Medicine, just like any other profession, involves politics. And the US Constitution has no provisions or allowance for the federal government to control the licensing of any profession not directly impacting the operation of a federal agency. So, medical licensure has always been ruled as the right of each individual state... same as lawyers, law enforcement officers... A senior FBI agent with 20 years on the job, and an expert in organized crime cannot transfer into San Francisco PD as a detective because his federal law enforcement credential is not recognized by the state of California... Being an ex-law enforcement officer, I'm entitled to be armed in the state of California... but I become an instant fellon if I cross into New Mexico with my sidearm... my background and training does not cease at the boarder, but my privileges granted to me by one state ceases at the boarder. It's silly politics... but that's our system.
So, what this means for IMG is that we need to be vigilent and educated about our career options and choices... from the choice of medical school, clinical rotations, to where you choose to live eventually. Ask yourself and your potential school/residency/family these questions. And set long-term goals. Saying, "oh, I'm never going to need that... or no, we'll never settle down there... " is fine now... but be prepared to live with these decisions down the line... Information is power... what you don't know/find out now will someday come back to haunt you... Murphy's Laws...
I'm not saying it is fair. A board certified world famous neurosurgeon working at Harvard med who went to XYZ medical school not recognized by California does not cease to be what he is simply because California does not recognize his or her education. Assuming he is a competent physician in his field, California cannot take away his accomplishments. But what California has a right to do, is to regulate it's licensure laws... It's not always fair, but life is not fair... And being IMG's, that's the game we have to play...
So, I guess what I'm saying is, keep your eyes and ears open, educate yourself on all your options, both short and long term.... and make informed decisions.
Jean Luc Picard
Academic Hospitalist/Asst. Professor of Medicine, Star Fleet Medical, Earth, United Federation of Planets
Tactical Physician, Metro ESU/SWAT
In Glock, We Trust... Everyone Else... Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them.