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Considering chasing my dream of being a physician in the UK...any one with experience with this?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MedIsInMyBlood, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. MedIsInMyBlood

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    I would love to be a physician but the amount of hell US medical school students are put through during residency is pushing me away. I have a sibling and 3 cousins who have gone through it or are currently going through it and it is truly jaw-dropping to me what they have to go through (and it also puzzles me why they have to go through this...like who does this benefit? Certainly not the resident. And certainly not the patients...as a zombie resident probably makes a lot of mistakes he wouldn't make if he actually had time to sleep and rest once in a while).

    I have heard that they have capped residency hours to 45 in the UK (compared to 80 in the US...lol). This limit is averaged over a month long period however, so in any given week a UK resident might work more than 45 hours (but then this means that in the following week or two, he works less than 45 hours). I also understand that UK hospitals can get around this a little bit...but I doubt they would get around with anything close to 80 hours...they probably can cheat the numbers and make their residents work up to 60 or so at the most.

    I also would love to be a part of a health-care system that is not in shambles like it is here in the US.

    Has anyone else thought about this? I've read about the Atlantic Bridge program (allows US students to apply to UK med schools) but I don't know much else about the process.
     
  2. gonnif

    gonnif Only 695 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    I have no direct experience with Atlantic Bridge but just from reading their FAQ, residency and other sections, it appears that you would have little to no chance of practicing in the UK.

    1) Only 1 of their 2014 graduates in the program matched into England
    2) 20 matched into Ireland, which is not part of the UK system
    3) of the 250 North Americans who Atlantic Bridge reports entering the program per year, only about 145 got residencies slots with 60 slots filled in Canada and 55 in US.

    http://www.atlanticbridge.com/medicine/residency/placements/
     
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  3. Goro

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    All of this just to avoid the residency workload in the US?
     
  4. Dr. Death

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    Seriously. If you want to be a doctor you have to make sacrifices. As a resident you work a million hours to get the most clinical exposure as possible in the smallest amount of time. I would rather have a physician with more experience and I think everyone feels the same.
     
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  5. MedIsInMyBlood

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    Largely. You also get paid there much better as a "resident". Tuition cost is also lower. General practitioners (which is what I would want to do) make more compared to specialties as well.
     
  6. MedIsInMyBlood

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    "Residency" there for general practitoners (which is what I want to do) is two years longer so I will be trained just as well. And I will be able to remember it better as I will not have been sleep deprived during my residency years.

    "Getting the most clinical exposure in the smallest amount of time" is not optimum to me. You need some time to be able to grasp the material. I strongly feel like what we do to our residents here is counter productive. And the UK medical board seems to agree with me.
     
    #6 MedIsInMyBlood, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
  7. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery
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    I don't think that there is any objective evidence to suggest either of those. I also would hesitate in saying that the "UK medical board apparently agrees with me." when how they structure things is based on a large number of factors, including labor laws. One could make the equally strong argument (based on that) that the US medical boards disagree with you.

    Of course, if you have evidence of those things, I'm always eager to learn.

    Longer training means less years in the work force, ie less productive years for society and two max salary years lost at the END of your career. That is a big loss for many people and arguably for the community at large.
     
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  8. MedIsInMyBlood

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    I've read a few studies recently where the over worked residents made more errors than the other residents working less hours.

    The one thing on your side here I must admit is that if residents work less hours, then that means there are more "hand-offs" (a patient being handed off from doctor to doctor) with more residents coming in and out with their shorter shifts. During each "hand off" some information obviously gets lost...and the patient has to adapt to a new doctor...which is obviously not good.

    Regardless though, I don't need a study on this (which would study other groups of people obviously... not me) to know that I MYSELF would be better off doing 50 hours per week over 5 years as opposed to 80 hours a week over 3 years, for myself and for my learning retention.
     
  9. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery
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    As a resident living in this system, far more medical errors happen from hand-offs than from tired residents. And, when they do happen, they tend to be far more catastrophic because they tend to be things that get missed entirely. Virtually every resident in our hospital, regardless of specialty is advocating a return to a call system rather than the night float system. If we can swing it with the ACGME rules, we are going to.

    All of that having been said, if you are incapable of learning effectively in the US training model, then you shouldn't go through it. If you want to be a doctor and don't mind practicing in Europe instead of the US, then go.
     
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  10. gonnif

    gonnif Only 695 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    Yeah, but Atlantic Bridge does not seem a viable path to a UK residency.
     
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  11. MedIsInMyBlood

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    Thanks guys...mimelin you are there in residency and I am not so I will take your word for it that the US system may not be as terrible for you and your colleagues as it was for my family members who went through it. But yes, I am pretty sure I myself would do better with a longer/less-intense residency.

    And gonnif, have you thought about going to the UK yourself or have you just learned about it from research?
     
  12. gonnif

    gonnif Only 695 Days Until Next Presidential Election
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    Tangentially as I have looked extensively at other commonwealth countries and if can practice across boundaries
     
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    #12 gonnif, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  13. medgirl20

    medgirl20 Senior Member
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    Keep in mind that the UK like all EU countries has to give priority for all jobs to EU citizens which with increasing numbers graduating from UK and EU medical schools is making obtaining a training post as a non EU citizen increasingly difficult.
     
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