Truth or Myth: DO's can't practice overseas?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by fourpointohoh, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. fourpointohoh

    fourpointohoh Senior Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I don't know if this is true or not, but if anyone knows, please help me out. I heard from a friend that DO's are not considered doctors overseas (especially Europe), while MD's are considered and are allowed to practice.

    If this is true, is there any way around it? I know that DO's and MD's are practically the same species, even though some people still put DO's down. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,

    4.oo

    <img src="graemlins/clappy.gif" border="0" alt="[Clappy]" /> :rolleyes: <img src="graemlins/laughy.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughy]" /> :D
     
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  3. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    MYTH

    There are some european countries that recognize American D.O.'s as fully licensed physicians.

    For more information regarding this, contact AACOM.

    Last I heard the best person to contact is Robert Ruiz [email protected]

    When you get a definitive answer, please post it on here.

    JPH
     
  4. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member

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    DOs currently practice in 12 foreign countries. The only ones I know of definitively are Israel, Sweden, New Zealand, and Canada. A professor at PCOM practiced in Germany and Switzerland for several years.
     
  5. John DO

    John DO A.T. Still Endowed Chair

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    There are two breeds of D.O.s. The American-trained D.O. is completely different from European D.O.s, where they are equivalent to our chiropractors, with limited practice rights. As foreign countries can individually evaluate the training of the American D.O., more countries are opening their borders to unlimited practice rights. Currently, however, many countries have not evaluated our credentials.
     
  6. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    ...I have posted this email from AOA before but FYI:

    ________________


    Thank you for your inquiry regarding licensure for osteopathic physicians. As you can imagine, international licensure is a very
    complicated and varied process. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) produces an International Licensure Summary, and this summary
    will probably provide you with the most current and reliable information regarding international licensure issues.

    For instance, the AOA states in its International Licensure Summary that "Many countries which were or continue to be under British
    influence adhere to Britain's definition of an 'osteopath,' a non-physician health care practitioner who practices only manipulation. Due
    to the similarity of the titles, many of these countries refuse to grant US-trained DO's practice rights beyond the scope of
    manipulation." This definition obviously differs greatly from the definition of a US trained osteopathic physician.

    For more information, you should contact the AOA Division of State Government Affairs, 142 East Ontario, Chicago, IL 60611; (800) 621-1773
    or visit the AOA website at <a href="http://www.aoa-net.org." target="_blank">www.aoa-net.org.</a> Thank you for your interest in osteopathic medicine.

    Sincerely,


    Robert F. Ruiz
    Vice President for Application Services
    American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
     
  7. Stillfocused

    Stillfocused Senior Member

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    Will someone post the direct link to the International Licensure Summary at <a href="http://www.aoa-net.org?" target="_blank">www.aoa-net.org?</a>

    I am having trouble finding it...........

    Thanks
     
  8. David511

    David511 Ponch's Illegitimate Son

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    Yeah, like Hedwig said, over the last few months we've had several European docs visiting PCOM to learn more about what US DOs do. I think Dr. Michaelson is the foci of the activity...its rumored he has finalized plans to move to Austria this year to teach/set up practice. As I hear it, a couple MS2s are looking into following him over there for an elective rotation or two during their 3rd year.

    Either way, I think it's just a matter of time (and lobbying) before the US DO degree is universally accepted for the practice of medicine. I think you also have to realize that many industrialized countries are hesitant to license any foreign doc; they'd rather supply their own.
     
  9. impatiently waiting

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    OUCOM had it's Barbara Ross-Lee and an asst. dean go to China, India, and Nepal a couple of summers ago. They have set up rotations in all three places, so while that doesn't mean DO's are licensed there, it does seem to crack that door of opportunity a little wider -
     
  10. Chris_Topher

    Chris_Topher SeƱor Member

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    The AOA Yearbook has a section in the back that details a country-by-country listing of international practice priviliges. This information is also available through the AOA website DO-online, if you are a member and register.

    The KCOM SOMA chapter summarized the AOA yearbook a few years ago (1999) and put a table on the SOMA webpage, with another link to detailed information.

    <a href="http://www.studentDO.com/first.htm" target="_blank">www.studentDO.com/first.htm</a> click to Programs --&gt; International health --&gt; International Practice Rights. (Sorry for no direct link)

    Important considerations for practice in any country: (1) Are you going to be visiting on a medical mission providing care to underserved people, or are you opening your own osteopathy shop that may take business from local docs? Most countries don't care (or even know, if you are with a large organization) if you are practicing for a charitable week. (2) Many of the international practice priviliges are based on outdated information requests. The AOA does not have a team of 20 people trying to obtain practice rights around the clock with a shotgun approach. They will usually act on your behalf if you have special need regarding a specific country.

