US Residency Guide

The Palestinian American Medical Association (PAMA) is a humanitarian, nonprofit, nonpolitical, and charitable organization aiming to promote educational achievements and expertise of Palestinian health care professionals with goal of promoting health care in West Bank and Gaza.

This is a roadmap for Palestinian medical students who are planning to continue their post graduate medical education in the USA.  Without enough preparation, research, and knowledge, this lengthy process can be both exhausting and frustrating. Much of the information presented in this page is obtained from several sources including; PARCEED, AAFP. AMA, ECFMG, ERAS, and USMLE.

By no means this page has all the information about the topic, we tried our best to put together a concise and useful document for you. Please refer to the resources provided at the end of this page for further guidance. You can also contact us through this website for questions you might have.

Specializing in the US is worth every penny and minute spent. Getting an American board in your future specialty is the best you can achieve worldwide. Your potential will be unlocked in the US where you can pursue your dreams without limitations. This is in addition to admirable life style and financial security.

It will also take you at least 16 months from starting the process to Match day, and additional three months to start your training. The process of getting ECFMG certified and getting matched in a US residency will cost you about $15000. Add another $5000 to your first resident paycheck.

USMLE exams are expensive, please review ECFMG fees for details. It includes $895 for step 1, $895 for step 2, in addition to $150-200 for international test delivery fees for tests taken outside the US and Canada, and $1550 for CS. The process also entails travel and stay to and in the US. You will need $3000 round trip from Palestine to the US, assuming you will do your CS, interviews, and US clinical experience rotation during the same US stay.  At least you will stay for a month in the US to do your exams and interviews, which will cost you at least $5000 for stay and pocket money. The average number of interviews you will need to match is 10, and each interview will cost you about $300-500.

Be also prepared to be an expert in time management and multitasking. On average, you will need at least 3-6 months preparation for each USMLE exam. You will also need time for an interview, lucky if you can get it done in a month. You should plan to be done with step 1 and step 2 CK by June, and preferably have passed your CS by Sept. You might plan to do the CS in the summer and time it with your US elective clinical rotation “need to be a student though to get your elective at most places”. Having that said, you can still plan to do your CS later to time it with your travel for interviews.

Getting your specialty in the US is worth all the time and money you will invest. You need to be equipped with perseverance and determination, have trust in your abilities, and don’t be discouraged by disappointments that are part of the success package. Others did it and you can.