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Italian Med student in need of advice !!

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Francina88, May 7, 2008.

  1. Francina88

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    Hello to all !!
    I am an american citizen living in Rome. My father was from upstate Ny and I live here with my mom ( she's italian ) . I am 20 years old since in Italy we have 5 years of high school and I am currently in my first year of Medical School in the University of Rome ( Tor Vergata ).
    This is my problem : I applied to a college in the Us. I applied because my aunt ( my dad's sister) who lives in upstate Ny as well insisted that it would be great to pursue a career in the Us given the field I am interested in. I also applied because I was very dissapointed by the Italian Medical Schools : we do not do any lab activity whatsoever, teachers are very old and very traditional in their approach,THERE ARE TOO MANY MED STUDENTS and NOT ENOUGH JOBS.......it's a very dire situation here.Also in Italy if you don't know anyone or don't come from a prominent family you can go only so far.Nepotism here is incredible !!!! So I applied to the US.
    And I was actually accepted. As a freshman though.....I also got very good financial aid ( which is great since my mother and I don't have any money,my father died last year and left us with bills to pay from Us hospitals...........).
    I was very excited at first : I thought it was great ! But I had yet to find out that getting into college does NOT equal getting into med school. I read many things on the net and it seems as though it's almost impossible !!! Is it true? Is it so hard ? The college I was accepted by is not Harvard or Yale it's a college I chose only because my aunt ( the only family I have left in the Us ) suggested it saying it was a pretty good institution. I also applied there because she lives close to this college,so it seemed natural. But where will it bring me ? Not to John Hopkins probably !!
    My question is this :
    Here I am already in Med School ( in Italy you go directly after high school ). I already gave exams like Histology and Anatomy.It's very interesting and it feels great to already study medical things..... But at the same time I already know it will be very hard for me to 1) specialize in the branch I like ( general surgery ) because spots for specialization are practically closed to "normal" people like me.......in Italy if you're a nobody you stay one......... and 2) find a job after .Even if I accept the fact that I will have to specialize in what is available at the moment ( not what I like ) and do that, who says I will find a job after ????? Doctors here actually start working around 40 ! This is why I wanted to come to the US : because if you work hard you go a long way. Is this true or is it just an illusion??
    At the same time I am very worried about coming to the Us :
    -because I am already 20 and I do not like the idea of 4 years of undergrad !! I already did 5 years of high school,that's enough !!!!!
    -I am worried that by graduating from a small college I will not be accepted by a good medical school.Or by any medical school.
    What is your advice ?What should I do ? Please give me HONEST opinions. I do not know many people in the Us and I also do not know many things about your system.
    The third possibilty would be getting my degree in medicine in Italy and coming to the US for a residency.......I read that it is very very very hard to do that......Is it true ?I am sorry if my writing is incorrect or if some questions may seem dumb,but our educational systems are so different.......Please give me some adivice !
    Thank you !
    :) Francesca
     
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  3. MSHell

    MSHell Deranged User
    10+ Year Member

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    I think your best option is to finish your medical studies in Italy and pursue your residency elsewhere.

    (If you are an Italian citizen as well, you may want to consider other european countries for specialty training.)

    As for the US, you said you are an american citizen, so it will be much easier than all the other "foreigners" trying to get a job in the US (they need visas).

    For more info on a particular specialty, check SDN's residency forums.
     
  4. eyemed

    2+ Year Member

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    Ciao! Come avrai capito sono italiana, e in più studio anche io a Tor Vergata!
    Secondo me conviene che ti laurei in Italia, non pensare che fa così schifo la nostra università, anzi noi abbiamo un bagaglio teorico che se studi bene ti dà un vantaggio rispetto agli studenti stranieri. Certo la pratica è decisamente zero, ma è la controparte di una ottima teoria, quindi ti consiglio di muoverti per conto tuo, cioè cerca di fare più pratica possibile andando dai professori a chiedere senza aspettare che qualcuno venga a chiamarti. Mi pare che non sei interessata alla ricerca (se lo fossi potresti già da istologia o da patologia generale a entrare in laboratorio) quindi per fare pratica devi aspettare di aver fatto almeno ps1 e le semeiotiche, che avrai al terzo anno, anche perchè sennò non capisci niente. Però a partire dal terzo-quarto puoi andare nei reparti (ti segnano le ore come attività a scelta, ma fanno curriculum), puoi partecipare alle attività del SISM come le clerkship, e puoi fare domanda per l'erasmus (però è difficile se non hai una media alta) perchè all'estero ti fai un pò di pratica, poi puoi chiedere a un prof con cui segui un reparto oppure puoi informarti per conto tuo(ma è più difficile) per fare degli stages all'estero per esempio in estate. Poi puoi provare a trasferirti per la specializzazione.
    Almeno questo è quello che sto facendo io, per esempio nel prossimo anno sarò prima in California per ricerca e poi a Parigi per l'Erasmus.
    Ti consiglio di buttarti sui libri e di avere pazienza perchè i primi 2 anni e mezzo sono una vera pizza, ma vedrai che passano presto. Cerca di impegnarti per avere buone basi, per avere buoni voti e cerca di non rimanere indietro perchè poi se se in pari con gli esami è più facile che riesci ad organizzarti per fare esperienze all'estero come me(io per esempio questa estate salterò la sessione di settembre per andare in California, ma ne vale la pena!).
    Quindi stringi i denti e persevera!
    So che negli USA se non hai fatto un buon college hai bassa probabilità di andare in una buona graduate school, quindi ti consiglio di approfittare dell'ottima preparazione teorica che ci dà torvergata, e poi di muoverti PER CONTO TUO dal terzo anno per fare un pò di pratica e per cercare programmi che puoi fare all'estero (tipo erasmus, summer programs o clerkship).
    Spero di averti aiutato!
     
  5. echidna

    7+ Year Member

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    Ciao Francesca!

    When I was in college I spent a year all'Universita' di Bologna and worked at the academic hospital- while I was there, there were three surgical residents (specializzandi) who transferred out of Italy to do residencies in other countries- 2 in the US, I think, and one in England. If you decide to go to med school in the US, you would have to do 4 years of college first (and receive near-perfect grades) and THEN 4 years of medical school, followed by your residency. If I were you I would finish school at Tor Vergata, try to do some clinical rotations in the US, and apply to US residencies after you graduate. Listen to eyemed, she has excellent advice!

    In bocca al lupo!
     

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