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  1. #1
    r_stringer is offline Junior Member
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    Everyone is so quick to dismiss polish schools. Where is the Proof?

    Hello everyone,

    I am still trying to decide between polish and carribean schools. Now I read almost every post in this forum in regards of polish medical schools and especially those which are associated with HMI or Alliance. Everyone is very quick to dismiss those schools because they use agents. Again and again the only criticism has been , "shy away from those schools , they use agents" and usually these comments are from people who do not attend them.

    I just want to point out that this kind of critisim is counterproductive and inappropiate. When we discuss this medical schools, people are interested in the quality of education and the care the students recieve. Not one post has addressed this issue except the ones posted by students who visit those schools, and they seem to be contect I might add. Sure the professors have accents and yes adapting to an eastern european living standard takes time and motivation for North Americans but does that mean that these people are getting an inferior medical education? If so where is the proof?

    Again I am not doubting that there are some money hungry agents behind certain schools, but again that does not mean that having to pay for the opportinity to obtain a seat is a statement about it's lack of value.
    I remember having read a few posts about carribean students saying that for the USLMEs they still had to make a great independent effort to pass them. And we all agree that there is no curriculum that really prepares you for the North American system.

    People made remarks such as "You are paying the agent directly or indirectly through high tuition fees". But by all due respect the carribean school's tuition if not higher is not neccessary less either. And further one cannot forget that a polish education is recognized in europe and in North America vs an carribean one which is only taylored to the US market.

    Now I am a Newbie and I don't claim to know more than others neither do I claim that your findings are not true. I do however know how to recognize an objective and well supported argument and in my opinion noone has been able so far to provide one against the polish system. And hearsay by the way does not qualify as such either.

    It is very difficult for people who are in the process of making a decision to absorb all this information and to make the right choice. Please help them by actually providing constructive ciritism on the subject that matters most when choosing a school which is the quality of the medical education.

    Regards,

    Rob

  2. #21
    neilc is offline Permanently Banned
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    Cali question

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    Quote Originally Posted by r_stringer
    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the info i certainly had not thought of that. Now the only question i have is this, after you practice medicine in another state for a few years can you go back to cali then and somehow get certified?

    Thanks for any response in advance

    Rob
    unfortunately, no. the only way you can practice in cali is if all of your education has been completed in approved schools. no loopholes for licensure in other states or anything like it.

    if it is at all important to you, you really, really, really need to go to an approved school.

  3. #22
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    I think that Neil made some of my points much more eloquently than I did.

    I would like to comment on a couple things that carbon wrote.

    Quote Originally Posted by carbon
    r_stringer,
    Be sure and make very informed decisions especially if you are planning to return to Canada. They have notoriously difficult exams and getting into residency there is extremely difficult for FMG's. Be sure and check with your local Medical boards and find out in writing what needs to be done on your behalf to become a practioner in Canada wether it be from a Carib school or EE school. Having travelled the Poznan to US residency route I must agree with all points made by you and NeilC on the last few postings.
    Good Luck
    I have a number of Canadian friends who graduated from Ireland and were able to get FP residencies back in Canada. Their take was not that the exam was too difficult, but that the system openly discriminates against IMGs by allowing participation only in the 2nd iteration as well as drastically limiting the number of residency spots (this despite a shortage of physicians!). Additionally, each province puts additional restrictions on you. The Canadians forum is a good resource. If you haven't got the info already, see www.carms.ca for detailed information. I will agree, however, that going to Canada as an IMG is very difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by carbon
    Let's not get too excited here. With the exception of CA. and NM, there are no problems in any other state as far as I know. There are licensed graduates from the 4 year programs all over the USA and I am certain that eventually some of these programs will have Cali approval. I hold several state licenses and have never had an issue obtaining one. But you should check local regulations beforehand because things are always changing. Other than CA/NM I am curious where else specifically in the world these 4 year programs are not accepted. In Poland you may enter postgraduate training and are eligible for a physicians license upon completion of the 4 year program.
    kmufangs posted on another thread that the four year Polish degree is not recognized in Norway.

    I would not assume that it is recognized universally in Europe; I would highly recommend checking with the local medical boards.

