DUBAI RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAMME(DRTP)
DRTP is a relatively new residency training programme, started in 2006. It is accertified by Arabian board, North American Board and Royal college(U.K). It accepts 50 intakes once in a year. Intakes are selected on the basis of a pre-evaluation test.
The specialities are:
3) General Pediatrics
5)Obstetrics and Gynecology
6) Community Medicine
1) Basic Medical Graduation from a WHO recognized institution
2) 1 year Internship
3) A residency visa of UAE or a resident of GCC countries.
* UAE nationals are given priority.
The residency duration is 4-6 years depending upon the speciality
The pay during residency as of 2010 is dhs 7000/month.
The Pre-Evaluation Test:
It is made up of two Parts.
There is 120 question MCQ paper covering the broad topics of
undergraduate medical curriculum and set at a level of difficulty
approximating the MCCE but in the USMLE format.
GET SAMPLE QUESTIONS HERE
Only candidates who achieve the passing score in the MCQ paper are
invited for the Oral Interview.
The problem is that it is not guaranteed that even if u pass the mcq and interview of the pre-evaluation test you will get the residency , as there are only 50 intakes once in a year, the admission is competetive. In the case that you do not get selected you may re apply for the residency next year carrying your previous mcq marks, but you will have to give the interview again.
The main criteria to get selected for DRTP are:
- DHA Needs
- Appraisal of Internship
- Career Choice
- Success at Pre entry Evaluation Examination.
If u have done your graduation, internship, meet all the requirements and made your choice for the programme then visit the following site and fill the online application form.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a multi-part professional exam sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Medical doctors are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States of America
The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts, and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.Examination committees composed of medical educators and clinicians from across the United States and its territories prepare the examination materials each year.
Students and graduates of medical schools outside the United States or Canada register for Step 1 and Step 2 with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)
To find out if your desired center has available seats for the upcoming step 1 please visit www.prometric.com
The EXAM Format: The USMLE first started out as a paper examination, converting in 2004 to a computer based multiple choice examination. The test can be taken at Thomson Prometric test centers worldwide. However, the Step 2 CS and the Step 3 can only be taken in the USA.
The Exam consists of three parts or the famous "STEPS" . Step 1, step 2 and step 3.
USMLE Step 1: Assesses whether medical school students or graduates understand and can apply important concepts of the sciences basic to the practice of medicine. As of 2007 it covers the following subjects, in both systemic (general and individual anatomical characteristics) and procedural (functional, therapeutic, environmental, and abnormality) themes:
- Behavioral sciences,
The scores are reported with a three digit score and a two digit score. As of January 1, 2010, the passing score has been raised to 188 from a previous score of 185.The average score is approximately 221 and the standard deviation is 23. If the student passes the exam, he or she may not repeat the exam to achieve a higher score.
The Step 1 score is frequently used in medical residency applications as a measure of a candidate's likelihood to succeed in that particular residency (and on that specialty's board exams). More competitive residency programs such as Radiology, Ophthalmology, Plastic Surgery, and Dermatology usually only accept applicants with high Step 1 scores
The USMLE score is just one of many factors considered by residency programs in selecting applicants.
Overall pass rates for first time USMLE Step 1 test takers is 73% for international medical graduates.
USMLE Step 2: Is designed to assess whether medical school students or graduates can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science essential for provision of patient care under supervision. Step 2 is further divided into two separate exams.
Step 2-CKUSMLE Step 2 CK is designed to assess clinical knowledge through a traditional, multiple-choice examination. It is a 9 hour exam consisting of 8 blocks of 44 questions each. One hour is given for each block of questions. The subjects included in this exam are clinical sciences like
- Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Step 2-CSUSMLE Step 2 CS is designed to assess clinical skills through simulated patient interactions, in which the examinee interacts with standardized patients portrayed by actors. Each examinee faces 12 Standardized Patients (SPs) and has 15 minutes to complete history taking and clinical examination for each patient, and then 10 more minutes to write a patient note describing the findings, initial differential diagnosis list and a list of initial tests. Administration of the Step 2-CS began in 2004. The cost for this test is approx. $1200, plus added expenses related to travel, lodging, and food to and in the one of only five cities in which the test is offered. The examination is offered in five cities across the country:
- Los Angeles
USMLE Step 3: Is the final exam in the USMLE series designed to assess whether a medical school graduate can apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science essential for the unsupervised practice of medicine. Foreign medical graduates can take Step 3 before starting residency in about ten U.S. states.
Step 3 is 16 hour examination divided over two-days. Each day of testing must be completed within eight hours. The first day of testing includes 336 multiple-choice items divided into 7 blocks, each consisting of 48 items. Examinees must complete each block within sixty minutes.
The second day of testing includes 144 multiple-choice items, divided into 4 blocks of 36 items. Examinees are required to complete each block within forty-five minutes. Approximately 3 hours are allowed for these multiple-choice item blocks. Also on the second day are nine Clinical Case Simulations, where the examinees are required to 'manage' patients in real-time case simulations. Examinees enter orders for medications and/or investigations into the simulation software, and the condition of the patient changes accordingly. Each case must be managed in a maximum of 25 minutes of actual time.
Approximately forty-five minutes to one hour is available for break time on each of the two days of testing.
Sequence of USMLE Examinations
You can give the Step 2 CK and Step 1 in any sequence you wish. However, it is strongly recommended that you take Step 1 before Step 2 CK. The Step 1 tests knowledge in applied clinical sciences which lays the foundation for the subjects tested in Step 2 CK. Therefore, it is logical to do Step 1 before Step 2 CK.
Recently a change in the eligibility for Step 2 CS has been introduced. Previously, it was necessary to have passed at least Step 1 in order to be eligible for Step 2 CS. This prerequisite has now been removed and a candidate can appear for the Step 2 CS as his very first USMLE exam. The only limitation imposed on eligibility is that the candidate must have finished the basic medical sciences (i.e., Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology and Community Medicine) in his medical college/university. Therefore, this exam can now be given while you are still a medical student. This change has significant implications for the visa issues - which will be explained later.
The Step 3 is the last examination that you will take. You need to have passed the Step 1 and both Step 2 CK and CS before you are allowed to sit for this exam.
Applying for Residency
Over the years, the process of getting a residency has become complicated. Books have been written explaining the process. There are many steps involved, and a detailed discussion of them is beyond the scope of this manual. For our purposes, a very brief step-by-step sequence will be sufficient.
