Becoming a Doctor in the US : Hospital Residency and USMLE

Becoming a Doctor in the US : Hospital Residency and USMLE

In order to receive a medical residency, you must have completed medical school. That is, you need an M.D. or D.O. degree, from an accredited medical school. You also need to have taken the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX); depending on the requirements of the individual schools you choose, you may have to take both.

The hospital residency program is a paid medical training experience program that is conducted for medical graduates who have successfully completed their medical specialization. The residency program in the United States is hospital based. Medical graduates gain medical instruction and supervised medical experience within the hospital, working with patients in the area of their medical specialization.

In the United States, the duration of a hospital residency would typically be from about 3 years to 8 years depending on the medical specialization that the intern has chosen. Some of the medical specializations options include internal medicine, surgery, orthopedics, gynecology, pediatrics, otolaryngology, obstetrics, oncology, psychiatry, anesthesiology or some other specialty. Within that there are several other sub-specialties depending on what type of medical work a medical graduate wishes to pursue.

Most hospitals in USA choose their hospital residency candidates from among a pool of medical applicants who participate in the “Match” process. This is a centralized “Matching” system wherein candidates are matched with the appropriate hospital residency training positions. This Match process gives the medical graduates the opportunity to personally determine their preferences, while simultaneously giving the hospitals the opportunity to rank hospital residency applicants. These preference lists are then merged by computer at the National Resident Matching NRMP. The hospital residency ‘matching’ process results are announced annually in March.

Hospital residency programs in USA typically look for medical graduates who have obtained USMLE scores above 200/82. Those with higher USMLE scores are always given preference. Consideration is also given to those graduates who have had hospital work experience in the US and those who have glowing recommendation letters from physicians or other medical professionals that the medical graduates have worked with.

A personal statement outlining goals, valid reasons for wanting to pursue the medical profession, preferred medical specialization, and special interests are also some of the other factors that hold weight in the selection process.  Medical graduates are advised to plan ahead in order to meet these requirements safely and comfortably before the hospital residency Match deadlines.

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

The United States Medical Licensing Examination or USMLE is a multi-part professional medical exam. All medical doctors or medical graduates are required to pass the USMLE exam before obtaining their certification allowing them to practice medicine in American hospitals. The USMLE appraises a physician’s or doctor’s ability to apply medical principles, medical concepts and medical knowledge for safe and effective patient care.

The USMLE consists of 3 steps. Medical students who have graduated from a US med school will have to pass all 3 USMLE steps before being eligible to apply for a license to practice medicine in American hospitals.

Medical students who have graduated from non-US medical schools and international medical graduates must pass all three steps of the USMLE exam to be licensed to practice medicine in the US hospitals, irrespective of the current title of their medical degree. With the number of applications far outnumbering the limited number of available hospital residencies, international medical students  have to put in more effort to secure the right hospital residency position.

Study Medicine at American International Medical University (AIMU)
American International Medical University located in Saint Lucia, is an independent affiliate of AIMU International Group, one of the premier Caribbean medical schools offering courses in Medicine and Nursing.

American International Medical University (AIMU) is an institutional partner of Washington Medical Science institute and the Government of Saint Lucia. AIMU’s US Campus /Clinical Admin is centrally located at the Washington Adventist University and Hospital Campus, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA.

AIMU offers prerequisites and support programs at the above mentioned campuses. AIMU is one of the new generation medical schools, which offers residency focused on USMLE centred programs and a 4 Year accelerated MD program with high standards. This MD program is fully accredited and widely recognized in the USA and other countries.