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When can I practice in the USA after medical school in the UK? Watch

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    Hi,

    I am and always have been interested in living and working in the USA.

    I have applied to medical school in the UK (2017 entry) but am finding it hard to research how I would go about making the move. Apparently the MBBS is honorary and not recognised as a full qualification in the USA, but then I worry that I will be roped into F1, F2 and thus 8 years specialty training, and I want to get to the USA as soon as possible. Apparently there are 3 exams to take before the transition but I still don't understand the full process.

    If anyone knows anything about this can you please let me know?

    Thanks,
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    I always think they should set up a scheme for this
    At the moment it's difficult as you need to do an internship and then residency in America, which are scarce and only a few even take foreign applications. To apply for the internship in the first place, you need to have sat the second of those 3 exams you mentioned - the second of which you can't register for straight away as you have to wait months for something to do with your degree to come through, meaning you wouldn't be able to start as soon as you finish med school
    I'm not sure about going over there after specialisation, but I have read that they might require you to start as a intern again :/
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    The UK MBChB is treated as equivalent to a US MD. However, during an MD in the US, medical students study for and sit the various components of the USMLE. There is probably an 80% overlap between your medical school curriculum and the USMLE, so it is possible to piggy back the latter on to your regular studies if you are a high achieving student. You need the highest possible Step 1 score if you want to be competitive against US-trained doctors who are preferred by the selection system.

    You could go to the US at any time after you've graduated, completed the USMLE Step 2, and been matched to a residency programme. In reality, a successful US residency application usually requires letters of recommendation from US physicians. You could possibly arrange these by doing a US elective but most people will find an excuse (e.g. a research fellowship) to be in the US for a year during which they can get letters of recommendation, apply, and attend the many interviews that candidates typically get offered on different days in different cities across the country.

    You could either go into this research year straight after medical school or wait until the end of FY2 if you wanted a safe/uncomplicated route back in the NHS if things didn't work out over the Atlantic. US residencies are much shorter (e.g. 3 years for emergency medicine and 5 years for general surgery) than equivalent programmes in the UK (8 years EM, 10+ years in general surgery) so you would still be far ahead of your peers, even if starting after FY2.

    If you are very good and do the right things then there are a whole range of US residency programmes open to you. It is however difficult for international medical graduates but it depends a lot on what you want to do and where. Primary care in Wisconsin or hospital medicine in downtown New York should be pretty straight forward. Plastics/ENT/ophthalmology/orthopaedic residencies in Boston, Miami, or San Francisco might be tougher to come by!

    Going to work in the US after you have finished your training in the UK is not impossible but close to impossible for most people.
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    (Original post by telepathicturtle)
    I always think they should set up a scheme for this
    The US don't really want overseas trained doctors. That doesn't stop huge numbers of doctors from Asia, Africa, and Latin America (as well as some from Europe and Australasia) heading to the country where a doctor can easily earn $500,000/year.

    Amongst the profession, there is a reluctance to see US doctors (who've studied for 8 years and potentially carry $500,000 of debt) displaced by foreigners who studied for 5 years elsewhere at minimal expense.

    There is no appetite for making it easier to take on doctors that trained overseas.
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    It's comparatively much easier for UK-trained doctors to find work in other English speaking/Commonwealth/EU nations than it is the US. The USMLE, for a start, is more akin to the postgraduate MRCP examinations than it is medical student finals- that is, it's tough as nails, with a solid emphasis on basic science. Appropriate, considering medicine in the US is postgraduate, but annoying nonetheless. Then there's all the paperwork/US experience/visas/competition to go through.
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    (Original post by navarre)
    It's comparatively much easier for UK-trained doctors to find work in other English speaking/Commonwealth/EU nations than it is the US. The USMLE, for a start, is more akin to the postgraduate MRCP examinations than it is medical student finals- that is, it's tough as nails, with a solid emphasis on basic science. Appropriate, considering medicine in the US is postgraduate, but annoying nonetheless. Then there's all the paperwork/US experience/visas/competition to go through.
    Certainly not for the faint hearted but the rewards of shorter training and (very) high salaries are substantial. It is the route I would probably have taken if I'd known then that the NHS would slide into oblivion during my career. It's a much less certain route in the post-Trump era, though. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if Trump eliminated the J-1 or H1-B visas with an executive order and left thousands of international medical graduates stranded.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    The UK MBChB is treated as equivalent to a US MD. However, during an MD in the US, medical students study for and sit the various components of the USMLE. There is probably an 80% overlap between your medical school curriculum and the USMLE, so it is possible to piggy back the latter on to your regular studies if you are a high achieving student. You need the highest possible Step 1 score if you want to be competitive against US-trained doctors who are preferred by the selection system.

