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Do Med School In America Unless....

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by sga430, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. sga430

    sga430 Membership Revoked
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    1) you wanna be a slave in an IMG sweat shop in New York
    2) you would like to do a speciality you don't like
    3) you wanna do residency in a one horse town
    4) you would like to be in a different time zone than your spouse

    you may say...

    1) america takes longer

    WRONG! calculate time spent studying the boards. going abroad may take less time if you r hard working and smart. however most likely you may not be smart as you made the mistake of going abroad.

    2) it is cheaper

    for me it was not. you will have to waste time looking for residency, doing externships in beverly hills and south beach, going to more interviews, applying to more interviews in the long run u will end up with a lower paying speciality. take the big picture in account.

    3) for the experience

    if you want experience living in another place then go on a vacation. your carreer is to important for your whims of travel. take a year off after med school in america or do international electives.

    4) getting into a us med school is hard

    it is but then so is getting a residency as an IMG. it is better to try in america then go the DO (osteopathy) route. if this does not work than go to east europe or maybe the carribean for a 4 year program. this way ur risk is covered and u get a shot at being an AMG.





    i think by now you get the picture. logic dictates u to be an AMG. CASE CLOSED!
     
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  3. cool_vkb

    cool_vkb Member
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    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: Awesome post!
     
  4. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    It depends what your priorities are.

    Are you going to have to work harder to get electives and to get residency? Yes.

    Are your USMLE scores going to be affected? Possibly.
    Are you going to encounter a lot of frustration, "backwards" thinking, angering political situations, disappointments and tears? Yes.

    Are you going to have the most fulfilling time of your life? Hell yes.

    Do I regret studying abroad? Sometimes I wish I hadn't made it so hard on myself, and yes the political situations (affecting my grades, class rank, etc.) that I have no control over make me wish I'd stayed in the US, but ultimately, No . I have no regrets, have thorougly enjoyed my time here and think this was a better option for me than staying in the US where I knew I would be unhappy. Studying abroad will give you perspective that is irreproducible by any other means. You cannot experience the same life by vacations, electives or whatnot.

    This is why we always say that studying abroad is a choice you have to make very carefully and with a lot of research. You are going to end up in trouble if you just rush over because of desperation to become a doctor. Take the time to weigh all your options and make a pros/cons list.
     
  5. PhoebusX

    PhoebusX DonJuan
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    Nice post. INformative. :)
     
  6. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    leorl has echoed my thoughts exactly.

    While at times I regretted my decision to study abroad, in the end, I am in demand for attending positions and my educational choices have not been an issue (as far as I know).

    I would not trade the time I spent living abroad for anything, even knowing what I know now. However, you must really understand yourself and whether you are the type to roll with adversity, accept a different culture and be willing to work harder (and without complaining about it) than your colleagues.
     
  7. sga430

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    i agree i had an interesting experience in india. it was in some ways more laid back. i was lucky as i wanted to do a speciality that was not so competitive and i matched. however at 18 to even know u want to be a doc is a feat (and in some ways u may be to young to even make that choice.) but at 18 to say no to derm, plastics, physiatry, general surgery, obg, ortho, rads, urology, cards, gastro, neurosurgery, ENT, etc. is unreasonable. effectivily you are saying by going abroad is that u have chosen FP, psych or IM. if you are cool and 110% certain in this then go ahead. also be willing to be in a location not of ur choosing and be ready to have Q4 call with crappy teaching when u r a resident. this however is not in my case. however many friends i know r in this situation. however great the experience of being abroad is, to spend a life time doing FP when u love surgery is not worth it. this is my main reasoning for all u young folk.

    an example of flawed logic is that u wanna be a surgeon. however u feel u r not smart enuff to get into med school in the usa. but what makes u think u will get that 90 on the usmles??

    once again, case closed, in my humble opinion.
     
  8. sumina13

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    finally. it is good to hear from those who did it and wouldn't have stayed home if they had another chance.

    i'm on my way to study in the UK, AND I know that their policy for IMG becoming consultants makes it almost impossible for IMG to do anything but go somewhere else. it would then seem that i am crazy taking this route. however, life in europe for 5 years is too important for me. in addition, i don't foresee myself living in the UK forever. i already stipulate going elsewhere or coming back to the US (facing all the difficulties that entails but keeping in mind a very encouraging feeling: a residency abroad may be as difficult (possibly easier) then getting a scholarship for college and getting into med school as an international student or worst, financing it)

    sure i will be in pain if at the end of it all i fall in love with the UK but know that only by leaving i'll be able to practice in my area of choice. BUT, as unpredictable as the future is, personal preference in the present day really drives the decision making process. i don't know about you folks, but the more i try to control the future, the more i realise i can't.
    so, in the present time, a PBL based education with a less stressfull education atmosphere than most highly test-driven US med schools, on top of an european cultural experience (possibly learning another language), is something i can only do in the UK (unless i already spoke french or german:)) - so, as you can imagine, i'm set on what i'm doing and yes, i can totally break my face (that'd be true if i were to do anything in my life)


    life seems to be pointless when you think about all the things that can go wrong. it is amazing where you all have come to and also probably what you can accomplish. it is also disappointing to know we are still not satisfied and probably will never be.

