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John William Waterhouse
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Does anyone know if specializing after medical school is challenging? Say I get my MD Degree, then I want to become a Medical Oncologist, is it very competitive to get into an American university for that, or is it already much easier since there's not many doctor's in the states?

Well, you don't specialize in oncology right after you graduate from medical school. In the US, this is how it works:

4 years of university training
4 years of medical school

After medical school, you decide what you want to train in. You can train in surgery, pediatrics, neurology, internal medicine, etc. You will train in your chosen field for 3-6 years. (You will receive a salary during your training period.) If you want to become an oncologist, you must choose to train in internal medicine.

In certain medical fields, after finishing your training, you can then decide if you want to "sub-specialize." This is when you focus on oncology, and finish the last step towards becoming a medical oncologist. This additional training is usually 3 years.

It is not easy to get a training spot in an American hospital if you're not from this country. There are a lot of doctors in the US, and preference usually goes to people who have graduated from American medical schools. If you want to train in America, it requires a lot of planning on your part, but it is definitely possible.
 
C

Critical Mass

Agree with the above.

Getting into a US med school as a citizen of another country is tough, but you can do a residency in the US with a medical degree from another country. Internal med usually has a lot of spots for IMG's, so that would not likely be as tough an obstacle.

Hem/Onc, on the other hand, is a competative fellowship that you do after the 3 years of internal med.
 
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Does anyone know if specializing after medical school is challenging? Say I get my MD Degree, then I want to become a Medical Oncologist, is it very competitive to get into an American university for that, or is it already much easier since there's not many doctor's in the states?

As noted above, medical oncology is a subspecialty of internal medicine which is completed as a fellowship.

To train in the US as a resident or fellow, you must obtain ECFMG certification. Please see http://www.ecfmg.org for further details on how to accomplish this.

Technically, you are not required to complete your residency in the US to be eligible for a US based fellowship. However, Heme/Onc is one of the most competitive internal medicine fellowships, so you would be at a disadvantage coming here without having done your residency here.

Before making any plans to do so, make sure you have decided where you want to practice medicine. It does you no good to train in the US, if your training is not accepted elsewhere, if you plan on practicing in your home country.
 
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