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About 15 years ago my mom got into a psych residency and in the first year, dropped out because she wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now we (the kids) are all grown up and she is ready to get a job as a doctor or anything health related. Is it impossible to get a residency for her again due to the huge gap in medical school and now? Also, if that fails what kind of job can you get with just completing medical school as your resume?
 

JackADeli

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About 15 years ago my mom got into a psych residency and in the first year, dropped out because she wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now we (the kids) are all grown up and she is ready to get a job as a doctor or anything health related. Is it impossible to get a residency for her again due to the huge gap in medical school and now? Also, if that fails what kind of job can you get with just completing medical school as your resume?
First, what she can do now is maybe look for an "industry job" or lab job. Though, not likely to get either if her education is 15 years out of date....

As for residency, again education is 15 years out of date, likely has little to no CMEs during that time. Then, on top of that, given the description you provided, she has not completed final USMLE. For licensing, I am pretty sure, given the 15yrs, she would have to retake all steps of USMLE... She has missed her time limit to do so. So, I don't think she can even get a trainee license even if she got a residency spot. Maybe, if she retakes and passes steps 1 & 2, a medical school would be willing to let her enroll as a 3rd year medical student..... the issue that will arise from medical schools and residencies.... should they even bother wasting the resources and time on her again? They have enough currently educated and eager young trainees.

As the scenario you describe is one I have not seen resolved before, everything I have written is theory and not based on experience or direct knowledge.
 

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First, what she can do now is maybe look for an "industry job" or lab job. Though, not likely to get either if her education is 15 years out of date....

As for residency, again education is 15 years out of date, likely has little to no CMEs during that time. Then, on top of that, given the description you provided, she has not completed final USMLE. For licensing, I am pretty sure, given the 15yrs, she would have to retake all steps of USMLE... She has missed her time limit to do so. So, I don't think she can even get a trainee license even if she got a residency spot. Maybe, if she retakes and passes steps 1 & 2, a medical school would be willing to let her enroll as a 3rd year medical student..... the issue that will arise from medical schools and residencies.... should they even bother wasting the resources and time on her again? They have enough currently educated and eager young trainees.

As the scenario you describe is one I have not seen resolved before, everything I have written is theory and not based on experience or direct knowledge.
what the **** are you talking about cuz. she finished medical school already. She has a degree. She would most likely can get a family practice residency somewhere. Cmon. Of course. They need fp docs.
 

aProgDirector

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what the **** are you talking about cuz. she finished medical school already. She has a degree. She would most likely can get a family practice residency somewhere. Cmon. Of course. They need fp docs.
I totally disagree. FP may be one of the least competitive fields, but plenty of people don;t get spots anywhere. 15 years out of training, I doubt anyone will interview her (again assuming she really hasn't done any clinical work during those years). And she will not qualify for an NP, PA, or anything like that. And, as mentioned, if she didn't finish all of the USMLE steps she'll need to start all over again for a license.

She is welcome to apply for FP positions. A couple of hundred bucks will send out 50+ applications, and see what happens. I expect she'll get nothing. Where's she even going to get a letter of recommendation from? I guess she could try shadowing some physicians, but still I doubt it will come to anything.

And I agree there is little she can do with a medical degree and no experience for 15 years.
 

JackADeli

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what the **** are you talking about cuz. she finished medical school already. She has a degree. She would most likely can get a family practice residency somewhere. Cmon. Of course. They need fp docs.
Yes, she finished med-school 15 yrs ago. sounds like she never completed her USMLE examination process. That process has time limitations. Thus, she may require remediation in addition to taking all steps over again. An MD without any clinical training is an incomplete education with very limited utility. It has even less utility if it is outdated, i.e. no on-going continuing medical education to stay current. That is also why just about every specialty board has moved to a maitenance of certification re-examination program and no longer board certifies for life.

If she is unable to complete USMLEs, no residency will accept. Residencies are judged on their grads succesful board certification rate. Eligibility to sit for boards in most specialties I know require completion of USMLEs and having an unrestricted license.
 

elftown

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Couldn't she at least get a job teaching something like biology, microbiology, etc. at a community college? perhaps a four year institution? It's hard to believe the degree is worthless.
 

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Couldn't she at least get a job teaching something like biology, microbiology, etc. at a community college? perhaps a four year institution? It's hard to believe the degree is worthless.
Varies, but you'd probably need a teaching certificate, minimal. Most college instructors have at least a masters or phd in their field.

