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practice in Taiwan

Discussion in 'China and Eastern Asia' started by lea, 04.19.04.

  1. lea

    lea Member

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    How can a US MD practice in Taiwan?
    Would I need to take a licensing exam?
    More importantly, is the exam given in English, or only in Chinese?

    Thank you, my parents are moving back, and I would like to also, but this will affect my plans. Thanks for any help at all!
  2. lea

    lea Member

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    Are there any people who are living in Taiwan right now, or have parents who are doctors in Taiwan?
    Please ask your friends or your parents if anyone knows, I truly appreciate this as it affects where I will go to study medicine.
  3. whitemolar

    whitemolar Junior Member

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    hi lea
    most probabaly you are required to take the board which is written in manderin ,and those medical terms are followed by english.it really caused me trouble , i am recently preparing for dental board . good luck , all the best
  4. lea

    lea Member

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    thank you very much whitemolar!

    Are you also planning to start a practice in Taiwan?

    Where did you go to dental school? ( I will be going to med school in the U.S.)

    Does anyone know any detailed information? :)
  5. whitemolar

    whitemolar Junior Member

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    hi lea
    yup i am gonna practice in taiwan, i have passed National Board Dental (US)
    and taiwan boards wil be next year
  6. Halitosis

    Halitosis

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    hello whitemolar,
    i'm applying to dschool right now and i also want to go back to taiwan to practice. can you please tell me what dental school you attended/is attending? also, do you know what hospitals are good to work for? and what's the outlook for dentistry in taiwan? for ex: is there an excess of dentists, is salary comparable to us dentists, how's taiwan's health care system going to affect us. please help me out, thank you!
  7. whitemolar

    whitemolar Junior Member

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    hi "halitosis"
    first of all, why named yourself halitosis?pretty funny anyway.... :p
    hmm... i've graduated last end of year, but wasnt able to catch up the national board here(authenticaton took most of the time). well. working in the hospital will definitely improve your skills in all aspects,but when it comes to income.....
    the health care system is actually protecting medical professinals , but some dont agree with this. anyway, you still have 4 years to go right?dont know what the future brings.what dental school are you going?you better be good in manderin, i am having a hard time now..well you must be good then :thumbup:
  8. Halitosis

    Halitosis

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    yeah, haha, halitosis is one of my favorite words....and b/c i have it.
    i'm going to apply to the texas 3, since i'm a texas resident. but, if i'm really going back to taiwan, maybe i should go to usc to get more exposure to mandarin, huh. i still have a lot more room for improvement...
  9. pekq

    pekq Gunner

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    If you plan to go back to Taiwan, wouldn't it be best to attend dental school or med school in Taiwan? There's probably less crap to deal with if you go that route. My suggestion if you succeed in getting into med school in taiwan is get a taiwanese med school boy/girlfriend to help you bypass the language barrier (I heard of one case of this).

    The trend is for Taiwanese doctor to try to practice here in the states. I would assume that there's something amiss with the healthcare system in Taiwan. Btw, doctors in the USA makes the most in the world, so you will be making less as a doctor in Taiwan.
  10. lea

    lea Member

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    whitemolar, exactly HOW GOOD does one's mandarin have to be for the exam? (high school senior level, college level, etc)
    And how did you study your mandarin? did you have to go to relearn writing or are you completely fluent?

    (I can write, but not high school senior level.)

    Does anyone know about the Physician exam for licensing in Taiwan? thanks
  11. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    Lea,
    perhaps I can help you a little with you question. I have personally look into this matter myself because I too want to practice in Taiwan in the future. I am currently enroll in a MD school and will graduate next year. In term of Taiwan board, your ability to read Mandarin is not much of a factor (depending on how much school you attended in Taiwan before coming to USA). I left Taiwan at 6th grade and since I have not written mandarin in so long, my reading and writing ability has now probably regress to 4th or 5th grade level. Anyway, on the exam, all the medical terms will be in mandarin followed by English in ( ). Taiwan board is very different from US board. In USMLE, many of the questions will take up a paragraph form that is lenghty and wordy that test your ability to integrate and think though a problem. Taiwanes board is much more memory based without much integration required. In other words, most questions will be either one or two sentences long. When I was doing the practice exams, I have very little or no problem understanding the question. However, you ability to read mandarin in a timely fashion will be a whole different ball game. On USMLE, you have a little more than a minute per question, but I believe you have between 50s to a minute per question in Taiwan board. This time factor usually does not present problems for in answering basic science question; however, the clinical question in Taiwan board are also presented in a case form that is a little bit more lengthy in question stem ( but much shorter compared to USMLE). In summary, it is my opinion that if one can pass USMLE, he/she will probably be able to pass Taiwan board as well.

