Sep 10, 2017
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Hello,

My mother graduated with an MBBS from Rawalpindi Medical College, in Pakistan. Since then, she's worked numerous years as a general practitioner in numerous developing countries. She's worked various upper level UN jobs as well since graduation. However, sometime during my childhood, she decided to become a fulltime mother. During this time, she also received a Masters degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Now that I'm older and relatively self-sufficient, she's been looking to re-enter the workforce, but she's highly overwhelmed. I understand that she's not likely to become a physician here in America since she didn't take USMLE and residency here, but what can she do to get any sort of medical related job with her education? Is there any hope of becoming a physician, and how would she go about it? Thanks in advance.
 

aformerstudent

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Physician would not happen unless she basically redid most, if not all, of the schooling basically starting fresh and my assumption would be that would be unrealistic.

As far as health-related careers, it depends more on what kind of training she already has and how much more she needs for whatever area she's looking to enter. I would highly doubt you could go from not practicing to working within the healthcare industry right away without a considerable "update."

Medical science becomes obsolete when not practicing and staying up-to-date. That's where here problem would be in your mother's situation.

Nothing is impossible but some things are very hard. This is probably one of those things.

My advice is to start small and work up. Find a program where it could lead to them paying for additional schooling.
 
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Sep 10, 2017
5
1
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Physician would not happen unless she basically redid most, if not all, of the schooling basically starting fresh and my assumption would be that would be unrealistic.

As far as health-related careers, it depends more on what kind of training she already has and how much more she needs for whatever area she's looking to enter. I would highly doubt you could go from not practicing to working within the healthcare industry right away without a considerable "update."

Medical science becomes obsolete when not practicing and staying up-to-date. That's where here problem would be in your mother's situation.

Nothing is impossible but some things are very hard. This is probably one of those things.

My advice is to start small and work up. Find a program where it could lead to them paying for additional schooling.
Unfortunately, I figured as much. Even if my mother were to undergo med school a second time, wouldn't she be denied a job due to her age? She's currently 44, but most likely 50 by the time she completes here studies, if she chose to do that.
 
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DrMidlife

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...wouldn't she be denied a job due to her age? She's currently 44, but most likely 50 by the time she completes here studies, if she chose to do that.
Nope. I started med school at 46. In residency my fellow "second career" physicians call ourselves the "colonoscopy club."
 
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Is there any way she can become licensed without having to retake medical school? Such as some multiyear refresher courses or something similar?
 

aformerstudent

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Is there any way she can become licensed without having to retake medical school? Such as some multiyear refresher courses or something similar?
Nothing is impossible but you're mother is better off talking directly to programs that would hire her; programs that are VERY IMG/FMG friendly. I don't know if you're in the New York area but a lot of those hospitals with programs in the "rough" part of town do take FMG's who are long out of school. Best to ask them and see what they're looking for as they could advise you better.
 

DrMidlife

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Nothing is impossible but you're mother is better off talking directly to programs that would hire her; programs that are VERY IMG/FMG friendly. I don't know if you're in the New York area but a lot of those hospitals with programs in the "rough" part of town do take FMG's who are long out of school. Best to ask them and see what they're looking for as they could advise you better.
Incorrect. To be licensed to practice medicine in the US you have to follow state rules, which require med school completion, passage of exams, and at least one year of supervised hospital training. And usually more things. There are foreign med schools that aren't on a US license path.

And that's just licensure. Board eligibility is separate.

New York's requirements: NYS Medicine:License Requirements
The NY licensure exception list is probably how sketch facilities get unlicensed FMGs to work in residency-ish conditions. http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/med/article131.htm Looks like the path is to get one of these sketch facilities to hire you for resident $, work for 3 years, and then NY will theoretically license you without step scores. And then you can work in a doc-in-the-box or other facility that doesn't require BC/BE.
 

aformerstudent

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Incorrect. To be licensed to practice medicine in the US you have to follow state rules, which require med school completion, passage of exams, and at least one year of supervised hospital training. And usually more things. There are foreign med schools that aren't on a US license path.

And that's just licensure. Board eligibility is separate.

New York's requirements: NYS Medicine:License Requirements
The NY licensure exception list is probably how sketch facilities get unlicensed FMGs to work in residency-ish conditions. NYS Medicine:Laws, Rules & Regulations:Article 131 Looks like the path is to get one of these sketch facilities to hire you for resident $, work for 3 years, and then NY will theoretically license you without step scores. And then you can work in a doc-in-the-box or other facility that doesn't require BC/BE.
Well that's why I told him to talk to those programs. Maybe they could advise his mother what she needed to do and that could include redoing her degree.
 

DrMidlife

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Is there any way she can become licensed without having to retake medical school? Such as some multiyear refresher courses or something similar?
Generally states don't require foreign medical grads to repeat med school, even if it's been a long time. But, generally, residencies are nervous about any applicant who has been out of med school for a long time, domestic or foreign. And, generally, you can address this nervousness by doing observerships in US hospitals (unpaid, full time, at least several weeks, at least one facility, can't touch patients, no EMR access, sometimes liability insurance required).

The basic list of things to review, to assess whether it's worth it for your mom to pursue medical practice in the US:
1. Pick a US state, google their medical license board, see if her medical school is on the foreign approved list.
2. Look at the pre-licensure board exams on usmle.org. 3 "steps," lots of money for exam fees and prep courses (uworld.com, don't kid yourself about saving $ on this), but this is what all FMGs do, generally. The people I know who did it took 18 months to 5 years to get these tests done.
3. Get foreign training certified at ecfmg.org. Costs money. Requires English proficiency as evidenced by TOEFL.
4. Decide if you're willing to stop at licensure (limited opportunities, limited pay) or if you want to pursue board specialization.
5. Get in the match or otherwise compete for a residency seat. Costs money, costs time, requires interviews.
6. Finish at least 1-3 years of residency, depending on the state, for licensure. Finish 3-10 years of residency, depending on the specialty, for board eligibility.
 
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Mad Jack

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Is there any way she can become licensed without having to retake medical school? Such as some multiyear refresher courses or something similar?
She's too far out from practice and graduation. Without retraining, she's going nowhere, even with a successful USMLE.
 
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OP
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Sep 10, 2017
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Really appreciate the help guys. I'll relay this stuff to my mother.
 

murfettie

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Wait, does she just want to work or has to be a doctor?
I kno when my mom was 44 and foreign doctor, she had no interest in being a doctor. She just wanted a job.
She can prob do public health, community health. Some foreign doctors become PA to avoid to pain of all that stuff, and are very happy.
 

frood

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Generally states don't require foreign medical grads to repeat med school, even if it's been a long time.
Is it even possible to apply to a US med school if you have already done med school in a foreign country? That seems strange to me, but I don't really know. (I'm American so this just out of curiosity.)
 

DrMidlife

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sure it's possible to repeat med school, a scenario i've seen is a Rohingya IM doc who was in a refugee camp for over a decade before he got US asylum. med school not recognized by any state, and the guy was willing to go through the process again. when i met him he was crushing the prereqs at a CC, hoping for a greencard so he could apply md/do. this was in 2015, kinda more practical to offer encouragement back then, politically.
 
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