By passing the Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS, you’ll apply for and receive your ECFMG Certification. This certificate attests to the fact that you have the required clinical knowledge and skills as well as the language skills to train in a residency program in the US. You need this certification in order to work as a resident.
You can however begin the job application process before having attained your ECFMG – in that you can start the application process on the strength of your Step I and Step 2 CK passes, as it will be assumed that you will be giving the Step 2 CS in the near future.
ERAS - Electronic Residency Application Service
When applying to a residency position, the first step is to send all the required documents to a service called ERAS, the Electronic Residency Application Service. The ERAS is a service that provides a standardized, cost-effective means of forwarding applications from the candidate to the different programs he is applying to. It is mandatory for all applicants to apply via ERAS. This is how it works:
Some documents (your CV and Personal Statement) are sent to ERAS by uploading them directly to the ERAS website. Other documents (your photographs, examination transcripts, letters of reference, and dean's letter) are sent to the ERAS headquarters in Philadelphia by post or courier service. When these posted documents are received, they will be digitally scanned and attached electronically to your application. Consequently, your entire application for a residency position will be in an electronic format.
You will then indicate to ERAS which programs you wish to apply to, and ERAS will then email your entire application to them. ERAS provides this service at cost that increases in proportion to the number of programs that an applicant applies to.
On the 1st of September of every year, ERAS begins to send the applications (that have been approved by the candidates as being ready to send) to the residency programs. It will continue to send applications till November of the same year. Therefore, all applications by candidates must be completed and given over to ERAS within this window period between September to November.
It is strongly recommended that your application is complete and sent to the programs as soon as ERAS starts sending them, i.e. 1st of September. The reason is that programs tend to decide on who to short-list for the interviews (see below) quickly - so the sooner your application reaches them, the better the chances are that you’ll be amongst those short-listed for an interview.
Around November, the program directors (those in charge of the program) short-list candidates they feel are promising and call them for face-to-face interviews. This means you’ll have to go to the US.
The interview “season” starts from November and continues till January. The programs that short-list you for interviews will inform you of the fact, and you will then schedule the interview somewhere in the interview season at a date which is convenient to you.
It is recommended that you schedule the interviews early in the interview season. If you schedule the interviews late, there is a chance that the program has already decided to hire applicants (who have come to the interviews before you) into all the available resident slots. The sooner you meet the program directors, the better your chances are that you’ll be offered a position.
It is a good idea to schedule interviews with programs you are most interested in somewhere in the middle of your schedule. This way, by the time you are interviewed by those programs, you’ll be oriented to the process, but at the same time not exhausted by it.
Many people go to the US not just to give their interviews, but also to give Step 2 CS and Step 3. However, it would be best if these exams are taken, and the results included in the ERAS application before the interview season starts. Attaining the ECFMG Certification (by passing Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS) by the time you are first applying will naturally strengthen your application. For that matter, a Step 3 pass by the time of the interview season would also strengthen your application, especially if you are seeking a “Pre-match” (see below) for an H1-B visa.
Around the time you send your ERAS applications (i.e., early September) you will also register online to participate in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), also called “The Match”. The NRMP gathers what is called a ‘rank order list’ from both the candidates and the residency programs. A rank order list submitted by the candidate lists the programs he would like to join his in order of preference. At the same time, the programs also send the NRMP a list of candidates they would like to hire in their order of preference. Naturally, this list will be submitted after the interviews have taken place, when both parties have met, assessed, and “ranked” each other.
The rank order lists (submitted by all the candidates and all the programs) are gathered before a fixed deadline. Then, on a fateful day in March, a computer algorithm processes the rank order lists and programs are matched with their candidates. A candidate will be matched with one program (no more). For the program, the match result is binding in that it cannot ignore the match result and decide not to hire you.
Sometimes a residency program may like a candidate enough to offer a position well before the match (sometimes as early as November or December). Community-based hospitals (i.e., those hospital not affiliated with a medical school) are more likely to make such offers, but some University programs may do so as well. In general, unless a candidate is very certain that he or she is a very strong candidate and stands a very good chance of matching in a very good university program, the pre-match is a very good opportunity to ensure a job rather than taking the risk of not getting matched. The down side is that you may have to content yourself with a hospital that may not be your first choice. Even then it has the great advantage of giving you a larger time interval (up to 6 months) to apply for your visa, increasing the likelihood that you’ll be able to have your visa approved in time. Most of the Pakistani residents currently in the US would strongly recommend accepting a prematch offer given the uncertainty of the visa situation these days. An important point here is that if you do intend to accept a prematch, make sure that you mention in your interview that you are open to prematch offers. Unless you ask for it, they have no way of knowing. Having all your exam results in hand (Steps 1, 2 and 3) increases the likelihood of residency programs offering a prematch.
Applying for the VISA
A few days after the match result is out (and you have been successfully matched), the hospital you have been matched with will send you a letter of appointment. The appointment letters from the hospitals are mailed on the third Thursday of March - the day after the Match officially closes. Upon getting the letter, you will then apply for a visa (from your home country) to work in the US. The problems associated with visas will be discussed in detail later on. If visa problems don’t interfere, you’ll be able to reach the US in June, and settle down to start working in your program from the 1st of July.
Improving Your Chances
Several factors influence your chances of securing a good residency. When IMGs reach the stage at which they’re applying for a residency, they all have ECFMG Certification (or are close to getting one), so candidates who apply to programs are selected on the basis of other criteria. You can be a weak candidate, or a strong one and this will influence your chances of securing a good residency.
The following factors improve chances of getting a good residency.
- High Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores (not an easy task).
- Research experience. (An original research article in an international medical journal will be a very, very strong asset).
- Elective experience in the US. An elective is a brief clinical or research experience with a program in the US. It is taken only by medical students, not graduates. A clinical elective helps a lot more because it proves you have worked within, and have become familiar with, the American health care system – an strong asset for an IMG.
- Strong letters of recommendations from American doctors who supervised you during your elective experience.
- A strong extra-curricular record. Programs prefer to have well-rounded candidates who are also personally well developed alongside their professional qualifications.
- Step 2 CS and Step 3 passes at the time of applying.
- Impressing the people at the program (during your interview) as being a likeable, intelligent, and over-all decent human being with strong grasp of the English language.
- Last but not least, in America (as is true everywhere) it’s not just how much you know but also who you know. If you know someone in a residency program or a practicing physician who knows people in a residency program, that just might be your biggest asset. At times it is more useful than USMLE scores or letters of reference. Such a person could intervene on your behalf and convince the program directors that you’d make a great resident and that they should definitely hire you.