    Just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  12. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    a few additional points that I failed to mention on the last post.
    1. If you attend medical schools that is not recognized by Taiwanese government, you must take a degree varification test in addition to Taiwan medical board to become a liscensed physician. The degree varification test will test your Mandarin, Taiwanese geography and history. This is a hard test, believe me you definitely do not want to take this. All US allopathic schools are recognized by Taiwan, but not sure about osteopathic school since I did not look into it.
    2. Taiwan medical board is all mutiple choice with one best answer
    3. There is an English version to the board. However, if you choose to take this version, you will be obligated to practice under Taiwan government in a rural area for two years.
    4. The current pass rate is between 25 to 50%, and you can enter a residency without passing the board; thus, there are many PGY 2 whom graduated from Taiwan med school still trying to pass the exam. However, most people pass the board upon completion of their residency. For those who are unable to pass the board and still want to practice in Taiwan, they pretty much become residents for life. Believe me, there are quite a few doctors in Taiwan who is unable to get into Taiwan med school, end up attending Felipino med school and just unable to pass the board thus become life long residents that make very little money compared to fully liscensed physicians in Taiwan. If you want to practice in Taiwan, I strongly suggest you pass the board but you can still practice medicine without it (you will just have to be residents for the rest of your life)
    5. Residents in Taiwan wear short white coat and gets paid about 70,000 NT per month.
    6. It is pencil and paper exam that is offered 2 or 3 time a year (cannot recall the exact number of times offer per year)
    7. Charts are written in English in most hospitals, so you can pretty much get your way around without knowing much of written mandarin
    8. most attending in major hospitals are older generation doctors that learned the English medical terminalogy in Japanese pronouncation; thus, it will take some time to get used to what they are talking about although they are speaking English

    I think that pretty much covers everything I know about Taiwan board
    just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  13. whitemolar

    whitemolar Junior Member

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    hi
    as far as i knew, geography and history are not included in your exam unless you are planning to work in govermental places, thats a differeint exam aside from your national board.
    yup, you dont have to worried about your medical terms, but to undrstand the sentence itself.well, i am a junior high level. the thing that i found difficult is actually the communication with patients.

    all the best :)
  14. mackaikai

    mackaikai sigh...

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    Taiwan has a medical school/dental school system that's similar to British. You attend med school/dental school after high school. Therefore it's virtually impossible for a student who is attending US college/university to attend a taiwan med/dental school.

    (just explaining the system, don't flame the messenger)
  15. pekq

    pekq Gunner

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    In that case, I got no clue how the hell an ABC managed to get into NTU for medical school. All I know is that it did happen.
  16. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    NTU has few opening for oversea Taiwanese. These students do not write the traditional college enterance exam.

    just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  17. lea

    lea Member

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    Dear felinefans,
    THANK YOU for all your comprehensive info!

    It really helps me a lot.

    So you think having a 4th-5th grade level in Mandarin is sufficient to pass the Taiwanese board, given you know the medical info?

    Also, is there an interview conducted in Mandarin at all?

    finally, are there any med schools in Taiwan that have exchange programs with med schools in the US? and do you think that is helpful if I will graduate from US med school, then want to go back to practice?


    Thank you again :)
  18. lea

    lea Member

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    (for the last question, I meant if it is helpful to do an exchange program with Taiwan med school.)
  19. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    So you think having a 4th-5th grade level in Mandarin is sufficient to pass the Taiwanese board, given you know the medical info?
    4th-5th grade level mandarin is about my level. Taiwan boards release their questions to general public afterward every year. When I was practicing on these questions, I have very little to no problems understading them. If I remember correctly, Taiwan board is a two or three day exam written after graduating from medical school that test basic and clinical science at the same time. It is unlike usmle that is divided into three steps which allows and in most cases requires students to pass the first two steps in order to graduate.

