Starting a Medical Career in the UK

Discussion in 'UK & Ireland' started by lavendar84, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. lavendar84

    lavendar84 Junior Member

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    Hello, I'm glad I found this message board.

    I am finishing up my Bachelor's degree in Immunology next year, and will be graduating with an A-A- average (3.6-3.7 GPA).

    I do not have an EU citizenship, but my partner will be moving to London UK at the same time I will be (hopefully) starting my medical degree.

    Question1: Since I already planned to study medicine, and am a competitive applicant even here in North America, I am wondering what colleges around the London area take international graduate entry applicants?

    I am looking at
    - Cambridge, Oxford, King's, UCL, Imperial.... are there any others?

    I realize it will be very expensive, and very competitive. I do have several research papers I've published and a fantastic list of volunteer/travel/medical internship experiences. I have not written my MCAT yet.

    Question2: How easy it is, after having obtained a medical degree, to be able to practice Medicine in the UK as an international student? Or rather, how easy is it to get a work permit/VISA?

    Once I am in England, I don't have any plans of going back...unless (heaven forbid) I part with my significant other...

    Thank you so much for your help
     
  2. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  3. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    You'll find it easier to get into British schools than you will North American schools. Most programs in the UK are five years long; the 4-year GEP programs are highly competitive - even for locals.

    Oxford, Cambridge, and one or two London medical schools have their own exam which is nothing close to the rigors of the MCAT but, for the most part, British schools will just look at your GPA. Some schools do have strict MCAT cut-offs (Edinburgh: no less than 9, 10, 10). Two schools that have a good track record for accepting North Americans are the University of Leicester and the University of Dundee.

    The major hurdle you will face is funding. British shools will not pay for you and the Stafford loans available to U.S. citizens cannot be used for non LCME-accrediated schools. Expect to may around $30, 000 per year for tuition alone in the UK.

    The only cautionary note I would add is this: if you do want to practice in the UK, as your post suggests, there's no way you'll ever pay the loan back. Sorry to be blunt. :(

    Please PM me if you still have questions. Good luck!
     
  4. lavendar84

    lavendar84 Junior Member

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    I am from Canada :)
     
  5. Kev (UK)

    Kev (UK) British Member
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    I am studying at the former and have met just a handful of NA students in varous years of the course, all of whom are Canadian. That's not to say there are no US students here but I have never met or heard about any.

    Leicester reserves just 13/ 239 places (175 on the 5 year and 64 on the 4 year courses) each year for international students and the majority of these places are taken by non-NA students. There are NO places on the 4 year graduate-entry course for international students. So while Leicester may have a good track record, in reality there are very few NA students studying here.
     
  6. dr strangelove

    dr strangelove Senior Member
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    I know an American girl who was accepted into the 4 year course at Oxford. Granted, she did have an undergraduate degree from Yale though!
     
  7. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  8. lavendar84

    lavendar84 Junior Member

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    I suppose one other option would be to sacrifice my wish to be a healthcare provider and work in research in the UK.

    I do have a love for academia and research, especially in immunology and neurology.

    However, it would be such a pity to throw away my love for working with people, working interactively in a team setting to directly help treat patients.

    It's such a daunting task - preparing to leave the country of comfort - where family and friends are.

    Another question - if I were to receive a medical degree in Canada, how do the residencies matching systems work in the UK? Is a Canadian medical degree even accredited - it is the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of CANADA that grant medical degrees - do they transfer well to the UK equivalent?

    Would it be likely I could get the residency of choice, given I was a competitive applicant?

    I suppose an option I'm considering is to have a long distance relationship for 4 years :(
     
  9. dr strangelove

    dr strangelove Senior Member
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    I think she should be in 2nd year.
     
  10. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  11. dr strangelove

    dr strangelove Senior Member
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    To be honest, I've no idea.

    Perhaps I should have said knew her. I met her at the Magdalen College interview for the graduate course and a group of just kept in contact long enough to know who got in and who didn't. :)
     
  12. jane2

    jane2 Member
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    If you qualify in Canada and want to work in the UK you will have to sit the PLAB. I don't know much about it , but search for it on google.co.uk and it should come up.

    Whoever made the point about you not being able to pay your loan back - that's just ridiculous! My research has shown me that doctors in the UK earn easily as much as doctors in the US. Consultant doctors I know earn well over 100,000 GBP per year - and that's just within the NHS. If you do private work too, you can double that. It's not too shabby, really.