    You could go to the US at any time after you've graduated, completed the USMLE Step 2, and been matched to a residency programme. In reality, a successful US residency application usually requires letters of recommendation from US physicians. You could possibly arrange these by doing a US elective but most people will find an excuse (e.g. a research fellowship) to be in the US for a year during which they can get letters of recommendation, apply, and attend the many interviews that candidates typically get offered on different days in different cities across the country.

    You could either go into this research year straight after medical school or wait until the end of FY2 if you wanted a safe/uncomplicated route back in the NHS if things didn't work out over the Atlantic. US residencies are much shorter (e.g. 3 years for emergency medicine and 5 years for general surgery) than equivalent programmes in the UK (8 years EM, 10+ years in general surgery) so you would still be far ahead of your peers, even if starting after FY2.

    If you are very good and do the right things then there are a whole range of US residency programmes open to you. It is however difficult for international medical graduates but it depends a lot on what you want to do and where. Primary care in Wisconsin or hospital medicine in downtown New York should be pretty straight forward. Plastics/ENT/ophthalmology/orthopaedic residencies in Boston, Miami, or San Francisco might be tougher to come by!

    Going to work in the US after you have finished your training in the UK is not impossible but close to impossible for most people.
    Thanks that was informative.
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    (Original post by MonteCristo)
    The UK MBChB is treated as equivalent to a US MD. However, during an MD in the US, medical students study for and sit the various components of the USMLE. There is probably an 80% overlap between your medical school curriculum and the USMLE, so it is possible to piggy back the latter on to your regular studies if you are a high achieving student. You need the highest possible Step 1 score if you want to be competitive against US-trained doctors who are preferred by the selection system.

    You could go to the US at any time after you've graduated, completed the USMLE Step 2, and been matched to a residency programme. In reality, a successful US residency application usually requires letters of recommendation from US physicians. You could possibly arrange these by doing a US elective but most people will find an excuse (e.g. a research fellowship) to be in the US for a year during which they can get letters of recommendation, apply, and attend the many interviews that candidates typically get offered on different days in different cities across the country.

    You could either go into this research year straight after medical school or wait until the end of FY2 if you wanted a safe/uncomplicated route back in the NHS if things didn't work out over the Atlantic. US residencies are much shorter (e.g. 3 years for emergency medicine and 5 years for general surgery) than equivalent programmes in the UK (8 years EM, 10+ years in general surgery) so you would still be far ahead of your peers, even if starting after FY2.

    If you are very good and do the right things then there are a whole range of US residency programmes open to you. It is however difficult for international medical graduates but it depends a lot on what you want to do and where. Primary care in Wisconsin or hospital medicine in downtown New York should be pretty straight forward. Plastics/ENT/ophthalmology/orthopaedic residencies in Boston, Miami, or San Francisco might be tougher to come by!

    Going to work in the US after you have finished your training in the UK is not impossible but close to impossible for most people.
    Thank you, that's all very helpful information. As I feared there are a lot if awkward hurdles. Also, I imagine jumping back into study-mode for USMLE after F1&F2 would be difficult, and this would be the route I'd take as I think the extra security is important.

    I will continue research but with the political situation in America (as you highlighted) I would not be surprised if President Trump started severe Visa restrictions. His campaign reminds me of Coolidge's seemingly prosperous 'self-suffiient' America (before the Wall Street Crash of course). This unfortunately makes me think that Trump will try to impede any 'foreigners' from taking 'American jobs'.
 
 
 
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