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BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 02:24 AM
Well, I think I will retire from the political realm and turn my discussions in a direction more suited for me. I think we ought to collect, us physicians, and although I am sure there is some Pashtoon Physicians organization out there, we ought to connect here.

I am sure something like this already exists here so I am sure Ill be laughed at and told "been there, done that, etc."

I suggest we discuss

1) If anyone here needs guidance on acquiring residency, sitting for the USMLEs, MCATs, or just plain getting into medical school we discuss those things together.

2) To extend on 1, Perhaps those of us in the field can take on a younger "buddy" as they call it here and provide mentorship. Since there are may be a skewed ratio of the sexes in terms of how may folks are males/females, there should not be animosity to this buddy system extending to males and females exchanging advice.

We can help these individuals with personal statements, coursework, research project acquisition advice etc. at the medical school, residency, and fellowship levels. Those of us that have done research and are departing a project can try to connect these buddies to potential mentors and subsequently have them carry on the work and possibly benefit with the networking, publications, and recs they may get.

If we have past research mentors with open lab spots, we can try to help get our buddy into these positions.

3) We can discuss interview experiences and offer guidance in this regard

4) We can talk to foreign grads from both sides of the Durand line and try to see if we can hook them up with folks that can provide tangible benefits and guidance. My brother in law is a tribal that attended Khybar and is in residency. He can likely offer more guidance from a foreign grad perspective on how to get into the system. What I mean by tangible is that I have noted how long and hard it is for the foreign grads and how money consuming and intricate a process it is to go through the steps, acquire the VISA, and then sit for the boards. These folks need some boarding options while they undergo this process. I've noted the high failure rates on Step 2 CS as well and we can try and coach the candidates on the odd idiosyncracies of the system here (e.g. offering the tissue to the crying patient during the exam etc.)

5) We can attempt to coax our brethren into academic medicine and attempt to convey this mindset to our native lands.

6) As time goes on, and our careers progress, we need to try and advance the medical systems in places like Khybar and Nangrahar to advance in the direction we have here. No medical student there should feel he is not prepared for the American boards. We American grads need the support of the foreign grads to eventually set up this pipeline and to help change the systems there. I have heard from folks who have tried that the oligarchy plaques the medical system there as well and folks are resistant to change. They will certainly not accept an American Pashtun trying to alter the landscape in this way either. You are our link.

More to come later. But at least we can hold a doctors jirga online here and identify one another.

** I seriously encourage folks, male or female, secular or religious, communist or capitalist, if they are considering a career in medicine and have specific questions to raise their voice if they want this to progress.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 02:34 AM
My hope is for this to not become a part of the homework thread or simply a studying tool for the boards, althought there certainly should not be shame should someone not be able to answer something and want some guidance on medical topics. Moreover, its unethical to dispense medical care online and provide diagnoses when we have not seen an individual for a physical exam. This should not turn into an online treatment forum, otherwise we will get bogged down in further unethical adminsiteration of medical advice without proper history and physicals etc. to supplement the advice. Unless urgent advice is needed, in which case advocacy should be made that the patient with grandfather with chest pain or "the worse headache of their life" go to the nearest Emergency Room.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 02:39 AM
Also in case it comes up, the reason I posted this threat here as opposed to under "healthcare" is that I am sure the youngins come here to the education thread more often and the guidance we want to provide ought to be towards coaxing more young Pashtoons into medicine. I want to advertise my career path to these people and encourage them to come to medicine in the droves. I prefer to catch them when they are young and to keep their attention.

Michin Khel
12-16-2010, 02:57 AM
Sir your thread is great, thank you for it....I am not that much good academically so i have no plan for USMLE, but my friends are dreaming to reach america, i will tell them about your thread.
regards

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 03:23 AM
Sir your thread is great, thank you for it....I am not that much good academically so i have no plan for USMLE, but my friends are dreaming to reach america, i will tell them about your thread.
regards


Does not matter, you should still consider it. It does not take what my bro in law tells me is called "a topper" to make it here. In fact, most of those guys end up screwing their chances by sounding arrogant and not understanding how the American system works, which is a combination of merit coupled to business style patient and colleague centered diplomacy. When those guys walk in with their "gold-medallions" and no research and CV that is lacking, any attempt at an observational rotation or some sort here in the states, they end up not interviewing well and and end up in a hole. Dont get me wrong, I still consider them extremely capable, but they just have to alter their style a bit and understand that the American system values the best of the best, but also wants people who can show compassion to their colleagues AND their patients. If I can get those guys to understand that, they can certainly help themselves and others out.

I know some folks who re-directed their studies fully toward the USMLE and basically found a way to not focus on the irrelevent material that was being taught there. It takes a period of intense study, but it is doable.

It takes, time, a little money (organizations of various pakistani physicians appear to be better organized at helping poor students from those countries than their Afghan counterparts and do exist- so there is hope), some comittment, and a whole lot patience, but people do it every day.

For yourself, I think its important to start re-directing your interests away from politics and turn medicine into a wife of sorts for yourself. At the student level, you need to turn all your energies towards learning about differential diagnoses (step 2 stuff), clinical acumen, basic science knowledge (step 1) , and treatment protocols.

I actually plan on not posting under the political thread for a while. I generally make massive attempts to avoid political discussions because they end up being unfruitful. We neither have the power nor the voice to change a darn thing yet. Im currently on my month break (tail end of it though) so I let myself go a little in regard to the religio-political posts, but in general it is vain talk.

Turn your complete attention to medicine, make niyaat about helping others with it and keeping your hands clean from the bloody ways of politics and conflict, pray to the God of Gabriel, Ibrahim (A), Musa (A), Isa (A), and Muhammad (S) and then cast the dice!

Dreamer
12-16-2010, 04:54 AM
passed USMLE part 1... might sit part 2... my main focus is passing PACES and MRCP2

unknownprince
12-16-2010, 03:50 PM
I will be needing help with my medical school apps this May

i guess will need help with my personal statement

unknownprince
12-16-2010, 03:52 PM
I am also thinking of how I can combine my political goals with a medical career.

Im very drawn to international politics, and I don't know how I will manage both. At the end of the day, I may just get the degree, and enter politics.

I don't want to be a statistic in this world.

Any suggestions.

Michin Khel
12-16-2010, 04:15 PM
I agree with u sir, i think i am wasting my time on politics.
I will think about USMLE, i have some financial issues but i wil manage it some how.
Sir i want to seek some help regarding academics from you. Here i read only one book and prepare some specific stuff for exams. E.g learning pharma especially adverse effects of drugs has become headace for me. How is pharma studied in american system? Can u give me links of proper sites regarding pharma, patho, medicine and surgery for students both clinical and basic sciences.
Regards

pir_Rokhan
12-16-2010, 09:51 PM
The problem with Pashtuns is that they are not focusing in their area of specialization and may be that is why they have problems in excelling and attaining a distinguished position in their fields. Having said that political consciousness about our national interests is one thing every literate and illiterate Afghan/Pashtun should be aware about as it directly affects our lives, careers, economics, customs, traditions, norms and society at large.

There is no contradiction in achieving excellence and safeguarding our national interest as an Afghan/Pashtun nation. If you are ready to withdraw from your rights as an Afghan then your very expertise are of no use neither to you nor to your nation as you will be a commodity whose price will be decided by the market of other nations who will sell you to others or use you for their vested interests in the name of religion or any other sacred term.

I would recommend to Barakzai wror focusing in establishing a world class medical college and teaching hospital in Kandahar to impart the technology and knowledge to the future generations according to int'l benchmarks.

Luffy and other youngsters instead of investing their energies first in medical and then opting to go for civil services should make up their mind to continue medicine in case they have passion for medicine. The other option of becoming a part and parcel of the same exploitative system which strengthens the imperialism of our enemies and our enslavement will not be fruitful in the long run as examples like Rustam shah momand and Roedad khan etc have shown to a fair extent.

Toramana
12-16-2010, 10:41 PM
Yar Bacha, da Luffy matha dasai un-ethical shan doctor khkari...not very fit for medical profession until he takes an extensive training in ethics and morality....:smile1:

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 10:43 PM
passed USMLE part 1... might sit part 2... my main focus is passing PACES and MRCP2

I recognize those as exams that are for the British/irish systems no? Some of this depends on how you felt like you did on Step 1 and whether your degree is european vs from Pakistan/Afghanistan.

From what it appears, having an european degree from Britian from say Cambridge, or the Royal College or even schools in Ireland are equivalent nearly to the AMG (American Medican Grad) status in the application pool. In this situations you remain competitive with two digits as low as 90 or perhaps equivalency of 225 or so with the for specialities like Internal Medicine. These same grads also generally can consider applying for surgery.

The Pakistan/Afghanistan pool can be a bit more limited unless they generally emulate their colleagues in Aga Khan in terms of how they supplement their application. First and foremost the scores matter tremendously and a 99 two digit score is essential with about a 235 ro 240 being a baseline requirement on the steps 1/2. Step 3 is something that more and more programs are asking for because of the visa situation these days. So pursuing the USMLE with great vigor is an essential first step.

For the a straight shot the "easy route" possibility into the American System generally remains Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics. These fields are generally the easiest to find a spot in due to the massive amounts of spots that exist that go unfilled even after the regular match. The work needed to get simply a spot versus a good spot at an academic center is the issue here. If one wants to get a spot in an NYC inner city program that generally ends up being easier, but you are pretty much limited in your career options thereafter at: staying in Internal Medicine as a Hospitalist (not a bad deal at all these days with the growing need and pay due to ACGME residency work hour regulations that are growing and the good shift style work and lifestyle) or a Family Practitioner. I still think both fields are very valuable and I salute those that are brave enough to take on the burdgeoning primary care in the the US. However, competitive folks tend to shun it and think it insufficient. For some reason, everyone with even a little persian blood, like ourselves, gravitates to cardiology.

Where the paths toughen and become competitive for the Pakistani/Afghan Grads is in attempting access to solid Internal Medicine residencies in institutions like say, Emory Medical, UCLA, Stanford Univ, etc, General Surgery, and of course the extremely competitive and difficult to attain even for the American grads specialties of: Opthalmology, ENT, Ortho Surgery (rarely if ever happens), and nearly any solid Gen Surg residency. However, it is becoming more and more possible, but sacrifice is necessary. The Aga Khanis appear to be making inroads and are set up by their school to understand how to take on the system. I will delve into this more in the future, but the basics of the formula FOR THESE COMPETITIVE routes (this does not necessarily apply to the simple get into residency approach) appear to be:

1) Solid USMLE performance + 2) Solid performance on American observational rotations (another subject we can talk about in the future) to get letters of recommendation with + 3) Research + 4) Becoming adept at the interview process and having easy going conversations with your future American colleagues.

It is, 3), research, above that most Pakistan/Afghan fulbright grads shun, but that is possibly their link into the more competitive specialities if they are willing sacrifice some time and understand that humility and pain are involved. For instance, students from University of Tehren will come in, and in a period of 2 years commit to taking their steps and engage in basic science or clinical research, get to know some good clinicians, do some strong work and possibly publish, do some observation rotations and then apply. I know a few who got into Internal Medicine at top level American program that allowed them to subsequently match into cardiology. The Agha Khanis are understanding this and going to Hopkins to do ENT/Basic Opthalmological research etc and are now getting strong interviews in these fields. But these students that I met on my travels are willing to make sacrifice and take on 2 year research projects and work hard as hell.

Finally, a field that some Pakistanis and Afghans appear to shun are is Neurology. I wonder why? I know in their home countries it is viewed as on par with psychiatry, but guys, here in the states this field is accessible and cutting edge. Neurology is where cardiology was in the 80s/90s and waiting to be opened up with cutting edge research and interventional procedures.

Toramana
12-16-2010, 10:44 PM
Anyhow, it is nice to know Barazkzai Saib will be establishing a hospital in Kandahar...modern type...I know an expert Radiologist (Ph. D.) intending to establish a modern lab in Pukhtunkhwa...I think if these splintered efforts come togethor, that will make a difference....

I have heard Rahman Medical Center has now launched Rahman Medical College...

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 10:54 PM
I will be needing help with my medical school apps this May

i guess will need help with my personal statement

A good set of personal statement examples is found in FIRST AID for the MATCH. I do not recommend foolishly memorizing that book the way that some of the foreign grads do. Its more of a reference text.

I utilized an example of a personal case that I saw. Quiet often telling a narrative is the best way to work the personal statement for the general residency application to medicine. The subsequent fellowship personal statements are shorter and the point.

I was doing a medical school rotation at a veterans hospital and I noted the common humanity that linked me and my dieing patient despite our divergent backgrounds.