And the medical degree, without clinical training to back it up, is pretty worthless.
 

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Couldn't she at least get a job teaching something like biology, microbiology, etc. at a community college? perhaps a four year institution? It's hard to believe the degree is worthless.
Unlikely at a 4 year institution.

And let's not forget, that things have changed in the last 15 years even in the basic sciences.

Unfortunately, your mother was very short-sighted in not finishing her internship and at least being eligible for a license. But it was seemingly the right decision at the right time.

In reference to JAD's comment about repeating school: most US medical schools have policies prohibiting the matriculation of someone who has already completed a medical degree (this gets asked about by students who have done poorly and want to start over), so this is unlikely an option for her (although maybe the distance between her degree might give her some benefit but I'd wager she'd have to start all over).

There are multiple threads on here about what to do for physicians who do not complete residency. I suggest you search for them because like most of the others, I find it exceedingly unlikely that your mother will find any work in which her medical degree with no clinical practice will be useful.
 

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...In reference to JAD's comment about repeating school: most US medical schools have policies prohibiting the matriculation of someone who has already completed a medical degree ...so this is unlikely an option for her (although maybe the distance between her degree might give her some benefit but I'd wager she'd have to start all over)...
Agreed... i don't think it is necessarily a realistic option. My point was that in order to regain eligibility to complete/retake USMLEs, some sort of "remediation" would likely be required. Thus, while not saying it is possible and not saying she earn a "second MD", I was mentioning that retaking USMLE steps 1 & 2 and redoing at least two clinical years of medical school training (i.e. formal/structured clinical education) may be the only real remediation to getting into a residency. But, I am not saying that path is available or an option.

And, again, she will have a hard time convincing anyone... med-schools and residencies that she is even worth the effort and investment to retrain.... Why would they even consider it? The reality is, her life expectancy as a practicing physician is at least 15 years less then all other competitors for the spot and she has a track record of quitting/dropping out/failing to complete. She earned a degree and has by her actions rendered it useless and now requires others to revive.....
 

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It's hard to believe the degree is worthless.
It may be hard to believe, but believe it.

If you learn NOTHING else by reading SDN, at least learn that the MD/DO degree, by itself, means very little. You pretty much have to do a residency to have it mean anything.
 

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This might be utterly futile but if your mother was a star in anatomy she might be able to brush up in that area and teach human anatomy. Medical schools, nursing schools, pharm schools in the near future are going to have a really tough time finding people to teach human anatomy. Apparently no one gets a doctorate in anatomy anymore because there is very little funding for research.

She could get herself a pretty sweet gig and not kill anybody. :laugh:
 

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Agree with above that it will be probably impossible to get a residency right now, unless she does med school all over. If she really wants to practice medicine now, would suggest talking with one of the local medical schools, and checking up on the state requirements for medical licensing. The biggest stumbliing block would be the USMLE exam, which she probably ran out of time to take (assuming she didn't complete it at the time she was an intern).

Presumably she is a smart person (smart enough to get into med school and finish med school). I'm sure she can get a lot of jobs. I mean, if she just wanted to work in a medical setting, then many some sort of administrator job in a medical practice or hospital. She'd have to work her way up, of course. It's not like her work life is ruined...it's just that to get back into clinical medicine I think would be really, really hard.

It's hard for docs, even ones who do all of residency and take a couple of years off, to get back into practice. Often they have to do some sort of reentry program where they shadow other physicians. If she had finished a residency, or at least enough of one to get a full license, it might be possible to resume practice.
 

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...Presumably she is ...smart enough to get into med school and finish med school... ...if she just wanted to work in a medical setting, then many some sort of administrator job in a medical practice or hospital. She'd have to work her way up, of course. It's not like her work life is ruined...it's just that to get back into clinical medicine I think would be really, really hard...
Agreed. There are quite a few "fast track" masters programs out there for MDs. She could, by spending around $60K +/-, get an MBA or MPH through one of these programs in about 12+/- months and work in a hospital admin capacity.
http://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/iMBA_curriculum.shtml
http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/programs/emba/begin-your-beyond2.html?iq_id=14383926&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=14383926&utm_campaign=national_branded_emba
http://amme.utdallas.edu/curriculum/
http://pemba.utk.edu/
http://www.asph.org/UserFiles/SchoolMatrix%20Final04.pdf
 
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Sneezing

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This might be her only way back into medicine. Apply to a PA program. Practice for a year or two, pay off her debts. During the two years of practicing as a PA, retake her USMLE steps. Then apply for a residency position.

