Its 2016 and with another Match upon us, are Foreign medical schools a bad IDEA?
Well as you know I went to a Caribbean school and I have just been offered an internship in Puerto Rico after years of trying to match in the US. The US matching system has become the toughest in history. It has evolved into a closed system of mostly US only matches with some overseas matches.
If you are a Caribbean graduate know that what used to be a plus is now a huge negative.
When I polled Programs at Kansas city AAFP convention this past July I was told:
- Caribbean grads are not preferred
- School must be on the California List ( despite the fact that California now will license schools not on their own list)
- No attempts at USMLE and or scores above 200
- Have to be a graduate within 2 years 3 years max.
- Many do not sponsor visas
Yep this sums it up. You may be lucky to find the few programs who do not have these limitations but more and more I hear this said and its a sad situation. Most programs put these walls up and then will not interview anyone with any of the above. Its a weeding out system that seems to have the whole match in its grip.
I feel this screening, weeding out without even looking at applications is wrong and hurtful to many of us who have worked hard and spent our life and fortunes perusing service to others, passing the USMLE only to be left without completion to practice.
For years I have talked with others, written letters and asked questions like:
- What do these people do with massive student debt in the USA and no way to pay it back?
- Why can't we find a way to help and create residency programs for those of us who passed the USMLE and are qualified to practice? There is a shortage of primary care physicians!
The answers I get range from lets look into this to why don't you go back to school to become a nurse or something else? Really? We are qualified and yet because of a residency shortage we cannot finish the training that passing the USMLE ( and I mean steps 1-3) proves we are qualified for?
There has to be a way...........................