    It looks like all the people making the lives of IMG more difficult suffer the same evil from a third party.
    so, the question to me if you are considering being an IMG, and want to be one, is: would you prefer facing and battleing the evils of those who impose limitations on you while you are reaching for your dreams than living confortably bitter (taking into consideration that both ways can lead to great success or to great pain/frustation)?
    and then ask yourselves, does it matter afterall all? it must, otherwise, we may as well wait patiently and blindly for the world to be changed by others (and hope that these changes reflect a truth similar to ours).

    somehow, after proofreading all of this, i remenbered...
    as ghandi reflected (and a friend reminded of): "be the change you want to see in the world"
     
  9. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    sga430, Kimberli Cox is not only one of the most respected "staff" here at SDN, she is also a surgeon. Thus, she landed a residency in what you know is a very competitive field, and although it is harder to do than if you were a high-achieving USMG, it is not impossible. Now, to my knowledge, although she was a very competitive applicant but not a 99/99/huge research/etc, I will let her tell her qualifications if she chooses to, she has been very successful in her career. However, she is not an isolated case. Most of the people I know around me who studied abroad ultimately are doing what they wanted to do. Scores matter...but what matters more is what kind of person you are, and how you act as a doctor.

    Agreed, in this day and age and especially after this last Match cycle which was extremely competitive, it might be harder for today's IMG to match. It's actually an interestingly curious phenomenon world wide, in which it is getting more competitive to get jobs everywhere.

    Those of us who go abroad realize that we may have possible limitations in terms of job openings. But when I went, did I consign myself to FP, psych, or IM? Hell no. Did I realize I might not be able to get orthopedic surgery? Yes. However, for me, experiencing life abroad was more important to me than complete job security. Obviously those of us who think this way differ from your way and your priorities, but to each his own.

    Do i have worries that I may not match next year? Yes.
    Is that going to stop me from doing everything possible to try to match in my desired field and resigning myself to doing something I don't want to do? No. Even if that means I have to reapply a couple times. And, I will be the first to admit that I am not a stellar applicant because I chose to live my life by my actions rather than by books. But as they say, actions are stronger than words and this has come through for me during my US electives.

    Oh, and by the way, many of us didn't go to school abroad because we thought we weren't smart enough to stay in the US. (That's actually pretty amusing). I do realize that it unfortunately still is a major reason people go abroad. However, do realize that there are actually many people like myself and Kim Cox who went over with scores/grades/intellect/applications perfectly competitive for US med school but chose to go abroad to experience something other than our safe US bubble.

    We aren't refuting the fact that staying in the US is the safest, easiest, most efficient option. But it wasn't for us, we wanted (and still want) something more. All we ask is that you open your mind to reasons people chose a different route.
     
  10. med_heidelberg

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    I agree with Kim and Leorl. I am studying abroad and dont regret it. My academic record was good enough for a US school but I didnt want to wait a year for the application cycle and take the MCAT. Also I dont have to pay tuition here. Also, I like living in Europe and feel that the experience makes me a stronger person, and that will make me a better doctor.

    And about residency, I am not too worried. A doctor in my family was telling some PDs from top schools (including one that studied in Germany) at a recent conference about me and they were really impressed and wanted to meet me, offered to set up rotations, etc. So being an IMG is not all bad. There are exceptions to every rule.
     
  11. cool_vkb

    cool_vkb Member
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    Whats the admission critirea in Western Europe.Is there any competition or you guys like some Asian countries have to pay huge sum of donations and fees to get in?

    I know ireland, UK and germany have pretty tough admission standards. iam speaking abt other West EU-countries!
     
  12. WaZoBia

    WaZoBia Senior Member
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    do you know which asian countries require huge sums?
     
  13. brightblueeyes

    brightblueeyes Senior Member
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    It varies from country to country. But the short answer is that getting in is tough and you can't bypass this by paying huge sums. In fact, tuition in most Western European countries is kept extremely low and the idea of charging very high tuition (as in Canada and the US) or "donations" (as in Indian schools which, unlike schools like AIIMS, allow non-merit based admissions) is seen as giving an unfair advantage to wealthier students.

    European students can usually enter right after secondary school if they pass their country's national exam(s) giving access to university. In France, this is the Bac; in Germany, the Abitur; in the UK, appropriate A levels; in Spain, the Selectividad; and in Switzerland and Belgium, the Matura. It's a little misleading, though, because Australian, Canadian and American high schools stop short of the level of these exams. We (I'm Canadian) have to go to one of our country's local universities and do at least two years of appropriate courses (i.e. typical pre-med) to be considered equivalent. (Mind you, two years of a solid science program at a decent North American university blows all of these university access exams out of the water...IMHO. I have no idea what a typical admissions committee would think, though.)

