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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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Old 10-18-2013
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Default Why do so many foreign doctors want to go to USA?

There seems to be literally thousands of IMGs applying to the US every year, some willing to literally take any residency that they get offered even if it is in the middle of nowhere.

Why do so many of you want to go there?

Is it simply for the money?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeljones View Post
There seems to be literally thousands of IMGs applying to the US every year, some willing to literally take any residency that they get offered even if it is in the middle of nowhere.

Why do so many of you want to go there?

Is it simply for the money?
Coming from the Irish health-care system and training schemes, here are my top reasons for applying for US residencies:

1. Defined training programs. As you know (in Ireland), the majority of training posts are black holes. You get sucked in and you may or may not make it out the other end. You may or may not get a consultant post.

2. Defined training length. 3 years residency. 3 years fellowship (plus or minus 1 or 2). Boom: you're done. Yes, Ireland has some training programs that are 6-7 years, but you ain't getting a job without additional fellowships abroad. O.k., you can do General Practice, but I certainly don't want to do that.

3. Remuneration (when you're done). And, no public outcry if you make over $100,000. The constant drum-beat of negativity towards physicians and their 'exorbitant wage' in Ireland is palpable and irritating.

4. Cost of living (outside major cities of course). I find it prohibitively expensive to live in Ireland. And yes, I've lived in a major metro area in the U.S. for 15 years.

5. The ability to gain employment in the private sector. Very tough to do in Ireland. Very possible in the U.S.

6. Funding opportunities and protected time to do research. Physician-scientist jobs are few and far between in Ireland.

7. In many cases (especially university-based U.S. residency training programs) exposure to cutting edge technology, resources, and facilities is desirable. I'm a PGY1 (intern) in the only Level 1 trauma center in Ireland and aside from the NICU and maternity hospital, it's a hole. That may sound a bit harsh, but it's true. Now think about the 90% of hospitals that are older and more run-down than that!

8. On-call hours. I'm sick and tired (after just 3 months) of doing up to 35 hours straight with no sleep (or at the most 1-2 hours). That said, I wouldn't mind so much if I was doing something that mattered (like tending to the medical or surgical needs of patients), but instead, doing mind-numbing tasks that no medical professional should be doing. And yes, SHOs (PGY2 and 3) are doing the same crap too.

From what I've seen, physicians (no matter what your grade is) have defined roles and tasks in most reputable U.S. residency programs. I'm not saying that U.S. residents don't do grunt work, but in Ireland it seems to be taken to a whole new level. I am aware that there are malignant U.S. residency programs where residents can be abused, but I'm referring to reputable residency training programs here.

All that said, I'm under no illusion that you can waltz your way into any U.S. residency program and not work your butt off. I know life as a resident is not easy, but there are dividends at the end and that's what makes it worth applying for.
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In My country doctors make around 500$ a month if lucky enough to get a job, there is a lot of unemployed doctors, the number of residency available could only take around the 10% of doctors graduating each year, since there is little regulation for anybody who wants to start a "university" to start graduating doctors... so the reason people from my country come to united states are:

1-Better odds to get a residency position and the proper training they want, here than in our country(sad but true)

2- Yes the money
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Default Why do so many foreign doctors want to go to USA?

Here is my story.
In the 1st year of my residency I got a post-doc position in the U.S for a year. I`m an M.D./Ph.D. and I always wanted to have a lab beside my clinical job so I considered it as a great opportunity to get grants later for my future lab. I wanted to go back but I met a guy here from my home country. I really struggled against this love since he did not want to go back. 2 ms before the deadline we moved together... I asked my PD to get additional 1 yr to postpone my residency to figure out if this relationship will work or not. According to the rules I could postpone it for only 2 ys or I loose the position. I know it was risky... Right before leaving the US I had an accident, was in wheelchair for 4 ms. By the end the of the 2nd year I was still strongly limping, just start the 2 ms physical therapy, my foot was swelling badly, could spend 32 sec on the stationary bike. There was no way that I could be on my feet for the 24 hrs calls or even doing the regular resident task. So I resigned .
Since then we tried several times to get back to our home. Due to the government financial problem the residency spots were decreased dramatically. Freshly graduated M.D.s can hardly find a position. I always got the answers that I will go back to the US when I see the 1st paycheck since I`ve already have good connections there....
Finally we decided that I stay at home for studying the Steps and take them within 1 yr and apply for this match. I use all of my saved money to support myself.

So some of us just simply stucked here. Back in my country I`m considered already `American` and here I`m an immigrant...
Please note, I never wrote about the `big money` in my post. I just wrote how badly I want to get back in the residency. If u do it only for the money `burn out` will got you quickly in this profession.

P.S.: The guy did not left me during my long rehab. He had to wash my body and dry it, bring me food and drinks every day since I was not able to do this for 2 ms. The guy is my husband now and my biggest supporter in the process.
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In America, everyone gets an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream through hard work.
-the end-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahej View Post
Here is my story.
In the 1st year of my residency I got a post-doc position in the U.S for a year. I`m an M.D./Ph.D. and I always wanted to have a lab beside my clinical job so I considered it as a great opportunity to get grants later for my future lab. I wanted to go back but I met a guy here from my home country. I really struggled against this love since he did not want to go back. 2 ms before the deadline we moved together... I asked my PD to get additional 1 yr to postpone my residency to figure out if this relationship will work or not. According to the rules I could postpone it for only 2 ys or I loose the position. I know it was risky... Right before leaving the US I had an accident, was in wheelchair for 4 ms. By the end the of the 2nd year I was still strongly limping, just start the 2 ms physical therapy, my foot was swelling badly, could spend 32 sec on the stationary bike. There was no way that I could be on my feet for the 24 hrs calls or even doing the regular resident task. So I resigned .
Since then we tried several times to get back to our home. Due to the government financial problem the residency spots were decreased dramatically. Freshly graduated M.D.s can hardly find a position. I always got the answers that I will go back to the US when I see the 1st paycheck since I`ve already have good connections there....
Finally we decided that I stay at home for studying the Steps and take them within 1 yr and apply for this match. I use all of my saved money to support myself.

So some of us just simply stucked here. Back in my country I`m considered already `American` and here I`m an immigrant...
Please note, I never wrote about the `big money` in my post. I just wrote how badly I want to get back in the residency. If u do it only for the money `burn out` will got you quickly in this profession.

P.S.: The guy did not left me during my long rehab. He had to wash my body and dry it, bring me food and drinks every day since I was not able to do this for 2 ms. The guy is my husband now and my biggest supporter in the process.
Inspiring story, i wish you all the best, I worte my post to speak in general about other doctors from my country who actually pursue this dream, but i am in a similar posrition, like you being a doctor in US was never my primary goal, i married a guy who lived here and it was the logical move to come live here after our wedding, now this is my country too, i had my kids in this country, they don't even speak spanish, i haven't have much time to teach them, and everyone around them only speak english... so, i am just trying to get a job in my new country, like everyone else.
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