At the other end of the spectrum are factors that will actively hurt an IMGs chances of getting a position in a program:
- Low Step I and Step II scores.
- Zero extra-curricular activities.
- Personally not likeable and very poor English, both of which will come across during the interview.
Basically, the people who hire a resident are looking for a person who is not only a competent doctor, but who will also make a pleasant co-worker. If the candidate comes across positively on both of these counts, his chances of getting a residency will improve, and vice versa.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE AND TIMELINE TO USMLE:
It is important to make sure that you give the Steps in an order that maximizes the chances of securing a residency in the US. This requires careful planning and the discipline to follow the plan through.
Keep in mind that the time-line proposed below is considered to be optimum in the sense that it maximizes the chances of securing a good residency, but this should not be taken to mean that deviating from this time-line will make it impossible to succeed.
To establish a reference point, the time-line below starts from January 2006.
USMLE Step I
Assuming that you graduate or finish your house job in June 2010 (most probable time for KU students) , you should take the Step 1 after 7-8 months of studying in January 2011.
USMLE Step II - CK
It will be difficult to begin studying immediately after your Step 1 because you’ll be tired and more importantly, distracted by the wait for the Step 1 result. Lets assume you restart your studies in mid-Febuary, by which time you should have received your Step 1 result. For the Step 2 CK, 3-5 months of study is considered adequate, which brings us to August 2011.
USMLE Step II - CS
Let’s assume for now that the Step 2 CS is the third exam you’ll give (remember, it is now possible to give it as the first exam, even while you’re still a student). Lets suppose there are no visa problems and you are able to go to the US and take the Step 2 CS in October 2011 with the month of September spent studying for the Step 2 CS.
A month or two of preparation for the Step 3 should be enough so that you’ll be able to give this exam in November, or December 2011 at the latest.
With all the Steps done by you’ll sit down, consult with seniors, make enquiries, and think long and hard on making a very careful and realistic list of programs you feel you have a good chance of getting into.
With this list in hand, and all your documents sent to ERAS by the time it opens on the 1st of September, you’ll have a complete application to send to the programs.
THE USA VISA FACTS
Basically, a visa is a permit allowing you to enter another country, and in this discussion, this country in question, is the United States.
If you are a non-US citizen, then you will need to have definite, stated reason for going to the US. You will then apply for the type of visa that reflects this stated reason. In order to classify the types of foreign nationals on the basis of the reason they are visiting the US, the State Department of the US issues different types of visas. These visas are lettered from “A” all the way to “T”, with every type having subtypes.
The A visa, for example, is for diplomats. If you want to go to the US in your function and capacity of an ambassador, public minister, diplomatic or consular officer, or an immediate family member (of all these diplomatic posts), you would need to apply for the A-1 visa.
For our purposes, there are only four visas we need to concern ourselves with. They are the H1-B visa, J1 visa, the B1/B2 and the F1 visas. If you come across any other visa types in your USMLE journey, you may cheerfully ignore them.
Sponsoring: A program is said to sponsor a visa if it will take responsibility for you once that visa is approved. This applies only to the J1 and H1-B visas.
B - Visas
You need to go to the US in order to take your Step 2 CS exam as well as to attend the interviews. In order to do this, you will need a “visiting” visa. There are two types of visiting visas, the B1 and the B2. When you apply for these visas, your stated intention for coming to the US is for business (in case of the B1 visa) or for pleasure (in case of the B2 visa). You can apply to either one for the purpose of going to the US for the Step 2 CS and/or interviews. The B visa (be it B1 or B2) is the first visa you will need to apply for and this is where most of the visa problems you may have heard about arise.
There are 3 types of B visas:
- A 6-month single entry visa – in which you’re allowed to go to the US once in a 6 month window period
- A 1-year double entry visa – in which you’re allowed to go to the US twice in a 1 year window period
- A 5-year multiple visa – in which you’re allowed to go come and go freely to the US within a 5 year window period.
The reason it has become increasingly difficult for people to obtain a B visa is because of a long history of foreigners going to the US as a temporary “visitors” and then disappearing from the radar to stay and work illegally in the US. This has become a huge headache for the US State Department and Department of Homeland security, and in response, they have become increasingly suspicious of financially poor B-visa applicants from third world countries who want to visit the US as “tourists”. It is not surprising that the visa officers will reject the application for a B-visa on the grounds that the individual in question is considered a high-risk case who may not return from the US, but stay to work there illegally.
Therefore, for quite a number of years now, applicants for B visas have the burden of proving to the visa officer that they do intend to return to their country after concluding their business in the US. The visa officer will assume that the applicant for the B visa is going to misuse his B visa if it is granted, and it is the responsibility (or ‘burden of proof’) of the applicant to convince him otherwise.
This visa has, in recent years, become the most problematic for those wishing to go to the US for the Step 2 CS and/or interviews. It is on record that individuals who have taken both Step 1 and Step 2 CK (and scored very highly) who wish to go to the US for their Step 2 CS/Interviews have been rejected for the B visa . Naturally, this can be very devastating for the candidate, who by that stage has invested not only a lot of money, but time and great effort as well. After working and planning for years, their dream of going to the US for further training can be killed by a visa interview that lasts less than 5 minutes.
There are certain factors that could help a candidate improve his chances of securing the B visas. The basic principle behind the factors, is strong ties to the home country. If an applicant has strong ties to his home country, it can be taken as proof that he will most probably return to his country when his business is done, and not stay back in the US illegally. Evidence of strong ties could include, proof of property and/or substantial assets in the home country, immediate family in the home country, or good socio-economic position in the home country, etc… Whatever convinces the visa officer that you have ties to your home country that you would not jeopardize by staying permanently (and illegally) in the US could improve your chances of getting the B visa.
Note that I keep on using the words “could” or “can” when I talk about improving your chances. The reason is that the experiences of our IMGs applying for this visa demonstrate that there doesn’t seem to be any criteria that we can reliably use as a guide. People with good home country ties have been rejected, while others will poor country ties have been given the B visas. Similarly, people with great USMLE scores have been rejected while people with less-than-good scores have been given the visa. There is even a case of a bright young man who got 90s in both his Step 1 and Step 2 exam, went to the US on a B-visa to give his CSA exam, and came back. When the interview season started, his B-visa had expired and he applied for another B visa to go for this interviews but was rejected. Stories such as these have made the whole visa issue very uncertain. Most people just leave it to fate, or God’s will, and leave it at that.
