Last Updated on August 10, 2022
The US is the best place to work for Doctors, Nurses and Medical professionals because of its medical advancements over the years. They have an increased community base and hospitals/Clinics who are currently hiring as many foreign doctors as they can find.
Doctors have a privilege to live and work in USA. There are limits imposed by the H1B cap, but thousands of doctors are granted permanent residence per year. The infolearners team has experience in providing information about migrating to USA.
About Career Transitions for Foreign Medical Graduates
If you are a medical doctor or healthcare professional with strong clinical experience and have just relocated to the U.S., you should know that you might need to start your clinical career from scratch.
A physician who has received a basic medical degree from a school located outside the US and Canada not accredited by a U.S. accrediting body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or the American Osteopathic Association, is considered an International Medical Graduate (IMG). To earn the right to practice in the US, foreign-trained doctors must pass the first two parts of the US Medical Licensing Exam, be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Trained Medical Graduates (ECFMG), enter a residency program and pass the third licensing test. A residency program may take three to seven years, with a minimum of five years for surgery.
One study* found that almost half of IMGs were unsuccessful in their first attempts to gain a U.S. residency position, and three-quarters began a residency after five years. It also indicated that IMGs were considerably older when they first applied for a residency position than are most U.S. medical graduates, with a mean age when the ECFMG certificate was issued being 31.3 years. All these data mean a growing number of IMGs are looking at alternative careers.
There are several career alternatives to clinical practice or patient care in the U.S. Pursuing a master’s degree in public health is a common alternative for IMGs. Such programs focus on public policies relating to mental health, communicable diseases, nutrition and more. Some public health degree programs may separate majors into categories, such as biostatistics, nutrition, and public health administration.
There are other opportunities in allied health and non-clinical healthcare professions that are often a good fit for IMGs. Careers as a physician assistant, occupational therapist, or speech language pathologist are just a few of several well-paying options that require minimal training (when compared to years of uncertainty you may spend in becoming ECFMG certified).
One of the big “non-traditional” areas where IMGs work is research and development. If you are research-oriented, you should familiarize yourself with Responsible Conduct of Research. Learn the research lingo too, because most research positions require that you present your data to audiences that will consist of your peers, medical students, staff, and even Nobel Laureates.
Healthcare education is a potential career alternative for healthcare professionals relocating to the U.S. A basic teacher training certificate is required for entry level jobs in the education sector.
Sales representatives for pharmaceutical and biotech companies are great non-clinical opportunities for medical professionals.
Health communications is a growing field. Opportunities in medical communications trade on your knowledge as a physician and your ability to make that expertise understandable to the general population.
Medical information science, or medical informatics, is the research and application of information science and technology in the field of healthcare. More specifically, it uses technology to help organize, analyze, manage, and use information in healthcare.
While there are other career alternatives in the field of healthcare, you can also explore a complete change in career path, which can prove to be a rewarding and life-changing experience. Assess your skills and interests. Start by reflecting on the areas you thrive in and the tasks which motivate you the most. Identify volunteer and freelance activities related to your target field to test your interest. For example, if you are thinking of publishing as a career, try editing the PTA newsletter. If you’re interested in working with animals, volunteer at your local shelter. Pursue your passion or hobby–it could end up being your next job.
The only person you’re destined to become is the person you decide to be (Ralph Waldo Emerson), so keep your mind open, do not let other people tell you otherwise, and follow your dreams to lead a fulfilling life and career after relocation.