  4. #23
    r_stringer is offline Junior Member
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    Ireland and Canada

    Hi Miklos,

    You mentioned you had friends from Ireland coming back to canada. Do you know if their irish education actually prepared them well for the caaadian exams? The canadian exams are very similar to USMLE and ad far as I know the irish system is not in this format. There were a few posts from UK graduates saying that they have a hard time practising in Canada which is very surprising to me since UK residencies are actually more recognized than their US counterparts in Canada. I was just wondering how difficult it was your friends to land FP residencies in Canada since there are virtually no seats left in the second iteration.

    Any comment is greatly appreciated

    Cheers,
    Rob

  5. #24
    carbon is offline Member
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    EU

    Well here is the caveat: if polish 4 year programs which are formally recognized by the polish ministry of health and graduates are eligible for a polish license, then how are EU states going to write their bylaws regarding which polish physicians can practice in their respective countries? There is obviously going to be a problem here. Norway is not EU so it would be unfair to assume that EU countries would follow suit. Also I would only believe that you can not practice in Norway from after a 4 year program if told by someone who actually tried to work there. These things can be verv fluid and exceptions often made. Except California. The interesting thing is that the 6 year programs throughout EE were started on the same premise the 4 year programs were, to attract western students and earn hard currency. So I have never been able to figure out why all these isues with the 4 year schools. I think it is naive to assume the 6 year programs offer a better education then the 4 year programs when the same profs are teaching the same courses in heavily accented English.

  6. #25
    neilc is offline Permanently Banned
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    i don't think they are saying the schools are inferior...

    well, i don't know what the EU laws are, so it is tough to say what the result/rulings would be. and, as far as the 4 year programs being inferior...i agree that it is the same profs, but it is not the same courses. courses have been deleted. and, you can say they are not important courses, and i would likely agree, but i don't think that is going to hold water. i think it will be similar to what happens in america. you cannot get med school credit for something you took outside of med school. and, i do know of people accepted to these programs with zero undergrad work....so, they really should not be letting those people in.

    anyhow, this is all conjecture and imagination on everyone's part. the fact is that nobody really knows the status of the four year programs in europe. my advice is as always, do not be a guinea pig. go somewhere where you know you can work. if you want to work in the many states that already have polish grads, go for it. if you have a desire to work around the world, or all over the US, then you may want to be a bit more careful.

  7. #26
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    ...

    Quote Originally Posted by r_stringer
    Hi Miklos,

    You mentioned you had friends from Ireland coming back to canada. Do you know if their irish education actually prepared them well for the caaadian exams? The canadian exams are very similar to USMLE and ad far as I know the irish system is not in this format. There were a few posts from UK graduates saying that they have a hard time practising in Canada which is very surprising to me since UK residencies are actually more recognized than their US counterparts in Canada. I was just wondering how difficult it was your friends to land FP residencies in Canada since there are virtually no seats left in the second iteration.

    Any comment is greatly appreciated

    Cheers,
    Rob
    Rob,

    First, they were Canadian citizens. This makes a bit of a difference.

    They told me that they did the following:

    -spent a significant amount of time preparing for MCCEE
    -did a ton of rotations in Canada
    -lots of networking

    On top of that they applied to FP where it is in demand (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland).

    They said that those provinces highly regarded their Irish education with regard to FP.

    I did some research regarding getting a residency in Canada. As I'm not a Canadian nor a landed immigrant, I came to the conclusion that it would be exceedingly difficult for me to land a spot, unless I wanted to spend a a lot of money to immigrate, then at least a year establishing provincial residency and in the case of Ontario starting their IMG program, which essentially means an additional year of training.

    IMHO, Canada doors to IMGs (especially non-Canadians) are firmly shut. This is why one can meet IMGs driving taxis in large Canadian cities.

    Miklos

  8. #27
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    EU

    Quote Originally Posted by carbon
    Well here is the caveat: if polish 4 year programs which are formally recognized by the polish ministry of health and graduates are eligible for a polish license, then how are EU states going to write their bylaws regarding which polish physicians can practice in their respective countries? There is obviously going to be a problem here. Norway is not EU so it would be unfair to assume that EU countries would follow suit. Also I would only believe that you can not practice in Norway from after a 4 year program if told by someone who actually tried to work there. These things can be verv fluid and exceptions often made. Except California. The interesting thing is that the 6 year programs throughout EE were started on the same premise the 4 year programs were, to attract western students and earn hard currency. So I have never been able to figure out why all these isues with the 4 year schools. I think it is naive to assume the 6 year programs offer a better education then the 4 year programs when the same profs are teaching the same courses in heavily accented English.
    Carbon,

    I think that you mistaken in assuming that the EU is a monolithic structure where each member state follows the EU law.