What I noted that foreign grads from our areas, especially the Afghan fulbright folks do not emphasize the unique backgrounds we have. Our heritage is at the forefront of the American scenery today. On the applications themselves they ask not nationality, but ethnicity. That was really what I was also trying to impart to the Khybar folks, that being an Afghan is a unique and wonderful trait that gives us an equally unique perspective from which to write and from which to speak at interviews. The rare cases that are seen in the foreign medical schools, like end stage TB and tropical/rare Infectious Diseases that we rarely see here should be something you guys capitlize on.

Laila
12-16-2010, 11:20 PM
Abdali sahib, this is such a great thread.

I am in my second year of Pre-Medicine. I am taking all of my Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus classes. Right now, i work in a hospital thats near my campus. I work with the nurses and get plenty of experience with it.
My major is Biology and i am also doing a minor in Psychology.

Next month, i am going for a job at a lab, hopefully.

I want to go to medical school, inshallah, and become a Pediatrician. Its what i have been wanting for so long.

I have serious plans of going to Afghanistan and working in a hospital for 6 months-1 year after graduation. There is a lady my father knows who works at the Nangarhar Medical University, she is an OB/GYN there. My point is, i want to use my goals and help back home as much as I can. In the future, i do want to open a clinic along with my father.

Now i am on winter break, and i have started studying for MCATs. I think its better to start studying little by little in a few years advance.

So now that i am done blabbering, i do want to know your thoughts on PA school, i am using that as a backup plan.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-16-2010, 11:41 PM
I am also thinking of how I can combine my political goals with a medical career.

Im very drawn to international politics, and I don't know how I will manage both. At the end of the day, I may just get the degree, and enter politics.

I don't want to be a statistic in this world.

Any suggestions.

There are two routes from which to enter the political arena. In America, most of the folks that enter the political fray do so from a high level. For example, when certain drugs turn out to be dangerous and predispose folks to heart attacks and other issues, the experts speak out and sometimes even take on big pharma to protect the patient. This at times involves rebuking the FDA etc.

The other route is via a systems based approach to how the medical systems across the world work. Most folks who do it this way go and get an MPH, a masters of public health. It appears that this degree allows folks to emphasize on how to change and adapt medical systems.

Regarding being a statistic, I think life is about being content. My point is that politics is a dirty field in that it has some factual bases, some personal vandetta, and a whole lot of opinion thrown in. In the scheme of the universe which is aged beyond billions of years, our life span is so short, more like a spark than even a flame. I understand the need that man has that can be typified by Alexander's statement to his mother when he heard that his father Philip of Macedon had conquered a new kingdom, he cried: "My father shall conquer the whole of the world and leave me nothing!"

However, We physicians wear the white coat because we do our best to present ourselves to the patient as being "speen lamaan" in a way, or utterly approachable despite their political dispostion, religious ideology, hatred towards our race or love of it, whether they are killers or saviours. Political views ought not to cloud how we care for a patient.

This reminds me of an anecdotal situation: I had a good solid friend of mine who comes from a small town in the midwest. He is a methodist white American guy who worked hard and is currently and orthopedic surgeon. We have been friends for years, even before medical school. He interviewed at a southern school and was asked what is generally seen as an illegal question to ask regarding support for or against the Iraq War. This guy is rather savvy and is married into a political family. He is a conservative republican, but more fiscally conservative than the current republican part appears to be. He had by that point developed an opposition to the Iraq War and had some cogent reasons that one might agree or disagree with. This was a panel interview, and the two other candidates answered with positives and negatives of the conflict, staying somewhat away from a firm answer. He on the other hand gave quiet a few encyclopedic answers based on fiscal conservatism. I told him that this was the one medical school that he would not get in. Lo and behold that was exactly what happened. Why? Well there may be some validity do the decision made by the comittee. After all, the other two candidates ambivalence would make them completely approachable by all patients, regardless of their political views. However, what if a pro war republican patient were to attempt and discuss this issue with my good friend? He might not feel that his physician is approachable. I am sure he is smart enough to not get into it with a patient, but the idea here is that the committee wanted to understand whether he could present himself as at least approachable.

The other options of course is the Ernesto Guevara, militant style approach to life. After his time at the leper colony and on the road throughout South America, Che saw things that troubled him regarding disparities. Of course, I cannot endorse his political philosophy (communism), but I think that the same thing that bought him to medicine as a calling, convinced him that he had to take care of the root problem that sets folks up for such dastardly outcomes: change the system to erase the disparities. And of course, the current movements across the world, IRA, AQ, Spanish Militants, even Taliban have so some physicians involved, that it appears that there may be some folks may view the world as Che did and want to fix what they feel is the central issue. In a way, they view my approach, which is to simply stay out of the fray and practice medicine purely, as attempting to treat subarrachinoid hemorrhage or an Aortic dissection/aneurysm burst with a bandaid. However, one has to acknowledge that even Che is viewed by quiet a few people as having a lot of blood on his hands at the end of his life.

I tend to disagree based on my personal preferences. I think that we doctors ought to understand that just because we have MDs does not mean that we are political science experts or that we understand the Art of War the way a savvy general or tactician does. We may be well read on certain subjects, but our doctrate is in medicine and not that particular subject matter.

I am not that worried about my legacy. My ideal way to live the end years and leave this world will be have my wife, kids, and grandkids surrounding me. Possibly on a plot of land in Pashtunkhwa or even in North Carolina, with some shneey chai with the right amount of honey mixed into it and some anaar. If they knew who I was, then I will be content.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:01 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,
I am currently a Math Major working on my Masters degree at New York University. Can I still become a Medical Doctor?


Absolutely. A few things go into this complex answer.

1) US citizenship: there are schools that prefer US citizens (usually state schools).
2) MCAT scores: My kid sister and brother in law are in the early years of medical school right now. In their year the average to get your foot in the door of a good school was to at least get a ~30. The test covers chemistry, organic chem (reduced amount of this in recent years), biology (molecular has greater emphasis recently), physics, english/verbal, and an essay. You should at least get a 10 on each section, but thats not written in stone. Some local schools that have a goal of graduating primary care doctors allow for slightly lower scores. However, understand that with the economy going downhill, the applicant pool is increasing in size as medicine is seen as a dependable route. These days, I would shoot for at least a 32 just to be safe.
3) GPA: science (bio courses, organic chem, general chem, physics) and general GPA. Once again, this may vary. Many folks with a lot of research and other accomplishments get in with a 3.3, but the general dictum is that you should try to make sure to at least apply with a 3.5 and you should feel safest with a general avg of 3.7 or above.
4) Prereqs: Years ago when I entered the process the requirements were a year of gen chem + lab, 1 year of organic chem + lab, 1 year of calculus? if I remember correctly, 1 year of physics + lab, and some schools were starting to ask for at least a semester of biochem.
5) Recommendations: Try to work with a researcher and get a letter from them. Other letters come from your college professors etc.

I was an electrical engineer initially and took my MCATs in third year of undergraduate school. That year the dominant major for entrance was biomedical engineering. I had to take a few extra courses to fulfill the pre-reqs in the summer of my second year when I made the decision to apply, but it was worth it.

However, people enter the system at many different points, even after their PhDs. There does come a point where age may count against you, but that is usually a very advanced age. I have seen folks in their late thirties in my medical school class with PhDs.

**What I recommend to the youngins who are reading from outside the country on here (still 18 or 19 or so and still not in their undergraduate equivalent phase), try to do what the Indians are doing and enter the system EARLY. Try to go to an American undergrad institute and then apply with that degree. This means if you are a noncitizen and still young, and want to be a doctor, try to enter the system by starting your undergraduate studies here. Then go to an American medical school here. That gives you an easier way to go to residency.**

Regarding your masters in mathematics, do you utilize MATLAB or mathematica? There is quiet a bit of biomedical/biological engineering going on these days that utilize these mathematical models. If you have the time and want to spend a year putting your application together with the above, you can find a group in the medical/engineering departments that are working on biological problems and offer them your expertise. You have to work hard though and do your best to produce.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:16 AM
I agree with u sir, i think i am wasting my time on politics.
I will think about USMLE, i have some financial issues but i wil manage it some how.
Sir i want to seek some help regarding academics from you. Here i read only one book and prepare some specific stuff for exams. E.g learning pharma especially adverse effects of drugs has become headace for me. How is pharma studied in american system? Can u give me links of proper sites regarding pharma, patho, medicine and surgery for students both clinical and basic sciences.
Regards

So it depends on the medical school. However, in general studying for a class versus the USMLE exam can be different trajectories, even in the American Medical schools. Some professors do a terrible job and we just ignored them and studied on our own if we can get away with it. Many American schools are moving away from grades in the first two years, but instead are pass or fail now. This allowed us to focus our attention to the USMLE. I am somewhat separated in years from the ever evolving step 1, but in general I can say that I felt that the Kaplan lectures and the pharma text were excellent. They generally gave you at least the big picture and some clinical correlations. Another text, if one has more time, is Lippincotts Pharmacology. Both these texts are generally managable, with the Kaplan text being a bit shorter and managable. There is another text called "pharmacology for the wards and boards."

Try to not read too many texts. Adopt a single text in pharma that you find amenable to your way of learning. As I said, I preferred the Kaplan lectures and text.

Regarding pathology, Goljan's lectures and text were excellent in my time. Things may have changed by now.

A book that we tend to memorize like the hafizaan memorize the Quran is FIRST AID for step 1. IT appears simplistic, and I cannot explain it, but it works pretty well. We tend to read this book along with our course work to begin memorizing it and then we use this book in the last four weeks or so before the exam and just focus on it alone.

We couple this to doing massive sets of questions from the online Kaplan MCQ bank. The online form is important because it gets you used to taking the test. However, if you cannot afford it then the books they sell in the market places of nangrahar, peshawar, or dehli suffice.

For the step 2 CK, the Kaplan books are also a nice set of texts. FIRST AID was not as reliable for this test. I focused a massive amount of efforst on doing the practice MCQs from USMLE World.

For the step 2 CS: The cases book from FIRST AID is all you need. The foreign grads need some practice though and should do many practice runs with an American colleague who can teach them the tricks of our language and idiosyncracies.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:25 AM
The problem with Pashtuns is that they are not focusing in their area of specialization and may be that is why they have problems in excelling and attaining a distinguished position in their fields. Having said that political consciousness about our national interests is one thing every literate and illiterate Afghan/Pashtun should be aware about as it directly affects our lives, careers, economics, customs, traditions, norms and society at large.

There is no contradiction in achieving excellence and safeguarding our national interest as an Afghan/Pashtun nation. If you are ready to withdraw from your rights as an Afghan then your very expertise are of no use neither to you nor to your nation as you will be a commodity whose price will be decided by the market of other nations who will sell you to others or use you for their vested interests in the name of religion or any other sacred term.

I would recommend to Barakzai wror focusing in establishing a world class medical college and teaching hospital in Kandahar to impart the technology and knowledge to the future generations according to int'l benchmarks.

Luffy and other youngsters instead of investing their energies first in medical and then opting to go for civil services should make up their mind to continue medicine in case they have passion for medicine. The other option of becoming a part and parcel of the same exploitative system which strengthens the imperialism of our enemies and our enslavement will not be fruitful in the long run as examples like Rustam shah momand and Roedad khan etc have shown to a fair extent.


I never said to not learn and know about politics and how it affects your life. As intellectual people physicians should feel interested in politics in general as it affects his own field intimately. His patients and colleagues will expect him to intelligently discuss current affairs in a nonthreatening way.

My point was that while in medical training, which is very rigorous. Your predominant priority is to take care of patients first. It is more important for you to know how to manage a heart attack during your training than to know the specifics of Najeebs or even Ahmad Shah Baba's life.

There are many things that can distract you. These can be things as basic as video games or even this forum. The goal, it appears of this forum is to encourage progress amongst the Pashtoons. It appears that the administrators want the Pashtoons to be the best doctors and not just simply doctors. They can of course chime in if they disagree. I am sure if Admin Khan or Din Khan or anyone of us knew that Luffy or any other medical student or resident, or intern or physician in training had a test coming up and he were spending too much time here, as his brothers, we would tell him or anyone of our colleagues that he needs to go and focus on his work for now. When he is done with that exam, or is on a break, or is near the end of his training, he can ramp up and spend all his time here for all anyone would care. I am sure they would love to have him around.

I addressed the role of physicians in politics in another answer.

Regarding Kandahar, I would be proud to do so. Mir Wais Hospital is an excellent place to start with and there should be an associated Mir Wais Medical Center of Academic Excellent serving Kandahar and the greater border area for patients that want to cross over from Quetta and even local Iran.

