Maruko

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When you interview for residency in the US, what reasons did you give for going abroad (instead of an American school) if PD asked?
 
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I wanted to:
obtain a medical education from a university that consistently ranks in the top 50 in the world
live in a country whose cities are battling to be the best in the world
enjoy a culture/government that values a work/life balance
work in a society that cares about their health
experience the effectiveness(or ineffectiveness) of a universal healthcare system
live in one of the most beautiful places in the world while enjoying the abundant outdoor recreational activities
expand my world view and cultural sensitivity
escape a government I despise

Seriously... You have to stop playing into the American elitism. If you think US schools are superior and are the only ones capable of producing phenomenal doctors, you should keep applying. When you get asked such a basic question and look around sheepishly, you're not winning any points.

Also, for what it's worth, many of my Stanford/UCSF doctors are trying to immigrate to Australia to practice. For people in the know, Australia isn't a last resort backwater, it's an aspiration.
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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escape a government I despise
lol .. I don't think you'd want to say that in an interview

I could stay in Australia to practice if the rules weren't too strict :artist:
 
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lol .. I don't think you'd want to say that in an interview

I could stay in Australia to practice if the rules aren't too strict :artist:
I've said that in many interviews and to my supervisors. If you can back up your argument with examples, they can hardly fault you for being rational. Pretending the U.S. is the "best country in the world" is naive.
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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I've said that in many interviews and to my supervisors. If you can back up your argument with examples, they can hardly fault you for being rational. Pretending the U.S. is the "best country in the world" is naive.
What kind of interview? When you said that, I imagine they'd ask, "If the government is so bad that you want to escape, why would you want to practice/live here?" Then how did/would you answer that?
 
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Interviews of all kinds, really. In the healthcare field and others. I've had my evangelical boss throw a fit about it but she also strongly believed Obama was the Muslim anti-christ. I've also had employers completely agree. I don't throw it in people's faces but if they ask, I feel like being politically correct over honest is inauthentic. At the end of the day, I'm 99% sure I prefer almost any other industrialized country to the U.S. but I cannot pretend that family ties are not an issue. Because the U.S. Is the leading dick elitist in the world, I can take my residency anywhere. Unfortunately, the opposite is not an option.
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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Because the U.S. Is the leading dick elitist in the world, I can take my residency anywhere. Unfortunately, the opposite is not an option.
as a non-citizen, getting residencies in the UK and Australia is even tougher than in the US...
 

bashwell

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Hey @Maruko,

1) If you're in Australia, it's true it's difficult to get an intern/RMO job as a non-PR or non-citizen, but not impossible. Judging by what happened last year, I believe most (all?) the international medical students who wanted an intern/RMO position eventually got one. I think there's data somewhere (e.g. AMA?, AMC?).

If it's helpful, anecdotally, every international medical student I know or know of eventually got an internship (n > 10). They didn't necessarily get the popular hospitals everyone else wanted (e.g. a lot of the ones who told me said they got their internship via the CMI initiative), and some even had to wait until only a few weeks before intern year started (which sounds stressful!), but they eventually got an intern/RMO position.

The real (future) bottleneck seems to be at the specialty college or registrar level.

2) As for your question, if this is for a residency interview with a PD back home in the States, I can give you my reasons, and you can decide if they apply to you as well. I came to Australia because I have family here, because tuition-wise it's much more affordable to study in Australia (especially with the current exchange rate), and because of the international medical experience (which sorry I realise is a vague answer but you can easily expand or elaborate on that in different ways).

3) In my opinion (I'm not here to debate), I don't think the US is as bad as others might think. Sure, the US has its significant issues (including healthcare), but so do UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other similarly developed nations. There are positives as well as negatives to living and working as a physician in each of these countries (e.g. it's better to work as an anesthesiologist/anaesthetist in Australia than it is in the US). It's really up to you to decide based on what you want out of life where you eventually want to end up living and working. Nothing wrong with picking the US, nothing wrong with picking Australia, depending on your aims and aspirations in life.

4) Also, don't rely on being able to train in the US, then expect you'll have most of your training recognized in Australia/New Zealand if you want to return, because that option might not be possible in future (i.e. by the time you're done training). My impression is Australia (the various specialty colleges) is getting tighter and tighter. It's currently still possible (depending on various factors such as PR/citizenship status and if you've done an internship here or not), but I'm just saying there are no guarantees in future.
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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Hey @Maruko,

1) If you're in Australia, it's true it's difficult to get an intern/RMO job as a non-PR or non-citizen, but not impossible. Judging by what happened last year, I believe most (all?) the international medical students who wanted an intern/RMO position eventually got one. I think there's data somewhere (e.g. AMA?, AMC?).

