1. Do you accept Foreign Medical Graduates? How many foreign medical graduates do you currently have in the program?
The Department of Neurology has a long tradition of welcoming international medical graduates. Approximately 15% of the neurology residency program is made up of trainees who went to medical school in other countries. It is noted, however, that nearly every international resident in Columbia neurology accomplished several years of post-graduate clinical training in the US, including complete clinical fellowships, before applying to the Neurology Residency Program.
2. Is US clinical experience required? Does your program consider observerships as US clinical experience?
US clinical experience that includes direct responsibility for patient care is essential for applicants to the Neurology Residency Program at Columbia. Observerships, preceptorships, and laboratory-based rotations are valuable career experiences but do not count as sufficient clinical experience.
For individuals who have no direct patient care experience in the US, it is best to enter a preliminary PGY-1 medicine program, and then apply to our neurology residency in the following match.
3. What types of visas do you offer/sponsor?
Columbia's Department of Neurology and the Graduate Medical Education Committee at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital do not sponsor visas, and specifically no longer [as of 2007] accept applicants currently on a H-1 visa. International medical trainees, therefore, must obtain a J-1 visa to participate in residency at Columbia.
4. Is there a medical school graduation cut off date?
5. Are there USMLE minimum score requirements for step 1 and 2? How many attempts?
There is no set minimum USMLE score but most applicants invited to interview for the residency program have achieved a score of 95% or higher on USMLE Parts I and II.
6. Is research experience required?
Research experience is desired in applicants to the Neurology Residency Program, and many applicants have published in the neurological literature. Our program encourages academic productivity, and actively recruits individuals who are interested in a clinical or laboratory research trajectory.
7. Do I need to apply for the PGY-1 separately or do you coordinate interviews with Internal Medicine?
At present, Columbia offers a limited number of combined Medicine/Neurology 4-year positions [Med-Prelim/Neurol P 1495140P1]. Outside of the combined 4-year slots, there are additional preliminary medicine slots available [Med-Prelim 1495140P0]. The Departments of Neurology and Medicine have a close collaboration, and make every effort to accommodate and coordinate applications from candidates applying to both programs.
8. How many recommendations letters are required?
Three letters of recommendation are required.
9. Are positions available outside of the match?
At this time, the Columbia Residency Program is not accepting applicants outside of the NRMP Match.
10. Isn't the NYC cost of living too high for a resident?
The cost of living in New York City is high, but the Columbia residents are able to live comfortably, for a few reasons: (1) New York Presbyterian's resident salary is significantly higher than that of hospitals in cities with lower costs of living, (2) New York Presbyterian provides an annual $3000 housing stipend to all residents, (3) many residents live in neighborhoods that are close to the hospital and offer affordable rents (e.g. Washington Heights, Inwood, Riverdale, Fort Lee, Westchester, Manhattan Valley).
11. Do residents have time for fun?
Residency is a busy time, regardless of where one trains. One great advantage of training in New York is that residents are always able to find enjoyable ways to spend their free time. regardless of the time of week or time of day!