Jobs For Foreign Doctors In USA
About Opportunities for Foreign Medical Graduates
Rural Health Opens Opportunities for Foreign Medical Graduates
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. will face a doctor shortage of around 100,000 by the year 2030 if something is not done to increase new residency positions.The shortage is happening because of an ever-growing population but also because the amount of new medical school graduates allowed into residency programs has not kept up with the pace of population growth. Why would anyone restrict residency positions in a time of projected shortages? The answer is all about the budget and how much the government will fund positions in teaching hospitals.Thankfully, 2019 has presented some hope for residents with the introduction of the “Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2019.” This bill would open 15,000 funded residency positions within the next five years.One of the shortages bills like the Resident Physicians Shortage Reduction Act plan to address is the rural physician shortage. A Becker’s Hospital Review article states that 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, and the doctor shortage is revealed in their ratios compare to this population. For every rural physician, there are 2,500 rural residents.Why is a Rural Physician Shortage a Health Crisis?One might think the rural physician shortage is not a significant problem. After all, people do go to urban areas to shop, and they choose to live at a long distance from health care services. However, many rural communities are poor communities, so they have difficulty with travel costs. Additionally, many elderly persons live in rural communities, and they may face transportation difficulties as they age out of the driving population.More importantly, people are unlikely to seek out cost-saving preventive health services if they are not conveniently located. They may also put off subsequent visits meant to monitor chronic health conditions. Telemedicine has attempted to bridge some of this health care gap for rural areas with telemonitors and telehealth services, but often rural communities have technology knowledge gaps and limited access to these services.If you have ever lived in a rural community, you might understand the importance of the local physician. Everyone in the town depends on him or her for everyday health needs, and if that person retires or moves, it can stress the entire community. There needs to be motivation for physicians to train and work in the rural health care sector in order to decrease this disparity.What Does this Mean for Foreign Medical Graduates?For years, there has been tension between people who want to support U.S. medical graduates and those who recognize the need to fill the doctor shortage with foreign medical graduates (FMGs). As the physician shortage continues to grow, the benefits of FMGs are becoming recognized. In the past few years, there have been articles noting the abilities of FMGs rather than only the need for them to fill the shortage. Ultimately, the U.S. is realizing that they need FMGs in order to deliver proper healthcare to all of its residents and visitors. Now, they just have to make it easier for them to get residency positions and practice in the U.S.Rural J-1 Visa Waiver The Rural Health Information Hub is an organization that supports the improvement of rural health services across American, and they have one page on their site dedicated to information about the J-1 Visa Waiver, an opportunity for foreign medical graduates to remain in the United States.With a J-1 visa, a resident must return to his or her country following residency and then apply for a H1-B visa, which will allow them to work in the U.S. If a resident is willing to work in a rural community, they can apply for a waiver, and this allows that resident to stay in the U.S. to work. This is a mutually beneficial situation for rural community members who need a quality physician and the FMG who will have much less red tape to get through.Saving Lives by Improving AccessStudies show that people who live in rural areas are more likely to die from everything from treatable chronic diseases to accidents where they cannot reach timely access to care. Increasing the number of rural physicians would help to improve these numbers.As a FMG, you may be wanting to work in an urban area with access to high-technology and physicians who are working with the best resources available. However, it can be difficult to dodge all of the red tape that it takes to get to stay in the country after residency. Considering working in the rural area for a short while will not only give you a unique experience, but it will also allow you to practice in the states immediately after residency instead of postponing your career until you can apply for your H1-B visa.Rural health is not only an opportunity for Foreign Medical Graduates to stay in the United States following their graduate education, but it is also a chance to save lives. Rural communities do not have access to the resources of the city, and one resource that can be brought these underserved areas are physicians.
About How to Become a Doctor in USA for Foreign Doctors
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) consists of three steps designed to assess a physician’s ability to apply a broad spectrum of knowledge, concepts, and principles to evaluate the physician’s basic patient-centered skills.
Step 1 (multiple-choice exam)
This exam is designed to test how well the examinee applies basic, integral science concepts to clinical scenarios.
Step 2 (two separate exams)
The Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is a multiple-choice exam designed to determine whether the examinee possesses the medical knowledge and understanding of clinical science considered essential for the provision of patient care under supervision. The Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) is a separate “hands-on” exam that tests the examinee’s clinical and communication skills through his/her ability to gather information from standardized patients, perform a physical examination, communicate the findings to the patient, and write a patient note.
Step 3 (multiple-choice exam)
This exam assess the examinee’s ability to apply medical knowledge and the understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine, with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings.
