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Apr 25, 2020
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Hi everyone,

This is my first post here so I'm sorry if it's a bit cringe-worthy. I have read through about 20 or so threads on psychiatry, and a bunch of other threads on a similar Australian forum, and haven't come up with an answer so thought I would post here.
I am an Australian doctor (MBBS) who graduated in 2017 and am currently in my second year of Psychiatry training with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), a 5 year programme with "fellowship" to sub-specialties in the last two years, after completing a general "intern" year in 2018 (Currently PGY3).
I am completely unsure of how to go about moving practice to the US and if this would mean doing USMLE Step 1, 2CK, 2CS, and then matching (and doing Step 3), or if I could use my current skills to apply for a residency spot (or a combination of the two), OR if I could gain my Fellowship with RANZCP and then progress onto sub-specialty Fellowship in the USA (e.g. Addiction Psychiatry) and become an attending psychiatrist from there.
Does anyone know if there are any times specialist training is recognised from Australia to the USA (mainly for psychiatry) or if I will have to commence Residency from scratch regardless of how far I am into training?
Unfortunately, I sort of thought about USA as an option in my first year of medical school and then did not think much further into it, as I was born & raised right around the corner from my medical school and did not see myself travelling too far! However, now my boyfriend is moving to LA to start his anesthesiology residency in June and I'm wondering what my options are.
For further information/my background:
  • Completed a 5 year undergraduate medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), my GPA was average with passes in y1-3, credit in y4, and high distinction in y5. (Rating scale: Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction);
  • Completed an intern year (general PGY1 in Australia) with glowing references and feedback at a large, metropolitan hospital;
  • Applied to and was accepted in the Psychiatry training programme in my second term (out of five for the year) of internship (as early as I possibly could / this is apparently rare);
  • Most of my psychiatry training thus far has been at large metropolitan hospitals, with 3 months at a smaller, regional hospital (as required in our training). I have received good feedback from all of my supervisors (Psychiatrists) who have volunteered to be references and/or write letters of recommendation should I leave;
  • Commenced a large research project at one of these hospitals which is likely to be published end of this year (if I can finish it!);
  • Half-way through a Master of Psychiatry (coursework degree) with a "First Class Honours" average (the top echelon of marks);
  • Have been heavily involved in extracurriculars, including as the President of my large university's Student Representative Council, the President of my university's psychiatry student society, the Vice President of my state's psychiatry trainee association, the trainee representative of my training network, etc.;
  • Visa requirements for Australians to the USA are really lax (E-3);
  • I'm a really lovely person! (haha)
I'm hopeful I would do well in both Step 2 examinations as my strengths lie in clinical knowledge & skills and if needed I am hoping to complete these ASAP and hopefully do my Step 1 in 2021 when it is made Pass/Fail or prior to that depending on my options. If I recall correctly, I can sign up to Step 2 CS & CK after signing up to Step 1 without finishing it, as long as I am eligible for sit Step 2/3, let me know if that is wrong.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
 

wolfvgang22

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Have you seen the ValueMD forums online? I am a U.S. citizen that attended a foreign medical school and found that forum much more geared to this type of question, since 1. There is some bias against foreign medical graduates here (being from the anglosphere reduces that a lot) and 2. Most people here haven't trained abroad.
I know this - it is much easier coming from Australia and the UK than most other countries.
 