If it's helpful, anecdotally, every international medical student I know or know of eventually got an internship (n > 10). They didn't necessarily get the popular hospitals everyone else wanted (e.g. a lot of the ones who told me said they got their internship via the CMI initiative), and some even had to wait until only a few weeks before intern year started (which sounds stressful!), but they eventually got an intern/RMO position.

The real (future) bottleneck seems to be at the specialty college or registrar level.

2) As for your question, if this is for a residency interview with a PD back home in the States, I can give you my reasons, and you can decide if they apply to you as well. I came to Australia because I have family here, because tuition-wise it's much more affordable to study in Australia (especially with the current exchange rate), and because of the international medical experience (which sorry I realise is a vague answer but you can easily expand or elaborate on that in different ways).

3) In my opinion (I'm not here to debate), I don't think the US is as bad as others might think. Sure, the US has its significant issues (including healthcare), but so do UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other similarly developed nations. There are positives as well as negatives to living and working as a physician in each of these countries (e.g. it's better to work as an anesthesiologist/anaesthetist in Australia than it is in the US). It's really up to you to decide based on what you want out of life where you eventually want to end up living and working. Nothing wrong with picking the US, nothing wrong with picking Australia, depending on your aims and aspirations in life.

4) Also, don't rely on being able to train in the US, then expect you'll have most of your training recognized in Australia/New Zealand if you want to return, because that option might not be possible in future (i.e. by the time you're done training). My impression is Australia (the various specialty colleges) is getting tighter and tighter. It's currently still possible (depending on various factors such as PR/citizenship status and if you've done an internship here or not), but I'm just saying there are no guarantees in future.
Thanks for your reply!

I wonder: besides the US, where else can I go with an Australian MD degree - in case the US is too tough to match back in? Is the UK a possibility?
 

bashwell

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Thanks for your reply!

I wonder: besides the US, where else can I go with an Australian MD degree - in case the US is too tough to match back in? Is the UK a possibility?
I assume you mean developed world? Because you can probably go to many if not most developing nations. At least I think they'd love to have a physician trained in a developed nation like Australia. :)

As for developed world, you could go to New Zealand, certain Asian nations (e.g. Singapore), etc.

The UK is a bit trickier. It's theoretically possible, though realistically it might not be as likely. Perhaps others who know better can comment, but my understanding is the UK has a similar two year intern/RMO system i.e. the foundation programme. However, you would be competing with UK graduates as well as EU graduates to enter their foundation programme. Also, at a minimum, I believe you need to have UK or EU passport + I heard (but again maybe someone else who knows better can verify) that you also need to have lived there for a certain period of time (one year?).

If you mean you want to go to the UK as a registrar or as a fellow, then it's less tricky and more realistic.

But why go to the UK? Heaps of UK and Irish physicians want to move to Australia and New Zealand. From what I've heard from UK and Irish physicians here (granted there could be sample bias since they're the ones who wanted to leave), the pay and hours are a lot worse than in Australia. Not just as an intern and resident but even as a registrar and consultant. However, if you don't mind, and if you have other connections to the UK (e.g. family), then it's a reasonable choice.
 
Jul 17, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I wanted to:
obtain a medical education from a university that consistently ranks in the top 50 in the world
live in a country whose cities are battling to be the best in the world
enjoy a culture/government that values a work/life balance
work in a society that cares about their health
experience the effectiveness(or ineffectiveness) of a universal healthcare system
live in one of the most beautiful places in the world while enjoying the abundant outdoor recreational activities
expand my world view and cultural sensitivity
escape a government I despise

Seriously... You have to stop playing into the American elitism. If you think US schools are superior and are the only ones capable of producing phenomenal doctors, you should keep applying. When you get asked such a basic question and look around sheepishly, you're not winning any points.

Also, for what it's worth, many of my Stanford/UCSF doctors are trying to immigrate to Australia to practice. For people in the know, Australia isn't a last resort backwater, it's an aspiration.
Agree. Tell the truth: The health care system in the US is broken. To get a better medical education in a country where the health care system might not be broken or might not be broken as badly as in the US.
 