    Also, is there an interview conducted in Mandarin at all?
    If you are referring to the board, then NO.
    If you are referring to obtaing residency position, then YES

    finally, are there any med schools in Taiwan that have exchange programs with med schools in the US? and do you think that is helpful if I will graduate from US med school, then want to go back to practice?
    Every US med shool has 4th year electives. My school has 3 electives that you can do ANY ROTATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. I am going schedule one of those rotations in Taiwan next year after the match. I know NTU and Chung-Shan (central mountain if translate literally) medical college allow med student from other country to rotation in their hospitals.

    Just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  20. Bull

    Bull New Member

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    Dear Felinefans,

    Regarding the medical establishment that is recognized by the Taiwanese government, how does one find out which one is recognized? I am an Australian R2 who's thinking about going back to Taiwan to practice, and I have ABSOLUTELY no idea whether my University of Melbourne degree is recognized in Taiwan or not.

    Thanks for helping out.
    Bull
  21. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    Taiwan recognizes educational degrees from 9 countries around the world. Of those 9, I know Japan, USA, Canada, Australia, and South Africa are definitely included. So if you graduate from any of those 9 countries, you do not have to take the degree varification exam. You can go the the Taiwan ministry of education website for more detail.

    Just finished my shelf, I am officialy a MS4!!!!
    Felinefans
  22. Bull

    Bull New Member

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    Thanks mate!! That's great. I am thinking about taking the exam in Feb, so wish me luck. By the way, that "resident for life if you don't pass your exam" is really scary, but surely there is not many who end up like that right? At least I haven't heard of anyone that I know.
  23. hcj13

    hcj13 Member

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    Hi,

    Just wondering why would you want to practice in Taiwan instead of the US? generally speaking, in academic posts.. people are more respected if they are trained in the US, then return to Taiwan later in their lifes.
  24. NDESTRUKT

    NDESTRUKT Fadeproof

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    that's definitely true. despite the fact i am a US citizen and attending medical school in the US, from my family (who is from China and Taiwan) and my friends who come from various countries in Europe, Japan, and other parts of Asia - a US medical degree is more prestigious and would hold more weight in Taiwan if you were to desire a practice there. Another degree I believe would be just as good would be from the United Kingdom or Canada. Most foreign doctors whom I have spoken do agree that education in the Western Hemisphere tends to be better overall.
  25. NDESTRUKT

    NDESTRUKT Fadeproof

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    do doctors in TWN make a lot of money or is medicine socialized?
  26. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    Upon finishing med school in US, I plan to return to practice medicine in Taiwan for the following reasons
    1. all of my immediate family members are in Taiwan, so I will be close to my families.
    2. Eventhough the Taiwan health care system has been chaged to (or somewhat resembles) socialized medicine, Taiwanese docs in general still make annual earnings comparable to that of US docs. I obtained the annual income info through my father who is an IM doc in Taiwan and also though his classmates representing many specialties during his class reunion last year.
    3. I am very interested in general surgery. As many of you already know, surgery has become pretty competitive since the 80 hr work cap. However, general surgery now is pretty much a walk in if you have an MD degree in Taiwan b/c of long working hours. So if I don't match surgery next year, I will do my surgery residency in Taiwan.
    4. In summary, I will practice the specialty I like in a place close to my families making similar incomes as US docs. Now, THAT IS A SWEET DEAL.

    just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  27. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    Is US medical degree more prestigious than Taiwan degree in the eyes of general Taiwanese population? most likely yes
    Is US medical degree more prestigious than Taiwan degree in the eyes of Taiwan medical community? I personally have not spoken with enough Taiwan docs to know the answer
    Is US medical education bettern than that of Taiwan? I have not attended or been to med shcool in Taiwan. However, most of my knowlege came from combination of class lecture notes, BRS, NMS, First AID, and Blue Print. In my opinion, a student's medical knowlege correlates more with to how much he/she studies from textbooks or study aids which can be purchased just about anywhere in the world as oppose to which institution he or she attends. Of course, an attending with great teaching skill will definitely make learning process easier, but every med school has great teaching attending and also those who can't teach well. What I am trying to say is every med school will teach their students the fundamental of each subject (ex. biochem, path, anatomy) but it is up to the students for learning the materials.

