The system for healthcare professionals or physicians in USA is closely monitored by USMLE in a systematic manner. Indian students trying to pursue postgraduate medicine in USA after completion of MBBS need to prove themselves at every level again, including the bachelor level by way of giving USMLE-1 exam and USMLE 2CK. This exam is highly competitive ( Though much easier than Indian NEET PG! ). The exam is online and can be given from India. However, the course contents are quite different than the 19 subjects taught to you while pursuing MBBS in India.
There are 3 different ways to prepare for USMLE exams.
MD in USA after MBBS in India – OPTION – 1
In USA, an Indian student after completion of MBBS cannot practice directly since the basic level of study to practice is postgraduate medicine in USA. USMLE has clearly defined the medical courses after MBBS to be completed in USA. In order to qualify for the Residency ( Board certified PG while working in a Hospital under work permit ) after MBBS the above exams needs to be cleared. the Indian doctors have to pass the above exams exam with high marks (230+). During this period, the students can give USMLE-2 CK exam in India to qualify for the Residency in USA. The doctors can then apply for work visa in USA once they get the residency confirmation.
The USMLE step 1 preparation can be done from the 2nd year of MBBS in India. Indian doctors are eligible to appear for USMLE step 1 after 2nd year of MBBS in India. The USMLE step 1 preparation courses provided are from Beckers and Kaplan. It also has live classes conducted by the US based experienced doctors. The USMLE step 1 books are given to every student to ensure thorough preparation. Similarly, USMLE online course are also provided for USMLE 2 CK.
The cost for this entire route is around US$ 30,000 (with 6 months of Clinical Rotation / Clerkship) and can be to the tune of only US$ 20,000 if you can crack USMLE-2CK / CS after only 3 months of Clinical rotation.
MD in USA after MBBS in India – OPTION – 2
Going to USA on the basis of just a clerkship has its disadvantage. During this clerkship period, the doctors pass USMLE 2CK and are eligible for the residency in USA based on the issuance of work permit. Naturally, you would not be able to spend more time during your stay for the clerkship. This would limit your time period for preparation of STEP-2 CS which needs to be given in USA. In case you are not able to get the residency during this period after passing the exam, you would have to return back and go again. This particular roadmap saves a lot of money but a more stable roadmap is to pursue MPH in USA.
Most of the doctors prefer to pursue medical post graduation in USA is to take an admission to Masters in public health (MPH). A doctor can pursue different courses after MBBS in India but MPH course in USA is the best option. This postgraduate course in USA gives a breathing period for the students since generally, the student Visa issued by the US consulate for Indian students are for 5 years for Masters Program. Indian doctors wishing to pursue post graduate medical education in USA generally take admission to Master in Public Health and utilize this time period for giving their clinical exams! Ultimately they end up with 2 degrees, one clinical after the residency and one non-clinical one such as ”Masters of Public Health” or even Diploma in public health in USA before they start their Residency to complete postgraduate medical courses in USA.
The cost to complete Medical PG in USA with this entire route is around US$ 50,000 (with 3 months of Clinical Rotation / Clerkship) if you can crack USMLE-2CK / CS after only 3 months of Clinical rotation.
There are other advantages of pursuing MPH programs in USA leading to medical PG such as:
- Creating a network of doctors and gain their confidence during this 2 years period.
- While pursuing MPH degree in USA, one can take a break for one semester after the first year and during this period, the doctors complete their clerkship (The mandatory step for getting residency).
- The program allows the student to get 5 years of Visa while going from India giving safe passage right till the time they pass their USMLE-3.
- In case of problem in getting the residency for clinical PG program, the public health management degree helps you to take care of your living expenses.
MD in USA after MBBS in India – OPTION – 3
Few Indian doctors are looking to complete Medical PG in USA with options which does not involve Non-Clinical program such as MPH since they are not very confident on their USMLE exam performance with just 4 months coaching at Caribbean Islands. Moreover, they are already working in few hospitals and wish to continue with their hospital clinical experience and invest their time and money only in this field instead of getting diverted to MPH program. For these doctors, we suggest to take this 3rd and final option. This option allows them to pursue 2 years of USMLE preferred Green book clinical rotation (NOT AN OBSERVER-SHIP since that is not accepted by USMLE) at a ACGME approved hospital. So they go through the USMLE-1 coaching and exam which is followed by 2 years of clinical rotation (without MPH) at the same cost as option – 2. However, in this case, they would have to get the Residency after completion of rotation since the Visa would expire.