Jul 20, 2015
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Pre-Medical
I wanted to:
obtain a medical education from a university that consistently ranks in the top 50 in the world
live in a country whose cities are battling to be the best in the world
enjoy a culture/government that values a work/life balance
work in a society that cares about their health
experience the effectiveness(or ineffectiveness) of a universal healthcare system
live in one of the most beautiful places in the world while enjoying the abundant outdoor recreational activities
expand my world view and cultural sensitivity
escape a government I despise

Seriously... You have to stop playing into the American elitism. If you think US schools are superior and are the only ones capable of producing phenomenal doctors, you should keep applying. When you get asked such a basic question and look around sheepishly, you're not winning any points.

Also, for what it's worth, many of my Stanford/UCSF doctors are trying to immigrate to Australia to practice. For people in the know, Australia isn't a last resort backwater, it's an aspiration.
lol, you are funny
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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I assume you mean developed world? Because you can probably go to many if not most developing nations. At least I think they'd love to have a physician trained in a developed nation like Australia. :)

As for developed world, you could go to New Zealand, certain Asian nations (e.g. Singapore), etc.

The UK is a bit trickier. It's theoretically possible, though realistically it might not be as likely. Perhaps others who know better can comment, but my understanding is the UK has a similar two year intern/RMO system i.e. the foundation programme. However, you would be competing with UK graduates as well as EU graduates to enter their foundation programme. Also, at a minimum, I believe you need to have UK or EU passport + I heard (but again maybe someone else who knows better can verify) that you also need to have lived there for a certain period of time (one year?).

If you mean you want to go to the UK as a registrar or as a fellow, then it's less tricky and more realistic.

But why go to the UK? Heaps of UK and Irish physicians want to move to Australia and New Zealand. From what I've heard from UK and Irish physicians here (granted there could be sample bias since they're the ones who wanted to leave), the pay and hours are a lot worse than in Australia. Not just as an intern and resident but even as a registrar and consultant. However, if you don't mind, and if you have other connections to the UK (e.g. family), then it's a reasonable choice.
If Australia were located in the European continent, I would have no qualm moving there for life! The US is pretty broken...
 

bashwell

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If Australia were located in the European continent, I would have no qualm moving there for life! The US is pretty broken...
To be fair, there's a lot of "brokenness" in healthcare (and more) in the US, Australia, New Zealand, and various European nations. :( Healthcare (along with so much more) is becoming increasingly costly for governments in many and maybe most developed nations, and in light of a less than ideal global economy, governments are trying to minimize healthcare (and other) costs. But that said there are also a lot of positives in each of these nations. Both good and bad. In the end I think it ultimately depends on your goals in life and what you want out of life and what will make you happy. :)
 
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Theillestill

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I get asked this as an international student who chose to stay in Australia after graduation. Simply I just wanted to experience something different to what other people my age had done and what the "typical" career path would be.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Medstart108

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I wanted to:
obtain a medical education from a university that consistently ranks in the top 50 in the world
live in a country whose cities are battling to be the best in the world
enjoy a culture/government that values a work/life balance
work in a society that cares about their health
experience the effectiveness(or ineffectiveness) of a universal healthcare system
live in one of the most beautiful places in the world while enjoying the abundant outdoor recreational activities
expand my world view and cultural sensitivity
escape a government I despise

Seriously... You have to stop playing into the American elitism. If you think US schools are superior and are the only ones capable of producing phenomenal doctors, you should keep applying. When you get asked such a basic question and look around sheepishly, you're not winning any points.

Also, for what it's worth, many of my Stanford/UCSF doctors are trying to immigrate to Australia to practice. For people in the know, Australia isn't a last resort backwater, it's an aspiration.
This sounds very defensive, clearly OP was asking a question that deserves a more reasoned response...

Honestly, I get this question a ton, different country but same question. Lets address the massive elephant in the room. If you go abroad for your medical schooling, people are going to guess that you couldn't get in back home. Frustrating for some since this isn't true, but awkwardly true for most. Its awkward when people try to make you essentially admit it (if you did go abroad for those reasons) or defend yourself (if you didn't).

My response is usually along the lines of wanting to try something new etc etc... all of which are minor reasons for going but ignore the main point which was, I wanted to get into medical school now and graduate in 6 years and not take the risk of doing my undergrad in a field that I don't want to study just to get the GPA I need for medical school and take the risk of not getting in.