However, I don’t wish to give you the impression that the situation is hopeless. Far from it, many people still get the visa. Furthermore, a lot of the people rejected for the B visa the first time get it after the second, third or even fourth attempt. An initial rejection for the B visa is not the end of the story. You can definitely reapply. The only problem is that the processing for the visa can take several months, and an initial rejection can set your whole timetable back. In many cases, this usually means that the individual will lose the opportunity to participate in the match that year. It is therefore highly recommended that you apply for this visa as soon as possible in your USMLE process, so if you get rejected the first time, you can afford the time it takes to reapply.
This is a good place to mention Electives. As I said previously, an elective may be clinical or research. In a research elective, you participate in a research study in a hospital or medical university. A clinical elective involves you observing (not actually doing anything) and studying medicine in the clinical environment of a hospital. In recent years, it has become clear that such an elective (especially the clinical one) helps tremendously in the whole USMLE process. For one thing, the elective experience is, in itself, a valuable addition to your CV. Furthermore, the visa obtained for going to such an elective is the B1 visa. Electives are offered to medical students, not graduates. Therefore, at the time of applying for such an elective, the individual will be enrolled in a medical college, which is a strong proof of “ties to home country”. This is perhaps why medical students going for electives have had a much easier time obtaining the B visa compared to medical graduates. Now, if the visa you obtain for your elective is a is a 5-year multiple, that means it will still be valid by the time you are ready to go to the US to give the Step 2 CS and go for interviews. Nevertheless, it does not automatically mean that all other visa hurdles are overcome, as we shall we in the section on J1 visas.
The F-1 is a student visa and when granted, allows you to join a university or college in the US to pursue a certain degree. It is easier to get an F-1 visa approved than a B-1 visa. Therefore what we have seen happening in recent years (particularly in India), is doctors with visa problems applying to colleges/universities in the US to study for the one year Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. This MPH degree not only enhances an IMG’s credentials, but also allows the IMG to travel to the US. While the visa problem may be bypassed, the disadvantage of going by this route is the cost involved. Depending on the college/university, a one-year masters degree can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000. Furthermore, if a doctor has yet to give his USMLE Steps, then it will become very difficult for him to study for both his MPH degree and his Steps.
An alternative to applying for the F-1 on the basis of an MPH degree in a college/university is the Kaplan USMLE courses. These courses vary in duration with the longest lasting a year. If you enroll in a Kaplan USMLE course, you will be eligible to apply for the F-1 visa. A further, obvious advantage is that attending the Kaplan course mean you’ll be studying for the Steps. The downside is that the one-year course costs approximately $10,000. Along with the cost of the course will be the living expenses you’ll have to bear during your stay there.
Step II - CS & Visa Issue
In order to take the Step 2 CS exam, you need a B1/B2 visiting visa to travel to the US where this exam is conducted. These days, the key to getting a visiting visa is to provide demonstrable proof that you have business in the US you need to attend to. If you apply for the Step 2 CS exam, you will be mailed the registration receipt for the exam, and this will suffice for the “proof” needed.
Currently, most candidates apply for the Step 2 CS exam after their Step 2 CK. This was usually around February or March of the year they were applying to ERAS. The problem with this is that these days, visa processing and approval can take up to 6 months and if you’re unlucky sometimes even longer. Therefore, a candidate applying in February/March for a visiting visa was at risk of getting it approved at a time when the interview season is over – causing him to miss his chance at a match that year.
Since the Step 2 CS exam can now be given even by medical students, the logical thing to do is to apply for a visiting visa very early on in the USMLE process. Suppose, you apply for the visiting visa in January 2006, around the time you start studying for the Step 1. In that case, even if your visa application process takes up to a year, it will still come through in January 2007. Thereafter you can travel to the US when it is convenient for you, without having to worry about missing interview dates – which are still 9 months away.
Applying very early for a visiting visa also gives you the opportunity to reapply if your application is rejected the first time (as it often is) and not miss your target Match year. Often people who were rejected the first, or even second time got approved in their third try.
To illustrate: suppose you’re aiming to participate in the 2008 Match. Let’s also assume the visa processing time takes 6 months. If you apply in January 2006 and get rejected the first time in June 2006, you will reapply immediately that same month. If your application gets rejected a second time in December 2006, you will immediately reapply yet again. If you’re lucky, you’ll get approved the third time and be allowed to go to the US somewhere in the middle of 2007, where you’ll be right on time to take the Step 2 CS, Step 3 and attend your interviews.
Visiting visas are granted to medical students more readily than medical graduates so the best time to apply might be in your final year of medical college/university.
If you obtain a 5-year multiple visa while still a student, you don’t have to worry any further about visa problems when the time to take the interviews and Step 3 arrives, about two years later.
On the other hand, let’s suppose as a final year student, you get only a 6-month or 1-year entry visa (and avail it to go to the US to take and pass the Step 2 CS). Such a visa would expire by the time you were ready to go for interviews and Step 3. In that case, after passing first the Step 2 CS, then Step 1 and Step 2 CK, you should immediately apply for your ECFMG certification and register for the Step 3 exam and apply for a visiting visa on the basis of your Step 3 registration receipt. It is hoped that having already previously received a visiting visa (even if was just a 6-month or 1-year duration), the chances of you getting a visa a second time to take your Step 3 and go for interviews will be good (although this may not always be the case). Even if this second visa is only a 6-month entry visa, it would be adequate to go to the US to take the Step 3 and attend interviews.
The H1-B visa is given to “Specialty Occupations, DOD workers, and fashion models”.
Plainly put, the H1-B is a work visa. It allows you to enter the US and use your professional credentials to earn a living. In order to do so, you need to secure an employment first, and in our case, the employer will be a hospital program where the doctor will also be trained. This also explains why IMGs who wish to be considered for a H1-B visa have to pass the Step 3 first. The Step 3 is evidence of your ability to practice medicine in an unsupervised setting. Before the program hires you, it wants proof you can do the job. Not all programs sponsor IMGs for H1-B visas so if you’re interested in getting an H1-B visa, you have to do your research and find out which ones do. In general community-based hospitals are more likely to sponsor H1-B than university-based hospitals but there are many exceptions.
The H1-B visa is widely preferred by IMGs for the reason that it allows the IMG to file an application for a Green Card (a permanent residence status) in the US. In order to apply for a Green Card, your employer has to sponsor you for one. The number of residency programs that sponsor their H1-B workers for a green card is small, the reason being that the residency is a “training” position rather than an “employment” one.
The H1-B is valid for 6 years. This allows IMGs on H1-B visas to apply for a job after their 3-year residency is over with another employer who will sponsor a green card for them. Since by the time you complete a residency, you’ll be a well-qualified doctor, getting jobs in such places is not too difficult.
