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West Afr J Med. 2003 Jan-Mar;22(1):79-87.

Residency training in the United States: what foreign medical graduates should know.

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  • 1Surgical Service, Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio, USA.


This communication provides useful information for Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) planning to pursue post-graduate residency training in the United States of America (USA). While the number of residency training positions is shrinking, and the number of United States graduates has steadily declined over the past decade, the number of FMGs has also steadily increased. Unfortunately, as a result of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, the problem of obtaining training visas and sponsorship by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) will remain major problems for FMGs. This present review is by no means exhaustive. It should serve as a guideline to more detailed and focused information. It is extremely important to network with friends, family, and professional colleagues regarding the subjective and objective aspects of pursuing graduate medical education (GME) in the USA. Though the process is very protracted and at times frustrating and depressing; the visa hurdle will be the ultimate barrier to overcome. However, majority of FMGs eventually achieve the ultimate goal of obtaining superb training and experience in the United States. We highly recommend the book by Kenneth V. Iserson entitled "Iserson's Getting Into A Residency: A Guide for Medical Students" published by Galen Press Limited, Tucson, Arizona (ref# 10). It is a very useful source of information for medical students and residents planning further residency training in the United States of America. Useful Internet addresses are listed in Appendix 1.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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