David and I have been so proud of all of our clients these past 5 years achieving their match dreams. We have so many stories to tell – from IMG candidates 20 years past their graduation date matching after trying for 3 times and to candidates overcoming fails in both Step 1 and Step 2 CK to match. As the competition increases and spots becoming ever increasingly difficult to obtain, David and I are excited to announce that we will be full revamping RIQ for the future. Now, don’t get me wrong, the current product is fantastic. 99% of our clients tell us that so we know we’re delivering a great solution. We were proud as residents to build this product and share it with IMGs. We are excited now to return to RIQ and make it the leading resource for IMGs who want to match in the U.S. for residency training. Why now? Things are evolving. The era of Zoom is here – and there are a whole new set of challenges that face IMG candidates. Step 1 is now Pass Fail. Step 2 CS is gone forever. What does this all really mean? The interview is now increasingly important to show residency program directors who you are and why you’re the right pick across a sea of other candidates. Your letters of recommendations and experiences become much more emphasized – and the way to convey the uniqueness and importance of these experiences is in the interview. From a remote interview perspective, it’s just harder to convey personality and energy. We’re here to help.
Why is RIQ different? It’s important to share a little bit more about ourselves. Both David and I are immigrants from China. We were lucky in that we became naturalized citizens – it was our parents who had to go through the challenges of navigating medical re-certification. I still remember my dad studying late into the night after a full day of work to practice his English and pass the certification exams. It left a deep impression on me. Immigrants simply have to work harder. We don’t have the benefit of legacy or advice from our parents. It isn’t fair – but life rarely is.
David and I were fortunate to both got accepted into elite medical schools. David ended up at the Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western which is specifically focused on training elite physician investigators where you receive an MD degree and a special qualification in biomedical research. I attended Harvard Medical School and graduated with honors. We were both fortunate to have a lot of options. We went on to match in two of the most competitive specialities in the world – ophthalmology and dermatology – with placements in elite institutions for residency training while couples matching. David attended UCLA and the Jules Stein Eye Institute and I went to McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. David further went on to match at a highly competitive fellowship in retina at the Wills Eye Hospital at Thomas Jefferson.We both interviewed at nearly all of the top programs in our fields. But, this isn’t to brag. It is to show all of you why RIQ can be a trusted resource. As immigrants ourselves that successfully navigated the American medical system at the highest levels, we know what it takes to perform at the highest levels for residency interviews. We’re not “professional” coaches. We aren’t MBAs or PhDs with degrees in other fields hiring other students to coach you. We know this business can be difficult to trust – and whether the person on the other side of the line is actually qualified or simply trying to collect an hourly fee. David and I both hold academic appointments at top institutions where we engage in resident and medical student training and mentoring all the time. This is what makes RIQ different – the founders actually know this process inside and out because we went through it and succeeded.
What is our origin story? I think this is something David and I haven’t really talked about. Prior to our specialty training, we both completed PGY-1 training at a community hospital in Chicago together (David in transitional and me in preliminary medicine). At Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, David and I met incredible and amazing colleagues who were predominately IMGs training the categorical internal medicine program. We made lifelong friends and we heard about the struggles they had to endure to get here. We thought that we could share our experiences and knowledge in a platform that could help more IMGs navigate this stressful, expensive, and difficult road. The feedback from our IMG colleagues were immensely helpful – but it was their dreams and hopes to build a better life for themselves and their families that were inspirational. It humbled David and I to think how hard many of them had to work to get here. We wanted to make that a bit easier.
No – RIQ is not a charity – we’re a business. That’s true. However, we believe we offer a very competitively priced product from a founding team that really knows what it is talking about. We’ve helped more than 1000+ IMGs match including incredibly challenging cases. We’re proud to hear from our clients unsolicited that we helped them in their journey. This is why David and I are turning our attention back to RIQ to revamp it completely. In the next few months – you’ll see some great new content additions to our existing platform:
- More video content updated to reflect the changing residency interview landscapes.
- More specialty specific coaching and help that IMGs can use.
- More blog posts with completely free content that is actually useful and actionable.
- A new Concierge program that is focused and targeted to help specific candidates with unique challenges achieve their match dreams.
We can’t wait to show you and work with you.
David and Steve