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MD in Australia, want to practise in US, when to move?

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Copper_fish_92

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First off, not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, apologies if I've made a mistake!

I'm about to start my MD in Australia (USYD) but I ultimately want to work in the US. After reading around I've found that this is really difficult and that I would likely have to redo residency / complete the USMLEs.
Would I be better off completing specialist training in Australia and then trying to move abroad or should I simply try to match in straight after I graduate ?
Does anyone know of any other pathways into the US? Like would it be possible to get work in research or something in the US within a given medical field without actually being licensed to practise there (but obviously still being qualified in Australia)?

Cheers
 

NotAProgDirector

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If you want to be a clinician in the US, the only option is completing a US residency. You will get zero credit for any AUS training you do (unless that training has ACGME-I accreditation, and then you might be able to get a US fellowship, maybe). I don't know if US training will help you in AUS.

If you want to work in the US, the best plan is:
1. Do as well as you can in medical school.
2. Take the USMLE's, studying to get the best score you can. "Just passing" isn't a good plan.
3. In your final year of medical school, arrange some US rotations. Ideally a SubI, or ICU rotation. 2-3 rotations would be best if possible. Be prepared to be charged 1000's of dollars to do this, as many US schools now charge IMG's. Obtain LOR's from these rotations.
4. Apply for US residency while in your final year, or the year after you graduate, or at latest after 1 internship year.
5. If you need/want an H visa, be sure to take Step 3 also. If you have a gap between graduation and starting internship in the US, consider taking Step 3 in any case.

If you want to do research in the US, then you can do anything you want since no medical license is needed. But US research will not lead to a medical license -- you'll need a residency. Just having an MD without research experience, you may find that getting a position isn't easy, and certainly won't be paid well.
 

NotAProgDirector

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I totally forgot to mention, but it also depends upon what field you're looking at. Getting a spot in the less competitive fields like IM, Neuro, FM, pathology is very possible if you follow the above. Getting a spot in the most competitive fields like Derm, Ortho, Vascular or Plastic surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology is likely impossible no matter what you do. Other fields will be somewhere in between. And what's competitive today may be different from what's competitive 4-5 years from now.
 
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Copper_fish_92

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Hi, thanks a lot for the reply.

How important are grades in med school for matching into a program? My understanding was it was all based on USMLE scores.
My interests are in anesthetics or ED, not sure where they fit into the scheme of competitiveness.
 

NotAProgDirector

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Everything matters. USMLE scores and US experience matter more than other things.

EM and Anesthesia are mid-competitive. Today. 4-5 years from now is anyone's guess.
 
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shadowblade

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While I agree that generally doing a residency is required there are alternates for fully trained physicians in other countries.

If you did your residency overseas and are sufficiently skilled you can attempt to get sponsorship from a large university for a visiting professor license in some states. In some states after 3-5 years of working under a visiting professor license you can then apply for a full unrestricted license, without having ever a done a residency in the US.

However, this will likely force you to only practice in only one state as other states are unlikely to give you reciprocity.

Additionally, you will never be able to get board certified from an ABMS board as you haven't done residency in the US. As such credentialling, insurance etc would be a nightmare if you attempt to go into private practice.

Long story, short get excellent USMLE scores and US clinical experience and apply for a residency here.
 
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