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UK Medical Graduate Seeking US medical residency

Hi There:

I am a dual UK/US citizen. I would be interested to hear from either US or Canadian students who studied medicine in the UK and decided to return back to the US/Canada to practice medicine.

I would like to enquire how you sought medical electives or observerships in the US in order to apply for residency and how many did you complete. I understand they are typically done last year of medical school and the completion of Step 1 USMLE.

How many electives do you do? If you sat the USMLE here in the UK, how did you prepare for it.

Many thanks.
While being a US citizen will mean you don't have issues with visas and stuff, you will still be an IMG and unlike the UK, where you went to medical school CAN and WILL be considered in how they rank you in the match. So you still may find it hard going if you're aiming for competitive programmes (e.g. most surgical programmes, radiology, dermatology, urology, etc).

I would suggest you aim to at least complete FY1 here as if you don't, you will never be able to practice medicine in the UK as far as I'm aware - because you have a fixed window of time in which to complete FY1 and be eligible for full GMC registration and after that elapses you're kinda screwed.
If only it was that easy. I did my undergrad (history/Econ) in the US and completed the required pre-medical track too. The pre-recs to apply: GPA, sGPA, competitive MCAT, Clinical shadowing, Research hours, volunteering, essays and secondary essays is like no other. Extremely Competitive with no guarantee even with good scores. 25% of US doctors are IMG so it’s been done, its not impossible it’s just a bit more difficult. Yes breaking into competitive residencies for IMG’s for surgery, dermatology, OB/GYN are harder, hence my enquiry if anyone else has taken this path back and what their experience was.
Original post by OZ surfboard
If only it was that easy. I did my undergrad (history/Econ) in the US and completed the required pre-medical track too. The pre-recs to apply: GPA, sGPA, competitive MCAT, Clinical shadowing, Research hours, volunteering, essays and secondary essays is like no other. Extremely Competitive with no guarantee even with good scores. 25% of US doctors are IMG so it’s been done, its not impossible it’s just a bit more difficult. Yes breaking into competitive residencies for IMG’s for surgery, dermatology, OB/GYN are harder, hence my enquiry if anyone else has taken this path back and what their experience was.

Bear in mind graduate entry medicine in the UK is also extremely competitive, much more so than standard entry medicine for school leavers. You will also need to meet academic requirements, get good scores on the UCAT/GAMSAT/BMAT as applicable (I think a couple accept the MCAT now too), and have done all the relevant medical work experience etc. There are also far fewer graduate entry medicine programmes in the UK than there are in the US in total (and your options are a bit more limited due to having a non-science degree, although there are GEM courses that accept any degree - most of those require the GAMSAT though), so you have a wider pool to choose from over there. You also have the DO option there, which adds even more options!

So I'm not really convinced medicine is easier to get into here vs there or vice versa, just that some elements of the application process will be different and there will be perhaps different emphases on different elements that are shared.
Original post by artful_lounger
Bear in mind graduate entry medicine in the UK is also extremely competitive, much more so than standard entry medicine for school leavers. You will also need to meet academic requirements, get good scores on the UCAT/GAMSAT/BMAT as applicable (I think a couple accept the MCAT now too), and have done all the relevant medical work experience etc. There are also far fewer graduate entry medicine programmes in the UK than there are in the US in total (and your options are a bit more limited due to having a non-science degree, although there are GEM courses that accept any degree - most of those require the GAMSAT though), so you have a wider pool to choose from over there. You also have the DO option there, which adds even more options!

So I'm not really convinced medicine is easier to get into here vs there or vice versa, just that some elements of the application process will be different and there will be perhaps different emphases on different elements that are shared.

I have been accepted into GEM here in the UK beginning September, having sat the GAMSAT. I did PreMed in the US which is a requirement to apply to med school in the US. You can have your 4 year undergrad degree in anything as long as you do the 8 PreMed requirements with labs, and can nail the MCAT with a good result. I have also sat the MCAT exam. Trust me, there is no other country quite like the US that demands so much of its students in order to apply to med school. The Australian, British, and Kiwis don’t come even close to the requirements the US want. There are students who have done 500 hours of clinical shadowing, trained to be EMT’s and medical scribes, just to cover clinical requirements, research another one that requires 3-6 months or more, community service, typically for more than a year, all while carrying a full load of courses in uni. Some take a gap year to fulfill those requirements after graduating in order to apply and demonstrate that they are a strong candidate. Applying in the UK by comparison, is much easier and a lot of Americans and Canadians are coming across the pond to try their luck here as an international student or going to Australia.
Original post by OZ surfboard
I have been accepted into GEM here in the UK beginning September, having sat the GAMSAT. I did PreMed in the US which is a requirement to apply to med school in the US. You can have your 4 year undergrad degree in anything as long as you do the 8 PreMed requirements with labs, and can nail the MCAT with a good result. I have also sat the MCAT exam. Trust me, there is no other country quite like the US that demands so much of its students in order to apply to med school. The Australian, British, and Kiwis don’t come even close to the requirements the US want. There are students who have done 500 hours of clinical shadowing, trained to be EMT’s and medical scribes, just to cover clinical requirements, research another one that requires 3-6 months or more, community service, typically for more than a year, all while carrying a full load of courses in uni. Some take a gap year to fulfill those requirements after graduating in order to apply and demonstrate that they are a strong candidate. Applying in the UK by comparison, is much easier and a lot of Americans and Canadians are coming across the pond to try their luck here as an international student or going to Australia.