There are other clear advantages of the H1-B over the J1. Firstly, residents on the J1 visa have to overcome the hurdle of the “two year requirement” (see below) which is something H1-B residents have to worry about. Secondly, residents working on the H1-B visa can travel back to their own country (for vacations or whatever) freely, without having to renew this visa when returning to the US. By contrast, residents with the J1 visa who visit their country have to renew the J1 visa when they are returning to the US. There is always the possibility of the J1 renewal being rejected - it has happened. As a result, the J1 holders find themselves a less secure than the H1-B holders. Thirdly, once an application for an H1-B visa is made by the employer, it is almost never rejected by the American Embassy. The H1-B visa is issued with the presumption that the H1-B worker is filling a vital skilled worker gap for which an American worker of similar credentials cannot be found. Therefore, it is in the interest of the US to issue such a visa when an employer in the US asks for it. By contrast, the concept of the J1 visa, as we shall see, carries no particular influence on US interests, and as such can (and has been) rejected.
The H1-B visa is applied for by your employer, not by you. When you been matched with a program that will sponsor you for a H1-B visa, it is up to them to apply for the H1-B visa on your behalf. In order to be eligible for H1-B sponsorship, you need to have your Step 3 result (passed, of course), no later than (and sooner if possible), March of the year the residency starts. This is important to ensure that the H1-B visa application has sufficient time to get processed before the residency actually begins. It can take as long as 6 months to process. However, a service called premium processing is in place which guarantees that your H1-B application will be processed in under 2 weeks for a fee of $1000 dollars. If you find a program that sponsors you for an H1-B visa, and the application is processed and approved in time, then you can go and join the program as a resident on the first of July of that year.
J1 - Visa
In 1961, the US Congress passed an act called the “Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act.” According to the US State Department: “The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. International educational and cultural exchanges are one of the most effective means of developing lasting and meaningful relationships. They provide an extremely valuable opportunity to experience the United States and our way of life. Foreign nationals come to the United States to participate in a wide variety of educational and cultural exchange programs.”
In order to come to the US for the purpose of “participating in educational and cultural exchange programs,” the J1 visa was created. Certain institutions were given the right to sponsor J1 visas. Of the many such institutions, many training hospitals were also included.
A person coming into the US on a J1 visa would be an “exchange visitor”, i.e., he has come to acquire skills in the US that he will take back with him to his own country once the period of training is over.
The underlying principle of the exchange program is that the US allows third world countries to benefit from Western expertise by allowing them to send professionals to be trained further for a fixed period of time. When this time is over, the professional will go back to his home country to share and spread the skills he has acquired. If this principle were actually applied, it would benefit the home country immensely, because every year we would have hundreds, if not thousands of highly trained doctors coming back to their country instead of going out.
In order to ensure that the exchange visitors actually do go back home after the training is over, the J1 holder is subject to a Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement. This requirement insists that the J1 holder return to his home country for at least two years after the period of training is over unless he receives an exemption for this requirement. If the J1 is seen by most IMGs as undesirable, it is mostly because they don’t wish to face the prospect of being forced to return to their own countries.
The most common way the exemption to the 2-year requirement is met is to be employed in a medically underserved area in the US. What scares most doctors who try to exempt themselves from the 2-year requirement is that these “underserved” areas may be in the middle of nowhere. After all, the area would be medically underserved for a reason – few doctors want to practice there. Furthermore, you may not get the appointment to an underserved area in the first place, and if that happens to be the case, you will have no choice but to leave. The exemption from the 2-year requirement therefore is a huge source of worry for many doctors on the J-1 visa when the time to deal with this problem draws near.
When you are matched with a program that sponsors the J1 visa, they will send you a letter of appointment. You will apply for a J1 visa at the American Embassy on the strength of this letter of appointment. Remember, the match occurs on the 3rd Wednesday of every March and the residency starts on the 1st of July, which is 3 and a half months away. A potentially serious problem arises here: three and a half months may not be enough time to process the J1 visa application. There is no premium processing system in place for the J1. Such an application can take as long as 6 months. Therefore, if it takes more than 3 and a half months, you’ll miss the start of your residency.
This in fact is precisely what has been happening in the last few years. Many applicants, armed with a letter of appointment sponsoring a J1 visa have gone to the US Embassy only to find themselves months later in no-man’s-land their residency start date has come and gone while their J1 application is still pending. Whether the candidate lost the residency over this depended on the generosity of the program itself, but as can be expected, the increased trend of prolonged J1 processing time has tried the patience of many programs. The program suffers greatly itself, because it has to redistribute the existing workload on its already overworked resident population. This has led to a disturbing trend in that programs with bad J1-processing experiences have stopped accepting graduates from countries (like Pakistan) where potentially prolonged clearance of the J1 visas meant a possibility of missing the start of the residency. The program directors cannot be blamed for treating Pakistani applicants with some caution. Their primary responsibility is to their program, and they must do what is best for the program. If this means accepting less “high-risk” doctors into their program, then so be it.
The delayed processing time of the J1 visa for some doctors is not the only problem to arise in the last few years. It appears that the J1 visa has been out-rightly rejected by the American Embassy. This perhaps is the most devastating blow of all. The very last hurdle is the J1 visa. After all the Step exams, all the interviews, all the hard work, money and time invested, the very last thing an IMG requires is for his J1 to be approved so he can go work in the US. It is not known how many doctors have faced such a predicament, but its rising incidence has prompted the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) to write a petition to the US State Department in July of 2003 (when residencies started and the J1 visa status was apparent). The subject of the petition was “Significant Rise In The J1 Visa Refusals To Pakistani Phycisians”. The petition mentioned the following, among other, points:
- In 2003, there has been a significant rise in the refusal of J1 trainee visas to Pakistani physicians. These physicians have completed an exhaustive process of taking the required qualifying tests, have received ECFMG (Education Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates) certification, were interviewed and selected in a US Residency Program in an accredited training hospital, were issued the contracts by the hospital and had received the necessary paperwork from the ECFMG and the Pakistani Government for an Exchange Visa Program. The final step was to get a J1 visa from the US Embassy in Islamabad to proceed to USA for training. Traditionally the residency-training year starts on July 1st of every year.
- But many turned down at the eleventh hour.
- The reasons given to the visa applicants,were varied, but universally flawed. Reasons ranged from unsubstantiated technical reasons, to "USA does not need any more doctors", to not enough social ties for the individual to come back to Pakistan. It is to be noted that the J1 visa is issued specifically for the purpose of returning to the country of origin.