    Just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  28. ewon2004

    ewon2004 Junior Member

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    Hi Felinefans

    What preparation books did you use to study for those TW national boards? Did you get them in Taiwan?

    Thanks
  29. joe42581

    joe42581 Member

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    hey felinefans,

    you can attend a us med school and do residency in taiwan? I am considering practicing in taiwan in the future (after i graduate from us med school) but if you do residency in taiwan can you still go back to US to practice (i would like to keep that as a backup option in case somethin drastic happens in taiwan like china takes over, etc) Doing residency in Taiwan would be more fun then doing it in the US coz my family members are in Taiwan, but I was just curious if US will accept that. Any info? thx
  30. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    fist aid for step 1, step 2 secrets, and taiwan board for past 5 years

    just my 2 cents
    felinefans
  31. felinefans

    felinefans Junior Member

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    No, USA does not accept any residency done outside of it with exception to may canada.

    Just my 2 cents
    Felinefans
  32. wazzzup

    wazzzup New Member

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    Dear all,

    I have just graduated from a medical school in the UK. Does anyone know what kind of exam i need to take if i want to go back to Taiwan after
    1) my residency and General Internal exams in the UK
    2) i specialised in the UK e.g in cardiology/GI etc

    and finally, what is the pass rate for foreign doctors taking the Taiwan Board Exam (National Exam) and how many times a year does it take place? Is there a website for this kind of information?

    It would be much appeciated if anyone could give me some advice regarding when is the best time to go back to Taiwan to practise medicine.

    Thankyou!!
  33. badaboom

    badaboom 未来の歯科医

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    hi
    i too have thought about going back to taiwan to practice dentistry
    is there a taiwanese website where i can read up the specific requirements, etc?

    thanks
  34. stwei

    stwei Senior Member

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    Does anyone here know anything about conscription service in Taiwan? I would like to do my clinical rotation over there, and eventually work there as well, but I am afraid they'll stick me in an army uniform when I arrive there. :eek: Anyone here who has the same concerns?
  35. badaboom

    badaboom 未来の歯科医

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    u'll probably get 9 weeks of basic training
    and probably be assigned to a military hospital for one year and few months, cuz ur education background. and if u'r in that situation it will just be like a day job.

    of course u could have the option to serve in the fire dept or police dept for the service to your country. but i think it's extra 4 months
  36. badaboom

    badaboom 未来の歯科医

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    oh, that's if you want to be a taiwan citizen... pay taxes, receive government benefits(like medical and dental hahaha), and of course the right to vote.

    if u'r not a citizen, i think u can work in taiwan with a visa, which must be renewed for who knows how long they let u have it. with an american passport i think u can get 6 months each time u enter taiwan.
  37. ewon2004

    ewon2004 Junior Member

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    If you are looking for information about writing the medical license exam in Taiwan, and especially on the details regarding qualification, dates, and registration, here's the official government agency website:

    http://w3.moex.gov.tw/index3.asp

    good luck!
  38. stwei

    stwei Senior Member

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    Anyone here who knows how to apply for a criminal history record in Taiwan?
    I was accepted to a medical school in Europe, and they are asking me to furnish them with the info. So I went to a Taiwan consulate here in the U.S., but they told me that I would need to ask someone in my home country to apply for it by going to the local police station of where I was born. I don't want to trouble anyone there, however, and I hardly know how to write in Chinese. Hire a lawyer here who has connections there perhaps? :confused:
  39. whitemolar

    whitemolar Junior Member

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    hi Stwei
    right you have to apply that thing in the police station and the paper is only good for a certain duration. what city were you born? perhaps i can give you a hand? :)
  40. Super Geek

    Super Geek New Member

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    Thanks for all the info regarding practicing in Taiwan.
    I've been trying to get that information on the net and have trouble finding any information regarding foreign graduates practicing in Taiwan because all the websites are in Chinese !!!
    Anyway, I can speak mandarin and taiwanese fluently, but can't read and write at all. So if I need to take the medical license exam in chinese, I'll surely flunk for sure...especially that I have graduate a while ago and currently finishing off my PhD in medicine (neurology). So I'm kind of lost touch with the basics. So is there a way to take the test in english ? or even better is it possible to skip all that and take the physicians (neurologist) exam straight away ?
    Also, whats the requirements to work or train as a surgeon ? Would I need to take the medical license exam as well ? or is there another some procedure for that ?

