The Residency War – AMGs vs FMGs

Taken off my other blog; Medicopedia.

Well, I’ve read that sentence in a website a couple of months ago (..don’t remember the URL). So they say it’s getting even harder for a foreign medical graduate (FMG) to get a residency in the United States. That may lead to sending the foreign doctors to remote places, like rural areas,..etc.

Racism? mm,.. I think it’s like “Yes and No” at the same time.

Why “No” ?
Rationally, people of a certain country has given a lot to their country throughout their life. They’ve grown in it, and are more able to cope with most of the circumstances that occur. Whether it’s social, cultural, or economic, native people are more aware and more familiar of what to think, and what do about it. That’s unlike the case with a foreign person, who in most of the cases is not that oriented with the country he’s going to live in. That was generally speaking..

Now let’s come to the medical part. The USMLE exam requires a specific way of thinking; an intelligent, concise, and more importantly ‘clinical’. American medical students study medicine that way in their medical schools, so they automatically graduate with minds that we can call: “American Medical Minds”. On the contrary, the majority of the FMGs applying to the USMLE come from developing countries (statistics) whose medical schools lack of any sort of appropriate, or sufficient way of teaching. The lecturers are way too narrow-minded; there are only very few, or no modern equipments available for the student; there are ‘too’ many medical students that sometimes a single grade includes over 900-1000 students, and a single practical section may include over 80 students.

I think it’s very fair to say that the native American MGs are worthy of residencies more than FMGs are. Even the statistics show that over 90% of the AMGs pass the USMLE exam, in comparison to only 50% for the FMGs.

Why “Yes” ?
I think it’s very unfair that FMGs need ‘more’ marks in the USMLE to get residencies for certain specifications, like surgery. It would’ve been a lot more fair for the USMLE to be equally applied upon all the takers, regardless of their ethnicity. Normally, most of the FMGs do not pass the USMLE (like I said above. The percentage is 50). Now it became even harder, as for instance, scoring a 150 is equivalent to an AMG scoring a 100! Sometimes AMGs get better residencies though they score less than FMGs in a certain exam. This is totally unfair!


Posted March 22, 2006 by H. H. in Mass Media, Medicine, My Life