- Reasons given (for rejecting the J1 visas) are trivial at best and give the impression of a concerted policy to deny visas to aspiring physicians from Pakistan.These policies are not enforced with same level of strictness to physicians from countries other than Pakistan. As such they are discriminatory.
- (This) will also deter the future training program directors to select physicians from Pakistan as they may again face similar denials of visas.
Note: Part of above article was written by a professor from allama iqbal medical college
Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS). College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan is a firm responsible for the registration of Postgraduate Doctors of Pakistan. It makes rules, enrolls doctors and conducts exams for the Post graduation in Pakistan. Currently, CPSP is registering for FCPSI, II and MCPS. CPSP also enrolls foreign qualified doctors. USA medical board, uk medical board, postgraduate medical degree, undergraduate medical degree.
The CPSP currently allows FCPS in the following fields:
|Chemical pathology||Community Medicine|
|Critical Care Medicine||Dermatology|
|Family Medicine||Forensic Medicine|
|Obstetrics and Gynaecology||Operative Dentistry|
|Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)||Paediatric Cardiology|
|Pharmacology||Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation|
|Vitreo Retinal Ophthalmology|
Regardless of the specialty, the FCPS exams consist of two parts: the FCPS-I and the FCPS-II.
The FCPS-I exam, in all the specialties tests knowledge in the basic sciences. It consists of 2 papers, each of 3 hrs. duration which take place same day simultaneously. The exam focuses on those sections of basic sciences that are relevant to its specialty. For example the FCPS-I exam for Gynecology and Obstetrics will focus more on the Pelvis and Perineum in its questions of gross anatomy while the FCPS-I exam for ENT will focus on Head and Neck in its anatomy questions. Similarly, the FCPS-I contains questions from the other basic sciences (besides anatomy) that are relevant to its own field besides containing general questions relevant to all specialties.
There is no negative marking in this exam of 100 questions - however the pass rate is low, ranging from 8-30%. This is because the passing margin is set quite high at approximately 80%, which means a candidate cannot afford to get more than 15-20 questions wrong.
The subjects tested in the FCPS-I exam are:
- Anatomy (Gross, Histology, Embryology, Neuro-anatomy).
- General and Special Pathology (Part of special pathology).
- Community Medicine (not a major subject, unless the specialty itself is Community Medicine).
Specialty Related subject: Although clinical sciences are not included in the FCPS-I exam, reading a specialty related book would help integrate the relevant basic sciences information. For example, reading an ENT book for FCPS-I ENT exam would most definitely be of some benefit.
The FCPS-I exam is held 3 times a year. The dates for the exams are not the same every year, but approximately in the time-periods mentioned below.
In order to take the FCPS exam, the application form must reach CPSP two months before the exam date itself. So if a candidate wants to give the exam in February/March, the exam application must be in the CPSP offices in November / December. With the application form candidate must submit his House Job Experience Certificate and PMDC full registration. Those who have not finished theirs house job and do not have elevated their provisional registration to a full registration are not eligible to sit in the examination, so you may lose a chance to avail FCPS Part I attempt, if your house job session is delayed.
This means that the candidate cannot appear in the February/March FCPS-I exam and he has to wait for 5 months till the June/July attempt. CPSP has made another provision that if you have passed your FCPS in later time and you were working in a teaching hospital in a capacity of a PG student, that training will be counted towards your FCPS requirement up to maximum of one year, provided you are working under Registered CPSP Supervisor.
It is suggested that to save time, candidates must plan their FCPS part I according to their house job completion & eligibility to appear in the exam, and they must apply for some PG / MO post under CPSP supervisor, so that the time before the examination is utilized in the best possible way.
After passing: you will apply for a Post Graduate Trainee post in CPSP recognized hospital. It must be mentioned here that not all PGs are awarded the post. Every province in Pakistan has a fixed number of PG posts which it can give and if the number of applicants exceeds the number of PG positions available then some will be left out. Such applicants thereafter can either join the PG training as Honorary (i.e. without pay) or can apply for non-training jobs in private or government hospitals as Medical Officers
Components of FCPS training :
After you have secured an FCPS training post, you will begin your duties. It is generally acknowledged that the workload for PGs is very demanding, more so perhaps than for junior doctors in the US and UK. In many hospitals, PGs are given a lot responsibility for patient care and management – with these responsibilities increasing as the PG moves forward in his training.
During the course of training, the medical PGs must take 3 mandatory workshops while the surgical ones must take 4. These workshops have to be taken within the first 18 months of PG-ship:
- Computer and Internet Skills. Lasts for 5 days and imparts basic knowledge of how to use computers and the internet. For those who feel they already have such skills, there is an equivalence test one can pass to attain a certificate attesting to the fact.
- Research Methodology, Biostatistics, Dissertation Writing. Lasts for 5 days and gives an intensive course on how to conduct research, how to interpret the data from such research and how to incorporate these skills in a Dissertation (see below).
- Communication Skills. A 3 day course on effective communication techniques in presentations, workshops and seminars.
These three workshops are mandatory for all PGs regardless of their specialty and must be taken within the first 18 months of training.
For the PGs in surgery, an additional 3 day workshop on Basic Surgical Skills is also mandatory – also to be taken within the first 18 months of PG-ship.
These workshops cost Rs. 8,500 each except for the Computer and Internet Skills workshop which costs Rs. 7,500. They are held several times a year.
To quote the FCPS Dissertation Instruction Manual, issued by the CPSP.
“Submission of Synopsis/Protocol on a chosen topic, its approval from Research and Training Monitoring Cell (RTMC), CPSP, and preparing a dissertation, acceptable to the College, is mandatory for all candidates aspiring to appear in the FCPS II theory, clinical and oral examinations. In doing so, the CPSP aims at:
- Cultivating an inquiring mind in its potential specialists.
- Encouraging in-depth studies related to common health problems afflicting our people.
- Generating scientific data in various medical and allied fields.”
Basically, the dissertation is an original work of research that is carefully preparing over the course of FCPS training and must be submitted at least 9 months before the date the trainee wishes to appear in the FCPS-II exam.
Before writing dissertation, candidate apply to the CPSP for formal approval of topic of his / her dissertation, this application with details that how that dissertation work will be carried out is called as synopsis. So approval of synopsis is first step towards dissertation writing.