    Allow me to give you an example. My classmates from Greece (an EU country) are having very significant difficulties getting their Hungarian diplomas accepted. Up to May 1st, as Hungary was outside the EU, Greece could impose restrictions without a second thought (and it did). Now that Hungary is entering the EU, EU law says that the qualifications obtained in another country should be accepted if the person obtaining the qualifications is an EU citizen. To this day, my classmates do not know what bureaucratic hoops they must jump in order to get their degree accepted. The British GMC by publishing the factsheet for accession countries is on the cutting edge, don't expect everyone else to follow.

    Also lacking in the EU is an enforcement mechanism for laws. For instance, Belgium has the worst record for enforcing European directives. What happens when they don't follow the law? The European Commission takes them to court and gets a ruling against the individual member country. What happens after that, if the member country still doesn't comply? Usually nothing, as the Commission keeps threatening fines. (I offer the 'scuttling' of the Euro stability pact by Germany as a prime example.)

    Do not expect that your qualifications will not be 'put under the loop', no matter where you obtain them, if you go abroad for your training.

    Miklos

    NB. The difference (at least in Hungary) regarding 4 year and 6 six year programs is that the 6 year programs are mirrors and the curriculum is legislated into law. When one or more of the med schools tried starting 4 year programs, they were shut down by the Ministry of Education.

  9. #28
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    Deleted...double post

    Deleted...double post

  10. #29
    r_stringer is offline Junior Member
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    Canada

    Thanks for the reply,

    I do have the advantage because I am canadian. I know that it's fairly difficlut to obtain a residency in Canada. My aim was to do resideny in a country such as UK or Ireland where Canada would accpet my residency.After that I could get a temporary license considering passing the exams.

    I actually had not though of Irish schools thus far. Look like they are way more established schools with better reputation than their EE counterparts.Do you know of any potential downsides of these schools?
    Would it be hard to pass USLME's with an education from Ireland?

    I would appreciate it if you could provide some input on that.

    Rob

  11. #30
    carbon is offline Member
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    EU

    response to Miklos quote:

    [I think that you mistaken in assuming that the EU is a monolithic structure where each member state follows the EU law]

    I think EU policymaking is well beyond most of our political expertise, the reality for the near future is more likely that each country will regulate and accredit physicians the way they see fit.... agreed. I think that a blanket policy involving physician practice throughout the EU will occur somewhere down the road much the same way the USMLE disposed of the need for individual state board exams in the US not too long ago.


    [When one or more of the med schools tried starting 4 year programs, they were shut down by the Ministry of Education. ]

    In the USA, to be eligible for most state licenses, you must have graduated form a WHO approved school, the school must be recognized by the local ministry of health and you must have ECFMG certification and anywhere from 1-3 years of residency depending on the state.The dilemma in Poland is that the 4 year programs are approved by the ministry of health. Are Countries other then the US to weed out these 4 year graduates? perhaps (I am posing a question and not trying to be confrontational)

    NeilC, these 4 year programs have really only deleted the pre-med courses entering students are required to have. The core basic and clinical medical science curriculum is all intact. I have also heard of students coming in however with little to no college/premed coursework and these people are really going to have problems down the road. Florida for instance requires proof of transcripts that you have completed Bio,Chem, OChem, Physics and all that fun stuff in addition to your med school transcripts. Every state asks for at least names and addresses of colleges attended if any. California, even with your 6 year program requires official college transcripts if you are a foreign grad with a US college degree. The screening process for some states can be phenomenal. By the way minimal requirements for entry to a US medical school is Pre-med courses, no degree although it is preferable,and while the MCAT is standard practice to gain admission it is not required of many schools. Ross and many carribean schools do not require college degree or MCAT's the whole system is Screwy.

    I am not here to sell 4 year programs (honestly I couldn't care less) but considering I graduated from one and have had relatively few fumbles along the way I am trying to figure out how these issues may affect us graduates down the road even if I think most of it is mere speculation. Its fun to talk about all these awseome places we may potentially live and work, but I'm sure most of you would like to return to the US for training. It would probably be a mistake (from a career standpoint) not to.

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