However, the current emphasis and building blocks through which to build, the places with the most structure are Nangrahar (possibly kabul) and Khybar.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:30 AM
Anyhow, it is nice to know Barazkzai Saib will be establishing a hospital in Kandahar...modern type...I know an expert Radiologist (Ph. D.) intending to establish a modern lab in Pukhtunkhwa...I think if these splintered efforts come togethor, that will make a difference....

I have heard Rahman Medical Center has now launched Rahman Medical College...

Excellent. There is a doctor who is an academic radiologist from Swaabay/Mardan that I know very well. He is at a pre-eminant medical center in the US and maybe, we can connect the two together and see if there is any possibility for collaboration.

My own background as an electrical engineer involved me in designing imaging systems. I was fortunate to study under Zerhouni at NIH and be funded by a grant to work on some projects in intervetional radiological/cardiology sciences. I am very keen on cardiac imaging/radiological advances for this reason.

Regarding Rehman Medical, I think its a good move. The only issue I see is that Dr. Rehman studied in England, and though the training is excellent there, they still have slightly different approaches to education/licensing exams than we Americans do. I am sure that this center is open to advances though with the money flowing through it.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:34 AM
Anyhow, it is nice to know Barazkzai Saib will be establishing a hospital in Kandahar...modern type...I know an expert Radiologist (Ph. D.) intending to establish a modern lab in Pukhtunkhwa...I think if these splintered efforts come togethor, that will make a difference....

I have heard Rahman Medical Center has now launched Rahman Medical College...

The radiological researchers will need folks like yourself that can cross over and utilize Visual Basic, lab view GUI programming, and other methods with a biomedical engineering approach. You could certainly make your mark in the medical sciences if you so choose to utilize your skills set in that direction. Remember, each CT scanner has algorithms designed by folks like yourself that that determine exactly how each voxel is presented and the design of imaging filters is a science and art work in and of itself (I am so seperated in years from my engineering work in this field that I would require a lot of review to be able to get up to date and re-learn these things).

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:36 AM
BarakzaiAbdali I am very thankful to you and your thread. I might have lots of questions.


Absolutely. Do not hesitate. My plan is to a bi-weekly answering of questions when they come up. So do not despair if I do not answer right away. However, I am sure that there will be other physicians to step into the void as well and offer mentorship and advice. I look at this as not me being the boss here, but rather a jirga of equals.

There may be instances where I am in the intensive care unit and have to answer after a slightly longer period of time.

I will however do my best by you.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 12:57 AM
Abdali sahib, this is such a great thread.

I am in my second year of Pre-Medicine. I am taking all of my Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus classes. Right now, i work in a hospital thats near my campus. I work with the nurses and get plenty of experience with it.
My major is Biology and i am also doing a minor in Psychology.

Next month, i am going for a job at a lab, hopefully.

I want to go to medical school, inshallah, and become a Pediatrician. Its what i have been wanting for so long.

I have serious plans of going to Afghanistan and working in a hospital for 6 months-1 year after graduation. There is a lady my father knows who works at the Nangarhar Medical University, she is an OB/GYN there. My point is, i want to use my goals and help back home as much as I can. In the future, i do want to open a clinic along with my father.

Now i am on winter break, and i have started studying for MCATs. I think its better to start studying little by little in a few years advance.

So now that i am done blabbering, i do want to know your thoughts on PA school, i am using that as a backup plan.


You have a good plan going. You appear to be doing what you ought to. I addressed some of the basic pre reqs above. Hammer that MCAT HARD. Seperate yourself from all distractors and go into a closed off room somewhere that allows you to just study. Stay away from distractors. If you can, wake up for fajr or whenever and just spend the WHOLE day studying. Of course, take a break with a weekend night off at the movies to decompress, but do that only once a week at most. That MCAT is an extremely pertinent part of the process. I will ask my sister and bro in law how it has changed and what they used to study.

I think its excellent that you are in the hospitals themselves seeing how busy and how hectic that doctors and residents are. I had one student shadow me during a call night in the ICU. This is important because so many people enter the field because their parents pushed them into it and they had no idea the rigors of the field.

However, take care to supplement this work with something that has an output for you as well. Remember that doctors, and not nurses will be very possibly writing your recommendation letters. That does not at all mean this activity is not useful. If it is something official (e.g. shadowing/volunterring) and something you can log onto the AMCAS application itself under extra curricular activities then by all means do it.

My kid sister is in medical school right now and so is my brother in law. They are young enough that they are close to the process. They made sure to present the tangibles as well on their application. What do I mean by tangibles?:

Well these days, the American system is coupling a patient centered approach and clinical care to cutting edge research. Your plans on getting into a lab is an excellent way to do this. Try to see if you can get into a project with an MD on it. Work hard on this project and realize that your life will consist of hitting the books hard, studying for your test, and spending whatever free time remains trying to drive your personal project forward.

One way I got involved was that I utilized the federal work study program to my own devices. Most folks do something like sit in the library at a desk and work with the library team for 10 hours a week. Others sit at the front desk of a dorm. I went to the labs at the university and sold myself to them by noting that if they allowed me to work in their labs instead of having to work one of those odd and fruitless jobs, they would benefit and so would I. I noted that they would be paying me half of what they would be paying anyone else since the federal government was paying the other half.

A young girl your age in the cardiac stem cell therapies lab I worked in took an alternate approach and understood that you may not get hired officially at the front end. Her first year was as a volunteer in the lab. However, he made it clear to the PI and the team that she wanted to specifically assist on a project. As the team noted her dependability, she asked if there was any possibility for her own spin off project. She was smart enough to start off with telling the PI that she was in her second year of college and would be around for a few years. She noted that this would allow her to start and carry a good project forward. She got to know the PI and got a strong rec from him for medical school. She eventually got a paid position.

My kid sister goes to a prominent school and these schools appear to be looking for something unique. You have that same profile that she had and should capitalize on it. The Americans look at Pashtun Afghan girls and Muslim girls in general, right now, and see a population of oppressed people. They are admitting them in the droves because they view this elevating them. In my medical school there were like 6 hijaabis admitted alone in one single year.

My sister did some good research work at the NIH and at her home institue as you plan to and spent 1 summer at the Afghan refugee camps. However, that was before the tempo of the war picked up. Doing the year long thing, if you want to take a gap year is not at all a bad idea either. However, if you want to take a straight shot in, find an NGO working in the camps you might just devote a single good lengthy summer to it. These days, the NGOs are more organized around Peshawar itself where the infamous Jelozai and Kacha Gerrai camps were and are now treating the displaced FATA and Swatis. The advantage would be that your position would be safer.

I met Greg Mortensen at a conference and he touched base with me regarding some of his work subsequently as we thought we could offer him some tribal protection in certain areas. Its been years since I have seen him. Maybe I can dig up his email and send it over your way or something. He may have some work going on as well. In fact, the slides he showed me indicated he is working on educating your Waziri girls as midwives and has somehow gotten the FATA maliks to accept this approach.

Your personal statement could then reflect your unique background. Ill dig up my own at some point and my kid sisters to help you out.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 01:12 AM
Abdali sahib, this is such a great thread.

I am in my second year of Pre-Medicine. I am taking all of my Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus classes. Right now, i work in a hospital thats near my campus. I work with the nurses and get plenty of experience with it.
My major is Biology and i am also doing a minor in Psychology.

Next month, i am going for a job at a lab, hopefully.

I want to go to medical school, inshallah, and become a Pediatrician. Its what i have been wanting for so long.

I have serious plans of going to Afghanistan and working in a hospital for 6 months-1 year after graduation. There is a lady my father knows who works at the Nangarhar Medical University, she is an OB/GYN there. My point is, i want to use my goals and help back home as much as I can. In the future, i do want to open a clinic along with my father.

Now i am on winter break, and i have started studying for MCATs. I think its better to start studying little by little in a few years advance.

So now that i am done blabbering, i do want to know your thoughts on PA school, i am using that as a backup plan.

PA school is not a bad idea if things did not work out. With the new Obama measures in place the demands on the system will only increase. The cadre of primary care physicians is too few to meet what will be the massive demands as the baby boomers grow old. A whole slew of folks with supplementary medical training will need to fill the void. These PA schools will also limit their spots and they will then be in high demand by ensuring a low supply to high demand ratio. So if this is your back up its an economically smart one. These folks can also specialize and assist cardiologists, pulmonologists, and other specialist MDs. As an example, our hospital has initiated an interventional pulmonary service. The MD trusts the PA so much that he has trained her on some top notch procedures and they work very well together as a team. Some of the ICU PAs are superb.

However, keep your goal towards the MD for now and do not sway from that. Look at a back up as exactly just that, a backup. Otherwise, you may distract yourself or feel overly comforted. Sometimes a little stress can be oh so helpful and you should feel like pursuing this is the supreme objective. That way, if you did have to go toward the back up plan, you would be well armed with all your prior work to easily make that transition. My wife tells me that PA schools are sometimes asking for GREs and other times MCATs. However, I will admit my lack of knowledge on their application procedures.

The other Back Up Plan:

I have a good friend who was an eastern european boss of mine from my engineering days. He has a niece who is dating a fellow that got in to Med school the second time around. I see this often. Folks have perfectly good credentials, but with the pool of applicants increasing, the competition ramps up. So sometimes your back up should be your persistance. That would then allow you to do your year off with that Ob/Gyn over in Nangrahar and re-apply.

In general, the MCAT should at most be taken twice. I knew one guy from Alabama that got an abysmal score the first time around and retook it and they sort of overlooked the first score. The assumption was that he got his ducks in a row and his act together and grew from the experience.

Other thing Id recommend is take a few looks at that student doctor network site, but do not let the crazy high strung gunners psych you out. Utilize that site as primarily a referral base and not a sounding wall.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 01:15 AM
OK guys, I hope I answered things reasonably well. I'll be going a bi weekly or weekly approach to this due to the fact that I am obviously still at a higher level of training and currently applying for further subspecialization. Whatever advancements and learning tools I glean from this experience, I will share with you. Keep me in your prayers and keep posting here with questions.

European and American physicians, medical students, trainees I know you are out there! Step up to the plate and give these folks some guidance as well. Its our responsibility.

Dervaish
12-17-2010, 12:53 PM
Now you are talking sense. I did not enter into your previous thread which was entirely political and full of passion of youth. Now you are on the path of maturity. Keep it up. You have good ideas but you have to stick to. There will be lot of changes in your plans but I wish stability in you thinking. You can excel in your field but if you go astray again, you will become a hobo of ideas. We need young intelligent people like you. There are plenty of people in politics accomplishing nothing. Leadership is needed in every field and your field of medicine is a noble field for the whole humanity. You will make lot of money and when you do then think of establishing some medical institute or a hospital of some specialized nature in the pakhun land. At present focus all your energies on the progress of your specialization. God bless you.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 01:49 PM
Abdali you will be in my prayers. I am thankful for this opportunity to ask you questions. Does one have to be a bio major to apply to med school? I heard getting into Med school is very hard.

Per one of my answers above, refer to the prereqs section. You can be just about any major or have any background as long as your prereqs and MCATs are fairly recent. Its a tough and selective process though and you should look at those GPA cutoffs and see if you are being realistic. One year the most prominent major for was something like American History or whatever, so major is not a limiter if it is not bio.

unknownprince
12-17-2010, 01:54 PM
Abdali you will be in my prayers. I am thankful for this opportunity to ask you questions. Does one have to be a bio major to apply to med school? I heard getting into Med school is very hard.

You should also check out career changer and post-bacc programs. These are for people who want to become doctors, but decided later on.

There are many respected programs. So if you were not pre-med in undergrad, do not worry. There are plenty of opportunities.

Becoming a doctor is all about putting in the time and determination- nothing else is required.

unknownprince
12-17-2010, 02:22 PM
There are two routes from which to enter the political arena. In America, most of the folks that enter the political fray do so from a high level. For example, when certain drugs turn out to be dangerous and predispose folks to heart attacks and other issues, the experts speak out and sometimes even take on big pharma to protect the patient. This at times involves rebuking the FDA etc.

The other route is via a systems based approach to how the medical systems across the world work. Most folks who do it this way go and get an MPH, a masters of public health. It appears that this degree allows folks to emphasize on how to change and adapt medical systems.

Regarding being a statistic, I think life is about being content. My point is that politics is a dirty field in that it has some factual bases, some personal vandetta, and a whole lot of opinion thrown in. In the scheme of the universe which is aged beyond billions of years, our life span is so short, more like a spark than even a flame. I understand the need that man has that can be typified by Alexander's statement to his mother when he heard that his father Philip of Macedon had conquered a new kingdom, he cried: "My father shall conquer the whole of the world and leave me nothing!"

