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March 2018


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    Career in USA - Residency or Research - which track to choose


    Number of posts : 69
    Batch Name and Year : Narumugil 98
    Points : 3450
    Reputation : 0
    Registration date : 2008-10-28

    Career in USA - Residency or Research - which track to choose

    Post by Admin on Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:38 am

    Oct 27, 2008 8:10 PM posted by Shibichakravarthy Kannan

    Dear Niveditha,
    This is in response to your enquiry. I am also posting this thread on the website for others benefit.

    USMLE track pros:
    1. Very good higher education system in USA and lots of super specialities not found anywhere in the world
    2. Practical training leading to a proper job after three years of
    residency followed by board certification will enable to relocate
    anywhere within US. Excellent pay and lots of perks and health
    insurance and retirement plans including malpractice insurance.
    3. State of the art facilities, newer advances in medicine, latest
    equipment and procedures. Very exciting field of medical research.
    4. Fellowship oppurtunities abound in all fields.
    5. Combined specialities, couples matching to same hospital or work zone.
    6. Moon lighting oppurtunities and collaborations with private sector.

    USMLE track cons:
    1. Cost of preparing and taking exams very high (Rs 5 lakhs minimum)
    2. Visa problems - very hard to get visa for taking Step 2 CK
    3. Five year cut off rule - this is new rule many institutions are
    following - what it means you have to be within five years of medical
    school graduation (As of now not before 2004)
    4. Need to do residency to get into any super speciality except rare situations like radiology or ortho
    5. Not all states encourage FMG (foreign medical graduate) - so
    you end up living in New York or Chicago very high cost of living
    6. Too much hardship - residents have to do everything and lots of calls and not good for family folks
    7. Saftey issue - every year many Indian students die due to big
    city crime rates. Many places in NY not safe for female physicians
    8. Work place harrassment - especially females residents face sexual harassment in many big city hospitals
    9. H1B problem - many programs nowdays do not sponsor H1 visa. J1
    visa comes with two year home country requirement. After all the
    efforts you have put it is sad to go back to India for two years.
    10. Green card - this applies to female physicians if they marry a
    GC holder and come to USA. You will tied to the location and cannot
    look for job in another state during GC processing.

    Well it seems there are more cons than pros in the USMLE track

    Research track pros:
    1. More than 30,000 higher education institutions offering MS and PhD tracks
    2. Many exciting fields - Microbiology, Public health, Hospital Administration etc apply to doctors
    3. very easy to get admission if you can get good GRE scores and pass TOEFL
    4. Previous research experience needed and is a must to secure good university admission
    5. Need to network with friends and get to know potential places

    Researc track cons:
    1. Money, Money, Money - very little money given as stipend and so
    many people (including myself) end up with huge debt by the time they
    2. Post Doctoral fellowships pay very little in comparison with medical fellowships. (compare 36,996 to 48,000 for PGY1)
    3. MPH is good track but very difficult to get job nowadays.
    4. MS is a total disaster - you can become lab technician wow !!!

    Why do I still do research:
    The answer is personal job satisfaction. I dont mess with
    insurance agents or medicolegal cases like my friends are facing in
    their medical careers. Very peaceful life and no pressure. You have
    your own time limits and no tension. residents wake up at 4 in the
    morning and work like a bull from 5am to midnight. In research you are
    answerable only to your mentor and if you become good friends life is
    very easy. The only mistake you can do is kill some cell cultures or a
    few mice.
    Of course you get to go to meetings and conferences (all paid trips) in all those fancy tourist places like Miami and Las Vegas
    Well the most important it feeds my thirst for knowledge. Medical
    practice is very boring. Seeing same type of patients and same old
    treatments after a while you get fedup with the routine.
    Biomedical research is very exciting and rewarding field. But you
    need to pull yourself through the financial crisis. Be prepared to face
    financial hardhsip. Once you become a faculty (get a R01 grant for
    million dollars from NIH) then there is no turning back. It is very
    good for family folks and if both can get jobs it is easy to manage.
    Check out for information on MS and PhD programs.
    mail me if you are interested in any specific field and I can suggest some places.
    Thank you for your patience,

    Dr. ShibiChakravarthy Kannan, M.B.B.S, Ph.D.,
    3000 Greenridge Dr, Apt 104,
    Houston, TX 77057
    Mobile: (701) 610-3480

    From: niveditha balakumar
    To: shibi
    Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:29:33 AM
    Subject: reg research

    hello sir
    here.... i read in one of the mails reg ur research... well at present
    i'm in my third year... i would like to try writing us mle.... though i
    know its a diffi process... i also would like to know wat the other
    options are in the united states... as in research kind of... n how to
    go about it.... n also the other feasible things that i can do to back
    up my c.v incase i pass the 3 steps.... thank u


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