Foreign med schools and the USA

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by MacGyver, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. MacGyver

    MacGyver Membership Revoked
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    I have 2 questions.

    #1) Do any med schools in foreign countries give an M.D. degree? Or are all the foreign degrees called something else besides MD?

    #2) If someone goes to a foreign med school and goes thru residency in a foreign country, what do they have to do to practice in the USA? Do they have to do another residency? Or can they get credit for the foreign residency and immediately treat patients? Do they have to be board-certified in their home country and take the board exams in the US also?
     
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  2. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    MacGyver:

    1) Yes, many foreign countries award the MD upon completion of medical school. These include Canada, many European countries, the Caribbean and Latin American countries. The MBBS degree, which I think you may be refering to, is generally awarded by present and former commonwealth countries (ie England, India, Australia, etc..). This degree is equivalent to the American MD degree - However, these countries do also award an MD, but it requires and additional 2-3 years of full-time research.

    2) My knowledge of this area is limited, but my understanding is that once an individual passes Steps I-III and the ECFMG (?), he/she is eligible for licensure. Once you have a license (with a US or Foreign degree) you can set up with whatever practice you would like. However, the ability to gain hospital priviledges is another matter, and many prefer (or only consider) physicians and surgeons who are BC/BE. Unforunately, to be BC/BE you must have completed a ACGME approved residency - regardless of foreign qualifications. I am sure this is variable is certain circumstances, as a notable number of academics did foreign training and are recruited to the US, but in such instances the hospitals grant priviledges as part of the recruitment package. I guess the short answer is that, yes a foreign doctor can set up shop without having to redo a US residency, but practically speaking this may be limited due to the hospitals' fear of potential litigation.


    Airborne
     
  3. IRON_DUKE

    IRON_DUKE MEDICAL RED NECK ROYALTY
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    Here in COSTA RICA , med schools award the LICENSURE degree and the College of Surgeons awards the M.D. degree after 1 year of SOCIAL SERVICE . In other words you work for FREE for a full year , and then most likely you are awarded the M.D. degree by the College of Surgeons , and along with it a so called CODE number that allows you to write presciptions .


    And if you study outside the USA your school must be listed with the IMED medical school directory list . It is like the old WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION directory of medical schools .

    Imed is run by the ECFMG and can be found on their web site .

    www.ecfmg.org

    Your school must be on that list by the time you graduate or you may be in hot water .

    Then you apply for USMLE STEPS I to III . If you pass , congrats ......you are on your way . But remember each individual state in the union has its own set of rules , so beware .

    Till then .


    Duke

    :cool:


    P.S. Its either the ECFMG or the USMLE web site , it has a degree equivalency chart , in other words it shows you which countries medical degree is equal to the US M.D. degree .
     
  4. Annette

    Annette gainfully employed
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    2) Most states require 1-3 years of post graduate work done in the US. So, yes, even if you complete a residency outside the US, you will have to repeat some part of a residency.

    Iron Duke, it is the ECFMG site that has the degree listings. www.ecfmg.org
     
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  5. saori

    saori Senior Member
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    Most countries award an MD degree, but it all depends on the institution awarding the degree and the number of credits the degree has.

    As for residency, all graduates i've met have had to pass their USMLEs and TOEFL in order to practice medicine in the States. Regardless their expertise in their countries, they must withstand the same amount of scrutiny as a newly graduated Med student. My BFs brother is an outstanding surgeon, with 7 years of surgical training and practice under the belt. Nonetheless, he had to go through all the steps for licensure and finally, did not receive any credit for his surgical residency. He didn't even get into a surgical residency upon his arrival to the States and had to finally go into Internal Medicine. Now, he is both a trained surgeon and an internist. That's way too much studying...

    After he completed IM, he got a shot at another surgical position, but he quit after realizing that it was the same thing all over again and that in the end, he would have spent his entire adult-productive life, as some kind of man-servant in the big hospital "kingdom".

    So, to make this long-story a little shorter: no, you don't get credit. Yes, you have to work your a$$ off and finally, it's all a matter of not wasting any time once your mind is made up.
     