    Could you please shed your light on that ?
    Much appreciated

    Thanks

    SuperGeek
  41. blueMD

    blueMD Junior Member

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    .
    Last edited: 12.25.09
  42. Igmyster

    Igmyster

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    Hi Felinefans,

    I was trying to get more info on the exam for medical licensing in Taiwan. The link below doesn't seem to work any more. Is there any chance you'd be able to give me more info or at least direct me to an active link? Much appreciated.

    Thanks.
  43. Igmyster

    Igmyster

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    Hi BlueMD,

    I also wrote to Felinefans about this, but would you know if there is an updated link to the licensing test in Taiwan? Thanks.
  44. hlmpg

    hlmpg M -0.5

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    It's cool to see so many of us who wants to return to Taiwan! I LOVE Taiwan (esp. the fruits and veggies)!

    Try this link for the national board:
    http://wwwc.moex.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=10590&ctNode=1368 (Mandarin)
    http://english.moex.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=11996&ctNode=2238 (English)

    Now that it's two-stepped, what I'm wondering is whether I can take step 1 right after/before I take USMLE step 1. I'm doing md-phd so if I have to wait until I graduate from med school (est. 6 yrs after step 1) to take the Taiwanese step 1, well, let's just say it won't be fun. I might try to petition for allowing foreign med students to take Taiwanese step 1 after completing their basic science curriculum. I'll look into that when I go home next month.

    :luck: everybody!
  45. Doctor Grim

    Doctor Grim

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    In my opinion, I think it would be wiser for people to finish an US residency before returning to Taiwan, especially for US medical graduates (since you're pretty much guaranteed a spot).

    Here is why. Say in 15-20 years you want to return to the US because you prefer to have your children educated in the US i.e attending high school or University or even professional schools. If you had done a residency in Taiwan, then you will have to re-do your residency in the US for you to obtain a license. At that time, who knows, maybe you will have to re-do your USMLEs too.

    Secondly, if you're US trained (regardless of where your degree is from), you will more likley to obtain a well-paid academic position at a reputable institution. You're more likely to be eligible to become a chief of a service or the medical director.

    I've looked into such matter for a years and I'm glad I've made the right decision for myself. And I'm happy that I'm about to finish my residency and have secured a fellowship in the US so that my options are open.

    The only reason why I'd go back is because my father has a very successful practice, being double boarded in ENT and IM and owns a 100 bed nursing home/hospice so definitely the financial aspect of it.

    But I still think the lifestyle in the US is much much better. You're NOT obligated to see 100 patients in a half day clinic session and you will get to know your patients better.

    My cousin, currently an Australian R2 in OBGYN, passed his Taiwan exam last year w/o much problem. According to him, you just have to do a lot of old exam questions.

    Maybe I will find out in the near future.

    Just my 0.02.
  46. vkrn

    vkrn Senior Member

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    It's nice to see a lot of people have the same thoughts about going to Taiwan to practice!

    My concern is that my Chinese has basically rusted away although I'm willing to work to improve it...

    But... WHERE can we buy the prep books?!?! Any sources online?
  47. trust068

    trust068 Member

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  48. Dr Roboto

    Dr Roboto Indentured Servant

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    From what I gather, it's possible for US grads to practice medicine in Taiwan, but how feasible is it if your Chinese/Mandarin is not up to par. What about writing charts or CME?

    Sort of off-topic, but is there malpractice insurance there?
  49. vkrn

    vkrn Senior Member

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    186
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Agreed re: the language barrier. My thoughts were re: dermatology and opening up a private practice, where I could keep my charts in English. Ugh. So much for weekend Chinese school and even advanced Chinese in college. Didn't keep up with it and regret it now!
  50. Dr Roboto

    Dr Roboto Indentured Servant

    Joined:
    02.25.08
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    New New York City
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Anyone have an idea what specialty is in short supply or is growing in Taiwan? I was thinking maybe neonatology. It'll be interesting to specialize in that field and practice in Taiwan.

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