The Intermediate Module (IM)
Recently, CPSP has decided that all candidates (fresh and repeaters) must have passed the Intermediate Module examination as one of the mandatory eligibility requirements for appearing in FCPS-II examination in September 2007 and onwards in the subjects listed below
SUBJECT OF FCPS-II
SUBJECT OF INTERMEIATE MODULE EXAMINATION
|Diagnostic Radiology||Diagnostic Radiology|
|Obstetrics & Gynaecology||Obstetrics & Gynaecology|
The condition of passing the Intermediate Module examination one year before appearing in FCPS-II examination has been withdrawn. Thus, if all other requirements have been completed, candidates can appear in FCPS-II examination any time after passing the Intermediate Module examination.
The Intermediate Module Examinations in Medicine & Surgery are already being held and they will continue. For all other subjects listed above, the first Intermediated Module Examination will be held in March 2006. Those FCPS – II candidates who have passed MCPS examination in the relevant subject earlier, will be exempted from Intermediate Module Examination.
The candidates who pass this examination will be issued a certificate of passing Intermediate Module examination. Such candidates will also be issued MCPS Diploma after they have completed all requirements for appearing in final FCPS-II examination and have appeared in this examination once.
FCPS PART II:
This exam has two components, a paper exam and a clinical/oral exam. The FCPS-II paper exam consists of 100 MCQ questions while the clinical/oral exam is held with the cooperation of real patients. When presented with a patient, the candidate will have to take history, conduct the clinical examination, and propose a management plan. In the oral component of this part of the exam, the candidate will be thoroughly tested for in-depth knowledge of his specialty.
The oral exam is divided into 2 parts, the Long Case and the TOACS (Task Oriented Assessment of Clinical Skills). Candidates must pass TOACS so that they can move to long case portion.
The FCPS-II is not considered to be an easy exam. The pass rate is low and it is not uncommon for doctors to take it more than once before they pass. After passing however, the FCPS period of training is officially over and the doctor is awarded the highly regarded FCPS degree, and qualified as a specialist in that field.
THE COST FOR FCPS
By far, entering the FCPS program is the most cost-effective of all the options mentioned in this manual. The major costs involved are:
|FCPS-I Exam Fee||Rs. 9,000|
|Registration Fee as a FCPS Trainee||Rs. 6,500|
|Workshops||Rs. 25,000 - 35000|
|Dissertation||Rs. 1,000 - 1500*|
|FCPS-II Exam Fee||Rs. 9,000|
The dissertation costs range from 1,000 to 15,000 depending mostly on whether or not you employ the services of a computer professional who will type and arrange the format of your document. If you are skilled at using a word processor and can prepare the document yourself, the cost of preparing the dissertation will be correspondingly lower.
Assuming that the exams are passed in the first attempt (which is not the case for the majority of candidates), the costs range from Rs. 49,500 to Rs. 72,000. This is hardly 10% of the costs entailed in the entire USMLE and UK pathways.
For Further details please visit the official CPSP Site http://www.cpsp.edu.pk/
Its is Member of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. It is basically a two year training programme, it's value is respectable but certainly lower than that of FCPS
The specialization fields of MCPS
|Diagnostic Radiology||Family Dentistry|
|Family Medicine||Obstetrics & Gynaecology|
Format of examination
The MCPS examination comprises of
Theory (two essay type papers)
Clinical and viva voce
Clinical and viva voce
Only those candidates who qualify in theory will be called for clinical and viva examination. THE COLLEGE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ALTER/AMEND ANY RULES/REGULATIONS. Any decision taken by the College on the interpretation of these regulations will be binding on the applicant.
The MCPS theory examination is held twice a year in months of MARCH and SEPTEMBER.
For more info contact CPSP
The Professional Linguistic Assessment Board exam, or PLAB. The plab does not have a linguistic component, for this they use IELTS. IELTS is a pre requisite to plab.
The IELTS is a test of the candidate’s English skills. It stands for International English Language Testing System. People are required to take this exam to prove they have the minimum acceptable level of proficiency in the English language needed to engage in their academic or work pursuits in the UK, so its not just for doctors. This exam can be taken in many countries, including Pakistan. Currently, it costs around 80 Pounds Sterling and is held twice a month every month throughout the year.
The exam has four sections: Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading. The result of the test is given as a number on a scale (called band) from 1 to 9. Each band, or scale represents a certain level of competency in English. A score of 1 means that the candidate has only a rudimentary grasp of the language. A score of 9 means the candidate is as proficient as a native English speaker.
Each of the four sections are scored separately on the band of 1 to 9. The individual band scores in the different sections are then added up to give an average. For example, if a candidate gets 8 in Speaking, 8 in Listening, 7 in Writing and 7 in Reading it will give him an overall band score of 7.5.
In order to be eligible to take the PLAB exam, the candidate must have an overall score of at least 7. However, an imposition is made on the individual scores as well. The candidate must have at least 7 in the Speaking section and at least 6 in the other sections. So if a candidate gets 6.5 in speaking, he will not be eligible to take the PLAB exam - even if his overall score is 7 or above.
The IELTS can be taken even while the candidate is still a medical student, although it should be keep in mind that the IELTS result is valid for two years. The candidate must go on to take his PLAB exam within this two year validity period.
THE PLAB EXAMINATION:
The Professional Linguistic Assessment Board exam, or PLAB doesn’t actually have a linguistic component, otherwise the IELTS would not be required. Nevertheless, the ‘misnomer’ remains to describe an exam of a difficulty level between that of final year and post-graduate (i.e., MRC) examinations. It has two parts - PLAB Part 1 & PLAB Part 2.
The PLAB is basically a registration examination that allows you to practice medicine in the UK. In that sense it is similar to the USMLE Steps of the US system. However, there are three important differences between the PLAB and USMLE exams:
- The PLAB exam is considered to be far easier, and less costly than the USMLE exams.
- There are only 2 parts to the PLAB exam, not 3 like in the USMLE Steps (or 4 if you count USMLE Step 3).
- The PLAB is a pass/fail exam. It makes absolutely no difference to your credentials if you pass the PLAB by an extremely wide margin or just manage to get through by a single mark. This is in contrast to the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK exams, in which a candidate’s scores affects the strength of his CV.
PLAB Part IThe first part of the PLAB exam, the Part 1 is administered in a number of countries, including Pakistan where it is held three times a year: in March, July, and November. Currently, the exam cost 145 Pounds Sterling.
In order to be eligible to take the exam, the candidate must be a medical graduate (he cannot give it before graduation) from a WHO-recognized medical college and also have the minimum required IELTS score in hand during the time of application.
