Which Has a Higher Chance To Get a Surgical Residency, USMLE, PLAB, or Going to Germany for an IMG?

Discussion in 'General Surgery' started by Dr.Scorpiowoman, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. Dr.Scorpiowoman

    Dr.Scorpiowoman Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    Which of the following has a higher chance to get a surgical residency, USMLE, PLAB, MRCS, or going to Germany for an IMG?


    This question was originally posted on Quora.com and was answered byKavyansh Bhan, Senior Clinical Fellow (Trauma & Orthopaedics) at NHS England

    PLAB doesn't grant you a residency spot in the UK. Neither does MRCS!

    Let's broadly classify this into a US v/s UK v/s Germany debate.

    Now to decide which country is the best, we need to know your language learning skills. However, since you're already considering Germany as an option, it will be safe to assume that you're ready to put in efforts to learn the German Language.

    Now let's see the timeline, for a successful IMG to complete training in these countries :

    US - Provided you pass your Steps after MBBS, and assuming they take you around 2 years including your USCE, you are looking at MBBS + 2 years USMLE prep + 5 years residency + 1 year sub specialty fellowship = 8 years post MBBS to be a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.

    UK - Considering you took your PLAB/MRCS after MBBS, you're looking at 1 - 1.5 yes for PLAB/MRCS + 1 year Non Training Job + 2 years Core Surgical Training + 6 years specialty training + 1 year sub Specialty fellowship = 11.5 years post MBBS to a Consultant.

    Germany - Learning Language + Approbation would be around 1–1.5 years, and your training will be 6 years + 6 months to 1 year fellowship = 8 years post MBBS to be a consultant.


    If you've good Language Learning skills - Germany is the way to go. You've a very good chance of landing a surgical training position there, and the training isn't very long.

    If you don't want to learn a new language skill set, you're left with US or UK. To be honest, getting into the US system of Surgical Training is almost impossible for an IMG. Whereas UK, has been proactively recruiting overseas candidates into their training programmes. The culture is very vibrant and easy to mix into, the training in all specialties is top notch, be it medical or surgical! The training period is long, but you're compensated well throughout the training period. And most importantly, there are NO differentiating factors between local grads and foreign doctors. If you got the talent, they'll take you. There's no visa or any other political / bureaucratic hurdle!

    So now you need to sit down and decide which way you wanna go! Comparatively speaking , UK would be the country which will give you the maximum possible chances . None of the countries you mentioned are easy to get into for surgical training, but UK system is definitely fair, and will take you in if you deserve it.

    PS - Expenditure wise, UK is the cheapest option, and US the costliest one!


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