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USMLE + getting into US residency from abroad

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by intern123, May 3, 2007.

  1. intern123

    intern123 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Earlier I asked in these forums about the age as a limiting factor becoming a physician, and most people told that it should not be a problem.

    Now I have other, more complicated question:

    I am not native US citizen or permanent resident. As far as I know there is a posibility for foreign citizens finish their native country med schools, and the take USMLE tests (3 tests, difficult) and apply for residency in US hospitals.

    So far, I know 2 people from my country that succeeded in this way - they successfully passed those USMLE and got residency position.

    Maybe you can tell me more about such way of getting into US hospital ?

    It would be nice to hear from native US citizens.
     
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  3. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Depends on what residency program, your scores, and where you came from. We had a physician from asian who took Step I-III and did not get into any residency programs. While the chair of one of our programs is from S. Africa. Another physician earned their MD in Denmark, and has been faculty here for some time now.

    If you come from a non-english speaking country, and the medical standards there are too different from say most of Europe, Australia, or New Zealand, then you might have a problem. If you want to apply into a high impact field such as internal medicine, that may be challenging too. Lastly, if you apply in CA, that may also be hard. All 3 of these were working against the person I mentioned above.

    On a side note, the chief of one of our programs actually told me once that they really don't accept people from foreign programs. They are allowed to apply, and are interviewed, but since he's been there, nobody with a foreign medical degree has been admitted into the program. However this is at a university hospital as well. So might be different at other places. You may find better information over at the residency forums. Most people in here are still applying to get into a US med school. Good luck!
     
  4. intern123

    intern123 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2007

    thanks for the information. The problem is that there is no chance for me to apply to US med school because you need a lot money to pay for your studies. Tuition fee is high. And because I am foreigner, there is no availability getting loans or smth like that.

    So the only thing to practice medicine in US is through USMLE. As I mentioned above I know 2 persons who succeeded and I am sure there are more.

    If they succeeded why I can not ?
     
  5. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I didn't mention anything about applying to a US med school. So I'm not quite sure where you that.

    However again, it depends on where you want to go, and what you want to do. Each hospital is different. University hospitals are more strict. Doesn't matter if you knew 2 people that succeeded. I already showed you that our dept. chair suceeded.

    If you don't care what residency you do, and where you live, then fine. Its not that big of a problem since there are many residency openings relative to the number of US med school graduates. However for more competative programs such as internal medicine in the California, then thats a whole different story, and is likely impossible for an international med student to get into a CA residency.
     
  6. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Gone Walkabout!
    Moving to residency forums as Non-Trad deals more with pre-med issues.
     
  7. intern123

    intern123 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Yes, you are right. I just mentioned my situation. I want to practice medicine in US, and currently I am in Europe, so my goal is to finish my native med school and take USMLE to apply for residency in USA.

    I understand that. No, right now I am not sure to what hospital apply. I have to do some research on that.


    Well, I don't think about CA, where all zillionaires live :) How about Chicago ?
     
  8. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    It's definitely possible, just not guaranteed nor easy.

    Several factors will play into whether or not you get a residency in the US:

    1. The school you are attending -- the more well known it is, the better
    2. Your USMLE scores -- the higher the better
    3. Your visa status -- although it theoretically should not play a role, it likely does.
    4. US rotations -- one or more rotations in the US will greatly improve your chances of getting a spot (assuming you do well during those rotations)
    5. The length of time since graduation from med school -- the shorter the better
    6. The competitiveness of your field of choice

    Good luck
     
  9. 1nicelady

    1nicelady 1Nicelady 2+ Year Member

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    Philadelphia


    What about Puerto Rican schools? I might go to school in PR, which is an American credited MD school, but not really in the US. will it be harder to get into, an urban US residency program by going to a school in PR than going to a D.O school in the states?
     
  10. intern123

    intern123 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2007
    Ok, so briefly talking, I got the chance to enter residency position in some US hospitals ?

    of course I don't pretend to those in CA, LA or NY, or other major cities. But still I wanted to know if there is any chance to become physician and practice medicine graduating from med school outside US.
     
  11. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    No big deal.
     
  12. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover Physician 10+ Year Member

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    What specialty are you applying for? That will help us give you better information...
     
  13. intern123

    intern123 2+ Year Member

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    Apr 23, 2007
    I am still studying in my country's med. school, it is to early to apply to USresidency.

    But I want to be cardiologist. Can you tell me more about that ?
     
  14. slope

    slope Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Oct 21, 2006
    intern,

    I've been reading your posts. Yes, it is possible, but beware, it is a fairly tough struggle to pass the exams, get interviews, etc. And yes, cardiology is possible as well as getting a residency position in NY, CA, or elsewhere. It mostly depends on how strong your application is, i.e. how strong you make it be.

    My strong advice, since you're still in med school, is to take Step 1 as soon as possible (while you're still in school). Then, once you graduate, take Step 2CK and Step 2CS. But, first things first, take Step 1! And try to get as high a score as possible!

    For any more info, PM me.

    Good luck!
     
  15. Amy

    Amy Animal Lover Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Draper, UT
    Agree with slope. You'll need a strong Step 1 score to be competitive. To be a cardiologist, you first need to do an Internal Medicine residency. Of course the good ones are competitive, but it shouldn't be too hard to get a spot SOMEWHERE. There are MANY IM spots available.
     

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