    I know lots of Canadians who say 'writing my MCAT' - what do you say in America? Taking it? Sitting it?
     
  13. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  14. dreamsmedicine

    dreamsmedicine New Member

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    Hey, would you tell me what the bolded above mean? hmmm you might assume everybody knows but i am an exception, cheers!
     
  15. john182

    john182 Member
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    Postgraduate training in UK has recently been changed.

    On graduation, you complete a two year internship. The years are termed Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 = F1, F2. WHen you complete these, you apply to a training program for a speciality.

    The new training system does away with the odler house-officer and registrar grades, and you start a 6 year training program in the field of your choice (obviously there is competition).

    WHen you finish it, you will be "finished residency" so to speak.
     
  16. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Nice post, and exemplifies the point well.
     
  17. rgerwin

    rgerwin Senior Member
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    I think that in the US, on average, most people will end up taking about 10 yrs to pay off their loans, so it's comparable.

     
  18. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    I think the time to pay off your loans is less important than the percentage of you income they make up. The problem with paying off your loans while working in the UK is that your debt payments will make up a very large portion of your income during the many years spent pursuing a consultant job. The problem in the US is that your income is even lower while in residency (need loan forbearance), though your income will shoot up sooner than in the UK.

    In the end the major difference depends on specialty choice. US docs in specialties make more (often much more) while UK docs in primary care make more (though the cost of living and tax rates are much higher and take away most of the standard of living benefit for UK primary care docs).

    On the other hand, live where you want to live, money isn't everything. You'll be fine as a doc anywhere.
     
  19. PaddyofNine

    PaddyofNine Senior Member
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    I'm just wondering. Is it possible to get qualified up to Attending/Consultant level over here, and then transfer over to the US system without having to go through the intern-residency system over there too?
     
  20. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    Typically no. I think I read that some exception might be possible for international experts, but normal folks have to start back at internship.
     
  21. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Come on now! What report are you basing such an insane statement on?
     
  22. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    I know several people who have done this for anesthesiology (though, for other specialties, this is generally atypical). The training in anaesthetics is more substantial in the U.K.
     
  23. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    How long ago was this? I think the rules have changed. www.asahq.org/publicationsAndServices/standards

    More substantial? come on now! What are you basing such an insane statement on?


    I tried to find the article I read about higher primary care and lower specialty salaries in the UK vs US, but couldn’t find it. I found a different article where both are higher in a US example - Kaiser, who I’d imagine pays less than the US average. For primary care physicians Kaiser's average starting salaries are 43% higher than average NHS salaries. Consultants starting salaries are 115% higher in Kaiser. (http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/ Getting more for their dollar: a comparison of the NHS with California's Kaiser Permanente)

    97% of Consultants in Scotland make less than 100000GBP & 85% make less than 80000GBP –BMJ:326/7404/1432

    Even docs near the bottom of the scale in the US make more than all but the top 15% in Scotland. http://www.physicianssearch.com/physician/salary2.html


    I stick by my statement that money isn't everything, but you asked.
     
  24. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    3 years in the U.S. after internship - 4 yrs total. Show me a programme in the U.K. that gets you out there faster.....it can't be done.

    Please keep looking if you have time. The figures you're quoting today are comical.

    It should not be the primary motivation in a medical career, but North Americans studying in the U.K. system with the aim of staying there should be aware of how much longer it's going to take to pay off the insanely high loan, that's all.
     
  25. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    Greater length of training doesn't necessarily equal more substantial training, especially when we're talking about 42 months vs 36 months of anesthesia. Not to mention that training continues beyond residency. I understand that anesthesiologists in the UK are quite good though.

    I don't have all day to look for UK salaries. I linked what I found. I'd be happy to look at any better info you can provide. I think the BMJ is fairly reputable though.
     
  26. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  27. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    Nice one Waiting4Ganong.
     
  28. rgerwin

    rgerwin Senior Member
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    Just so there is no confusion it is not possible to practice in the US unless you have trained here. You can do clinical research, however, which is what many foreign docs choose to do. Otherwise, it's back to the beginning. Now, for several specialties (FP, ER, IM) this is only 3 years. For others, obviously more.

     
  29. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  30. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  31. rgerwin

    rgerwin Senior Member
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    Wow, you're kind of an ass. My statement was based on meeting dozens of foreign docs in my 5 years of research who have expounded on their experience coming to the US. Maybe I was a little bit off, but it's a more common outcome than yours.


