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DO's practicing in New Zealand and other countries

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by amyb, Feb 13, 2000.

  1. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator
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    Can anyone tell me what the requirements are for DO's if they wish to practice abroad? My husband and I have been really considering moving to New Zealand, and we are wondering what my chances of practicing there are going to be. What are the reqirements for any physician to transfer their liscensure abroad? What are the special challenges met by DO's? Thanks!

     
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  3. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member
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    There are many countries in the world that will grant US trained DOs full practice rights, however, countries who are or were part of the British Commonwealth will only allow US trained DOs to practice OMT. An extreme example of this can be seen in Canada, where US trained DOs can obtain full practice rights in some provinces but not in others.

    If you go to the AOA site, you can obtain a list of countries which will grant US trained DOs full practice rights, OMT only or NO practice rights of any kind. An AOA representative who came to UHS in 1998 hinted at the possibility of the AOA working in behalf of someone who wants to be granted practice rights in a foreign country which doesn't already have a policy in that respect.

    Through the years, the brits and their "subjects", and "ex-subjects", have been adamant on denying full practice rights to US trained DOs. Personally, I think we should reciprocate in kind and deny their physicians full practice rights in the US, but you know how we are...
     
  4. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator
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    Do you know if the same is true in British commonwealth countries if you have done an MD residency?

    P.S. Here, here to establishing equal treatment : ) !
     
  5. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    It's not about where you've done your residency, so much as it is your degree. In those countries, signing your name with a DO at the end is a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE than signing your name with an MD.

    Tim of New York City.
     
  6. CAT

    CAT Member
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    Isn't it interesting that most British doctors have Bachelor of Medicine degrees (I think that is what it is called) but only recognize 1 of 2 doctoral level US medical degrees??
     
  7. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    The British system of education doesn't allow for a "doctoral level" MD to be awarded, so they're given the MBBS or MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), which is a 6-year course, but effectively their degrees are at the US' "doctoral level" for medicine.

    As for their only recognizing one of two US medical degrees, that's their decision to make. It's their country. They've long since established schools of osteopathy modeled after the US system, but to them it's just that -- osteopathy, OMT stuff -- not osteopathic medicine. How can you expect them to recognize a US trained DO as a full physician when their own DOs (who, by the way, are Diplomates of Osteopathy, as Still had originally intended, and not Doctors of Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine) are anything but? To allow US trained DOs to practice in these countries would potentially open the door to practicing medicine without a license by some unscrupulous DOs on that side.

    What the AOA should probably do is try and bring the British osteopathic schools up to speed on the changes within osteopathic medicine. I'm sure that if those countries begin accepting DOs as fully-trained physicians, they'll begin accepting US trained DOs.

    So does anyone know how relations are between DCs and DOs in the UK?


    Tim of New York City.
     
  8. CAT

    CAT Member
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    Good luck amyb! I hope it works out for you. When you find out for sure about the New Zealand option I hope you'll post the information.

    Tim you sure do possess a wealth of information!! Of course I now have more questions....

    Actually I think it is possible for a physician trained in the British system to receive an M.D. -- isn't it awarded as a more advanced degree whereas the "MBBS" is a first medical degree? Does anyone know for sure?

    Are D.O.'s trained in the British system considered to be doctors? (by the public, by anyone?) If British surgeons are referred to as "Mr" instead of "Dr" what title do the osteophaths get?

    IMO the fact that "osteopaths" in Britain aren't trained to the same extent as D.O.s in the US (e.g. no pharmacology training) should not be the sole reason why US-trained physicians with the D.O. degree are prohibited from licensure. Isn't there even the chance to take a test to prove oneself? (like the New Zealand equivalent of the USMLE?)

    Don't osteopaths over there fill the niche of US chiropractors? Are there (any? many?) chiropractors in the UK?



    [This message has been edited by CAT (edited 03-13-2000).]
     
  9. UHS03

    UHS03 Senior Member
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    DO's in the British system basically are limited to OMT. To an American DO, it is bothersome to think that we may not be allowed to practice the way we can here, but I don't think it is simply a matter of taking a test to prove equality. I say this because if Britain allowed American DO's full practice rights, it opens up a whole political can of worms for British DO's. It would not take long before British DO's began seeking full practice rights, and that may be a fight Britain doesn't want to start. I can't really blame them.

