Gap Year Post-Med School

According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), 12,387 International Medical Graduates (IMGs) participated in the 2015 Match and only 6,302 successfully matched into a first-year position.  This sobering statistic shows that 50% of the IMGs that participated did not match this past March.

So what do you do during the gap period between this year’s match and when the program opens the following year on September 15th (about 7 months)?  If you’re an IMG how can you improve your application to better your chances for next year?

That’s where Master the Wards (MTW) can help. We focus on IMGs struggles by offering multiple services including:

  1. U.S. Clinical Experience - During the intervals between interviews and the match, WORK!  You need to keep in clinical mode so rust and barnacles don’t start to form.  Believe it or not it will also help you when responding to the medical questions during your interviews. If you’re talking medicine it will remain fresh.  Take time away and your acuity will dull.  Supplementing our hand-selected preceptors, MTW has added an element to keep you focused.  Lectures and conferences held at academic medical centers.  These are given by residents, fellows, residency leadership and Dr. Fischer.

  2. CV, personal statement, and profile development – We can review your past application, polish your personal statement and CV and recommend changes to stay fresh and focused.  We will provide an objective and critical look at your personal qualifications and determine if you have the right mix of volunteer experiences, research, and clinical experiences. 

    USMLE Step 3 – In most programs, residents in their PGY 1 year will be taking the Step 3 in order to get a contract for their PGY 2 year.  So to maintain competitiveness, your passing the Step 3 exam must be a priority.  MTW has all Dr. Fischer’s USMLE / COMLEX / Shelf exam, Board Review prep material available at a discount.  As the world’s most prolific medical education prep material author, this is to your advantage.  Scoring high on Step 3 is essential.

    Network – With your preceptor and hospital based lectures you will have the opportunity to meet many folks to talk and network with.  Do not under estimate the power of networking.  You have always heard the trite expression “it’s not what you know but who you know.”  While it is important to have a solid medical knowledge foundation, who you know is just as important.  Use this time wisely.

MTW is made up of physician and administrative leaders in the industry with over 50 years of combined graduate medical education experience.  So, if you didn’t match in the past, or even if this is your first time participating in the Match, you owe it to yourself to contact MTW and improve your chances of successfully competing in the next cycle.  Visit us at to learn more about our services and who we are.


As always, comments and suggestions are welcomed.  If you have an idea for future topics please share and we can collaborate.

Michael Farca served as a residency program coordinator for the Department of Medicine at one of the largest training programs in the country.  He became the Department Administrator with continued oversight of the residency program, 2 primary site fellowships and 3 rotating fellowships.  As administrator he was responsible for all physician recruitment, contracting, and negotiations. Michael has dedicated over a decade to graduate medical education and is board certified in Teaching Administrators for Graduate Medical Education (C-TAGME).

Conrad Fischer, MD is the most prolific author for USMLE and the American Board of Internal Medicine examination including the best-selling “Master the Boards"  books. Dr. Fischer is Associate Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Pharmacology at Touro College of Medicine. Dr. Fischer has recently released “Master The Wards” as a pocket book that explains how to succeed the first time in your first clinical experience on an internal medicine rotation. He is the Program Director in Internal Medicine in Brooklyn NY at one of the largest training programs in the United States.

Vladimir Gotlieb, MD is boarded in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology He began his career associate program director and medical director of ambulatory services, chair of performance improvement committee and a key member of the residency mentorship program. Dr. Gotlieb then served as Program Director and Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Nassau University Medical Center. Most recently Dr. Gotlieb became Vice Chair of Medicine in Education at one of the largest training programs in the United States located in Brooklyn, NY.

Disclaimer: Michael Farca, Conrad Fischer, and Vlad Gotlieb are entrepreneurs and part owner and operator of Master the Wards, which provides Observership U.S. clinical experiences for IMGs, CV and personal statement development.