     
  32. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  33. rgerwin

    rgerwin Senior Member
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    What you are speaking of refers only to people who are, according to the Board of Internal Medicine for example:

    "Full-time internal medicine faculty members in an LCME-accredited medical school or an accredited Canadian medical school may qualify for admission to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine if they:

    (1) are proposed by the chair or program director of an accredited internal medicine residency program;
    (2) have completed three or more years of verified internal medicine training abroad;
    (3) hold an appointment at the level of Associate Professor or higher at the time of proposal; and
    (4) have completed eight years, after formal training, as a clinician-educator or a clinical investigator in internal medicine with a full-time appointment on a medical school faculty."

    If you do not hold a faculty member position, you cannot sit for the certification exam. Everyone else needs:

    "To be admitted to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine, physicians must have satisfactorily completed, by August 31 of the year of examination, 36 months of graduate medical education accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the Professional Corporation of Physicians of Quebec."

    Therefore, again, unless you are already faculty, it is impossible to be certified as a US doc unless you go back to the beginning. Yes, there is that loophole, but many people will not have secured that position, as full-time faculty can be quite competitive.




     
  34. viator003

    viator003 New Member

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    Huh, the guy's right, you are kind of an ass. Didn't anyone ever tell you it isn't nice to be a jerk. Also, while what you said is technically right, the other guy was not entirely wrong. You have given some loopholes, but they are very limited in their usefulness, especially if you want to practice outside one university. Not to mention, the mistake was owned up to. So lighten up. And have a nice day.
     
  35. dinesh

    dinesh Senior Member
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    You may also try Newcastle Upon Tyne. They have a great program , and I hear the girls aren't that bad either.
     
  36. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  37. hehehe

    Waiting4ganong

    I have found your posts very informative and accurate from what I too have been told. Thanks for the information, it is always helpful.
     
  38. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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    Thanks mate! :thumbup:
     
  39. Sage880

    Sage880 Senior Member
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    This board is full of pre-meds who think they're experts on every medical subject and experienced posters who are now jerks after years of dealing with 100's of people who think "opinions" are the same as "facts". Understandibly frustrated I'm sure but still pretty rude.

    This board is a good resource occasionally. I wish there was some kind of ignore feature where I could just filter out the posts of certain people.
     
  40. dr strangelove

    dr strangelove Senior Member
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    Newcastle girls. :eek: :D
     
  41. viator003

    viator003 New Member

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    Wow, buddy, you are one hell of a paranoid sob. Not that you'll believe me, but I have no idea who the person you were fighting with is, I just thought you were being an ass, and wanted to say something. Yeah, I am new to these boards, but don't try to tell me who the hell I am. Also, this fighting is moronic, after this post, I am done on this thread, so call me whatever names you want, I just wanted to clarify my identity. Do some research if you like, though try to get it right, my screen name has been around the net for a while. Bye.
     
  42. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  43. reeka15

    reeka15 New Member

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    it's good to know you're 8 years old
    grow up
     
  44. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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  45. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Guys, please, we're all professionals here so let's act like it.
     
  46. Waiting4Ganong

    Waiting4Ganong Senior Member
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    I disagree. These aren't professionals. They are kids. This thread has died a death at the hands of a angry/bored/troll pre-med(s). I've had enough of this rubbish.
     
  47. lavendar84

    lavendar84 Junior Member

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    Here in Canada, we have a lot of Chinese doctors whose degrees do not transfer, and there are lots who are now working in research.

    However, we have a good number of physicians from the UK and South Africa who have set up their practice here, and are rather successful physicians. The commonwealth system lets the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons' medical degree transfer with LESS (although not entirely without any) paperwork.

    So rgerwin, would you mind disclosing where the dozens of foreign doctors you've met received their medical training?
     
  48. student.ie

    student.ie Senior Member
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    True and true. Many are one day talking about applying to medical school abroad and soon after are giving advice about post-grad opportunities as an FMG. Believe the people who have been through it not a bunch of rose-glassed newbies.
     
  49. rgerwin

    rgerwin Senior Member
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    Primarily Australia and China, but a couple from Russia.


     
  50. lavendar84

    lavendar84 Junior Member

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    I dare-say Chinese and Russian physicians speak slightly different languages from the people of the US of A
     

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