The exam consists of a 3 hour paper containing 200 questions. The questions are called “Extended Matching Questions” or EMQs - which simply means they are multiple choice questions with a variable number of possible answers to the questions posed of which the best one is selected. The exam concentrates on the clinical subjects, not on basic sciences. There are also a few questions regarding medical ethics, evidence based medicine, epidemiology, and public health.
PLAB Part II
This part can only be taken in the UK. Recently, the capacity of the PLAB 2 center in London has been expanded enormously, and now the exam will be held several times a month every month, throughout the year. Currently, the exam costs 430 Pounds Sterling.
The Part 2 is a examination of clinical skills - not a paper-based EMQ exam. The system devised for testing the candidate’s clinical skills is called the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, or OSCE.
When you start the examination, you will go to your first “station” in which you will be given some instructions. It could be taking history from a patient there, performing an clinical examination, or a number of other things. You will have 5 minutes to accomplish your task and 1 minute of pause to think before each station. There are 14 stations in all, with two “rest” stations – so the exam lasts a total of 96 minutes. The primarily skills tested for are:
- History taking and diagnosis based on history alone.
- Proficiency at physical examination.
- Communication skills with patients.
- Management of emergency cases.
These days it is very difficult for people to get a job in UK. Almost impossible. Therefore PLAB is only used to be eligible to get a job in middle east.
Note that this is a licensing type exam NOT a postgraduate degree of UK. Those are FRCS FRCP and diploma's are MRCP etc.
A Brief detail o MRCP:
The membership exams of the Royal Colleges have multiple parts that are given over a space of a few years. Every Royal College responsible for its specialty publishes a Regulation and Information Manual every year that contains details on the different parts of the Membership exam, their formats, the centers where they can be taken, application forms, fees, rules of exemption from different parts of the exam - and a lot more.Currently the first part of the MRCP(UK) exam can only be given when 18 months have elapsed from the date of graduation. This prerequisite may or may not change. As we shall see, the NHS is overseeing extensive reforms in the SHO grade and it is quite possible that the membership exam details may be affected by these reforms. One must use only the most current Exam manual from the relevant Royal College to keep abreast of the changing situation.The MRCP(UK) Part 1 exam consists of two papers in an MCQ format containing 100 questions each. The composition of the different subjects tested in this exam is as follows; the number refers to the number of questions in both papers that will come from that subject.
- Cardiology 15
- Clinical hematology and oncology 15
- Clinical pharmacology, therapeutics and toxicology 20
- Clinical Sciences 25
- Dermatology 8
- Endocrinology 15
- Gastroenterology 15
- Infectious diseases and tropical medicine and sexually transmitted diseases 15
- Nephrology 15
- Neurology 15
- Ophthalmology 4
- Psychiatry 8
- Respiratory medicine 15
- Rheumatology 15
Clinical sciences comprise:
- Cell, molecular and membrane biology 2
- Clinical anatomy 3
- Clinical biochemistry and metabolism 4
- Clinical physiology 4
- Genetics 3
- Immunology 4
- Statistics, epidemiology and evidence-based medicine 5
After passing the Part I exam (the result is mailed 4 weeks after the exam). The candidate is eligible to sit for the MRCP(UK) Part 2 exam. The Part 2 exam can be given 6 months after the Part I exam if the candidate feels he is ready.
The MRCP(UK) Part 2 exam also consists of 2 MCQ papers of 100 questions each. The composition of the exam is as follows:
- Cardiology 20
- Dermatology 8
- Endocrinology and metabolic medicine 20
- Gastroenterology 20
- Hematology/ Immunology 10
- Infectious diseases and GUM 18
- Neurology/ Ophthalmology/ Psychiatry 22
- Oncology and palliative medicine 10
- Renal medicine 20
- Respiratory medicine 20
- Rheumatology 12
- Therapeutics and toxicology 20
If the candidate fails the Part 2 exam, he is free to try again. The only restriction to the number of attempts he can make is that he must pass this exam within 7 years of passing the Part I exam.
The pass result of the Part 2 exam is valid for only two and a half years. The candidate must sit for the 3rd and last part of the membership exam before these two and a half years expire. He is eligible to sit for the third part of the exam 6 months after passing his Part 2. Therefore, the window of time available to him to pass the third part of the exam is 2 years. This 2 year period is called the Period of Eligibility and begins 6 months after the part 2 is passed. To illustrate: if a candidate passed his Part 2 in April 2005, then his period of eligibility for the third part will start from October 2005 and last till October 2007. If he has not taken the last part within the Period of Eligibility, he will be compelled to retake the Part 2 exam.
The last part of the membership exam is called PACES, the Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills. To quote from the 2004 Regulations and Information to Candidates Manual:
“The MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) is composed of five stations (three ‘clinical’ and two ‘talking’), each assessed by two independent examiners. Candidates will start at any one of the five stations and then move round the carousel of stations at 20-minute intervals until the cycle has been completed. The stations are:Station 1
- Respiratory System Examination (10 minutes)
- Abdominal System Examination(10 minutes)Station 2
- History Taking Skills (20 minutes)Station 3
- Cardiovascular System Examination (10 minutes)
- Central Nervous System Examination (10 minutes)Station 4
- Communication Skills and Ethics (20 minutes)Station 5
- Skin / Locomotor / Endocrine / Eye Examination (20 minutes)
The MRCP(UK) Part 2 Clinical Examination (PACES) lasts a total of 120 minutes (including four 5-minute breaks between stations).”
If the candidate passes, he will be awarded the MRCP(UK) diploma.
It should be mentioned here that the MRC diploma, particularly the MRCP(UK) diploma has become internationalized. Training in the UK is not an essential prerequisite to taking any of the 3 parts of the exam. There are MRC exam centers established in 14 countries around the world (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Singapore, Kuwait, and Sri Lanka, to name a few). Pakistan has no such centers, and if Pakistani doctors are training and studying for the MRCP in Pakistan, they must travel to the UK to give them (they cannot go to a non-UK center – those centers are established only for those doctors training there).
There are thousands of MRCs across the world who only go to the UK to take the exam and after passing, return to work in their home countries or seek jobs elsewhere. Obtaining the MRCP(UK) demonstrates a competitive level of competence and can help to further the careers of overseas doctors in their own home countries as well as creating opportunities for them to find jobs in other countries. Many MRCP(UK) doctors, for example, use this qualification to seek jobs in the Gulf states, where this degree is highly valued.
The MOH and M Phil Details will be updated soon. Please take part in active discussion on the blog to give your ideas and ask questions. Thank you