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  1. #1
    mango84 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    American wanting to study medicine in China. Will I be able to work in USA?

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    Hello everyone,

    I know this has probably been asked a dozen times before, but I am interested in studying medicine in China. This is not because I am having trouble getting into US schools, but I think living in China would be fun. With that said, if I go to medical school in China, will I have problems working in the US? I am an American citizen with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    globalmedic is offline Member 522 points
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    I'm going to take the liberty of cutting and pasting a reply... that is fairly relevant...

    Firstly you should seek information from your relevant states medical licensing board, to determine if a medical degree gained from a Chinese based school is acceptable for licensing purposes. You would also be best advised to make yourself aware of just what process you'll need to complete for said licensure, so that you can get prepared with enough time, and resources. You will need to complete USMLE which have 3 testing phases.

    Secondly, it is usual for medical students to do their clinical rotations and then intern year in the same country as the medical school attended, however it is sometimes possible to do part of the practicum in another location/country but this should be nominated/prearranged at the outset, or well in advance, this might be worth considering.

    Thirdly, if you have no arrangement set in place to complete the intern year elsewhere then it must be done in China before you will be awarded the medical degree. Intern years are done in Chinese public hospitals, where Mandarin in the working language. If you enrol in a English language MBBS/MD program then all your lectures and faculty will use English, however you WILL be required to learn Mandarin to be able to function in hospitals.

    Fourthly, once the intern year has been completed satisfactorily then one becomes eligible in China to sit the Chinese medical license exam, which is conducted in Mandarin. It would also be at this point in the whole process that a FMG/IMG would make the decision to make the relevant application to sit the medical licensure requirements in another locale/country as required, as opposed to sitting the licensing exam in China, having completed the intern year. You will need to clarify the requirements of this to confirm the number of hours/rotations etc. required by your relevant states medical board. Also be aware that not all the English taught programs are accepted by all medical boards in the USA, though the program taught by the same school in Mandarin might be.

    I'd advise to take a moment to evaluate the purpose to which you wish to pursue medicine, what your goals in the longer term might be and then consider FULLY all the requirements and implications of doing so here, for not all medical programs are created equal.

    Do, do your homework before you make the decision to come here (to China) to complete your medical degree. If you're planning to come here to get qualified then head back to the USA once doing so, then there will likely be some hindrances and obstacles in your way on the path to gaining recognition and licensure there. I'm not saying it's impossible, but that will very likely depend on where you intend to practise medicine after qualifying. Forewarned is forearmed as is said, you don't want to complete 6 years of study to find that you cannot get licensure anywhere in the USA or to do so, is extraordinarily complicated. There are lots of posts on this forum, so check them out...

  3. #3
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Elite Member 11590 points
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    If you honestly are having no issues getting accepted to medical school in the States, and you plan on working in the States, GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL IN THE STATES. There will be plenty of opportunities to work overseas when you are done with your medical education, and the level of hassle involved with studying overseas and trying to get back through ECFMG is daunting to say the least. For example, I have a friend who did a research rotation overseas in China during his 4th year of medical school in the US, and there are plenty of opportunities to work overseas for doctors who are so inclined. I know of several US residencies that send their residents overseas (China, South America, Africa) as well.

    As someone who is studying overseas and dealing with administrative crap on an almost-day-to-day basis, let me tell you that your life will be considerably simplified without having to worry about ECFMG, corrupt government officials, scheduling USCE, prepping for the USMLE despite a curriculum that has no interest in it, and everything else.

    Numbers-wise, the chances of coming back to the States for residency from overseas are expected to diminish in the coming four to five years. Don't screw yourself out of an almost guaranteed US residency by going overseas simply because "it seems like fun." If you are serious about becoming a physician, then your medical education has to come first.

    Just my .02... but coming back from overseas is no picnic, and I can only imagine that it's even more of a kick in the trousers from China.
    "When I haven't any blue... I use red."
    Pablo Picasso

  4. #4
    globalmedic is offline Member 522 points
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    Just thought I'd also add that there are no graduate entry programs in China. That means you will complete 6 years unlike the 4 you would complete in USA & elsewhere. Your bachelors degree will assist you in gaining admission (though some places will accept almost anyone, though this is changing), but it won't gain you any credits in the MBBS. I'm not from America, but from all that I have read it is really a major obstacle trying to get a medical license to practice if one has undertaken their medical degree from any medical school that is not tied into the American medical system.