However, We physicians wear the white coat because we do our best to present ourselves to the patient as being "speen lamaan" in a way, or utterly approachable despite their political dispostion, religious ideology, hatred towards our race or love of it, whether they are killers or saviours. Political views ought not to cloud how we care for a patient.

This reminds me of an anecdotal situation: I had a good solid friend of mine who comes from a small town in the midwest. He is a methodist white American guy who worked hard and is currently and orthopedic surgeon. We have been friends for years, even before medical school. He interviewed at a southern school and was asked what is generally seen as an illegal question to ask regarding support for or against the Iraq War. This guy is rather savvy and is married into a political family. He is a conservative republican, but more fiscally conservative than the current republican part appears to be. He had by that point developed an opposition to the Iraq War and had some cogent reasons that one might agree or disagree with. This was a panel interview, and the two other candidates answered with positives and negatives of the conflict, staying somewhat away from a firm answer. He on the other hand gave quiet a few encyclopedic answers based on fiscal conservatism. I told him that this was the one medical school that he would not get in. Lo and behold that was exactly what happened. Why? Well there may be some validity do the decision made by the comittee. After all, the other two candidates ambivalence would make them completely approachable by all patients, regardless of their political views. However, what if a pro war republican patient were to attempt and discuss this issue with my good friend? He might not feel that his physician is approachable. I am sure he is smart enough to not get into it with a patient, but the idea here is that the committee wanted to understand whether he could present himself as at least approachable.

The other options of course is the Ernesto Guevara, militant style approach to life. After his time at the leper colony and on the road throughout South America, Che saw things that troubled him regarding disparities. Of course, I cannot endorse his political philosophy (communism), but I think that the same thing that bought him to medicine as a calling, convinced him that he had to take care of the root problem that sets folks up for such dastardly outcomes: change the system to erase the disparities. And of course, the current movements across the world, IRA, AQ, Spanish Militants, even Taliban have so some physicians involved, that it appears that there may be some folks may view the world as Che did and want to fix what they feel is the central issue. In a way, they view my approach, which is to simply stay out of the fray and practice medicine purely, as attempting to treat subarrachinoid hemorrhage or an Aortic dissection/aneurysm burst with a bandaid. However, one has to acknowledge that even Che is viewed by quiet a few people as having a lot of blood on his hands at the end of his life.

I tend to disagree based on my personal preferences. I think that we doctors ought to understand that just because we have MDs does not mean that we are political science experts or that we understand the Art of War the way a savvy general or tactician does. We may be well read on certain subjects, but our doctrate is in medicine and not that particular subject matter.

I am not that worried about my legacy. My ideal way to live the end years and leave this world will be have my wife, kids, and grandkids surrounding me. Possibly on a plot of land in Pashtunkhwa or even in North Carolina, with some shneey chai with the right amount of honey mixed into it and some anaar. If they knew who I was, then I will be content.

manana for the post.

I want to combine my medical profession with my political goals. I have concerns for all poor people, especially those most afflicted here in the US. At first I volunteered at a free clinic to get my "experience," but then I saw the scope of unfairness in this nation when it comes to treating and providing medical care for the undeserved. I also volunteered at a homeless shelter for the same wrong reason, and then ended up seeing the pain and hardship that a 10-year old boy had to deal with in regards to maintaining an interest in his education while being moved from one place to another. The world is not pretty, and most people are evil and wicked, and have been fooled by Iblis with materialism. Time and time again, I see that self-happiness is a form of evil that has manifested itself into people who are considered good. Like they say in the land of the blind, the One-Eyed is King.

I consider all Muslims and Pashtuns my family. I want to leave this world knowing that I worked towards their security, and gave them protection. And gave them their due standing in the world. I want to leave this world knowing that Afghanistan and Pashtuns are better off and have a flourishing nation. I also wish to be buried in Pashtun lands. I want my blood to return ti the soil.

When I talk of not wanting to be a statistic, it is not about wanting glory, but more so about mattering in this world, especially, for my Pashtun Muslims who no one else right now seems to be concerned about. I care for the well-being of all people (regardless of race or religious creed), but the Pashtuns need a lot of attention right now seeing as no one in the world (even the Muslim World) seem to care right now for them.


So in the meantime, I will be a doctor, but I will carry all this into the political spectrum.I want to do my residency elsewhere and not in the US. I will do medical school here in the US, but want to do residency elsewhere. I want to join with other people in opening as many free clinics as possible in Pashtun lands, and most importantly orphanages/schools. I plan on having a huge focus on orphans for 2 reasons: 1) they deserve to be given a shot at a quality education, and 2) the future leader will come from these children. So in essence, I want to raise up a class of people who can fill all of Afghanistan's ranks in terms of government, the health sector, and most importantly, the military. These are the people that will determine Afghanistan's future, not Karzai.

unknownprince
12-17-2010, 02:33 PM
Yes, I think what current and future doctors should do now is focus on structuring hospitals in Afghanistan. This is very important for the population, and also to introduce new medical professional schools in the area.

This will have two positive aspects of 1) increasing the populations access to healthcare, and 2) creating more educational opportunities for physicians there.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-17-2010, 06:34 PM
manana for the post.

I want to combine my medical profession with my political goals. I have concerns for all poor people, especially those most afflicted here in the US. At first I volunteered at a free clinic to get my "experience," but then I saw the scope of unfairness in this nation when it comes to treating and providing medical care for the undeserved. I also volunteered at a homeless shelter for the same wrong reason, and then ended up seeing the pain and hardship that a 10-year old boy had to deal with in regards to maintaining an interest in his education while being moved from one place to another. The world is not pretty, and most people are evil and wicked, and have been fooled by Iblis with materialism. Time and time again, I see that self-happiness is a form of evil that has manifested itself into people who are considered good. Like they say in the land of the blind, the One-Eyed is King.

I consider all Muslims and Pashtuns my family. I want to leave this world knowing that I worked towards their security, and gave them protection. And gave them their due standing in the world. I want to leave this world knowing that Afghanistan and Pashtuns are better off and have a flourishing nation. I also wish to be buried in Pashtun lands. I want my blood to return ti the soil.

When I talk of not wanting to be a statistic, it is not about wanting glory, but more so about mattering in this world, especially, for my Pashtun Muslims who no one else right now seems to be concerned about. I care for the well-being of all people (regardless of race or religious creed), but the Pashtuns need a lot of attention right now seeing as no one in the world (even the Muslim World) seem to care right now for them.


So in the meantime, I will be a doctor, but I will carry all this into the political spectrum.I want to do my residency elsewhere and not in the US. I will do medical school here in the US, but want to do residency elsewhere. I want to join with other people in opening as many free clinics as possible in Pashtun lands, and most importantly orphanages/schools. I plan on having a huge focus on orphans for 2 reasons: 1) they deserve to be given a shot at a quality education, and 2) the future leader will come from these children. So in essence, I want to raise up a class of people who can fill all of Afghanistan's ranks in terms of government, the health sector, and most importantly, the military. These are the people that will determine Afghanistan's future, not Karzai.

James Joyce once wrote that Ireland is the sow that eats her farrow. He was referring to a Clintonesque, nationalistic politician named Charles Parnell who generally was a champion the Irish independence cause, but was caught having an affair with a married woman. Therefore, the people tore him apart despite what he did for them. Many idealists are great people, but pragmatism always has to be coupled to idealism to enhance effectiveness. A part of what Islam allows you is to understand that you have an obligation to your brethren, and I admire your goals. However, you also have an obligation to understand that, whether it is due to poverty, population enforced competition, maintaining one's status, some our greatest champions understood that our people have the best traits in them and the worst traits in them (as I am sure we all do as individuals as well). A part of your duty is to also be good to yourself and your loved ones and understand these ground level realities (as I am sure a smart person like you already does). There are people on the ground there that will care for you like their own son and protect you to the bitter end against anyone else, but there are people that would sell you and cheat you faster than the eye can blink. That does not mean that all of the aforementioned do not need your help, but it just means proceed with caution.

With that in mind, are you already in an allopathic MD granting institution? Are you currently applying to be in one? If so, you should strongly consider completing your residency here. The US system is set up to encourage continuity. This is why on the ERAS residency application, the question comes up: Did you do a gap year, and if so why? Their hope is that it was for research or some sort of year abroad doing clinical work. However, if the gap year was not wisely spent, you are put at a disadvantage compared to your peers when applying through the ERAS/Match. Moreover, leaving the system sometimes makes it difficult to return and can limit your options.

Moreover, I have a number of strong professors here who did faculty work and collaboration with their British colleagues and noted that the American trained intern is ready, compared to his colleagues abroad to take on nearly all emergent life threatening illnesses. The other systems are sometimes harder to switch into. In fact, many foreign grads are surprised at how welcoming, despite the hurdles, our system is. Furthermore, the time that it takes to reach and attending and even fellow level in the British system is very drawn out. Being a foreigner puts you at an immediate disadvantage and may even disqualify you per their recent law changes that resulted in many Indian grads who had put in years of time and effort having to return to their country empty handed.

Also, this may sound like the antithesis of what you might expect based on what I have written before, but as much as the need exists for primary care oriented people and pediatricians, there is also a need for gifted specialists. One should not be ashamed to compete for the highest order of specialty, including, and this be a shocker, plastic surgery. I have a close family member who is in Plastics and goes abroad on yearly sojourns to build up academic centers in third world nations and to treat extremely debilitating injuries or advanced congenital deformities. Ob/Gyns are obviously doing a whole lot of their share to contribute.

What often happens in medicine is that lines become drawn by uninformed folks and outside factors. As more and more Muslims have entered medicine, family pressure has come to a head and made it so that becoming a relatively less powerful family practitioner or general internist demands far less respect. I remember one Arab guy who is an internist told me that he was interested in a girl for marriage and that her father found out he was general medical doctor and basically showed him the door! This is utterly ludicrous because anyone who is on the inside knows that everyone plays an important role and that a general internist is not exactly a starving artist by any means. A solid general practitioner knows how manage a wide variety of disease states and knows when to refer to specialized levels of care. They help make people's quality of life better if they adminster proper care. They also are the gateway to the community and can make their home anywhere with good return.

However, folks also make a mistake on the other side. The assumption is that specialists are greedy and that they are power hungry and that serving the people is the special domain of the internist, primary care doc, or pediatrician. This is a fallacy and has no basis in reality. Trauma surgeons save lives every day and live a pretty devoted existance. Dermatologists and ID docs can treat very rare, tropical, and challenging illnesses.

Bottom line is that its a team approach and each field within medicine offers its own perspective and contribution to the unique jirga that is the whole of it.

unknownprince
12-17-2010, 07:50 PM
I disagree with you on some of what you said above, but since this is a medical thread, I will pm you later on.

oh, I said I will be applying to medical school soon. Excuse me if I gave the impression as if I was already there LOL.

I want to do medical school here, and then do residency elsewhere- a place where I can form several political contacts Thats the plan for now :) Im not an idealist, but I will accomplish all my goals, especially in this regard, and I have thought about practical ways of going about it, and I can see that they are all within reach. Im looking for like minded people. Anyways...

...I will need tips from you on my personal statement and how to present my profile. Obviously, I will not mention that I intend to leave to another place once I am done. Thats the only way I can achieve my political goals while attempting to be good at being a physician.

Thanks, I will let you know when the time comes.

Please detail to us how you went about applying and how it was for you.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-18-2010, 08:03 PM
I disagree with you on some of what you said above, but since this is a medical thread, I will pm you later on.

oh, I said I will be applying to medical school soon. Excuse me if I gave the impression as if I was already there LOL.

I want to do medical school here, and then do residency elsewhere- a place where I can form several political contacts Thats the plan for now :) Im not an idealist, but I will accomplish all my goals, especially in this regard, and I have thought about practical ways of going about it, and I can see that they are all within reach. Im looking for like minded people. Anyways...

...I will need tips from you on my personal statement and how to present my profile. Obviously, I will not mention that I intend to leave to another place once I am done. Thats the only way I can achieve my political goals while attempting to be good at being a physician.

Thanks, I will let you know when the time comes.

Please detail to us how you went about applying and how it was for you.


Sure in the coming weeks I'll detail that phase of the application process. Ill work on discussing:

1) The process itself
2) How to approach the AMCAS (its been a while since I went through that process so you can correct anything that might have changed)
3) Academic versus Primary Care Schools and how to approach applying and interviewing at both.
4) We can go back and forth about any tough interview questions and what the interview process entails/should proceed like
5) What you can do individually to strengthen your application (we can always do this through private messaging if you feel more comfortable that way).

