Residency US, fellowship foreign?

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Nov 6, 2001
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Is this possible? I know that to be a licensed physician in the US you must do a residency in this country. So lets say you did a IM residency in the US and you still werent able to match into some fellowship, could you go train in this field in some other country for some time and then come back and practice it in the US? Since you were a licensed IM physician you can legally practice in the US, but could u practice lets say cardio or derm? I know that any physician can perform any procedure they are comfortable with (obviously a FP will not be comfortable practicing CT or neurosurgery).

Same with surgery. Lets say you did general surgery here for 5 years, didnt get a plastics or CT fellowship. Could you go to mexico, south america, europe...etc do plastics fellowship there and then return to US to practice?

Dont flame me please, I m just presenting a hypothetical situation :)

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Once you finish an internship and hold a regular medical license, you can do whatever you feel comfortable with. However, in order to operate, you need admitting and operating priviledges at a hospital and you need malpractice coverage. Both, hospital credentialing comittees and malpractice insurers look at your training and decide whether they find it adequate. There is no law requiring you to do a residency or fellowship in the US in order to be able to practice, and for priviledges every physician is looked at as an individual.

Plenty of surgeons have gone abroad for a year or two to gain operating experience in a field which was less developed in the US at the time (e.g. liver surgery or refractive surgery).