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Fellowships for ObGyn qualified IMGs NOT intending to practice in the US

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thecrazydevil

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hey...i searched thru the forums and couldnt find any up-to-date info so just hoped someone would have the latest details...

i am an IMG done with my Ob&Gy residency training from a school listed in the FAIMER WHODOMS. i am interested in doing a subspeciality fellowship (REI/MFM/PAG) from the US and return back to my home country to practice. i DO NOT intend to practice in the US, just train for the 2/3 year fellowship period and return back.

my queries are:

1. are IMGs who have not done residency in the US accepted for fellowship positions anymore? (they say earlier it was possible but i read in a thread somewhere here that the rules are going to change in 2016 maybe mentioned by @aProgDirector or @Winged Scapula )

2. if its still possible, being an IMG it would not be possible for me to go for NRMP or ERAS. would applying directly to the program head be appropriate?

3. would i need any other eligibility tests to be passed for it even if i do not wish to practice in the US? (for eg. USMLE step 1/2/3 or ECFMG certification)

4. some threads mention F-1 visa requirement needing a requirement letter from the ministry of health of my home country for the subspeciality fellowship i want. but there are conflicting opinions regarding this.

5. what about the fees/salary? do i need any sort of funding/sponsorship from an institute of my home country or can i self-fund? no threads mention approx fees for the fellowship courses. how much do they usually cost, esp for IMGs? and how much stipend/salary can i expect as an IMG?

6. as i will be going back to my home country for practicing will BE or BC be essential? i could make out that BE or BC is not possible without a US residency.

thanks in advance for your help. i hope someone who's in touch with the current system there can shed some light on the current rules and whether any changes have been made/are anticipated in the near future.
 

NotAProgDirector

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hey...i searched thru the forums and couldnt find any up-to-date info so just hoped someone would have the latest details...

i am an IMG done with my Ob&Gy residency training from a school listed in the FAIMER WHODOMS. i am interested in doing a subspeciality fellowship (REI/MFM/PAG) from the US and return back to my home country to practice. i DO NOT intend to practice in the US, just train for the 2/3 year fellowship period and return back.

my queries are:

1. are IMGs who have not done residency in the US accepted for fellowship positions anymore? (they say earlier it was possible but i read in a thread somewhere here that the rules are going to change in 2016 maybe mentioned by @aProgDirector or @Winged Scapula )

2. if its still possible, being an IMG it would not be possible for me to go for NRMP or ERAS. would applying directly to the program head be appropriate?

3. would i need any other eligibility tests to be passed for it even if i do not wish to practice in the US? (for eg. USMLE step 1/2/3 or ECFMG certification)

4. some threads mention F-1 visa requirement needing a requirement letter from the ministry of health of my home country for the subspeciality fellowship i want. but there are conflicting opinions regarding this.

5. what about the fees/salary? do i need any sort of funding/sponsorship from an institute of my home country or can i self-fund? no threads mention approx fees for the fellowship courses. how much do they usually cost, esp for IMGs? and how much stipend/salary can i expect as an IMG?

6. as i will be going back to my home country for practicing will BE or BC be essential? i could make out that BE or BC is not possible without a US residency.

thanks in advance for your help. i hope someone who's in touch with the current system there can shed some light on the current rules and whether any changes have been made/are anticipated in the near future.

1. I'm not 100% certain about the OB rules. You can look at them yourself at this link.

You should be looking at III.A.2. It describes how someone without a core residency might be able to complete a fellowship. However, if you look at the Program Requirements for MFM or REI (same link as above), you can see that there is an additional rule III.A.2.c which suggests that they won't allow exceptions at all. So it's not totally clear -- but if it is allowed, you need to be "exceptional" in some way to be considered.

2. IMG's can use ERAS and NRMP. You are mistaken. This happens all the time.

3. You must pass USMLE 1/2 CK / 2 CS in order to get a training license and get ECFMG certification. You must have these to be considered in the US.

4. There are entire threads on visas. Because you plan to return to your home country, you should train on a J-1 visa.

5. You will be paid just like everyone else as an IMG. In general, you cannot "self fund" a spot. Very rarely a country will fund a spot. There is no cost -- you get a salary. It's usually between $50-70K.

6. No, you will not be BC/BE without completing an entire US residency, and it won't matter at all.
 

thecrazydevil

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thanks for the super quick reply.

as a matter of fact, along with this thread, i also dropped in an email to the ABOG fellowship department, with the same set of queries, and received the following response which i quote in full:

Dr. Pa***a:
The ABOG is not going to be accrediting subspecialty fellowship programs any longer. We are transitioning all of our programs to the ACGME, and this will be completed by 2017. Because of this, I do not know the answer to your question. I do not know if the ACGME will allow foreign graduates to enter their fellowships.
You would need to find a program on your own (a list of approved programs is on our website), contact the program to see if they would take a “non-candidate” fellow (one who cannot certify at the end), and then it would be up to you or the program to see if the ACGME would allow this for 2017 (provided the program in question has transitioned to them by then). I am sorry, but that is all the help I can give at this time of transition.


so effectively it means that even they don't have any sort of idea where they stand as far as IMGs for fellowships are concerned. the ACGME guidelines don't really make sense in that they effectively state about not allowing any exceptions after painfully detailing the exceptions that can be made :(

again i got back to ABOG on the "2017" that they mentioned, "Provided applications are still open for courses that have not "transitioned" to ACGME does ABOG have any explicit restriction for IMGs or is it the prerogative of the program director to accept a non-candidate fellow?"

and they replied:

The transition process has just begun, so the only advice I have for you is to contact the individual programs and see if they will take you. It is entirely up to the program and not the ABOG.

the gist what i gather would be to make my profile as strong as possible, apply to all the fellowships who are willing to entertain applications from IMGs and just pray that i get called for an interview somewhere! but going through the ACGME guidelines that were mentioned in your post, the hurdles i will need to clear may include :

1. the program director
2. fellowship selection committee
3. GMEC / subcommittee of GMEC (which i assume would be a part of the institute offering the fellowship)
4. review comittee (???) which for ob&gyn does NOT allow exceptions (!!!)

for funding, what i was referring to was the training fees/cost. thanks for making it clear that there would be no such cost involved (apart from the application fees/ERAS i presume)

so i guess i'll make my best attempt towards something which has been unexplored till now. shall update if i get any new information...
 
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