May 22, 2011
I was born in the US but my family is Brazilian and I speak portuguese fluently. I am thinking of studying very hard and trying to get into a public medical school in Brazil where I would be able to study for free. In the miracle that that happens what would be the procedure for practicing back here in the US. Would I do my residency there or here? Would I have to do two residencies? Any exams? Any advice would be appreciated thank you.


10+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
Attending Physician
You would have to get the full degree from that country, whatever it takes. In some latin american countries this includes a residency and a year of public service. Maybe someone familiar with Brazil can answer what that entails. I would bet it is at least a six year path though.

Then in order to practice in the United States you would have to register through the ECFMG and take all of the medical licensing exams (USMLE Step I, II CK/CS, III) and then apply for residency here. However you can do that all together at the end, which is kind of nice. It is long and difficult and not a guaranteed road, so think carefully if you would be ok with practicing in Brazil forever.


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 27, 2004
Resident [Any Field]
As long as the Medical School is in here

U can cross over back to USA. However you have to try and get some clinical rotations in US during medical school, get very good scores in the USMLE. So it is possible...u have to work hard for it.

As to getting into a Brazilian Public school...presuming u speak Portugues...getting into the public schools uis still as hard as crossing over back to the US for residency. Everything that is free is difficult. U might need to take one to three years of specialized preparatory courses(called CURSINHO) to stand a chance. Also possible but u have to work extremely hard
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Nov 4, 2011
Fellow [Any Field]
I know it's been a while since you posted, but here it comes!

As long as the Medical School is in here
This is very important! Don't forget to check...

Also, don't forget Medical School takes 6 years in Brazil. And study hard to get not only into a public medical school in Brazil, but a renowned one (one that might be known by some residency program director in the US later). I don't know where your family is based, but, you should rather aim to be accepted in a school in São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, if possible.

Once you're in medical school, try to establish contact with faculty members that know people in the US, preferably in renowned US hospitals, necessarily in the specialty you want to practice later, once you know it. That will increase your chances of doing electives here in the US that will give you clinical experience and good letters of recommendation. And also, when you start shadowing one "big shot" of the specialty in which you're interested, try to do some research with him/her and get published in US journals in advance!

You don't need to do your residency in Brazil. I actually think that would hinder your chance of getting a good position in the US later, because you will have graduated too long ago for some programs, depending on your future chosen specialty. This is also important. Depending on how competitive the specialty you choose is, you may not be able to be accepted in a residency program in the US. My advice (rather a "lifewise" advice): do what you want. Where you do it is much more manageable! =)

I recommend applying for the USMLEs as soon as you may and feel comfortable; this is important to give you the chance to apply for a residency position as soon as you graduate. My basic science experience was not the best in Brazil, so, you'll probably need to study a lot on your own on that matter. Keep in mind that there is a lot of paperwork involved in getting your ECFMG certification, and that it can be very time-consuming and require a lot of interaction with your school's registrar (that were not always in the best mood for that, in my opinion - remember what happens in Brazil... in public schools, they are public employees, they don't get fired for being lazy! and they don't mind being indifferent, particularly when it is something that they don't do on a daily basis and that the university doesn't demand them to do)

If you're a Brazilian male (as I infer from the "guy") citizen as well, be aware of the mandatory military service for male medical graduates - and try to escape it (a health issue is always the best way)! That can ruin you...

I know it's a lot of information, it's still very soon, and some of it you may even not understand right now. And I also know, and you should consider this, that eventually, your life may change in so many ways that you decide to stay in Brazil. But if you don't, keep those words in mind, they will prove to be useful!
Dec 23, 2011
Medical Student
hope u goo for SAO PAULO
that universidad rocks!
and its high on the Med School Charts!!
why go to brazil if you are already in the US? I would believe it's for financial reasons?
and if so you would have to ensure you learn the English for everything you learnt portugess

I know a few cosmetic surgeons from the US of Brazillian background and they are all from Sao Paulo
Mar 22, 2012
Hi everyone,

Since this topic also relates to something I'm going through, I guess you guys could also help me! I'm Brazilian but moved to Europe when I was young, and graduated from an international school. After I decided to study Medicine, I chose to come back to Brazil and go to the cursinho (preparatory school) to get into universities there. Meanwhile I also applied to universities in Europe. Right now I have one option in each place: the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, and the University of Navarra, in Spain. Since I've lived abroad, it is really important for me to have both doors opened, so that I can work in Brazil and abroad as well. I'd like to know, from anyone with a more experienced perspective, if choosing to study in Brazil will mean having less options, internationally-wise. I'd like to graduate in Brazil and do my residency in the US or Europe, for example, but I don't know how a Brazilian degree is seen abroad, if there's any kind of prejudice for being a developing nation (even though I do know getting into medicine in Brazil is not easy at all!!)
Many thanks to any help!


7+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2011
Next to the middle of nowhere.
Attending Physician
Medical education in brazil is very very good and well regarded abroad, and it is very difficult to get into.
But, a degree from Spain, if you want international doors open, no questions asked is your best choice as you would be able to work anywhere in the European union( in some countries with a lot less hassle than from a foreign md degree) and us. Spain is very advanced in some areas of medicine( hepatology, pulmonology, infectious diseases) and if you dominate the language and can do it, and international options is your priority then go for it.
Good luck!
Sep 26, 2014
Medical Student
So, NervousGuy, after all those years have you come to Brazil to study medicine?
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