I look forward to it.

Mysterious Jilay
12-18-2010, 08:19 PM
Well I'm planning to go to Med-School as well inshallah, but for now I'm still in my freshman year of college. I heard doing a biomedical pre-med major is a good idea because the Med-Schools look at it differently. I'm planning to specialize in Dermatology inshallah, and also go back home and help out or something. I'm just kind of confused if Biomed is a good major or not....and the whole MCAT is freaking me out!

BarakzaiAbdali
12-18-2010, 09:56 PM
Well I'm planning to go to Med-School as well inshallah, but for now I'm still in my freshman year of college. I heard doing a biomedical pre-med major is a good idea because the Med-Schools look at it differently. I'm planning to specialize in Dermatology inshallah, and also go back home and help out or something. I'm just kind of confused if Biomed is a good major or not....and the whole MCAT is freaking me out!

1. Do you mean Biomedical Engineering or do you mean some other major called biomedical research or biology?

If you mean Biomedical Engineering here is what I have to say about that. I think there are a number of excellent departments out there, including Johns Hopkins and Duke's. At one point, I helped screen potential interns for a prestigious BESIP program (Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program) at the NIH and for subsequent in house post bacc grants. These schools appear to graduate engineers that are specialized enough to actually be productive and design oriented. I found that these two schools produced motivated and capable engineers that were technologically proficient and armed to program well. They usually transition well into the work force and are able to tough it out.

However, if you are utilizing it as a backup and would potentially stay in engineering if medical school did not work out, I would ask to you reconsider your major for the following reasons:

The foundational engineering professions: Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering/Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering, have little respect for the UNDERGRADUATE degree work that goes into getting a bachelors degree. They appear to respect folks that have a bachelors degree in the foundational fields and then potentially acquire masters or PhD levels certification in the subspecialty of Biomedical Engineeering.

I think the reason for this is that the graduating bachelors degree biomedical engineer (BME) is viewed as a "jack of all trades but a master of none."

Unfortunately, I think that this stereotype actually plagues ALL engineering education in the US across ALL the disciplines due to the general movement that took place in the 90s towards graduating folks that were less technically savvy but could interface well in the era of globalization. I believe that idea was to build a cadre of engineers that would direct their global colleagues at acquire designs and prototypes at a lower cost. The problem is that technical prowess is paramount to being an engineer and without it, you really do not know what to direct in the first place. You become dispensible at some point to your company because your salary may increase with pay grade and time with the organization, but you do what four young graduates could do at lower salaries that all combine to equal your own. They will cut their losses and get rid of you and replace you. This is another whole discussion in and of itself.

If you have confidence in your capabilities as a student and think that you can keep up with the engineering mindset in BME and work, while balancing your premed prereqs, then I say go for it though. Your first semester and year performance will be a clue into how well you will progress. In this case you then have to understand you are devoting yourself to using BME as a stepping stone and not an end-all way to make a living.

**Coming to the application process with even a 3.5 in BME is considered an accomplishment because at the end of the day, despite the stereotypes other engineers have about it, medical doctors have a deep respect for the field. They usually understand that a BME had to be able to handle tough electrical engineering and device design course work alongside molecular and biological studies while their biology colleague wer a bit more focused on the latter. It convinces them that the the applicant is devoted to a possible academic approach to life and will do research oriented academic medicine at some point. They feel that this applicant could be their translator or link to the technological world that fuels biomedical research.**

However, do not at all be deluded, as I am sure you are finding out right now, its a tough bachelors degree field and you will be working and competing against a group of very smart people for the most part in your own field and the premedical group.

2. The other engineering back up options

If I had to do it over again, I would probably have done chemical engineering with the premed prereqs as opposed to electrical engineering. The reason for this is that the additional course work to take the MCAT and to be able to apply to medical school overlaps more easily with Chemical Engineering than the others. The added benefit is that if you do not make the grade and cannot get into medical school, you have a very lucrative national (within the US) and international capability to land a job that will provide for you and your family. This is much harder to do in Biomedical engineering where job options are limited unless you search in the right places and supplement your BME degree with an MBA or PhD or a double major.

Some schools allow a double major (ChemE + BME), (Mechanical Engineering + BME), (Electrical Engineering + BME). This is also an attractive but very difficult option due to the fact that you will be worked extremely hard.

3. How these fields translate into subsequent applications into residencies:

BMEs, which make into medical school in the droves (1/3 of the graduating class usually goes to medical school at most good institutions), are able to find a home in a number of different fields because their degree, as I noted above, interfaces well with medicine.

Mechanical Engineering: These folks are well liked by orthopedic surgeons if they supplement their degree with subsequent bone or endocrine/bone related research in medical school

Chemical Engineering: There is a lot of fluid dynamics and modeling that marry well into cardiology (the heart is a pump and the vessels are idealized tubes for flow etc). Your pursuit of dermatology might work well here since so many dermatological experiments and medicines work on diffusion/absorption through skin and a chemical engineer could make a treatment more realistic or design an experiment with such materials.

Electrical Engineering: If these folks can program alongside their hardware design skills they are well liked by a number of fields including cardiology (the beating heart has an electrical system that underlies it etc), Radiology, Radiation Oncology, and possibly neurology (the brain pathway and nerve connections are like electrical systems).

Computer Engineering: Well liked by radiologists and all research oriented fields due to the contribution they can make in advancing imaging.

4. If you think engineering is not panning out

There is no shame on moving into a field that can gaurantee you attain the GPA and science GPA that assure you will be a viable candidate. Below a 3.3, even in BME, is a tough sell to many medical schools. C grades already are red flags, but are not going to necessarily keep you out if there are very few of these. D's and Fs are permanent black marks unless you somehow turn everything around and have some great connections into the field.

The other fields offer a number of pathways into medicine.

5. Generalized advice

Regardless of field, you still need to do some extra curriculars and do well enough on the MCAT (see my prior posts). Ill try to post on the MCAT later on after I talk with my family members that are closer to what it is like now versus when I took it.

6. Dermatology

Excellent field and and excellent lifestyle. However, it is very difficult to get into and requires top notch USMLE step 1 scores to just get your foot in the door of a good program.

Realize that based on anecdote (not on any data I have accumulated), most folks involved in medical education and medical school admissions committees are: Internal/Family Medicine Docs, Pathologists, Pyschiatrists, Anesthesiologists, and Pathologists. The dean himself may an accomplished researcher in some prominent speciality, but in general the composition of the committees for admission I served on as a medical student showed me that these were the sort of folks that were sitting around in the committees. For some odd reason these folks can develop a bad view of folks that are generally viewed as more powerful than them with more lucrative and selective specialties (dermatologists included). For that reason, you will have to gauge who you are interviewing with.

As an example, I knew one committee member that prized honesty from the candidate and really looked for certain qualifiers. For example if a candidate said that they wanted to be a CT surgeon, and at least coupled with a reasonable statement such as "I want to be the type of academic surgeon that Judah Folkman was (he really advanced basic science research quiet a bit at Harvard)," this showed the interviewer that the candidate was interested in the specialty not for acquiring more power or making more money, but rather to serve the field as an academician within it.

However, another interviewer was a family medicine practitioner that hated the fact that some candidates entered the field with a "closed mind." My personal belief was that this committee member had either a bad experience with a specialist collegue, or was upset about the respect that specialists recieved, or had not been able to make it in herself. Therefore, she projected her beliefs onto candidates. I think this latter group of people really makes dishonest medical students and doctors out of all of us and should be utterly condemned. Unfortunately, they are a realistic hurdle in the way.

However, if you are interested in derm, you should get involved in immunological or dermpath related research that could help build your CV on the way. This looks good because you can always say you are interested in the immunological origin or certain dermatopathologies and want to lead the way in researching these as a doctor or you can even say that your mind is still open to other fields like allergy and immunology due to the fact that the field is replete with research interests.

If your school has some derm or immuno-derm or derm path related research and a good medical school nearby you can always continue you work and try to stay local at your medical school. The reason for this is that if there are MDs on these projects, and you publish with them, you can become friendly enough with them that they will want to keep you around for a derm residency.

For now though, focus on just getting into medical school because your interests may change as you do clinical rotations!

Ashiq
12-18-2010, 11:49 PM
It is nice to see the doctors of these fora.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-19-2010, 05:33 PM
BarakzaiAbdali how does one pay for Med school?

It is quiet expensive here in the states. There are a few ways to go about this:

1) Out of pocket. Some schools range in tuitions in the 10 thousands (in state), and others much higher. Few people have the ability to do it this way

2) Low interest loans: This is an option that most observant Muslims shun because it is interest associated. This is unless a deal is worked out with a wealthier Muslim to pay back the sum of the loan that they cover for you. Most medical students accumulate a debt of about ~$150,000. Moroever, an overwhelming majority of medical students require loans. However, an overwhelming majority are able to pay them off quickly.

3) Scholarship: Very few of these out there, but they exist, sometimes locally. One guy I knew had a full two years payed for by a local family that had a scholarship through the medical school for one student (awarded via competition/essay).

4) MSTP programs: Excellent way to go. You get an MD and a PhD and your tuition is fully covered. Its really unethical but some people do the first two basic science years and then opt out of the PhD portion. This can follow you as a black mark on your record if you try to cheat the system this way. Some people get away with it. One thing to consider though is that they are abundent but they are competitive to get into even above and beyond the standard MD admissions route. However, for what you get, you have to put time into the program. The MD route is 4 years and on average the PhD route is about 3-4 years for a total of about 7 years of schooling.

5) UHSIS: The military has its own medical school (UHSIS) and there are ROTC scholarships that cover everything from tuition to living expenses and it also offers a salary in addition. However, this entails an obligation with the US military that is problematic for many who are against the war. Doctors for the most part have little to do with the fighting, but you still end up being a part of the general scheme of things. There was recently an article in JAMA (one of the post prestigious medical journals) where Americans themselves spoke out against the mixing of medicine, CIA interrogation tactics, and militarization. The other option that allows you to avoid an overseas engagement is the National Health Service that will give you many options but you will end up serving your time in a rural community or in places like Alaska where the need is.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-19-2010, 06:06 PM
BarakzaiAbdali how does one pay for Med school?

I forgot to mention in my earlier response to you that schools like Mayo Medical and Cleveland Clinic are offering full tuition to all their students. However, I believe that the latter is a 5 year curriculum with a 1 year mandatory research thesis requirement. They also usually want to see folks interested in academic medicine (treating patients alongside doing research) apply to their schools. The spots are usually limited to 30 or 40 students per year. However, these days sacrificing just a year is not a big deal at all and usually you get some big name fellowship that helps you compete for top notch specialities.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-20-2010, 08:48 PM
So, now that I have helped delineate the issues that previously plagued us in internicine conflict, I think I will turn back to this (unless someone reopens a stupid thread insulting one another all over again).

Today, I think that I want to touch on Academic Medicine, a direction within the field that is close to my own heart. The reason being that this information can also help with applications. I will also touch on primary care and private practice at some other juncture.

All too often, when people think of a doctor, they think of an office + a patient + their doctor.

However, people forget that the reason the doctor gives Aspirin, a beta blocker, an Ace inhibitor etc to your loved after a heart attack is that someone had to study outcomes, someone had to study mechanisms of disease and pharmacology, and someone had to publish.

The assumption, all too often is that Physicians (MDs) are just patient oriented people and that some PhD in a lab somewhere did all of that work. This is a completely incorrect assumption. The amazing thing about medicine is that there are no limits to what you can do with your training.

If you want to be a business man with it, so be it, you can find your place quiet easily in device companies as a consultant or managing a firm etc. or within hospital infrastructure. A few lucky people get hired by companies right out of high profile medical schools and never even see a residency period. There are now many MD MBA programs.

If you want to be a lawyer, there are MD/JD combined programs out there and are growing.

If you want to be an engineer, you can always utilize your MD to come up with design ideas, quality assurance measures, and testing protocols for devices. This is why I never felt like I left engineering! My new field accomodates my prior interest and allows me to do what I have been doing and come up with designs for devices and pursue patents and eventual testing.

However, amazing men like Judah Folkner:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Folkman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Folkman)

are what I call academicians.

The ideal academician MD (rarely obtained goal) is an excellent patient care physician, a cutting edge researcher, and a teacher to all levels of trainees rolled in one. Quiet often, people find that they can really balance two of these three hats.