It is a bit annoying I won't lie because I can't be completely honest with everyone. I tell the truth to people who are closer to me but it really depends.
 

Medstart108

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I assume you mean developed world? Because you can probably go to many if not most developing nations. At least I think they'd love to have a physician trained in a developed nation like Australia. :)

As for developed world, you could go to New Zealand, certain Asian nations (e.g. Singapore), etc.

The UK is a bit trickier. It's theoretically possible, though realistically it might not be as likely. Perhaps others who know better can comment, but my understanding is the UK has a similar two year intern/RMO system i.e. the foundation programme. However, you would be competing with UK graduates as well as EU graduates to enter their foundation programme. Also, at a minimum, I believe you need to have UK or EU passport + I heard (but again maybe someone else who knows better can verify) that you also need to have lived there for a certain period of time (one year?).

If you mean you want to go to the UK as a registrar or as a fellow, then it's less tricky and more realistic.

But why go to the UK? Heaps of UK and Irish physicians want to move to Australia and New Zealand. From what I've heard from UK and Irish physicians here (granted there could be sample bias since they're the ones who wanted to leave), the pay and hours are a lot worse than in Australia. Not just as an intern and resident but even as a registrar and consultant. However, if you don't mind, and if you have other connections to the UK (e.g. family), then it's a reasonable choice.
If you don't have an EU passport the only way to do your foundation training and specialty is if you did medical school in the UK. Otherwise it seems possible, but I also believe competitive.
 
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Maruko

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This sounds very defensive, clearly OP was asking a question that deserves a more reasoned response...

Honestly, I get this question a ton, different country but same question. Lets address the massive elephant in the room. If you go abroad for your medical schooling, people are going to guess that you couldn't get in back home. Frustrating for some since this isn't true, but awkwardly true for most. Its awkward when people try to make you essentially admit it (if you did go abroad for those reasons) or defend yourself (if you didn't).

My response is usually along the lines of wanting to try something new etc etc... all of which are minor reasons for going but ignore the main point which was, I wanted to get into medical school now and graduate in 6 years and not take the risk of doing my undergrad in a field that I don't want to study just to get the GPA I need for medical school and take the risk of not getting in.

It is a bit annoying I won't lie because I can't be completely honest with everyone. I tell the truth to people who are closer to me but it really depends.
Then what would you tell a residency interviewer if they asked why you went abroad?
 
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I think you need to experience a few years in your program so you could draw on experience to answer that question.
 

Medstart108

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Then what would you tell a residency interviewer if they asked why you went abroad?
Never been in that situation but it would be the same story, I wanted to experience medical school abroad and I wanted to finish in 6 years and study something I loved which was medicine. All of which is true of course.
 
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Maruko

Maruko

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I wanted to:
obtain a medical education from a university that consistently ranks in the top 50 in the world
live in a country whose cities are battling to be the best in the world
enjoy a culture/government that values a work/life balance
work in a society that cares about their health
experience the effectiveness(or ineffectiveness) of a universal healthcare system
live in one of the most beautiful places in the world while enjoying the abundant outdoor recreational activities
expand my world view and cultural sensitivity
escape a government I despise

Seriously... You have to stop playing into the American elitism. If you think US schools are superior and are the only ones capable of producing phenomenal doctors, you should keep applying. When you get asked such a basic question and look around sheepishly, you're not winning any points.

Also, for what it's worth, many of my Stanford/UCSF doctors are trying to immigrate to Australia to practice. For people in the know, Australia isn't a last resort backwater, it's an aspiration.
There is no "American elitism" with me. I know full well that all the well-established med schools in western Europe, Canada and Australia blow some US schools out of the water. but we all should know that quality is not the factor that matters to many in the profession nowadays. it's politics at work in this system. it's really baffling to me to think that graduates from LUCOM and the for-profit schools will get prioritized over grads from the top 50 schools from other parts of the world. no matter how unfair it sounds, it's how the system is set up.
and this problem is not unique to the US. the UK, Australia, Canada, etc. - name any commonwealth country - all prioritize their grads first. Medicine has become an "elitist nationalism game" so to speak.
I opened this thread simply to get to know how play the American "game". in their eyes, they will think I go to Australia "because I couldn't get into US med school" but my GPA & MCAT speak otherwise, and I actually pass up on a US school for Australia.
 
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