Fifth Pathway and ECFMG Certification

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by LuchoLiu, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. I have a question I haven't been able to find the answer to. I'm hoping some of you out there attending the UAG can help me.

    I have a pretty good understanding of the Fifth Pathway process. However, I was wondering the following: Suppose I go to the UAG to study Medicine and I want to do the 6 years there and then become ECFMG certified. However, I want to have some experience working/studying in US hospitals (and I don't want to just spend a couple of months on an elective in a US hospital). Is it possible to apply to the NYMC for Fifth Pathway, finish the 1 year, and then go back to the UAG to complete the Service obligation, do the comprehensive exam, and get the title? This way, I finish all requirements by the UAG to get my title, and I have 1 year of experience in US hospitals. Then I can become ECFMG certified and apply to residencies in the US without the limitations of a Fifth Pathway "diploma". Basically, I would be replacing the 5th year of Internado with the 1 year at the NYMC, and then returning to UAG for the 6th and last year.

    Can the Fifth Pathway be used in this way? Thanks for your help. By the way, I don't want to sound rude or anything, but please, I'm simply looking for an answer to my question. I don't want to hear how this or that school is superior to the UAG or how Caribbean schools are the better/worst choice, or Irish, or D.O. or whatever. Thank you.
  2. dwstranger

    dwstranger Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Likes Received:
    To the best of my knowledge -- no. 5PW is meant to replace the internado and servicio social, which you probably already know (as you said you are familiar with the program). The AMA created 5PW specifically for American citizens and permanent residents who go to school in a country (usually Mexico) which requires these extra two years before they award the titulo (MD). I have never heard of anyone doing what you propose, but that's not to say it couldn't happen, although I think it's highly unlikely. Most people who come here want to get back into the US system ASAP. 2 things: first, the way to get the US experience is to do really well in your classes, be one of the top 4 students in your class (or really close) and be offered the Coop program (= 4th year at NYMC). Then you do 5 PW after that, because you'll have ??2!! years of US experience. Failing being in the top 4, keep your GPA above 8.0 (out of 10) -- with a few other restrictions -- and you can arrange to do electives in the US during your 4th year. As you can see, these two options give you that US experience that can give you an edge.

    Most of the people who stay here to do the 6 years are people who didn't take or pass Step 1 by the deadline for 5PW application. When I came here, I planned to do the 6 years -- Mexico IS cheaper than NY, after all, and you get tons more hands-on experience -- but then reality set in and I realized the likelihood of getting a competitive residency varies inversely with the time spent in a foreign school.

    The second thing I wanted to bring to your attention is an "unofficial" route to getting the titulo AND doing 5PW. For a while, people have had the option of doing the following (although it's totally word of mouth, nothing written, and constantly threatened to be discontinued): During 5PW, you pay UAG a fee (about $3k) and UAG counts this as your internado year. Then you get a residency in a primarily latino area, and get your residency director to sign off that it is, and pay UAG a fee, and they will count this as your year of servicio social. Then you come back to Mexico and take the UAG test for the titulo. After you pass it, you get the titulo. This is the route I plan to take, because after all this effort, I want that piece of paper that says MD.

    There was something else I wanted to say, but it escapes me at the moment... :(

    I hope this has helped. I have posted about this before, if you want to search the site for 5PW posts. Or, if you have any other questions I might be able to help with, send me a private message.

  3. Thank you dwstranger! That's exactly the reply I was looking for! Good information. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> Right now, I'm looking at about 2004 or 2005 before I can begin med school. The 6 year route seems more attractive to me because I want to have the possibility of practicing in any state, and 5PW is not recognized by some states.

    The "unofficial" route you mentioned was interesting. I grew up in the Republic of Panama, and things work in a very similar way. It's funny, but many Americans look at things like that as "proof" that the school is out to make a buck and uses underhanded, "evil" schemes to get more cash out of students. In reality, those kinds of "unofficial" routes are pretty much common in Latin America. It's just a cultural thing, and it's something they do. It has nothing to do with corruption. Since I believe you're a student at the UAG, you probably know very well what I'm talking about. I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing. I'm just saying it's different. For someone not used to that, it could be a cultural surprise.

    Again, thank you for your reply. Good luck with your studies and estudia duro!!
  4. NuMD97

    NuMD97 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Feb 1, 2002
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    As the other individual said, the Fifth Pathway was designed back in the days of the first wave of Americans attending the Autonoma in the late 1960s. But some years back I did hear of people who were able to do both, and I do understand the reasoning behind it. Fifth Pathway used to fluctuate from being recognized in some states and then later on, no longer being recognized. The fact that its status could change like that made getting a degree more attractive. I would suggest you talk to NY Med and see about the possibility. It then would rest with the Mexican government if they would accept this year as equivalent to the "preinternado".

    Good luck.
  5. carc2023

    carc2023 Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2001
    Likes Received:
    To answer the original question YES the year with fifth pathway can be used to replace the internado year with UAG so that when you return you will only need to complete the year of social service.

    Another option that is available if you want to obtain your MD is after completing the fifth pathway program you can obtain a residency and license in New York and you can then apply for your MD which will be awarded to you by the New York State Board of Regents.

    For more information check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
  6. :confused:

    OK...the plot thickens. According to carc2023, the answer to my original question is yes, but according to dwstranger, the answer is no. carc2023, are you sure I can replace the internado with 5PW, or is that part of the "unofficial" route that dwstranger was referring to? It would make sense to me that 5PW directors would want people to treat the 5PW as a true "pathway" into US Medicine and not simply as an American Medicine experience prior to graduation from UAG. At this point in time, if I end up attending UAG, I'm more attracted to the 6 year option, especially if I really can't replace internado with 5PW. If I go to a foreign country to study Medicine I want to be able to be licensed anywhere in the US and not in some states only. You see, for me going to Med School will be a huge life change of the turn-everything-upside-down kind. I wouldn't want to go through that and find out my medical license isn't recognize by states x,y and z.

    Also, as far as I understand, the MD granted by New York after successful completion of the Fifth Pathway program is not recognized by all states. Is that true? If it is, I don't see much of a point in getting an MD that is limited. Why an MD granted by the NYS Board of Regents is not universally recognized in all 50 states but a medical degree granted by a Mexican University is is a great mystery of life. I would imagine all 50 states would be more comfortable with the idea of an MD granted by a US state than a degree granted by a foreign institution. Oh,'s not supposed to make sense, I guess.

    It's too bad you can only do 5PW in New York. Not exactly my favorite state. No offense to anyone from NY, but I've lived in Wisconsin 15 years, so the traffic and pace of life in NY is quite overwhelming for someone who's only used to the pace of the MidWest. Then again, I'm completing my premed requirements at Loyola in Chicago. Maybe driving to Chicago 3 or 4 times a week will prepare me for NY. It's funny...I drove down to Loyola last week. I was going 75 mph on a 55 mph zone and people were passing me from the left and right lanes and getting upset at me for being such a slow putz. I guess they didn't notice my DairyLand plates...Anyway, I'm seriously digressing here.

    Thanks for the replies and any more help with this is greatly appreciated. I guess the best thing for me to do is, if and when the time comes, I can talk to some administrator in the Med School at UAG and the scoop from him/her.

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