However, the classic model of academic medicine is called the 3 legged stool model (clinical care, teaching, and research). All major academic medical schools (Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, WU @ St. Louis) all strive to graduate leaders in medicine that will become such academicians. They know they may fall short, but if they can produce one single Eric Topol, it will have been worth the effort, time, and money:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Topol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Topol)
http://www.theheart.org/article/970807.do (http://www.theheart.org/article/970807.do)

These guys do major outcomes studies that publish in JAMA and the New England Journal as well and examine whether therapies we have been implementing actually work on a large scale.

An excellent example of a physician-scientist, as the ideal academician is sometimes referred to is Dr. Francis Collins:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins)

He is the board certified MD that decoded the human genome.

To break into academics, people can do so at so many stages in there career. One can do so starting at the undergraduate level and show that they have a love of medical research.

They can then apply to either MD PhD programs that I detailed previously or to pure MD programs with a tilt towards research (Harvard, Duke, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins etc). The former pathway may allow one to be trained in further detail regarding the fundementals of research and how to obtain grants. However, some MDs that I spoke to like Ben Carson of Hopkins, told me that well trained MDs are as capable of obtaining good NIH funding as MD PhDs (so one need not despair about getting caught into a PhD track!):
http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=4946 (http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=4946)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson)

Others are like the world renowed infectious disease specialist, Lou Rice, who did not have much lab or research training until the tail end of his fellowship (a late but great bloomer!) He once told me that it was a single exposure to a great project that stoked his interests during this time:

http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2010/06/rice (http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2010/06/rice)

So there are academicians, the leaders of modern medicine, examples of the medical giants of our era. A good muslim example is the former head of the NIH before Francis Collins, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, formerly of Algeria:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/Former_Nih_Director_Elias_Zerhouni_Rejoins_Johns_H opkins_Medicine_as_Senior_Advisor (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/Former_Nih_Director_Elias_Zerhouni_Rejoins_Johns_H opkins_Medicine_as_Senior_Advisor)

Some folks have the misconception that pursuing academics is less lucrative than private practice. In some ways this may be true, but trust me, no academic cardiologist or CT surgeon is starving. This same individual, the academic physician, can always cross over into the practice practice world if push comes to shove, but the reverse is hard if not impossible to do.

How does this bare on the Afghan struggle?

Well my compatriots, these folks will help build up our home institutions in places like Jalalabad and Khybar and are going to interface with bussiness oriented folks. These people will be devising curricula and also help transfer the standards of cutting edge care from America to their colleagues in Afghanistan/Pashtunkhwa. If the area can become a business hub in a few decades or 75 years or so, these folks will also do what India has already done and start things like Stem Cell Reseach there. It is happening in Delhi, there is no reason it cannot happen in Peshawar or Kandahar or Jalalabad my friends.

The jews understood the importance of dominating and mastering the academic domain while a number of our Muslim brethren ran straight to private practice. This resulted in Saudi lagging behind in medicine and Tel Aviv maintaining cutting edge research and care at places like the Technion. Now the gradient has reversed and technology is beginning to flow outwards from places like Israel because the jews were willing to go the hard route and the intellectual route.

We can talk more about this in the future if there are questions. I provided the names above so that people can become acquainted with great physician scientists if they apply to major medical centers at their local university. These places are also looking for academic minded people (folks that is why they want you to do research!).

kakargirl
12-20-2010, 09:29 PM
wrora this a excellent contribution to the forum a medical thread where all can comes its like a walk in help service so proffessional mashallah interesting facts mashallah

Dreamer
12-21-2010, 04:08 PM
I recognize those as exams that are for the British/irish systems no? Some of this depends on how you felt like you did on Step 1 and whether your degree is european vs from Pakistan/Afghanistan.

From what it appears, having an european degree from Britian from say Cambridge, or the Royal College or even schools in Ireland are equivalent nearly to the AMG (American Medican Grad) status in the application pool. In this situations you remain competitive with two digits as low as 90 or perhaps equivalency of 225 or so with the for specialities like Internal Medicine. These same grads also generally can consider applying for surgery.

The Pakistan/Afghanistan pool can be a bit more limited unless they generally emulate their colleagues in Aga Khan in terms of how they supplement their application. First and foremost the scores matter tremendously and a 99 two digit score is essential with about a 235 ro 240 being a baseline requirement on the steps 1/2. Step 3 is something that more and more programs are asking for because of the visa situation these days. So pursuing the USMLE with great vigor is an essential first step.

For the a straight shot the "easy route" possibility into the American System generally remains Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics. These fields are generally the easiest to find a spot in due to the massive amounts of spots that exist that go unfilled even after the regular match. The work needed to get simply a spot versus a good spot at an academic center is the issue here. If one wants to get a spot in an NYC inner city program that generally ends up being easier, but you are pretty much limited in your career options thereafter at: staying in Internal Medicine as a Hospitalist (not a bad deal at all these days with the growing need and pay due to ACGME residency work hour regulations that are growing and the good shift style work and lifestyle) or a Family Practitioner. I still think both fields are very valuable and I salute those that are brave enough to take on the burdgeoning primary care in the the US. However, competitive folks tend to shun it and think it insufficient. For some reason, everyone with even a little persian blood, like ourselves, gravitates to cardiology.

Where the paths toughen and become competitive for the Pakistani/Afghan Grads is in attempting access to solid Internal Medicine residencies in institutions like say, Emory Medical, UCLA, Stanford Univ, etc, General Surgery, and of course the extremely competitive and difficult to attain even for the American grads specialties of: Opthalmology, ENT, Ortho Surgery (rarely if ever happens), and nearly any solid Gen Surg residency. However, it is becoming more and more possible, but sacrifice is necessary. The Aga Khanis appear to be making inroads and are set up by their school to understand how to take on the system. I will delve into this more in the future, but the basics of the formula FOR THESE COMPETITIVE routes (this does not necessarily apply to the simple get into residency approach) appear to be:

1) Solid USMLE performance + 2) Solid performance on American observational rotations (another subject we can talk about in the future) to get letters of recommendation with + 3) Research + 4) Becoming adept at the interview process and having easy going conversations with your future American colleagues.

It is, 3), research, above that most Pakistan/Afghan fulbright grads shun, but that is possibly their link into the more competitive specialities if they are willing sacrifice some time and understand that humility and pain are involved. For instance, students from University of Tehren will come in, and in a period of 2 years commit to taking their steps and engage in basic science or clinical research, get to know some good clinicians, do some strong work and possibly publish, do some observation rotations and then apply. I know a few who got into Internal Medicine at top level American program that allowed them to subsequently match into cardiology. The Agha Khanis are understanding this and going to Hopkins to do ENT/Basic Opthalmological research etc and are now getting strong interviews in these fields. But these students that I met on my travels are willing to make sacrifice and take on 2 year research projects and work hard as hell.

Finally, a field that some Pakistanis and Afghans appear to shun are is Neurology. I wonder why? I know in their home countries it is viewed as on par with psychiatry, but guys, here in the states this field is accessible and cutting edge. Neurology is where cardiology was in the 80s/90s and waiting to be opened up with cutting edge research and interventional procedures.

graduated from London

BarakzaiAbdali
12-21-2010, 08:43 PM
graduated from London

Dreamer wrorre, if you get the time, can you post for the sake of some of our UK colleagues how getting into the system there works? I have really not of an idea at all when it comes to the undergrad to medical school transition. I know British folks who went through their equivalent of residency, but not much more.

1) How does one get into medical school in the UK?
2) How does one get into the most competitive institutions?
3) What should one be doing at the high school/undergrad? equivalent levels over there.
4) What are the premiere institutions or the best of the best for medical schooling?

pukhtana
12-21-2010, 09:19 PM
Barakzai lala,
I want to study in medical school but I don't know if I can handle it. is there any way I can audit the courses?

BarakzaiAbdali
12-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Barakzai lala,
I want to study in medical school but I don't know if I can handle it. is there any way I can audit the courses?

Salaams Pukhtana, have confidence in yourself! You are a Pashtun, we can accomplish anything with the help of Khodaay Ta'alaa and a little bit of work. Can you do me a favor for the thread's quality? Your question is an excellent question. If you can offer me a little information I can hone my answer to your case. If you prefer private messaging to give this info to me, there is no problem with that either. I will ask you some key questions in order to give you the most quality answer to suit your needs. As I stated, if you prefer to answer them via private messaging that is fine, but I prefer the thread if it is no issue so that others may gain wisdom from this.

1) What age group are you in? College years (18-22)? Older than 22? Older than 30? Younger than 18?

2) Are you in the US or the UK? or another country?

3) Are you a US/UK citizen or a non citizen (I only ask because I can offer you quality info about avenues to pursue if you are a US citizen).

4) If you are in a course of study or undertaking school currently, what is it that you do?

5) Is English a first language for you?

6) Where do you feel your deficits are? Did you attend high school here in the US?

The answers to these questions will be more valuable than me telling you to audit anything because a little preliminary work will be more valuable to you and give you the answer without wasting your time.

* I will be taking care of patients in a more acute unit called a step down unit starting tomorrow (so look for my answer on Thursday relative to the American East Coast).

Haider Bangash 2.0
12-21-2010, 10:11 PM
BarakzaiAbdali, does one have to take Premed in College to apply to Med school?

I was gonna ask a similar question. What major (undergrad) would put one on advantage when applying to a med school? I am a Biochem major. And how hard/easy is MCAT?

@unhiddentruth, as far as I've heard, you don't have to be a pre-med (as an undergrad) to apply to med school. You just need to be sure to take all the required math and science courses you need to get into medical school. That's the pre-med part: it's generally just a name for that group of courses and not a college major. Like I am a Biochem major and a pre-med.

abbas
12-21-2010, 10:31 PM
hey,

just saw this thread and would be happy to contribute if required.
I'm a medical student at a UK university, so if there is anyone intending to apply to the UK, and would like advice/ have any questions, then feel free to ask.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-21-2010, 10:41 PM
BarakzaiAbdali, does one have to take Premed in College to apply to Med school?


Salaam Wrorre,

Haider Bangash is correct. See if one of you can scan through my prior answers as I have answered this question previously. I will try to do so again on Thursday for your benefit. Perhaps any supporters of this particular thread can cut and paste what I wrote previously regarding various undergraduate approach that can vary as wide as applying with a degree in Music to a Degree in Engineering. You can basically apply with any undergraduate degree, but as Bangash saib has written, you merely need the right prereq courses.

I will answer on Thursday with further specifics to give more detailed advice on the prereqs and give various examples of competitive and primary care schools and what they require as prereqs.

Until then, as I mentioned, if anyone gets a chance, they can collect what I wrote previously as a preliminary answer to unhiddentruth saib.

I will also answer Bangash Saib's question alongside of the question you asked since both overlap.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 12:00 AM
hey,

just saw this thread and would be happy to contribute if required.
I'm a medical student at a UK university, so if there is anyone intending to apply to the UK, and would like advice/ have any questions, then feel free to ask.

Salaam Wrorre,

Perhaps you can best answer what I asked Dreamer earlier:

Dreamer wrorre, if you get the time, can you post for the sake of some of our UK colleagues how getting into the system there works? I have really not of an idea at all when it comes to the undergrad to medical school transition. I know British folks who went through their equivalent of residency, but not much more.

1) How does one get into medical school in the UK?
2) How does one get into the most competitive institutions?
3) What should one be doing at the high school/undergrad? equivalent levels over there.
4) What are the premiere institutions or the best of the best for medical schooling?

Laila
12-22-2010, 12:36 AM
BarakzaiAbdali, does one have to take Premed in College to apply to Med school?

I was gonna ask a similar question. What major (undergrad) would put one on advantage when applying to a med school? I am a Biochem major. And how hard/easy is MCAT?

@unhiddentruth, as far as I've heard, you don't have to be a pre-med (as an undergrad) to apply to med school. You just need to be sure to take all the required math and science courses you need to get into medical school. That's the pre-med part: it's generally just a name for that group of courses and not a college major. Like I am a Biochem major and a pre-med.

To answer both of your questions, No you do not need to complete Pre-Med for Medical school. :)

For medical school, you do not have to major in science or math. You can major in anything: English, Sociology, History, etc.

However, you have to take the required courses in order to apply to medical school during undergraduate.

These courses that need to be completed are as follows:

1 year of General Chemistry
1 year of Organic Chemistry
1 year of General Biology
1 year of English
1 year of Physics
1 year of Calculus

^ However, they are the very basic courses.....and in order to be a competitive applicant...you will need to take way more than that.

However, medical school does recommend a science major, but you do not have to....it is your choice.