Shows she was willing to practice medicine for the love of the job. She got an updated truncated version of med school to get her up to speed. Also practiced and did well with appropriate letters of recommendations from her supervising Physicians. If I were a program director I might consider this person for a PGY-I spot.
 

JackADeli

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This might be her only way back into medicine. Apply to a PA program. Practice for a year or two, pay off her debts. During the two years of practicing as a PA, retake her USMLE steps. Then apply for a residency position.

Shows she was willing to practice medicine for the love of the job. She got an updated truncated version of med school to get her up to speed. Also practiced and did well with appropriate letters of recommendations from her supervising Physicians. If I were a program director I might consider this person for a PGY-I spot.
Nope.... do not see that as a real option. She would be Dr PA (aka MD PA).... Not a good scenario and can create some legal logistics for hiring parties. Can they hire DrPA? Yes. Will they, probably not. They can find another PA that does not have the concerns that these overqualifying credentials may create.... Just look at the issues of DNP and PhD PAs, etc..... Now your talking about a physician PA.....
...Apply to a PA program. ...During the two years of practicing as a PA...

...She got an updated truncated version of med school to get her up to speed...
There is NO shortcut to "updated truncated version of med school". You are arguing the same arument certain mid-level groups are arguing....
 

Arcan57

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It may be hard to believe, but believe it.

If you learn NOTHING else by reading SDN, at least learn that the MD/DO degree, by itself, means very little. You pretty much have to do a residency to have it mean anything.
QFT.

Completing residency is the only thing that makes a doctor a physician. While it may seem arbitrary or unfair to those who have had their training interrupted or terminated, the MD/DO degree has exactly one useful purpose. It qualifies you to become a resident.

True, residency pays better than a lot of the jobs a PhD in, for example, Gothic literature qualify you to pursue. However, the debt burden you will assume obtaining an MD essentially guarantees that by the time you are an M2 that the only way you are going to stay afloat financially is to finish med school and complete a residency. If you factor in the time it's going to take you to achieve a positive net worth, you're looking at around 12 years (give or take) from start of med school.
 

34140

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its totally doable, not easy but doable. i know at least 5 people who went back after 10+ years. but they did of course re-take their steps, and do observerships/clerkships etc to improve their CVs
 

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its totally doable, not easy but doable. i know at least 5 people who went back after 10+ years. but they did of course re-take their steps, and do observerships/clerkships etc to improve their CVs
How did they do clerkships and observerships? Who sponsored them? How did they get insurance for clerkships? Since they weren't in a school did they get graded?
 

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Agreed it will be very difficult for her to get into residency after such a long break.
 

34140

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How did they do clerkships and observerships? Who sponsored them? How did they get insurance for clerkships? Since they weren't in a school did they get graded?

they asked several hospitals and most charged a small fee, 100-700$ for various things. For observerships you dont need insurance, for clerkships you do and you can contact the legal department at the hospital for this. i'm not sure what you mean by sponsoring them, they were all us citizens.

no they didnt get graded, but most got an LOR from the programs.
 

docB

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they asked several hospitals and most charged a small fee, 100-700$ for various things. For observerships you dont need insurance, for clerkships you do and you can contact the legal department at the hospital for this. i'm not sure what you mean by sponsoring them, they were all us citizens.

no they didnt get graded, but most got an LOR from the programs.
That's wild. I never would have guessed that that's possible. By sponsoring I meant that they didn't have any school or orginization backing them up. They just walked in off the street. That's means that right now I could go to one of these hospitals, show them my medical degree and get them to let me do an observership. Crazy.
 

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That's wild. I never would have guessed that that's possible. By sponsoring I meant that they didn't have any school or orginization backing them up. They just walked in off the street. That's means that right now I could go to one of these hospitals, show them my medical degree and get them to let me do an observership. Crazy.
How do you think IMG get experience in the USA and LOR..exactly that ways..doing observership. I was lucky to be able to do 6 moths of clerkships/subinternships in the USA while I was in medical school in my home country Germany. I did have malpractice insurance but that wasn't even required and it was not an exchange through my medical school. I totally organized that myself...pretty much walked up and asked. Wasn't easy but doable..that's how I ended up getting very good LOR and finally got a very good shot for a residency position.
 