  5. #5
    WorldMedStudent is offline Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by globalmedic View Post
    Just thought I'd also add that there are no graduate entry programs in China. That means you will complete 6 years unlike the 4 you would complete in USA & elsewhere. Your bachelors degree will assist you in gaining admission (though some places will accept almost anyone, though this is changing), but it won't gain you any credits in the MBBS. I'm not from America, but from all that I have read it is really a major obstacle trying to get a medical license to practice if one has undertaken their medical degree from any medical school that is not tied into the American medical system.
    No, you don't have to do 6 years if you know some Chinese (to be allowed into 5 year MBBS, some schools ask you to pass a test, you only need to know about 1,000 common Chinese characters/words. ) All professors in Chinese schools know enough English to explain. Not only does it save a year, it's approved by all 50 states too. Some don't approve 6 year MBBS

    True, Chinese schools are not tied to American system. But won't going to great Chinese schools be better than 2nd-rate Caribbean schools?

    Can one apply to do visitor rotations at American hospitals? Does anyone know how to solve this only major problem: that Chinese schools don't provide 72 of in-hospital rotations. Do most states want 72 weeks minimum?
    Last edited by WorldMedStudent; 05-04-2011 at 01:59 AM.

  6. #6
    globalmedic is offline Member 522 points
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    ^well I'm not going to debate the issue with you. If you can read, write and speak enough Mandarin but have enrolled in the English MBBS course, you will still have to do the additional year and most schools will require you to sit HSK at the end of that. If your Mandarin language skills are good enough, and you want to do the lesser year then you can always try to gain entry into the Chinese language program and if applying with anything other than a Chinese issued ID card, you will be required to sit the HSK to prove Mandarin skills - the problem with that is it's very competitive and continues to be so throughout the entirety of the program. Also having 1000 common Mandarin characters while useful and a good foundation... a native speaker/linguist it does not make. Additionally medicine has a specialised language all of it's own, which will take time to learn even in a persons first language - let alone a second.

    Maybe going to a famous Chinese medial school will be better than a lower rate Caribbean medical school, but I'd hazard a guess that there's a better chance that more American clinicians, medical faculty and such like will at least have heard of said Caribbean medical school than the better Chinese schools.

    Yes, it's likely one could do some form of clerkship/clinical rotation at an American facility/medical school, but you will need to sort it out yourself, and inform the medical school you're attending with plenty of notice.

  7. #7
    WorldMedStudent is offline Member 510 points
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    To the OP: if you haven't made decision, try U.S. schools first. best choice.

    Americans studying in China is a new phenomenon, seems like most English MBBSes are several years old. But many pure Chinese FMGs immigrated from China to US (according to one database, at least over 6,000 Chinese-educated doctors in USA).

    I assume U.S.-IMGs have advantage over pure IMG, because US-IMGs don't need visa. American citizens also know American system and American culture.

  8. #8
    China MBBS's Avatar
    China MBBS is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by mango84 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I know this has probably been asked a dozen times before, but I am interested in studying medicine in China. This is not because I am having trouble getting into US schools, but I think living in China would be fun. With that said, if I go to medical school in China, will I have problems working in the US? I am an American citizen with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering.

    Thank you!
    No, you will not have problems working back in the US, after you finish your studies in China. However you have to attend a written examination in your country after you finish the Medicine course in the China University. Also make sure you take admission in the right University, which already has English medium to study medicine and is recognised by the Medical Council of your country
    All the best and hope to see you in China soon

  9. #9
    maryan.m is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Medical licence requirements in the U.S with a China master's degree

    I have a similar question. I'm Canadian citizen who just graduated out of high school and I planning to get my master in medicine from China. After I am finished my 6 years in China, I wanna do my residency in America and hopefully work there. I was just wondering what I have to do after I graduate from a university in China, sense I currently only have a high school diploma. The reason why I wanna go to china is not because I can't get into a university, I just don't wanna go through 8 years of school when I can go through 6, but if it ends up as bad as everyone say it will be after I leave China and try to work in America, I won't go to China. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Tricuspid is offline Member 525 points
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    Stay in Canada. If you go to China it will be very very difficult to ever practice in Canada or the US. There are thousands of Canadians studying medicine overseas and maybe a few hundred spots each year in Canada. There are likely another few hundreds spots in America that Canadians get to go to.

    You are going to be up against people who have studied in English speaking countries. You will still have good english skills but again, its just not worth the risk. I'm also a Canadian who went straight to the UK for medical school after high school so I know your situation. I left because I wanted to study medicine immediately, I was afraid of not getting into medical school after 4 years and be left with a worthless degree in life sciences and I wanted to finish in 6 years.

    These are likely your reasons as well, but I wouldn't go to China. Stay in Canada, and do your undergrad. You can always practice in China later. Chinese people respect the value of foreign degrees. They know that foreigners who study in China often have very little entry requirements so your degree won't be very respected.

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