About Can i Work as a Doctor in USA Without Usmle
Clinical Jobs for Physicians Without a Residency but with a License
Think you can’t practice medicine without completing residency? Not true. In some states, completing medical school and an intern year grants you a medical license. A completed residency is not always necessary. You can practice medicine after just 1 year of residency in some states. Before you squawk that you’re not qualified, nurse practitioners with far less training than med school provides practice independently in much of the country. If clinical practice is your dream and nothing else will make you happy. Find a state where you can practice and get started! Plenty of physicians practice without finishing residency, although the numbers aren’t available as most don’t advertise that fact. You may need to complete an intern year, but intern spots are plentiful if you are willing to move and take a one year transitional or prelim year spot in order to get a license.
- Urgent Care
Urgent Cares are always searching for extra help and many do not require a formal residency, just a license. If you’re a physician without a residency but with a license, you can find ample work at Urgent Care. Most urgent cares expect you to treat all ages. Some larger Urgent Cares will allow you to treat only adults or peds. You’ll need to be comfortable with simple procedures and reading x-rays. Don’t have those skills? Then go get them.
You don’t stop learning when you graduate. Find an urgent care willing to accept you with your current skill set, then find a mentor, go to conferences and study on your own to brush up on any weak clinical areas. After all, that’s what you would have done in residency to learn new skills. The pay at Urgent Care is usually per hour or shift and will vary based on your location. A full time urgent care physician can bring in around $200,000 in most parts of the country.
- Direct Primary Care
Maybe you’re having trouble getting hired without residency but you do have a license. Why don’t you hire yourself? Open your own direct primary care clinic, like Dr. Kat Lopez or Dr. Paul Thomas at DPC.
Listen to Dr. Rob Lamberts explain his PDC journey:
In direct primary care, you don’t accept insurance, so being unable to credential with insurance companies doesn’t matter. Patients pay you directly at a rate you choose. Direct primary care is most appropriate for IM, FP, ER or IM/Peds although any physician willing to dedicate the time to learn the ins and outs of primary care can be successful. Remember, nurse practitioners will far less training have already taken over primary care in much of the country. Completing medical school already grants you a significant educational advantage, even without residency. Salary for direct primary care will be directly proportional to the number of patients you see.
- Weight Loss Clinic
There’s an obesity epidemic and more weight loss clinics open every year. Some weight loss clinics get a bad rap as pill mills, but there are plenty of legitimate weight loss clinics helping patients. With or without medications, you can teach patients about nutrition and portion control to help them reach their weight loss goals. You can even outsource much of the work by hiring a nutritionist for food counseling. You can also bring in a medical assistant to check vital signs and handle managing the office. Some weight loss clinic physicians bring in low six figures will a full time weight loss practice.
- Lifestyle Medicine
Lifestyle medicine involves evidence-based lifestyle changes, like a plant-based diet, regular exercise, and other drug-free therapies to prevent and treat disease. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine allows you to certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional (albeit not a Lifestyle Medicine Physician) after completing the MD or DO degree or you can certify as Lifestyle Medicine Physician with the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. You can open your own clinic or work for another Lifestyle Professional/Physician. Counseling patients on how to heal themselves but eliminating bad habits. Salary is usually in the low six figures.
- Medical Spa
Do you like making people pretty? You do need a license to prescribe BOTOX® and the like but no residency or fellowship is required. Training is needed of course, but for non-surgical procedures, you can pursue training on your own through private courses and training offering by the pharmaceutical companies. It will be up to you to ensure that your clinical skills are sufficient but once you have achieved competence, you can start seeing patients. The pay for owning a medical spa is hard to predict, as it will vary dramatically with location, volume and type of procedures.
Do you like making people pretty?
Clinical Jobs for Physicians Without a Residency or a License
- Genetics Counselor
Patients undergoing in-vitro fertilization, cancer treatment or who have just discovered a family member suffers from an inherited disease will often seek out a genetic counselor. Genetics counselors must understand the genetics behind diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and sickle cell disease. Genetic counselors have to communicate their findings to patient in clear language and demonstrate empathy for the patient. Medical school absolutely taught you those skills. You may need to pursue additional training in genetics and some states require that you become a licensed genetic counselor. Typical salaries for a genetics counselor are $60-80,000 depending on your qualifications.
