Information On International Medical Students And Young Physician Program

By Larry Howard


The United States has provided opportunities to foreign medical students and doctors for many years and continues to do so. Students can get clinical experience from the many hospitals across the country ahead of their graduation in their own countries. Many others are looking to move to the States permanently and start practising. There are a number of basics on the international medical students and young physician program one may wish to know.

There are provisions for professionals who would want to come to America either temporarily or permanently. Some of the requirements are similar to any potential immigrant while others specifically apply to medical personnel. A few differences exist between those seeking to simply have some experience and those wishing to become US based physicians. It is important that anyone wishing to make the move gets to know theses requirements.

An international medical graduates or IMG, who wishes to have clinical experience just for a limited period of time can do so by applying for what are referred to as observerships. As the name suggests, these are simply opportunities to learn the American system of health. The program lasts between 4 and 48 weeks and one may get exposure in one or more areas of clinical practice. If one has plans of undertaking residency in the country, such an experience is vital.

For one to be eligible for ownership, they must be enrolled or have graduated from a medical school. It is necessary that their credentials be certified by a body known as the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, ECFMG. If these two conditions have been met, then one can make an application to their hospital of choice. Advertisements of training opportunities are often available online.

Since the positions are usually very competitive, one should ensure that they write an application thanks convincing and should include details of their strengths. Most hospitals require that one fills an application form and submits it alongside a cover letter. The letter should specify what program (rotation) they are interested in and how long they would wish to be in the country. Copies of reference letters and curriculum vitae should also be availed.

Other requirements relate to the immigration process. They include, for instance, an updated immunization record, copies of passport and visa, health insurance certificate and a recent passport photograph. When in doubt, one will be well advised to contact their prospective university or hospital on what exactly is needed of them.

A physician who has graduated outside the United States can move to the country by applying for residency. This is the path to specialization for any American physician. To qualify for the team, one first needs to sit for a licensing examination known as the United States Medical Licensing Examination, USMLE. It is a multistep examination with some of it taken outside the States and other parts in the country.

One should understand that residency is very competitive. Some disciplines attract more applications than others with many surgical positions attracting huge numbers. IMGs have to compete with American trained doctors for the positions with the latter having some advantage since they understand the American system better. To increase the chances of success, one will be well advised to make applications to multiple hospitals.




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