are equal. In fact, not all of them help graduates find housing. That said, look for an IMG agency that will help you get the ideal housing situation. Your IMG agency should consider your lifestyle, ideal travel time to the hospital, culture, and budget when seeking accommodations. Some students like to be walking distance from the hospital, while others want to live in a thriving social scene. There are some students who have no budget and who are therefore focused on luxury accommodations, while others have a tight budget and seek a room for rent, and who are even willing to have roommates to cut down on cost. Your ability to be successful at the hospital will naturally hinge on how comfortable and rested you are, so make sure the IMG agency helps you find the perfect fit in housing.