December 7, 2002 at 3:18 am #87870GudrunParticipant
Hello, my name is Gudrun and I am new in the States.
I was born and lived in Germany for the last 27 years. I married an American doctor, we moved to California and we just had a little boy in October. I finished Medschool in Germany and did 1 year of Internship.
I would like to start a residency program in Anaesthesia in 2003, but still have enough time to also take good care of my little son. Maybe even have another baby in the nearer future. Is there something like a half day program in California? I think I am still not seeing all the options that are available as I am not yet fully familiar with the American medical system and the mode of application. Can somebody help me a little bit? Some ideas?December 9, 2002 at 5:20 am #87872TexasRoseParticipant
HI and welcome! I’m sorry I can’t offer much in the way of advice. I’m a premed student and I live in Texas! I would recommend starting by calling a med school near you. I’m sure they can be a resource for you since they deal with students preparing for residencies.
TheresaDecember 17, 2002 at 9:30 pm #87874GudrunParticipant
Thank you, Theresa. I planned on doing that in January when I will have a babysitter. I hope I will get some new ideas then.December 18, 2002 at 5:32 am #87876elisemomof3Participant
Hi and welcome! I do not think that there are any half-day residency programs. That would be so wonderful if there were! I do know that before you can start a residency program in the United States you must complete steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE (united states medical licensing exam). Then you can apply for residency programs. You can start by going to the American Association of Medical Colleges website at http://www.aamc.org and there should be links from there about international medical graduates. It will take you a little while to prepare for and complete those exams, so you can stay at home for a little while with your darling baby. You will have to shop around for 1/2 day residencies if any exist.
Elise 😀December 18, 2002 at 5:39 am #87878elisemomof3Participant
Here is a better website with information about the USMLE, it is http://www.usmle.org . Also the American medical association has lots of information for internation medical graduates. The specific page is http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/17.html . Hopefully the experts can answer your questions. Best of luck!
Elise 😀December 18, 2002 at 8:40 am #87879momofchrisParticipant
Hi Gudrun and welcome! I’m familiar with both the German and American medical education systems, since my sister is a physician in Germany and I’m a 2nd year med student in the U.S (actually, I almost went to medical school in Muenchen myself, but for various reasons decided to bite the bullet and stay here). The differences between the two systems are quite staggering.
Working as an anesthesiologist is a great choice if you have a family- but getting there is probably going to be much harder than you think. It’s almost certainly too late for you to be able to start next fall. First of all, the above posters are correct in that you have to pass Step 1 and Step 2 of the USMLE (similar to your Staatsexamen). In addition, because you’re an international medical graduate (IMG), you will also have to pass an English test and travel to Philadelphia to take the Clinical Skills Assessment. You can’t even apply for residency here until you successfully complete all these steps and get “certified” by the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates . This official website will give you all the information you need: http://www.ecfmg.org/2003ib/ibfaq.html/
The first thing you should do is go to this website and get them to mail you all the forms you need. It should take you a year or more to do all of this- which should still leave you plenty of time to stay home with the baby (congratulations by the way!)
About anesthesiology: in order to begin an anesthesiology residency in the U.S., you have to first complete a year of internship, which is called a “transitional year”. Once you are certified by the ECFMG, you will be eligible to start your transitional year at a U.S. hospital (Unfortunately, your AiP year in Germany doesn’t count toward this.) This year is usually completed in a field such as internal medicine and is a notoriously difficult year. Recent legislation has been passed limiting work hours to 80 per week, but that is still a far cry from the 37.5 hours per week my sister worked during her internship in Germany. (Aside to the Americans here- I’m not kidding! My sister was on call once a MONTH!! And got 6 weeks of vacation!)
The hours get better once you’re doing the anesthesiology residency- which means probably only 60 hours per week instead of 80+. That’s the reality of American graduate medical education today. And yes, it really stinks for those of us with families!
To get into an anesthesiology residency, you have to go through what they call the “match”, where you apply to and rank different programs. The process is actually quite similar to how you applied to med school out of Gymnasium in Germany (you, along with thousands of others, submit a ranked list to a computer and it determines where you go). Some specialties, e.g., dermatology, are nearly impossible to get a position in, whereas others, e.g., internal medicine, are very easy. You should be aware that it’s even tougher for IMG’s to get into the residency of their choice. I have no idea how competitive anesthesiology is right now, but you can get a list of all US anesthesiology programs here:
Anyway, hope this helps get you started- write back anytime for more info!
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