To be more clear...no major as Pre-Medicine exists. Pre Med is considered for those students that are majoring in the health/science department: Biology BS, Cell and Molecular Biology, BioChemistry, Genetics, etc.

So because i am a Biology major, i am considered to be in Pre-Medicine because of my declared major. I hope that makes a little sense :)

You definitely have to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). It covers:

Biology
Chemistry & Physics
Verbal Reasoning
Essay Composition

Usually a student that is serious about their status for medical school, will take it more than once, ideally. But hey, if mashallah you get a perfect score of 45-50....then you do not need to take it again. However, i dont mean to discourage anyone, i have never met anyone that has gotten a good score the first time. The test is available twice a year: April and August. And you can take it as many times you want. You do however, want to at least get a 30 on it.

Also, a student going down the medical route, I have to be honest, has to have at least a 3.5 GPA. You should shoot for a 4.0 GPA. Your grades mean so much when it comes to applying, medical schools want to see competitive students that can really excel.

My first year college GPA was a 3.5, and i was told i have to do harder. This semesters GPA was a 3.7, and i am still working my way up to a 4.0.

Also, you have really do countless hours of volunteer work. You definitely need more than 3,000 hours of work. You can do this at:

hospital
clinic
nursing home

Do not expect to get paid, remember why you are doing it. I have been working at my hospital for nearly 9 months. I do no get paid at all, though i work my butt off at work.

Also get some shadowing done. What that means is work with a doctor. You will have to get permission first and go through some legal things because practicing medicine with a patient is very confidential, so for you to want to foreshadow a doctor will take some time, i had to wait 3 months to foreshadow a MD. And it was for only one day a week during a summer a couple of years ago. They company took it very serious.

Also it takes about 3-5 months to volunteer at a hospital. You will have to take a physical, criminal background check, etc. So its a long wait.

Also it takes years to get into medical school, normally. Its a very competitive field, and its not taken lightly.

You have to complete 4 years of Undergraduate. And then it is Medical School, which is normally 4 years. Do not mistake Medical School as a Masters/PHD. It is actually higher.

Medical Schools do like students that have completed a Masters, so do keep that in mind.

Students in the US that have just finished Medical School, will be in between $ 200,000 - 300,000 student debt :/ i know it sounds scary. But there are ways around it so that it gets paid off in time...such as working in an underserved clinic for some good amount of time, or working in third world countries for like an organization or the UN.

Through this brutal route for medical school, here are some advice my parents always give me:

* Make yourself stand out....show the medical field who you are, what you can do, and how can you help the world.
* Never give up! Its a long process, and many will feel that its too much. But if you have passion in it, dont let yourself down.
* You are doing something for humanity, so as you are taking it serious, do have fun with it :)
* Also, the salary is very, very, very nice ;)

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 12:42 AM
To answer both of your questions, No you do not need to complete Pre-Med for Medical school. :)

For medical school, you do not have to major in science or math. You can major in anything: English, Sociology, History, etc.

However, you have to take the required courses in order to apply to medical school during undergraduate.

These courses that need to be completed are as follows:

1 year of General Chemistry
1 year of Organic Chemistry
1 year of General Biology
1 year of English
1 year of Physics
1 year of Calculus

^ However, they are the very basic courses.....and in order to be a competitive applicant...you will need to take way more than that.

However, medical school does recommend a science major, but you do not have to....it is your choice.

To be more clear...no major as Pre-Medicine exists. Pre Med is considered for those students that are majoring in the health/science department: Biology BS, Cell and Molecular Biology, BioChemistry, Genetics, etc.

So because i am a Biology major, i am considered to be in Pre-Medicine because of my declared major. I hope that makes a little sense :)

You definitely have to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). It covers:

Biology
Chemistry & Physics
Verbal Reasoning
Essay Composition

Usually a student that is serious about their status for medical school, will take it more than once, ideally. But hey, if mashallah you get a perfect score of 45-50....then you do not need to take it again. However, i dont mean to discourage anyone, i have never met anyone that has gotten a good score the first time. The test is available twice a year: April and August. And you can take it as many times you want. You do however, want to at least get a 30 on it.

Also, a student going down the medical route, I have to be honest, has to have at least a 3.5 GPA. You should shoot for a 4.0 GPA. Your grades mean so much when it comes to applying, medical schools want to see competitive students that can really excel.

My first year college GPA was a 3.5, and i was told i have to do harder. This semesters GPA was a 3.7, and i am still working my way up to a 4.0.

Also, you have really do countless hours of volunteer work. You definitely need more than 3,000 hours of work. You can do this at:

hospital
clinic
nursing home

Do not expect to get paid, remember why you are doing it. I have been working at my hospital for nearly 9 months. I do no get paid at all, though i work my butt off at work.

Also get some shadowing done. What that means is work with a doctor. You will have to get permission first and go through some legal things because practicing medicine with a patient is very confidential, so for you to want to foreshadow a doctor will take some time, i had to wait 3 months to foreshadow a MD. And it was for only one day a week during a summer a couple of years ago. They company took it very serious.

Also it takes about 3-5 months to volunteer at a hospital. You will have to take a physical, criminal background check, etc. So its a long wait.

Also it takes years to get into medical school, normally. Its a very competitive field, and its not taken lightly.

You have to complete 4 years of Undergraduate. And then it is Medical School, which is normally 4 years. Do not mistake Medical School as a Masters/PHD. It is actually higher.

Medical Schools do like students that have completed a Masters, so do keep that in mind.

Students in the US that have just finished Medical School, will be in between $ 200,000 - 300,000 student debt :/ i know it sounds scary. But there are ways around it so that it gets paid off in time...such as working in an underserved clinic for some good amount of time, or working in third world countries for like an organization or the UN.

Through this brutal route for medical school, here are some advice my parents always give me:

* Make yourself stand out....show the medical field who you are, what you can do, and how can you help the world.
* Never give up! Its a long process, and many will feel that its too much. But if you have passion in it, dont let yourself down.
* You are doing something for humanity, so as you are taking it serious, do have fun with it :)
* Also, the salary is very, very, very nice ;)

Thanks for the help. If you ever need help with anything like that research position you are looking for send me a line. Are you on the East Coast?

Laila
12-22-2010, 12:44 AM
^ Your welcome. I am glad to have helped. I just saw the questions our members were posting, so i thought i would pitch in.

I am actually living in California.

I will definitely let you know if I do need help, but alhamdillullah my parents are both licensed physicians, so i get all the help i need :)

Admin Khan
12-22-2010, 12:55 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,

Is it really worth going to med school? I mean, when you graduate you end up with ~200K debt, and there are many other majors that such as petroleum engineering that have just as competitive salaries. In my opinion, you should only go into the medical field if you really enjoy it. Don't go into the field just for the money. I am noticing a trend of people applying to Med school out of peer pressure or for the $. By the time you graduate, and by the time you finish paying of the debt, one wonders if it's truly worth it. Hell, why doesn't one just get a Ph.D and take up a professorship. With just a bachelors degree, Computer Science majors make over 100K. And, according to many sources it's an extremely valuable degree.

Caveat:
my concern is very genuine. I was always interested in medical, however, no one has ever been able to persuade me into the field though. I guess because I have a strong interest in other fields? Your thread is very helpful.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 12:56 AM
Thanks for the help. If you ever need help with anything like that research position you are looking for send me a line. Are you on the East Coast?


Would only add regarding the MCAT the following:

The committees I sat on in the midwest highly preferred a single time at the exam. It is used for screening in the filtering programs they utilize to screen applications (more on this later).

At my old institutes they looked at the second out of the two scores if the second was higher. For instance, if one got a 35 the first time and a 28 the second time they did not take the higher score into account then... it raised eye brows and created issues for applicants if the second score was lower. Here at the new institute I am at, a single bad score gets you filtered out in those screening programs (but that is rare).

However, if someone gets a 30 the first time and a 35 the second time, they appreciate that. A retake at 32 or above is a risky move though unless one is confident.

That being said, I also saw a single bad score counter balanced by a middle of the road score in the low thirties and the committee I sat on a few years ago at my old institute weighed the other accomplishment of the applicant (research, contributions abroad, GPA at a good institute, etc.) so as Laila is saying, you can overcome a bad score, but you have to also know where you are applying.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 01:14 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,
Is it really worth going to med school? I mean, when you graduate you end up with ~200K debt, and there are many other majors that such as petroleum engineering that have just as competitive salaries. In my opinion, you should only go into the medical field if you really enjoy it. Don't go into the field just for the money. I am noticing a trend of people applying to Med school out of peer pressure or for the $.

With just a bachelors degree, Computer Science majors make over 100K.


Excellent point.

Many parents from the subcontinent, Arabia, and central asia push their kids into it for the wrong reasons. You need to see the life a resident or an intern lives to really understand what you are sacrificing. I encourage people to find a physician member of their family that is in training (and not in some cush private practice somewhere) and just spend a single day with the them (or preferrably a single two hours of a busy admissions all night call) in the ICU and you'll see how intense it gets. In good institutes its just you, the resident 1st (intern), 2nd, or 3rd year all alone getting train wreck patients that are sick as all heck and ready to die on you. Now with the ACGME approved work hour changes, the interns may get it easier, but the seniors get it twice as hard. You learn very quickly that the greed component gets counterbalanced by intense work that takes away years of your life. You gotta love what you do when you take care of these patients otherwise you start to hate your life and get fatigue. That is why I am so devoted to academic medicine that couples patient care to research. It gives you the chance to advance science and disperse it all over the world and still provide for your family.

However, that being said, the field allows you to be flexible as I noted in the threads above, and to take on multiple roles in the law, business, engineering, management, political, and research level.

I loved engineering when I did it, but at the same time, I found that I have more range as an engineer in the world of medicine.

I mainly started this thread as a sort of way to encourage and inform those about my field for the right reasons.

I also want each of these kids to then remember what went on here and take on their own role of helping other deserving and hard working Afghans (and Muslims in general) to find their way into the field.

We will talk more about the debt and how to resolve it in the future. I hate talking economics because I think it cheapens the discussion and introduces greed (money can be the root of a lot of evil), but I will do so to make a point and help better answer your question. In the states, the AMA and other organized medical communities control supply and demand and limit spots so you are pretty much certain that you will be employed as a medical doctor and able to quickly pay off those loans (which is why they are so easy to get for medical students at such low interest rates). Physicians generally have a nearly 100% job occupancy rate. I personally do not advocate interest laden loans and prefer the Islamic route if possible and they are out there.

Engineering on the other hand was more susceptible to the ebbs and flows of the economy and you are expected to travel with the job, like a rolling stone. That becomes hard when you want to raise your family up. When I entered my engineering schooling it was the Clinton era and jobs were booming. The bubble was about to burst in the Bush era when I completed that training and the ability to secure a job in the field plummeted by 32% for fresh graduates. I was one of the fortunates who would have been able to find employment at an entry level position with advancement, but it was risku. However, capable engineers who are technically sounds can always make it work somewhow. At some other point, we can discuss what I think plagues engineering education and makes it so that the average American engineering graduate is not as technical as his predecessors in years prior.

However, seeking job stability alone, similar to monetary gain in general ought not be the primary drive. We are here to serve and to heal against the odds, not to take advantage of them.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 01:21 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,

Is it really worth going to med school? I mean, when you graduate you end up with ~200K debt, and there are many other majors that such as petroleum engineering that have just as competitive salaries. In my opinion, you should only go into the medical field if you really enjoy it. Don't go into the field just for the money. I am noticing a trend of people applying to Med school out of peer pressure or for the $. By the time you graduate, and by the time you finish paying of the debt, one wonders if it's truly worth it. Hell, why doesn't one just get a Ph.D and take up a professorship. With just a bachelors degree, Computer Science majors make over 100K. And, according to many sources it's an extremely valuable degree.

Caveat:
my concern is very genuine. I was always interested in medical, however, no one has ever been able to persuade me into the field though. I guess because I have a strong interest in other fields? Your thread is very helpful.

Another point might be that the PhD is a noble and academic pursuit, but your preceptor can completely limit your time to graduation based on what he subjectively judges to be your progress. He basically dictates the committee in some ways.

At the end of the day, people are having to conduct not only the lengthy PhD process in some fields, but supplement that with the new trend of possibly two posdoctoral periods is also a lengthy endeavor.

So when you weigh the time from undergrad to PhD to postdoctoral candidacies and balance that against the MD time + residency + fellowship, the outcome may not be all that different.

In fact, many basic science PhDs are very rigorous. And as I noted the MDs have learned to control their supply and demand via congress and other measures. That is why the number of physicians is so far outweighed by the number of patients. The shortage is artificially created in some ways. The other fields have not been as able to justify doing so.