I'm American, I have family who applied to medical school, there, I know how medical school and medical school applications work in the US. In fact 36% of applicants to US medical schools last year were accepted, compared to 26% of applicants to UK medical schools. So the numbers are similar, and in fact statistically UK medical schools are harder to get into. So there is no need to justify your not getting into medical school in the US by claiming it is "harder" - it's certainly different and you may have been more suited to the UK system, but it's patently similar statistically.

In any case, congratulations on your offer for GEM here. Note however UK medical schools are essentially preparing you to be junior doctors in the UK for service provision in the NHS, so are not necessarily going to prepare you well for the USMLE etc. Also, you will still face the previously discussed issues if your aim is to practice medicine in the US. Ultimately you should aim to study where you wish to practice medicine.

You need to decide what is more important for you - being a doctor (in the UK), or being a doctor in America. Doing the medical degree in the UK isn't mutually exclusive with training as a doctor in the US of course but, you should assume if you do a medical degree here your best chance at actually becoming a practicing doctor will be within the UK.
(edited 1 year ago)
Thanks for your reply, and I am fully aware of the system in the UK too and have considered the pros and cons of both systems.

Just for context, I have never applied to a US medical school, even though I sat the MCAT exam. Yes statistically med students in the US have a higher acceptance than in the Uk, of being accepted. Do bear in mind though, you’re limited to applying to 5 med schools in the UK. In the US, most ustudents apply to 20-30 medical schools on average, so yes your chances are better in the US, but that’s just one factor of many to have to navigate. In terms of requirements to have a viable chance to apply, and satisfying the check list, to apply, that piece is definitely harder in the US. None the less this is way off topic from my original post/question, which was very specific. Thanks for your input though.
Original post by artful_lounger
I'm American, I have family who applied to medical school, there, I know how medical school and medical school applications work in the US. In fact 36% of applicants to US medical schools last year were accepted, compared to 26% of applicants to UK medical schools. So the numbers are similar, and in fact statistically UK medical schools are harder to get into. So there is no need to justify your not getting into medical school in the US by claiming it is "harder" - it's certainly different and you may have been more suited to the UK system, but it's patently similar statistically.

In any case, congratulations on your offer for GEM here. Note however UK medical schools are essentially preparing you to be junior doctors in the UK for service provision in the NHS, so are not necessarily going to prepare you well for the USMLE etc. Also, you will still face the previously discussed issues if your aim is to practice medicine in the US. Ultimately you should aim to study where you wish to practice medicine.

You need to decide what is more important for you - being a doctor (in the UK), or being a doctor in America. Doing the medical degree in the UK isn't mutually exclusive with training as a doctor in the US of course but, you should assume if you do a medical degree here your best chance at actually becoming a practicing doctor will be within the UK.
Original post by OZ surfboard
Hi There:

I am a dual UK/US citizen. I would be interested to hear from either US or Canadian students who studied medicine in the UK and decided to return back to the US/Canada to practice medicine.

I would like to enquire how you sought medical electives or observerships in the US in order to apply for residency and how many did you complete. I understand they are typically done last year of medical school and the completion of Step 1 USMLE.

How many electives do you do? If you sat the USMLE here in the UK, how did you prepare for it.

Many thanks.

I can provide insight, I studied the pre-clinical years in the UK and returned to do my MD and currently in residency. I didn't do medical electives, but its doable. Most people do their medical electives in the US and try to obtain reference letters. Write your Step 1 and 2 in med school. Do as many electives as you can. Try studentdoctor.net for step resources but generally speaking for Step 1 you need UWorld, First Aid and Pathoma, for Step 2CK you will need UWorld and First Aid, Step 3 you will probably want to be in FY1 or 2 because it requires you to be comfortable putting in orders, it is more of a clinical exam for interns.
M
Original post by Okorange
I can provide insight, I studied the pre-clinical years in the UK and returned to do my MD and currently in residency. I didn't do medical electives, but its doable. Most people do their medical electives in the US and try to obtain reference letters. Write your Step 1 and 2 in med school. Do as many electives as you can. Try studentdoctor.net for step resources but generally speaking for Step 1 you need UWorld, First Aid and Pathoma, for Step 2CK you will need UWorld and First Aid, Step 3 you will probably want to be in FY1 or 2 because it requires you to be comfortable putting in orders, it is more of a clinical exam for interns.


Congrats on the residency, not always easy to nail a spot. Where is your residency position and in what Field?

Many thanks for your insight. May I ask where your sought to do your electives in the US? Some, I believe require at least Step 1 before you can apply for an elective.
Original post by OZ surfboard
M


Congrats on the residency, not always easy to nail a spot. Where is your residency position and in what Field?

Many thanks for your insight. May I ask where your sought to do your electives in the US? Some, I believe require at least Step 1 before you can apply for an elective.


I applied as a local however, since I did my MD in north america. Without specifying its a high competitive surgical specialty at a top 10 center. If you want more info DM me.

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