JackADeli

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How do you think IMG get experience in the USA and LOR..exactly that ways..doing observership. ...malpractice insurance ...wasn't even required ...ended up getting very good LOR and finally got a very good shot for a residency position.
This may be silly... but, what exactly does an observership LOR say, "watched us do our jobs real well"? In an observership (except maybe radiology & pathology), the individual, not requiring malpractice coverage, is not an active/hands-on participant. It is hard to describe it as "experience" in the full sense of the word. In applying for a surgical job, surgeons are asked about their "experience". This is in reference to actual hands on experience.
 

michaelrack

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This may be silly... but, what exactly does an observership LOR say, "watched us do our jobs real well"? .
it may say something Like "knowledgeable, participated in discussions, superb knowledge of the field, would make an excellent resident"-

probably better for a non-surgical field
 

JackADeli

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it may say something Like "knowledgeable, participated in discussions, superb knowledge of the field, would make an excellent resident"-

probably better for a non-surgical field
Sounds like it. It is possibly best in rads and pathology. But, I can see walking around with IM during rounds and making presentations at medicine service rounds or something....
 

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While I think it would be tough, I wouldn't say impossible. Definitely an uphill battle.

Have her retake all the steps, maybe buff up her CV in other ways. I'd also think about ID'ing a realistic program (read not too competitive) and establish strong ties there -- volunteering, research, etc. Get letters from individuals at that program to support the application. Do observerships as mentioned above.

I've seen even IMG's that were more than 10 years out of medicine get good residencies, but they usually had Ph.D's and had been doing research the whole time.

She should better ask herself does she want to go through the 1-2+ years of establishing a reputation and taking the steps just for the "glory" of residency. And is she prepared to take call?

Otherwise she could consider doing something like being a medical writer or editor. If she's any good at writing she's qualified for that.
 

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whoa....lots of pessism on here. I dont think she would have any problem AT ALL explaining her situation and reapplying to residency.

Her licensing maybe an issue because I think you still need to pass all the parts of the USMLE within a certain timeframe in some states to get a license.
But that is it, some states you would be fine in.

Folks on SDN newsflash: most of the gigs in medicine arent difficult..or even intellectually challenging. No reason AT ALL to be elitist when my plumber and contractor pretty much make double what every primary care type on staff at my hospital pulls down...

Just have her apply. No reason not to try.
 

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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned anything about the Physician Reentry Program.

OP, you should look into this.
 

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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned anything about the Physician Reentry Program.

OP, you should look into this.
Because those programs are designed for someone who has COMPLETED residency and wishes a "refresher course" after being away from clinical medicine. The OP's mother didn't even finish a year of internship, let alone an entire residency.
 

Winged Scapula

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whoa....lots of pessism on here. I dont think she would have any problem AT ALL explaining her situation and reapplying to residency.
Really? There are a myriad of programs that outrightly say if you are more than X years out from medical school graduation we will not review your application. In addition, how current is her medical knowledge given 15 years since graduation? While it may sound pessimistic, I'd venture that she will have a problem. To say that she won't have one AT ALL is hyperbolic, IMHO.

Folks on SDN newsflash: most of the gigs in medicine arent difficult..or even intellectually challenging. No reason AT ALL to be elitist when my plumber and contractor pretty much make double what every primary care type on staff at my hospital pulls down...
Not sure what that has to do with anything relevant to this thread.

Just have her apply. No reason not to try.
I'm not sure anyone's telling her not to apply; its her time and her money and she should be encouraged to at least put some feelers out.
 

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...I dont think she would have any problem AT ALL explaining her situation and reapplying to residency...
I guess, if we just stick to your verbage, sure, it isn't any problem to write an explanation paragraph and application forms. The issue isn't filling out the paperwork. It's abourt her application achieving a spot in a residency.

This is not going to be a walk in the park. My read is she dropped out of residency during her first year, i.e. didn't even complete internship. Thus, likely didn't complete her USMLE requirements within any timeframe deadline that I am aware of. Further, she is somewhere about 15 years out of date on her education. Can she succeed? Maybe. Will it be so easy as you suggest? I doubt it. In fact, I am pretty sure based on recent realities, it will be difficult.
...I'm not sure anyone's telling her not to apply; its her time and her money and she should be encouraged to at least put some feelers out.
:thumbup: I am all for the under-dog giving it their all. But, we would be dishonest to simply say, "I dont think she would have any problem AT ALL explaining her situation and reapplying to residency".
 

