NeuroRu

2+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2015
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Medical Student
I am a 3rd year US citizen/MD student. I am totally disillusioned with the United States healthcare system and do not want to practice medicine here. This barely scratches the surface of my dissatisfaction with this country but I won't go into too many details. I am confident enough in this that I would like to do residency in another country because I could not stand being here for another 5 years after medical school. I am most strongly considering general surgery as my specialty. There is a paucity of information on US citizens doing residencies in other countries. Can anyone offer some advice or point me in the direction of some resources on this?
 

lymphocyte

2+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2015
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3,387
COPD 50/50 Club
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Resident [Any Field]
I am a 3rd year US citizen/MD student. I am totally disillusioned with the United States healthcare system and do not want to practice medicine here. This barely scratches the surface of my dissatisfaction with this country but I won't go into too many details. I am confident enough in this that I would like to do residency in another country because I could not stand being here for another 5 years after medical school. I am most strongly considering general surgery as my specialty. There is a paucity of information on US citizens doing residencies in other countries. Can anyone offer some advice or point me in the direction of some resources on this?
I know a little about this. A few preliminary questions:

1. Can you speak another language? Do you have dual citizenship?
2. Do you have any experience working in another country's health system? What, in particular, do you find disillusioning about the American healthcare system? Every system has its disillusioning bits, even countries with "universal" healthcare.
3. How long are you willing to spend in residency? One reason why American training is so coveted is because you specialise quickly and directly out of medical school. General Surgery in Australia, for example, can be 8-12 years total, and that's only if you get onto the training programme as a PGY-2+. Until then, it's one transitional year after another. Remember: no board exams either. So how do you build your application? Clinical evaluations (as a medical officer, not as a medical student), publications, prizes, and references. The grind is real on a whole other level.

Generally speaking, it's much better to get your training in the US and then practice abroad. Otherwise, you're realistically limited to just handful of countries, like Israel or some parts of Australia. Rare chance of New Zealand. I have one friend who got a spot in Japan. The US is actually the least xenophobic country in the world for training overseas doctors. It's also incredibly meritocratic compared to other systems, so it can be a little jarring for American students looking at training schemes abroad.
 
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