April 14, 2024
MBBS Exams

Should Old Graduates IMGs pursue USMLE?

  • October 28, 2022
  • 3 min read
Should Old Graduates IMGs pursue USMLE?

A golden Question that I searched for in hundreds of websites and forums and there is predominantly negative answer to this. It is a huge journey with uncertainties , barriers and hardship and one should always know what they are preaching for.

Who is an Old graduate?

Graduation Year is gauzed from the Year of completion of your Bachelor degree( Year of Graduation). Note that most students confuse it with Masters degree, home country residency. Home country residency comes under educational degree and experience , but Bachelor is the key thing for determining YOG. So if you completed your degree in 2005, you are 17 years YOG.

What are the cut-offs?

When exploring the FREIDA, most programs love fresh graduates. Some as so strict that they want someone who passed within 1 year. Most programs have 3 to 5 years cut-off. Some have 7 years cut-off and few have no cut-offs. By cut-offs, I mean for application for residency program.

Should I pursue the journey?

It’s totally own decision, but I will try to clarify the pros and cons here.


  1. Older graduates match every year despite lot of discouragement in web.
  2. Older graduates who have residency have distinct advantage if their application pass through filters.
  3. Old graduates have real patient experience and are ready for the challenge quicker.
  4. Old graduates are financially stable , so its worth a risk if money isn’t an issue.
  5. Looking at condition of healthcare in developing and underdeveloped nations, people are looking for better prospect more than before. US is the destination.
  6. The US provides doctors with excellent lifestyle and financial stability once you get into it.
  7. Your Life-Work balance is better. You are not exploited like in South Asia.
  8. Detached from the batchmates and lack of adequate information on how to proceed with the process.


  1. The Journey in midst of a career asks too much time and dedication. Few can go through it once they are settled.
  2. The journey has huge financial cost. 10-20 thousand US dollars depending upon how you proceed.
  3. Old graduates have limited options for applying and its extremely hard to match without connections or outstanding CV.
  4. Old graduates need to restart their residency training , irrespective of their home country degrees, you’ll start as an intern again.
  5. Time may seem like running out everyday and its a horrible feeling.
  6. The pain of not matching is worse, as you already have made a new dream over your past. You know both systems and its horribly painful.

There is no unanimous thought on what old graduates should do in a perfect manner to match. There is no one answer. Pursuing this journey is not easy but has good rewards if you match. Know the cons of taking this journey.

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