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I also think there is too much pessimism here. Is there anything that stops her from re-taking (or taking) the USMLE? As far as I know, no there isn't. I believe one can re-take the exams after 7 years. So if she gets good scores on the Steps, that will show her knowledge is up to date. Then the rest is about making connections and getting some clinical experience as described by others. It's hard, but I also heard stories of many who did it, even after longer time gaps.

Then of course there are many options that are non-clinical medicine. With the understanding that she would be starting at the entry level. Someone mentioned medical writing. Then there is CRA (Clinical research associate) working for contract research labs or actual companies, or as medical adviser in health & beauty care companies, or as safety review associate in healthy & beauty care companies. Try Monster.com

Funny though - no peep from the OP after all the responses.
 
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i wonder what the military would think about this? i suppose one could call a recruiter and find out. i know they have GMOs, and many of them have not finished residency, right?
 

JackADeli

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i wonder what the military would think about this? i suppose one could call a recruiter and find out. i know they have GMOs, and many of them have not finished residency, right?
Talking to friends in the military, this is my take on it:

1. All branches are working to completely eliminate the GMO thing
2. Current GMOs are generally created within the military through their residency system, i.e. you enter into a military residency and after one to to some number of years in residency may be required to take a GMO tour.
3. The military generally will not admit a med-school grad that lacks a residency spot... i.e. admit to GMO status.
4. The military residency spots are generally reserved for med-students that had their education paid by the military.
5. The fact that her time limits for USMLE have very likely expired, the military would probably not think highly on this.
6. I doubt an individual with a 15 year old medical degree and under a year of psychiatry internship, again 15 years old, would be in high demand for the military.

Frankly, I appreciate the military is stuck and has difficulty in recruiting high-end physicians. I am grateful there are physicians willing to make sacrifices, meet this call, serve this nation and provide for the soldiers and their families. The military can always use more outstanding individuals as such. But, I think our servicemen/women deserve the best. IMHO, I do not support the military as being some sort of remediation ground for previous residency drop-outs.
 
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smq123

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but, i think our servicemen/women deserve the best. Imho, i do not support the military as being some sort of remediation ground for previous residency drop-outs.
+1.
 

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whoa....lots of pessism on here. I dont think she would have any problem AT ALL explaining her situation and reapplying to residency.

Her licensing maybe an issue because I think you still need to pass all the parts of the USMLE within a certain timeframe in some states to get a license.
But that is it, some states you would be fine in.

Folks on SDN newsflash: most of the gigs in medicine arent difficult..or even intellectually challenging. No reason AT ALL to be elitist when my plumber and contractor pretty much make double what every primary care type on staff at my hospital pulls down...

Just have her apply. No reason not to try.
:thumbup: I agree with this.

And what's so hard about retaking the USMLEs? All you have to do is just study the test material. A month or 2 for Step 1, a month for Step 2, and maybe a few weeks to a month for Step 3. There are PLENTY of study books out there.

Learning medical concepts is NOT complicated. :rolleyes: It's just memorization mostly. And it's all really going to be review. 15 years is really not that long. Heck I was in high school 15 years ago and I remember a lot of what I learned there.

The big question though is--WHY put yourself through the gruel of residency and medical practice so late in the game? There are so many other things your mom could do that dont require the physical exhaustion involved.

btw, I really liked the idea of teaching a science course in a community college (if you need a teaching certificate for that, then GET ONE! is it really that hard? I dont think you do though--it's not public grade school). She could even teach a science course at a private high school that doesn't require a teaching certificate. There's also the pharmaceutical industry. It also depends what your mom's personality is. Is she a very charismatic person? if so, I'm sure pharmaceutical marketing teams would very much want someone like that with an MD (as far as I know, they dont necessarily need an MD to have clinical training, but you should check). And the MBA idea was great too, as was the MPH idea.
 

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...There's also the pharmaceutical industry. ...I'm sure pharmaceutical marketing teams would very much want someone like that with an MD (as far as I know, they dont necessarily need an MD to have clinical training, but you should check). And the MBA idea was great too, as was the MPH idea.
An MBA can help get her back in the game. A "15 year years ago" MD degree without rsidency & clinical experience is not as marketable as you might think. Keep in mind, current MBAs that have been sitting on unemployment for 2+ years are less viable everyday they are out of the work force.

I don't know how up to date she has kept with her medical education. Studying for steps I, II, III; at a 2 month, 1 month, few weeks type scenario is possible because you just came through the intense immersion of medical school. You forget much of those hours and hours of medical spoon feeding if you are not using it. So, preparing for re-doing USMLE can present more of a challenge then the first time you took while all was fresh.