    Chris_Topher
     
  11. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by David511:
    <strong>

    Either way, I think it's just a matter of time (and lobbying) before the US DO degree is universally accepted for the practice of medicine. I think you also have to realize that many industrialized countries are hesitant to license any foreign doc; they'd rather supply their own.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">So I guess I agree with your last statement but couldn't disagree more with the idea that it's just a matter of time before the DO is universally accepted.

    There is no one (and I include the AOA) who are working in anything like a continuous fashion to get the DO degree accepted overseas. I think you are lucky if they even help you on an individual basis, pretty much you are on your own with this.

    regardless of lobbying it is not an everyday occurence that DOs arrive in another country and request practicing priviledges. As a result they are treated on an individual basis. I am quite sure that a faculty member of a US medical school would find this a lot easier to convince people of their credentials than an individual doctor.

    I am not surprised that countries like India or Nepal would be welcoming as the DO is likely to bring expertise and equipment that they lack. I think it will be a long time before western-european countries which have their own, different, 'osteopaths' recognize the US-DO qualification except on a case by case basis. As you said, most of these countries have doctors that have the same expertise as their US counterparts and so would have less incentive to welcome US-DOs.
     
  12. Hedwig

    Hedwig Senior Member

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    The only thing that really sticks out on that last is New Zealand. FYI, a PCOM family practitioner was just granted full practice rights there.
     
  13. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire

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    Just another point that no one has mentioned...US trained MDs must also jump through a number of hoops in order to obtain practice rights in foreign countries. Remember, the "MD" is an American degree. Foreign physicians are not awarded the MD but rather other, equivalent medical degrees that have different names and initials (depending on the country). Obviously, American trained MDs will not have as many problems as American trained DOs, but they are not automatically given practice rights in other countries.
     
  14. Bigk9s

    Bigk9s Member

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    Remember, wether MD or DO, the physician requesting practicing privileges in a foreign country will have to sit and pass the respective medical boards. Usually, the examination is administered in the country's official language in order to verify that the physician is proficient and able to communicate with the population that he/she will be treating.
     
  15. litmajor

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    Sorry for the extreme necro-bump. I wonder if anyone has any information on the current international stance on US DOs? Where in the world (outside the US) can DOs practice as a fully licensed physicians as of today?

    I looked around the AACOM website but it wasn't too helpful.
     
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  17. DrEnderW

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  18. litmajor

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  19. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    Also of note:

    This is only relevant as far as "moving to a country and staying there as a doctor". Going on medical relief trips, doing MSF (Doctors without borders), and other temporary medical adventures is more-or-less degree blind.

    And even more relevant: Most (though not all) of the places where the DO is not recognized, the American MD is not recognized either. Please remember, MD is not some universal degree. It is distinctly tied to the country who issues is. And "US" MD is not some magical super degree excepted everywhere. Its not transferrable in quite a few places.
     
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  20. litmajor

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    Thank you, that's super helpful.
     
  21. Seth Joo

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    It might be possible, but its a very uphill battle to do so. Canada is probably the most open country and from what I know many people there associated DOs with the European type of DO that only performs manipulation.
     
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  22. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    This is a pretty uniformly incorrect answer (right down to characterizing Canada as the most open)
     
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  23. Seth Joo

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    Canada is the most open country outside the US towards DOs, I even have a friend who was able to get a license in Ontario several years ago.

    Many other countries are not so open, also many countries actually have a surplus of physicians. There is also the issue of being a DO, many people in America are clueless about DOs, a DO has an even bigger hurdle to jump over in a foreign country. I live in Boston, I can tell you my city is very biased towards MDs. DOs do exist here but they are not as well known as they are in states like Michigan.
     
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  24. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    your argument for why Canada is the second most friendly is deeply flawed. You assume that because you know people who are in Canada that they MUST be the second most friendly. There is no friendliness index, but if there was They would be sort of middle of the pack due to hoops to jump through and regional differences in requirements. There are many places much more friendly towards DOs coming over to practice. But since they are not western European or north american, people sort of make believe they don't exist when they make gross oversimplifications.
     
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  25. Seth Joo

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    Please list these countries. If you go to third world countries, once you say you were educated in Merica you are golden. However in developed first world countries your chances of practicing as a DO are very slim.

    Canada has recognized DOs for a quite a few years, they have some of the most strict immigration requirements of any country, and my friends DO degree qualified her as a "Medical Doctor" for purposes of immigration. She did indeed have to jump through quite a few hoops to get her license.

    So let me elaborate that Canada is the one of more open countries towards DOs among the First World nations.

    My parents are from Japan, I could never work there as a DO, even as an MD its very uphill to work there, the system there is closed to outsiders who were not educated in Japan.
     