Non-Clinical Jobs in Medicine for Physicians Without a Residency or a License
- Medical Writing
Medical writers work as freelance writers or for companies like pharmaceutical companies and website content developers. You can read my article on How to Become a Medical Writer and Where to Get Find A Medical Writer Job for a step-by-step guide on how to get started on this lucrative field. You pay may be per article or per word, depending on whether you are a freelance or employed writer.
- Clinical Research Associate
Clinical research associates oversee clinical trials, flying around the country to visit clinical trial sites, ensuring the researchers follow the trial protocol correctly. They may also assist in developing the trial protocols and verifying that the patients enrolled are appropriate for the study. In addition, CRAs help recruit new investigators to trials, prepare IRB submissions and review incoming clinical trial data for accuracy. The job market for CRAs is hot and growing, but the downside is significant travel. Pay ranges from $55-75,000 per year.
- Medical Science Liaison
These are home-based jobs working for pharmaceutical companies by managing relationships with physicians that are thought leaders in their field. Medical Science Liaisons are social butterflies that establish relationships with well known physicians to provide feedback to pharmaceutical companies on physician perceptions of a given product, as well as presenting scientific information to groups of physicians. They act as liaisons between drug or medical device developers and the medical community at large. Travel is a must but salary can be over $150,000.
- Public Health Analyst/Epidemiologist
Public health analysts analyze large scale public health issues, like environmental hazards or gun violence and try to find practical solutions to those problems. They also analyze statistical data to create briefs, reports or presentations for private companies or government. The CDC hires Public Health Analysts, as does Indian Health and think tanks like IMPAQ or consulting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton. The average pay for a public health analyst is about $65,000.
- Medical Officer at the FDA
Medical officers verify that the drugs and medical devices sold in the U.S. are safe and effective. They oversee safety data from existing drugs to look for new problems. Medical Officers may also inspect manufacturing facilities and conduct investigations if a problem arises. You could be headquartered in Washington D.C. or work in the field. For a government gig, the pay is good with salary of around $120-150,000.
- Pharmaceutical Research
Pharma is a massive opportunity for physicians with jobs in Drug Safety/Pharmacovigilance, Regulatory Affairs and more. Each of these demands a different skill set but a medical degree will satisfy the educational requirements for all of them. Drug Safety Physicians analyze adverse events in clinical trials and drugs already in use to look for patterns and determine is the drug is at fault. Regulatory Affairs involves assembling regulatory submissions and interfacing between government regulatory agencies and the drug or device manufacturers. Salaries vary widely but start at $50,000 and go up to low to mid six figures, depending on seniority.
Jobs Outside of Medicine for Physicians without a Residency or a License
- Management Consulting
Many med school grads have never heard of Bain, McKinsey or Boston Consulting Group. But outside of medicine, management consulting is a well-known field and applicants with a science background are in demand. Consultants spend weeks to months at a job site, helping corporate clients with projects. Example of projects include creating a corporate strategy to grow sales, analyzing a potential merger or acquisition, or researching healthcare policy changes. Although the hours in consulting are long, the pay is commensurate with the demands of the job. Travel is a must though, so management consulting is best for a physician with the flexibility to move about the country, sometimes even internationally. Management consulting can be an excellent career transition for foreign medical graduates as overseas experience and speaking a foreign language can be valuable assets in this role. The money in consulting can be even more than in full-time clinical practice.
- Pharmaceutical Sales.
Are you outgoing and enjoy travel? Pharmaceutical sales representative jobs require an understanding of the medical conditions that a drug treats as well as a basic understanding of pharmacology. Medical school offers ample training in those areas. Most pharm reps have a bachelor’s degree, and not always in a hard science, so a medical school degree is a distinct advantage here. Needless to say, the job is still about sales, so the right personality is a must. If you love people and travel, the pharma sales route can be lucrative as well, with average salary in the low six figures although starting salaries can be low.