American grad hoping to practice in Sweden

Discussion in 'Europe' started by LapChole, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. LapChole

    LapChole New Member

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    Hey guys --

    First time poster. I'm currently a third year U.S. medical school student hoping to eventually practice in Sweden. I plan on doing my residency here, and was wondering what hurdles I will face along the way getting licensed in Sweden. My girlfriend is a native Swede who also went to medical school here in the U.S., and she plans on likewise doing her residency training here in the States before heading back across the Atlantic.

    Any words of wisdom out there?
     
  2. tlew12778

    tlew12778 Senior Member
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    Good Luck. Before deciding on doing your residency in the US I would do some research to find out if Sweden will recognize your US residency. They might not and you would then be forced to redo it in Sweden. Likewise I would find out how easy or hard it is to get into a residency program in Sweden as a non-Swede or a FMG (as your gf is from the Swede standpoint).
     
  3. Max_Berry

    Max_Berry Junior Member
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    It can be done, but why would you want to? I am a starting my 5th year this fall of 6 years at Gothenburg U. and am doing everything in my power to get to the U.S. by June 2006.

    If this is really for you, I recommend spending some time in Sweden before making the move and learning as much Swedish as you can. Gothenburg University, Sahlgrenska Akademin, may be a possibility for some exchange activity, but a degree of fluency would be expected. Let me know if you need any more info.
     
  4. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix
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    There's no automatic procedure for acceptance of a US degree. The Swedish Board of Health will make an individual determination of equivallency to a Swedish degree, and they both CAN and sometimes WILL require both additional tests in certain subjects and a clerkship under close supervision (usually 1-3 months, UNPAID!). Likewise, there's no guarantee they'll accept US residencies for substitution with a Swedish residency. (The latter is probably a greater hurdle than the former).
    Also, there's other considerations. You'd probably need to get down on your knees, because getting a residency/work permit without a citizen spouse is getting increasingly tough. And even with a marriage certificate in hand, you'd be liable to go through bureaucratic entanglements similar to, or tougher than, what the INS is doing in the US.
    Also, as a US med student, you're probably going to graduate with a hefty bag of IOU's. Moving to Sweden with those will 1) Give some potentially nasty tax implications. 2) Submit you to a HUGH currency risk, as you'd need to pay back your $-debt with Swedish kronor, and currency rates are swinging pretty wildly. 3) Will generally make it tougher to repay your debt, as Swedish resident salaries, net of tax, are generally lower in Sweden, and it takes a lot longer to become a specialist. On top of that, specialist salaries are A LOT lower in Sweden, especially net of tax!
    Don't want to scare you off, but there's a lot to think about. On top of that, it'll probably be pretty difficult to get a good Match, if you decide to go back to the US, because most PD's won't especially care that you've gained experience in Sweden, and certainly won't credit a Swedish residency towards board eligibility.
    That being said, there's some excellent hospitals in Sweden. Sahlgrenska is good, and Karolinska in Stockholm is really excellent (it's professors at Karolinska who determines who gets the Nobel Prize in Medicine!)
    Good luck with whatever you do...
     
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  5. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    There are a few things here I disagree with.

    First of all, I'm convinced Swedish residents make more than US residents - pre OR post-tax.

    Taxes shouldn't be complicated. The first 90-something thousand USD earned abroad are tax free in the US. One should file but doesn't have to pay taxes. Not much of a hassle.

    You're right about specialist salaries. No doubt about that (except maybe an FP working a very rural area or something like that).

    As to whether it's possible to get your US residency approved in Sweden, I think it's a case by case decision.
     
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  6. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix
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    Don't think we disagree THAT much.

    1) My understand is that US residents makes abt. $40000, which is basically the same as in Scandinavia. However, taxes in that income bracket is higher in Sweden, and a lot fewer deductions. However, working hours are a lot better in Sweden, esp. in surgery, compared to US.
    2) No, problem isn't paying US taxes. Problem is, that as far as I'm aware it's poss. to shift univ. debt to 2nd mortgage, which can make interest payments tax deductible. So problem isn't paying taxes. It's getting all the deductions you can get.
    3) If you're an FP it IS possible to get a quite decent salary, if you take per diem jobs, esp. in Norway. (which you can with a Swedish license).
    4) Yes, my point exactly. NOT saying they won't approve US residency. Just that it's on a case by case basis. Also note, that for licensure there's a req. that you're able to speak, or at least understand, a scandinavian language.
     
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  7. panumanders

    panumanders Junior Member

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    As a fairly new stud.med from Denmark/sweden, and new to this forum, I've got some questions:
    1. What is the correspondence to residency in sweden/denmark? I only know the swedish steps (AT/under/ST/specialist), what are these things called in the US?
    2. What is FP? And FP per diem? I've read some threads but haven't been smart enough to figure out which speciality it is...
    3. I've heard about both swedes and danish doctors taking to norway to earn a little extra. how much do you make in norway, and is it some special jobs that give those money? Or do all doctors in norway make more than in sweden/denmark?

    Hope you guys here can help me!
     
  8. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix
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    1. US residency (PGY) depends on specialty, e.g. Anatomic Path.=PGY 1-3, AP&Clin Path. PGY 1-4, orthopedics PGY 1-5 etc. Danish "1. reservelaege" doesn't really exist in US. Experienced resident can become Chief Resident, but that's a promotion and not part of regular training program. Also note, that you only become a specialist in the US after you've fulfilled residency requirements AND passed board examinations.
    2. FP=Family Practise, i.e. general medicine.
    3. Anyone with a full license can get temp. positions in Norway. Pay varies, but 80,000-100,000 NOK/month certainly not unheard of. With specialization, pay can be higher, but usually time spent in Norway is considerably shorter (because most already have a pos. in their home country). Pay in Norway in regular (non-temp) positions comparable to Sweden/Denmark.
     
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