  6. WaZoBia

    WaZoBia Senior Member
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    i beg to differ on one of the points saori made, it is possible to get credit for residency completed abroad but this is done at the discretion of the program directors ( or the guys in charge). i think what happens is you start the program with them and then they decide if you can be credited a year or something like that.
     
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  7. redleft123

    redleft123 Ho' Dawg
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    This is not meant to be a flame......but this is an example of why asking for important and technical info on a bulletin board is dangerous. I am in Calif and will answer based on my experience in this state.

    In Calif, you will not receive any credit for postgradaute training (residency) in another country OTHER than Canada. California requires either 1 yr ACGME or RCPSC training for US/Canadian medical school graduates or 2 yrs' ACGME or RCPSC training for IMG. It does not matter what the program director wants or says...training in other countries can not be used for qualifying experience when you apply for licensure. In Calif, even if a person has 20 yrs' of training in another country, and is licensed as the top surgeon in the world, that person would have to start over with PG training under today's laws.

    Cheers
     
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  8. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    I think the point is YOU CAN'T COUNT ON ANY CREDIT for training in other countries. But lots of people still get it somehow. I'm not sure how but maybe through academic research positions or something like that. Isn't there something called a letter of international excellence. But once again, this happens to a select few and one should not count on anything.
     
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  9. The Pill Counter

    The Pill Counter Senior Member
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    Just another point, don't equate the MD degree given in UK/Australia with the North American one. The only thing in common is the initals. Our MBBS is our primary medical qualification, equivalent to the North American MD. The MD that some residents here work towards is a higher post-graduate degree undertaken for improving chances at obtaining academic posts. It's by no means compulsory. Then MBBS alone is equivalent to the North American MD.
     
  10. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

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    Hehe okay, just a little clarification.

    In the UK/Ireland/Europe,what medical school graduates get is an MBBS , and MBBChBAO, or some other variation. These are equal to a US MD degree. In europe at least, an MD is a further degree earned after the MBBS once research or specialization is completed.
     
  11. WaZoBia

    WaZoBia Senior Member
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    MBBS, MBChB, MBChBAO are the british/irish versions of the north american MD. most european and african countries including some asian countries(malaysia. hongkong, singapore, kuwait, pakistan, india) australia and NZ have adopted the british title.

    in the philippines and some european countries like malta the MD is awarded and in fiji they have the MO (medical officer) or something like that.

    i think it would be best to find out from the schools directly as it is possible that different degrees can be awarded by different schools in the same country e.g. in Nigeria the MD is awarded by the univeristy of osun or is it the university of ogun and most of the other schools award the MBBS.:)
     
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  12. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    I am a bit curious of what you would think of a newly graduated MBBS (from Oz) or a North American MD - Do you think they are truly equivalent?

    I recently spent an elective in General Practice (8 weeks) in Oz and found the level of training, and expectations of the senior medical students to be far different from that expected at my medical school (in NY) -

    While I appreciate that the Oz MD is a 2+ year research degree post MBBS, I think there may also be a reason why a person who graduates from an Oz med school must undertake 7+ years (1 year internship, 2+ years basic surgical training, 4 years advanced surgical training), although 10+ in not uncommon to become a fellow of the RACS - where as it only takes 5 years to become board certified in the US - except for our incoming Surgeon General :) ---

    Indeed, one trainee in my "University Practice" was 7 years post MBBS and still had 2 years more to go to be a "qualified" GP - (Equivalent to being US board certified in Family Medicine)

    Is it because one has more responsibility during US undergraduate medical training?

    Interestingly, the 4 year Oz "graduate entry" students considered themselves superior to the traditional 6-year program in terms of knowledge (which the local students judged during recent ?talks? undertaken during a national med student get together of the two different training philosophies)...

    I don't mean this to be a flame, as I think in the end (ie as consultants/attendings), we are all equivalent. However, my time in the rotation was 9 to 4:30, 4 days per week and during our weekly case studies during "lectures" - 1/2 of the people had never even heard of Goodpasture's Syndrome!