    As far as I know, all Western European countries apply severe restrictions on the intake of medical students. This is called a numerus clausus in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany and a national quota in the UK.

    Different countries use different methods to screen their applicants. But, with the possible exception of the UK, Western European med school admission tends to be based on academic performance more than in the US and Canada.

    A big factor for a North American student is that, even to be considered, you need to prove you're competent in the school's language of instruction. For all the Western European countries I'm familiar with, this means you need to prove you've reached level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages. (And as a Dutch school official once told me, Canadians and Americans don't have a good reputation for learning languages. ;))
     
  14. med_heidelberg

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    The admission criteria in western Europe are pretty tough and its impossible to pay your way in!
     
  15. sga430

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    i do agree living abroad is a great experience. this thread was meant to inform others of information i didnt have when i made up my mind. anything (except derm of course, lol) is possible if ur ready to work hard. still i feel ur choice of speciality and its competiveness is a huge factor in making up ur mind.
     
  16. Dr.Inviz

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    DO medical schools are in America ... I don't get it.
     
  17. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    AHAHAHA! the OP meant "do" as in the verb. Not DO osteopathy.
     
  18. peacefuljourney

    peacefuljourney New Member
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    Hi,

    I'll chime in here too. We're Canadian studying in Europe as well. We came to Slovakia (Central Europe) because my husband was born here although raised in Canada (except for 0 - 4 yrs).

    I've lived most of my adult life overseas doing consulting work - Japan, UK, Turks & Caicos, Turkey, Czech Republic etc. We chose to study abroad for a number of reasons.

    We wanted our kids to live the 'ex-pat' life for a while and to learn the language of their father and attend a very solid primary school.

    We are older than most and felt that we could afford it financially and handle it academically given that the education here is spread out over 6 years. And yes, lifestyle. We are those crazy people who like to enjoy life as well as work - we seek balance.

    The decision for us to walk away from high-paying consulting work and return to school in Slovakia was big for us. And I know the stigma we face when we return. But, I just plan to let my knowledge speak for itself. I have lots to learn for sure, but we aren't here because we couldn't get in. I didn't even do the MCAT. My husband has a BSc, MSc, MBA and I'm a BAH, MBA. Whether I go back to the business side of things or stay clinical is a decision I must make.

    Sure, the stigma is tough to beat - but do you want to work with those colleagues/PD's anyway? Really think about that. If someone slams a program because they have 'too many img's so it must be crap' attitude then is that someone that you really need to work with day to day in tense situations? I'll hoping those 'crap' img programs are filled with highly motivated people who had to go through so much just to get there - oh and have knowledge too.

    I think travel and living abroad should be mandatory for anyone wishing to call themselves 'educated.' And no, 2 weeks on vacation isn't the same.

    Just my humble .02

    S-
     
  19. PEN15

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    I don't know if this has been covered, but some people just simply don't have the luxury of choosing where they want to go for medical school.
     
  20. sga430

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    i meant osteopathy.
     
  21. sga430

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    i do agree with what u said. however what many dont realize is that ur choice of specialties limited unless u can get a double 99. this factor is often downplayed when one chooses to go abroad as they r more concerned with anatomy and all at that point and with getting an MD. i have met IMGs thinkin about going into ortho. it of course is possible but the chances r low. even matching into FP for an img is not guaranteed. i know of 3 people this year that did not match into psych.
     
  22. sga430

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    my post was meant for mostly those who go abroad from usa to med school with the purpose of coming back. of course many foriegners apply to us a another option. they have the back up option of staying in their country.
     
  23. Faebinder

    Faebinder Slow Wave Smurf
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    :thumbup:
     
  24. sga430

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    i think this post should be a sticky. It may sound funny but it is serious stuff and should be read by all who are infected with the thought of being an IMG.
     
  25. sovie

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    it is but then so is getting a residency as an IMG. it is better to try in america then go the DO (osteopathy) route. if this does not work than go to east europe or maybe the carribean for a 4 year program. this way ur risk is covered and u get a shot at being an AMG.


    Please forgive this question if I am confused, but:

    1) what schools in Eastern Europe do you recommend?
    2) what does your second sentance mean, exactly?
     
  26. sga430

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    I am not sure which school in east europe. also look into uk and ireland. go to the other country threads and ask around.

    my second sentence means that if u dont get into a us med school or osetopathic school, u can then apply to a foreign med school. this way you atleast tried. some people go blindly from high school to med school without even trying. thus there is no risk really in trying to get into a us med school. however there is a risk of not getting a residency by going to a foreign med school.
     

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