Splenda88

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post here so I'm sorry if it's a bit cringe-worthy. I have read through about 20 or so threads on psychiatry, and a bunch of other threads on a similar Australian forum, and haven't come up with an answer so thought I would post here.
I am an Australian doctor (MBBS) who graduated in 2017 and am currently in my second year of Psychiatry training with the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), a 5 year programme with "fellowship" to sub-specialties in the last two years, after completing a general "intern" year in 2018 (Currently PGY3).
I am completely unsure of how to go about moving practice to the US and if this would mean doing USMLE Step 1, 2CK, 2CS, and then matching (and doing Step 3), or if I could use my current skills to apply for a residency spot (or a combination of the two), OR if I could gain my Fellowship with RANZCP and then progress onto sub-specialty Fellowship in the USA (e.g. Addiction Psychiatry) and become an attending psychiatrist from there.
Does anyone know if there are any times specialist training is recognised from Australia to the USA (mainly for psychiatry) or if I will have to commence Residency from scratch regardless of how far I am into training?
Unfortunately, I sort of thought about USA as an option in my first year of medical school and then did not think much further into it, as I was born & raised right around the corner from my medical school and did not see myself travelling too far! However, now my boyfriend is moving to LA to start his anesthesiology residency in June and I'm wondering what my options are.
For further information/my background:
  • Completed a 5 year undergraduate medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), my GPA was average with passes in y1-3, credit in y4, and high distinction in y5. (Rating scale: Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction);
  • Completed an intern year (general PGY1 in Australia) with glowing references and feedback at a large, metropolitan hospital;
  • Applied to and was accepted in the Psychiatry training programme in my second term (out of five for the year) of internship (as early as I possibly could / this is apparently rare);
  • Most of my psychiatry training thus far has been at large metropolitan hospitals, with 3 months at a smaller, regional hospital (as required in our training). I have received good feedback from all of my supervisors (Psychiatrists) who have volunteered to be references and/or write letters of recommendation should I leave;
  • Commenced a large research project at one of these hospitals which is likely to be published end of this year (if I can finish it!);
  • Half-way through a Master of Psychiatry (coursework degree) with a "First Class Honours" average (the top echelon of marks);
  • Have been heavily involved in extracurriculars, including as the President of my large university's Student Representative Council, the President of my university's psychiatry student society, the Vice President of my state's psychiatry trainee association, the trainee representative of my training network, etc.;
  • Visa requirements for Australians to the USA are really lax (E-3);
  • I'm a really lovely person! (haha)
I'm hopeful I would do well in both Step 2 examinations as my strengths lie in clinical knowledge & skills and if needed I am hoping to complete these ASAP and hopefully do my Step 1 in 2021 when it is made Pass/Fail or prior to that depending on my options. If I recall correctly, I can sign up to Step 2 CS & CK after signing up to Step 1 without finishing it, as long as I am eligible for sit Step 2/3, let me know if that is wrong.

Thanks to anyone who can help.

You will find everything you need here:

 
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Merovinge

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You will find everything you need here:


Is that actually true? I did not think that foreign trained docs in the anglosphere in psychiatry were able to just sit for boards without completing a full or nearly full US residency like the individual above is asking. Being a non-boarded doctor is possible with certain things, but it appears the places to practice that way continue to close and it is a big gamble to practice that way at the start of your career, as your job could be terminated at any point in the future based on insurance or regulatory changes.
 

CalmAndCollected

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Is that actually true? I did not think that foreign trained docs in the anglosphere in psychiatry were able to just sit for boards without completing a full or nearly full US residency like the individual above is asking. Being a non-boarded doctor is possible with certain things, but it appears the places to practice that way continue to close and it is a big gamble to practice that way at the start of your career, as your job could be terminated at any point in the future based on insurance or regulatory changes.
Can't say for certain, but I have met physicians from the UK (some who have completed psychiatry residency), still following the same path as evert other FMG by repeating residency, so I would presume it isn't that easy.
 
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splik

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Is that actually true? I did not think that foreign trained docs in the anglosphere in psychiatry were able to just sit for boards without completing a full or nearly full US residency like the individual above is asking. Being a non-boarded doctor is possible with certain things, but it appears the places to practice that way continue to close and it is a big gamble to practice that way at the start of your career, as your job could be terminated at any point in the future based on insurance or regulatory changes.
Each specialty boards have their own rules. Some allow IMGs under certain circumstances to take their boards. The ABPN has not allowed this for psychiatry since 2005. So the only way to get board certified in psychiatry in the US is to complete residency training and qualify to sit for the exam. There are other ways for IMGs to obtain a medical license, but the opportunities in psychiatry are few and far between and so limiting that it is not recommended to try to come to the US and practice psychiatry without completing a US psychiatry residency. The exception would be for certain research superstars whose university sponsored them and petitioned the board for a waiver. That would be rare in psychiatry. It is more common for such research superstars to not practice clinically at all when they come to the US.
 
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Merovinge

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Each specialty boards have their own rules. Some allow IMGs under certain circumstances to take their boards. The ABPN has not allowed this for psychiatry since 2005. So the only way to get board certified in psychiatry in the US is to complete residency training and qualify to sit for the exam. There are other ways for IMGs to obtain a medical license, but the opportunities in psychiatry are few and far between and so limiting that it is not recommended to try to come to the US and practice psychiatry without completing a US psychiatry residency. The exception would be for certain research superstars whose university sponsored them and petitioned the board for a waiver. That would be rare in psychiatry. It is more common for such research superstars to not practice clinically at all when they come to the US.

Thanks, that confirms my understanding.
 
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