    The training I observed was extremely self-directed and quite scattered. Expectations were unknown to most, and in the end, most students were unsatisfied...

    Then again, this could be a Queensland thing and other training programs / rotations could be different around Oz...

    I'd be keen to hear from people who have experienced medicine (and surgery) on both sides of the Pacific have to say -

    Airborne
     
  13. jannie

    jannie New Member

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    :D i'll get back to u
     
  14. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    Come to think of it, wasn't there a list in one of the USMLE applications packages that had the MD equivalents in it? I remember looking over all the different titles on the planet.

    I think more and more, cuz we're all Americas little bitches, doctors are gonna call themselves MD regardless of title. Our title in Denmark, which is different even from Sweden and Norway (although almost the same) is Candidatus Medicinae (!!) That would probably get you nowhere in the real world. So if we're talking to anyone outside of our little fishtank we call ourselves MD (that is, if we actually graduated, which I won't for many years).

    It's funny, I've never heard of that longer MD degree in "Europe". I know of a "Medical Doctorate" but for someone to write John Doe, MD, MD in Lancet would be just weird. The medical doctorate is a loooong dissertation, even longer than a PhD and very hard to achieve.

    Later.
     
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  15. BellKicker

    BellKicker Twisted Miler
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    Airborne, I missed your thread.

    First off, I think the 4 +4 system is pretty cool. It's a shame that not all premeds can go on to med school. That part of the system is really thoughtless and cruel, I think (and that's where the Caribbean comes into play, I guess). Internationally, you do have people that are amazed that some countries only offer a 4 year degree.

    I have never heard of a country where people could get through all their training as fast as in the US. I'm not sure that is neccesarily a good thing.

    I'll give you that one about Goodpasture's. I'm going into 5th year in Denmark. Before studying for the USMLE, I had never heard of, say Fabry's disease, Alport's Syndrome. Never in Anatomy had I heard about Bell's palsy. I think a Scandinavian student could come across as pretty thick compared to a US student.

    I don't know why we know less about Goodpasture's. My school has the traditions and nobel prize winners to prove its quality but we must go about it a different way than you guys across the pond.

    I couldn't tell you which system is better. Interesting topic, though.
     
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  16. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic!
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    Airborne...

    My impression in regards to the extra length of residency training in Oz, etc. as compared to the US has to do with the following:

    1) everyone does at least 2 house officers years (similar to a US Transitional Internship, ie, rotating through different specialties, much like the US 3rd year) after medical school BEFORE starting residency specialty training

    and

    2) the hours are MUCH less in Oz and the UK (two countries I have experience with) than in the US during residency training (even with the new work hour restrictions in the US). Working 50 hours per week (instead of 100+ )means that in general you are not going to see the breadth of pathology, get the case load, etc. as you would in the shorter residency programs in the US.

    Medical students in the US ARE given more responsibility than those in OZ, but I have no idea if this means a difference in fund of knowledge, although I suspect at least with regard to Core Basic Science knowledge, it is worse in those students studying in Oz' PBL formats.

    Just my two cents...
     
  17. SYD

    SYD

    Hi everybody,

    Incidentally found this thread, very interesting...

    Airborne,

    You have spent 8 wks in Oz doing a GP rotation and you feel that the training in here is much inferior. I really don't agree with you, yes.. I was trained in Sydney, Oz but still I think the clinical skills are taught quite well in here. I graduated 1 1/2 yrs ago and still Goodpastures disease was somewhat new to me until I opened the textbooks for USMLE I prep . Also, I must admit having worked as a resident Medical officer in Sydney for more than a year I am yet to see a single Good Pasture's Diseases patient on the wards. Still, there are certain areas which are very very highyield if you happen to be practicing in Oz for eg Multiple sclerosis - we are expected to know A-Z about MS. Neuro Anatomy & physiology is another area that is taught in great detail too.

    And, as far as I know a few of my class mates managed to score above 95 % on USMLE while they were in med school:)
     

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