Nov 15, 2013
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I am an Aussie native and a practicing dermatologist here in Australia. My fiance just got a job in NYC, which is an amazing opportunity for him. After browsing through the net, I was surprised that it seems my training means nothing in the US. Is this true or am I just reading it incorrectly??

It also appears that if I was crazy enough to go all the way back through a derm residency in the US, my chances as a foreign grad would be nearly impossible.

I have heard of a british dermatologist practicing in the US, but maybe this information was incorrect.
Can someone please help verify this?

Thanks!
 

asmallchild

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I believe that is true. I've met a couple of dermatologists from other countries, I am not sure if they had to repeat their medical school training but I do know they've had to repeat their residency training to practice in the US.
 
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That is really messed up. We have strict criteria for our derm training and it is by no means an easy training to enter or complete. To think that there is no abbreviated training for people already trained or some equivalency testing or appeal process is absolutely absurd. We accept US trained physicians frequently, as well as European and many other countries.

I tried looking into just completing an intern year in the US and then practicing. It seems in most states completing an intern year allows one to practice general medicine. Couldn't I just open up a dermatology practice after this?
 
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asmallchild

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That is really messed up. We have strict criteria for our derm training and it is by no means an easy training to enter or complete. To think that there is no abbreviated training for people already trained or some equivalency testing or appeal process is absolutely absurd. We accept US trained physicians frequently, as well as European and many other countries.

I tried looking into just completing an intern year in the US and then practicing. It seems in most states completing an intern year allows one to practice general medicine. Couldn't I just open up a dermatology practice after this?
It may seem absurd but those are the rules. I've met people who finished in the top 1% of their board certification exam in other countries and they've had to repeat training. I've met people who were practicing cardiologists in other countries and had to try and try and try to get their foot in the door for a cardiology fellowship in this country. It isn't fair but no one promised life would be fair.

You could certainly try to complete an internship year and then attempt to open a dermatology practice. I am unaware of the insurance/reimbursement/medical liability ramifications of such a process.
 

reno911

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kimbrey,

Your understanding of the situation is basically correct. Essentially, if you want to be a practicing dermatologist, you need to redo residency here and getting a spot would be next to impossible.

If you wanted to do an intern year and then practice dermatology you could do that in some states. Of course, no one reputable would hire you, so you would have to start your own practice and you couldn't claim to be a board certified dermatologist. You may also have great difficulty getting on many insurance plans, so actually getting paid for seeing patients may be difficult. However, in most states you can get a medical license after internship, so it would not be illegal to do this. I think this is a bad idea though.

There are rumblings about changing this requirement that you redo residency because of an anticipated shortage of physicians in the US, but no one knows if or when this will happen.

The only reasonable thing that I think you could try is to approach academic programs. I have heard of them being able to get you some sort of licence where you could practice in some sort academic setting doing clinical research. But every state has different requirements, so it may be impossible in certain states. Also it would require that the program knew about all the hoops to jump through and was willing to do all of that work. Furthermore, the salary would likely be very low (compared to other derms) because they know that it would be very difficult for you to just leave and work somewhere else. It is likely that the British dermatologist that you heard of is did something like this.

In the end, I think it is safe to say that while this move may be awesome for your fiance's career, it will essentially destroy yours. Only the two of you can decide if that trade-off is worth it. It is undoubtedly a horrible situation to deal with.

Edit: I just remembered another thing you could do. You could contact pharmaceutical companies and try to get some sort of research position. Of course, you wouldn't really be practicing dermatology, but you could at least do some work in the field and get compensated for it. Of course if you really enjoy practicing clinical dermatology, the such a position is unlikely to appeal to you.
 

sore eye asses

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Just do like the FP/obgyn/dentist/DO guys do after taking a botox or filler workshop. Bill yourself as a board certified physician (true) with "special training" in dermatology (true). Patients are none the wiser. In your case, you'll actually be able to back it up with the knowledge of a dermatologist, which is more than any of those crooks (er, I mean, docs) can muster.