    Here's a question: can American DO's participate in volunteer missions to underserved countries (in Africa for example) and have the same practice rights as their MD counterparts? I realize it depends on what country we are talking about, so lets assume I'm referring to a volunteer mission to some underserved country in which locally-trained DO's are not recognized in the same way MD's are. It would be shame if American DO's are limited even in the scope in which they may VOLUNTEER their services! Anyone know anything about this??

    [This message has been edited by UHS03 (edited 02-23-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by UHS03 (edited 02-23-2000).]
     
  10. Stephen Ewen

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    D.O.s may certainly practice in many third world countries. They have even received faculty appointments in such medical schools and written textbooks for these contexts. One of the avenues for further info is to contact the embassy of the country you desire to practice in, as the name of the medical authority and contact info, and go from there.
     
  11. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    Yes, there is a higher level medical degree in Britain, but I'm not sure if it's an academic one or a professional degree. I doubt that it confers any particular practice right to its holder, but I guess it's nice to have.

    I'm not sure what osteopaths and dentists in Britain are called, but I have a feeling that they're also referred to as "Doctor." There are chiropractors in the UK, but I don't know what their role is relative to the osteopath.

    American DOs are able to practice in underserved nations under the umbrella of some organizations.


    Tim of New York City.
     
  12. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator
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    Along these same lines, does anyone know about D.O.'s working with MSF, the French relief organization? (in english, doctors without borders)? I wonder if something like that would gain you credibility? Although that would not be my reason for becoming affilitated with such an organization, just wondering.
    To whomever brought up about calling the embassy and getting in contact with the medical board there etc. - do you think such a thing would be the avenue to pursue if you wished to do rotations there? Some from my school have done third world residencies before, but the countries I think I would be interested in going to were not visited.


    Amy
     
  13. Stephen Ewen

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    Amy, an excellent way to find foreign rotations is to contact the medical schools in the nation you are interested in doing roations in and querying if they will provide them for you. The embassy route is not appropriate for this. If you have specific nations you wish to undertake them in, you might leave a list and I and maybe others will see what info we can provide.

    Let me add to everyone that a key to obtaining foreign rotations is to start applying EXTREMELY WELL AHEAD of time. This can hardly be overemphasized. Your MS1 year is not too early.
     
  14. Brit Girl

    Brit Girl Junior Member
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    MSF (medecin sans frontiers) is an international relief organisation but is only open to qualified health professionals, preferably with experience in emergency medicine. It is a full time position and is usually done on a relatively short term basis due to the stresses involved.

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    Pants
     
  15. amyb

    amyb SDN Moderator
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    I am not sure how to take that last post, I guess it just brings the question around again, since in this country D.O.'s receive the same training that M.D.'s plus some (and many foreign people come train at these institutions) I therefore would assume that they are welcomed to join up with MSF for a stint, no?!? Since we are, in fact, qualified health professionals?
     
  16. Brit Girl

    Brit Girl Junior Member
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    No offence meant; as previously mentioned, osteopaths here aren't doctors, so the US system confuses me somewhat! I guess it would depend on whether or not MSF recognises the D.O qualification.
    In response to earlier questions, all UK med schools award MBBCh or similar, not MD. Medicine is a first degree (not post grad) but we do A(advanced)-level examinations between the ages of 16-18 which for medicine are taken in chemistry, and two from maths, physics and biology usually. If A-levels in these subjects (eg. arts subjects instead) are not taken, an extra year can be added to the medicine degree but this is relatively unusual. The A-level course is at a high standard and gives a good scientific basis from which to study medicine.

    [This message has been edited by Brit Girl (edited 02-29-2000).]
     
  17. CAT

    CAT Member
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    Brit Girl - What does "MBBCh" stand for? Surely there are some physicians in the UK who have the MD degree (I know of at least one personally). Does this signify someone educated in the US then or is it an advanced professional degree? Academic degree? Thanks.
     
  18. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor
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    MB is Bachelor of Medicine.

    BCh is Bachelor of Surgery.

    The MBBCh is the same as the MBBS.

    I believe there is an MD awarded, but I think it's more of an academic rather than professional degree. Perhaps BritGirl can answer!


    Tim of New York City.
     
  19. Brit Girl

    Brit Girl Junior Member
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    The MD in Britain is the medical equivalent of a pHD, so yes, it is an academic award. An undergraduate medical degree (MB) must be held in order to get an MD.

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    Pants
     

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