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  26. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    If your going to move the goal posts and add a bunch of caveats, you can make any argument you want; but we weren't making all these elimination criteria and caveats until you threw them in now.

    But to answer your question, basically all of south america is more welcoming and "easy" than Canada. Arguments can be made that Australia and new Zealand are more welcoming as well. Canada is roughly on par with the UK, Italy, eastern Europe and Russia. Aka: you have to jump through hoops (the same hoops US MDs would, with exception of Canada for US MDs) to practice at times. Since some off these requires payments or a year or two of government service, Canada may be better than these depending on which country and which province of Canada.
     
  27. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    BTW, of places people might actually want to practice, here are the places we can't practice ad of yet:
    Portugal, Spain, Ireland, France, Japan, south Korea, Cuba.

    That's basically it.
     
  28. NurWollen

    NurWollen Strong with the Force

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    Norway... But yeah, that's all minutia. Great point.
     
  29. costales

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    And sometimes it is tied to the school, e.g. Singapore recognizes only 38 USMD schools.
     
  30. darktooth

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    For the foreign countries that have recognized the American D.O. degree, how do they differentiate between American DO and their version of DO?
     
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  31. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    Basically that's only an issue in Australia, new Zealand, western Europe and the UK.

    Western Europe (Portugal, Spain, France) and Ireland basically don't recognize the DO so that's that.

    England, Australia and new Zealand uses a MBBS anyway, so they don't have MDs. MD there is a scientist. So they just treat then equal. I know there is a route for converting US degrees to MBBS, but it's not required to practice AFAIK.

    And that's effectively the only places non physician DOs exist. They are exceptionally rare outside of the English speaking world and western Europe (though sure you could find some elsewhere)
     
  32. Ibn Alnafis MD

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    This is true. For example, the American MD is equivalated to the MBBS, a bachelor's degree in medicine, in Saudi Arabia.
     
  33. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    BTW, I want to apologize for being a cranky pants earlier today. Been a grumpy day at the hospital and sdn became my vent.
     
  34. Seth Joo

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    Japan is a shut door, I am Japanese American and I know this very well. A DO could only work in Japan as a physician for the US military but not work in Japanese hospitals.

    Canada is a lot more immigration friendly compared to Western Europe, Russia, Japan etc.
     
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  35. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    Physically immigrating and opening a practice there are two different things. And I agree with your first point, as I listed canada as one of... what... 8 countries of any relevance (sorry random central african nations) that dont allow US DOs to practice as physicians
     
  36. TXKnight

    TXKnight Better Known as TXK

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    did not read the comments before mine, so I apologize if I reiterate a point, but just because a degree is "accepted" somewhere does not mean it's easy to practice. Whether you are DO or MD some countries that "accept" foreign medical degrees, including US MD or DO, have a CRAZY list of requirements that for practical terms makes it almost impossible to practice there. This list includes not only many developing countries but also some developed ones.
    cheers.
     
  37. Mx300

    Mx300 New Member

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    Yes medical degrees are not easily transferable from one country to the next. Doesn't really matter where you get your training. From what I've heard the best universal degree is a PhD. Esp in the Middle East, work very little get paid a lot.
     
  38. Seth Joo

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    Quite a few Canadians are attending my school, so I do think there is a possibility to work in Canada, yes there are hurdles, but being that the two countries have many similarities, I would think Canada is more accessible than Europe.
     
  39. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    the reoccurring theme here is this: just because you are most familiar with the us-to-canada move (and we all are, its very common) does not mean its actually all that easy or acessible. Its not. Frequency =/= a metric of simplicity. I'm not saying Canada is difficult either, only that there are very real barriers to a DO returning to Canada (some provinces more than others), while other countries (inluding 'desirable' ones) have significantly less barrier to entry. and many countries have more barriers. I was nitpicking you making a very common misconception.
     
  40. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    In all fairness, Japan has one of the most brutal and unending residency systems even for doctors they train domestically. I wouldn't exactly expect them to roll out the red carpet for a foreigner. Not even US MDs are allowed to practice there, aside from two year educational posts.
     
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  41. DocEspana

    DocEspana Bullish
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    Which brings back to my super original point: people forget that the real "defecit" that the DO degree has is Spain/Portugal/France/Ireland. Since pretty much the rest of the map, EXCEPT Canada, DOs have the same practice rights that US MDs have (obviously im probably overlooking tiny exceptions and technicalities here and there) as the US MD is not some universal degree. Canada universally excepts the US MD, and does not universally accept the DO. Which is why I got so flustered when someone said it was the second most friendly. It has many known hoops to jump through to practice there, while there are plenty of other countries that have significantly less hoops and/or have hoops but treat EVERY american physician the same way and its not degree specific.
     

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