AUA Alumna Dr. Jasmine Marcelin recently wrote an op-ed titled “Advice for the International Medical Student: The Match and Beyond.” Here are some of her tips for recent med school graduates who are considering residency programs:

Be proud of your school. Marcelin has found that some people question the worth of her medical degree simply because they are not familiar with AUA. She says the best way to handle these situations is to share your story and explain how your school has helped you achieve your dream. Dr. Marcelin says it’s also a good idea to remind people that everybody has to take the same USMLE steps, which levels the playing field. From her experience, where you went to medical school becomes less important after the first year of residency.

Resist Imposter Syndrome. For the first 6 months of her residency, Dr. Marcelin was paranoid that someone would think she was not qualified and that she didn’t belong. She says that it’s good to remind yourself that you deserve to be a resident at your program—because it’s true!

Apply to your dream residency. Marcelin didn’t think she’d be able to get into her dream program, but with her family’s encouragement she applied and was accepted. She says, “Even if it may seem like a long shot, your chance of matching is zero if you never even apply.”

Be ready to spend some money. Marcelin applied to 50 residency programs, which turned out to be pretty expensive. The odds of getting an interview are slim, so using a “more-the-merrier” approach is wise. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to pay it back later.