Moreover, Physicians control flow into the country as well and limit numbers in this way as well (however as a country the US is still far more open to outsiders coming into medicine than other countries).

Once again, these are all economic measures, and I do not advocate using them alone to consider your profession. Do it because you want to find your niche in either excellent patient care, top notch research, or teaching others and mentoring.

*Perhaps Toramana, yourself, and others in the PhD track can comment on how they see the medicine track in comparison to those points I made regarding graduate studies. That way those that are considering hard science graduate studies versus Medicine can be better informed about the pros and cons.

Laila
12-22-2010, 01:21 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,

Is it really worth going to med school? I mean, when you graduate you end up with ~200K debt, and there are many other majors that such as petroleum engineering that have just as competitive salaries. In my opinion, you should only go into the medical field if you really enjoy it. Don't go into the field just for the money. I am noticing a trend of people applying to Med school out of peer pressure or for the $. By the time you graduate, and by the time you finish paying of the debt, one wonders if it's truly worth it. Hell, why doesn't one just get a Ph.D and take up a professorship. With just a bachelors degree, Computer Science majors make over 100K. And, according to many sources it's an extremely valuable degree.

Caveat:
my concern is very genuine. I was always interested in medical, however, no one has ever been able to persuade me into the field though. I guess because I have a strong interest in other fields? Your thread is very helpful.

Lala to be fully honest with you. I ask my self this all the time. My own father, who is a doctor himself, does not want me to go to medical school.

Yes i know, spending 12 years of your life and being in $300,000 debt is crazy....and it drives people insane.

However, it all comes down to the individual. Some people see themselves going through all of this, and thinking its worth it. Some will say 'Hell with it.' and just not want to do it.

But Admin khan, there is an alternative option to medical school. And that is PA school.

PA is a physician. Actually, if you go to your doctor, you might not even know if he is a PA, MD, or DO. Since they have the same credentials, but work under a different license.

A PA is a masters program, and most of the time, they do go higher to a PHD in Public Health

PA school is an option to medical school, and a quite smart and more realistic to some folks.

1) PA is in high demand. In the next 5-15 years, they will be looked at greatly, and hired more than MDs.
2) PA school is very limited in the US. There are only 8 PA schools in the state of California. Only 8 throughout this huge state!
3) The program is very picky with its applicants. They want young folks that have great stamina and well sharped minds.
4) You have to have double the experience in health care, more than a medical school applicant. Reason is, PA does not take MCAT, in fact, majority of schools do not take GRE or any other test. They take a high GPA in demand and thousands and thousands of hours of medical experience.
5) Its a 2-3 years program, depending on the school. It is more intense than medical school, because its a shorter time period; however, that means its much more intense.
6) The student debt is *half* of what a medical school student will have.

PA is my backup plan...if in the future, medical school does not work out for me, PA is a great option. I will still be working in a clinic or hosptial. I will still be seeing and treating patients....and i will still be having the same salary as a MD and same respect.

If it was not for Afghanistan and for its people, i will be honest, then i would not put myself through this route.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-22-2010, 01:25 AM
Lala to be fully honest with you. I ask my self this all the time. My own father, who is a doctor himself, does not want me to go to medical school.

Yes i know, spending 12 years of your life and being in $300,000 debt is crazy....and it drives people insane.

However, it all comes down to the individual. Some people see themselves going through all of this, and thinking its worth it. Some will say 'Hell with it.' and just not want to do it.

But Admin khan, there is an alternative option to medical school. And that is PA school.

PA is a physician. Actually, if you go to your doctor, you might not even know if he is a PA, MD, or DO. Since they have the same credentials, but work under a different license.

A PA is a masters program, and most of the time, they do go higher to a PHD in Public Health

PA school is an option to medical school, and a quite smart and more realistic to some folks.

1) PA is in high demand. In the next 5-15 years, they will be looked at greatly, and hired more than MDs.
2) PA school is very limited in the US. There are only 8 PA schools in the state of California. Only 8 throughout this huge state!
3) The program is very picky with its applicants. They want young folks that have great stamina and well sharped minds.
4) You have to have double the experience in health care, more than a medical school applicant. Reason is, PA does not take MCAT, in fact, majority of schools do not take GRE or any other test. They take a high GPA in demand and thousands and thousands of hours of medical experience.
5) Its a 2-3 years program, depending on the school. It is more intense than medical school, because its a shorter time period; however, that means its much more intense.

PA is my backup plan...if in the future, medical school does not work out for me, PA is a great option. I will still be working in a clinic or hosptial. I will still be seeing and treating patients....and i will still be having the same salary as a MD and same respect.

If it was not for Afghanistan and for its people, i will be honest, then i would not put myself through this route.




OK all, I am done with my patient notes and grant writing for tonight. I will return Thursday. Best of luck and keep asking and answering questions.

Laila
12-22-2010, 01:26 AM
Excellent point.

Many parents from the subcontinent, Arabia, and central asia push their kids into it for the wrong reasons. You need to see the life a resident or an intern lives to really understand what you are sacrificing. I encourage people to find a physician member of their family that is in training (and not in some cush private practice somewhere) and just spend a single day with the them (or preferrably a single two hours of a busy admissions all night call) in the ICU and you'll see how intense it gets. In good institutes its just you, the resident 1st (intern), 2nd, or 3rd year all alone getting train wreck patients that are sick as all heck and ready to die on you. Now with the ACGME approved work hour changes, the interns may get it easier, but the seniors get it twice as hard. You learn very quickly that the greed component gets counterbalanced by intense work that takes away years of your life. You gotta love what you do when you take care of these patients otherwise you start to hate your life and get fatigue. That is why I am so devoted to academic medicine that couples patient care to research. It gives you the chance to advance science and disperse it all over the world and still provide for your family.

However, that being said, the field allows you to be flexible as I noted in the threads above, and to take on multiple roles in the law, business, engineering, management, political, and research level.

I loved engineering when I did it, but at the same time, I found that I have more range as an engineer in the world of medicine.

I mainly started this thread as a sort of way to encourage and inform those about my field for the right reasons.

I also want each of these kids to then remember what went on here and take on their own role of helping other deserving and hard working Afghans (and Muslims in general) to find their way into the field.

We will talk more about the debt and how to resolve it in the future. I hate talking economics because I think it cheapens the discussion and introduces greed (money can be the root of a lot of evil), but I will do so to make a point and help better answer your question. In the states, the AMA and other organized medical communities control supply and demand and limit spots so you are pretty much certain that you will be employed as a medical doctor and able to quickly pay off those loans (which is why they are so easy to get for medical students at such low interest rates). Physicians generally have a nearly 100% job occupancy rate. I personally do not advocate interest laden loans and prefer the Islamic route if possible and they are out there.

Engineering on the other hand was more susceptible to the ebbs and flows of the economy and you are expected to travel with the job, like a rolling stone. That becomes hard when you want to raise your family up. When I entered my engineering schooling it was the Clinton era and jobs were booming. The bubble was about to burst in the Bush era when I completed that training and the ability to secure a job in the field plummeted by 32% for fresh graduates. I was one of the fortunates who would have been able to find employment at an entry level position with advancement, but it was risku. However, capable engineers who are technically sounds can always make it work somewhow. At some other point, we can discuss what I think plagues engineering education and makes it so that the average American engineering graduate is not as technical as his predecessors in years prior.

However, seeking job stability alone, similar to monetary gain in general ought not be the primary drive. We are here to serve and to heal against the odds, not to take advantage of them.


My parents used to tell me how many students were depressed during residency. While my mother was pregnant with me, she was in her 2 year of residency in general medicine. She was working 16 hours a day at the ER :awkward:

Laila
12-22-2010, 01:27 AM
OK all, I am done with my patient notes and grant writing for tonight. I will return Thursday. Best of luck and keep asking and answering questions.

Sure no problem ;)

Dreamer
12-22-2010, 04:09 AM
Dreamer wrorre, if you get the time, can you post for the sake of some of our UK colleagues how getting into the system there works? I have really not of an idea at all when it comes to the undergrad to medical school transition. I know British folks who went through their equivalent of residency, but not much more.

1) How does one get into medical school in the UK?
2) How does one get into the most competitive institutions?
3) What should one be doing at the high school/undergrad? equivalent levels over there.
4) What are the premiere institutions or the best of the best for medical schooling?

1 Two routes of entry... either undergrad (bulk of people) or post grad
MBBS/MBChB usually lasts 5 years in duration exception being the shorter condensed version which lasts 4 years... this is usually taken by Dentists in order to gain entry for Maxillo facial surgery training but also by other post graduates.... seats are limited and competition is fierce... many post grads failing entry to the post grad course of 4 years opt 2 apply for the undergrad 5 year course which is still as competatitve
Entry requirements at undergrad level include AAA or at the very least AAB with an A grade at A level being a must in Chemistry... bulk of people do A level Chem, maths and physics or Biology but at least 2 "science" and maths here is included as a science have 2 be taken.... so bulk of people enter medical school at age 18... for those of the people who are post grads applying for eother the post grad or under grad course they must have achieved a 1:1 or a 2:1 in their degree... in addition both courses now require an entry exam ( not around in my day!) top marks are expected and individual med schools have their own level of acceptability at this point... an interview usually follows for short listed candidates... an Offer is made then to those candidates who are successful... the offer can be conditional ( bulk of people) stating that they must achieve such and such grades at A level ( people apply before the Alevels are sat hence the condition) or the on offer can be unconditional if u already have the grades
Typical setup of most medical schools is 2 years doing "basic sciences" such as path. pharma physiology etc and thenyrs 3,4 and 5 are clinical
2 One can only apply to 4 medical schools... if u aply for medicine u are barred from applying for dentistry and vise versa... this is meant 2 show commitment or something.... The London medical schools are a bit more competative as is Edinburgh and Oxford and Cambridge but all are going 2 give u the same thing at the end....

3 already answered in 1... but do extra curricular stuff as well because they love that and please dnt say u read the Lancet or xyz because they will ask u abt it at interview if thats what uve written

4 already answered but the best medical school in my onion is Edinburgh and Imperial


at the age of 23 u get ur degree (if u entered at 18 and passed all ur exams) and then ur a Dr
our system for post grad Dr training is thus:
when U qualify ur rank is "Houseofficer" or FY1 and u do a housejob.... this is made up of 4 months General surgery, 4 months of General Medicine and either another 4 months of gen surgery/medicine again or an area that interests u... I did Obs and gynae... in these attacments u are the 1st point of call for the nurses and patients... u see, assess and formulate management plans as well as start treatments and do procedures... u do on calls and nights and weekends etc
after Housejob ur rank goes up 2 FY2 or general SHO.... here u do another 3 four months of attachements but this time all choices can be left 2 u.... u generally pick frm a list... usual combs are like trauma and orthopedics/A and E and General medicine etc
after FY2 u chose Specialisation.... u then become an SHO in that field only... this lasts for 2 years... u must pass membership exams of the speciality have chosen... u then become a Registra and this lasts for 5 years... u become a senior registra as the years go by.... u then take ur exit exam and become a consultant... if u chose Family medicine or GP ur registra yr lasts 1 year and the SHO years are made up of doing attachments in various specialities 2 give u a broader knowledge... 1 can also switch specialities but it means starting at the beginning... a lot of surgeons and internal physcians for example eventually move in2 Family medicine as its more relaxed and pays better ;)

abbas
12-22-2010, 09:33 AM
great post dreamer. the only thing i would add is you can get in with a 2.2 in your undergrad degree if you apply to st georges, nottingham. you have to sit the gamsat for both of these unis however, and its much tougher then the ukcat (which is pot luck).

i wouldnt advice anyone to look at the medical school rankings and choose their school according to that. it really doesnt matter where you study, in the long run no one really cares.

at high school/undergrad try and get some work experience done. If your straight out of school, then a few weeks here and there should be sufficient. if your doing your undergrad however, it's a lot more competitive as dreamer said. Most of my cohort had several years of experience behind them ( a day a week for 2 years shows commitment), try and get a mixture of placements as well. at the very least you need a few months.

if your applying to the uk, then try and sit your ukcat exam early (at the start of summer). you get your results straight away and it allows you to see where you stand. if you have a particularly poor performance, then it gives you time to prepare for the gamsat (most med schools will want to see you sit ukcat, and a few others will require gamsat. this is at post-grad level however, i think in undergrad they dont use gamsat, and use bmat instead).

In order to maximise their chances, people will usually apply to a mixture of undergrad and post-grad unis (a 2-2 split is usually seen). i would highly recommend against applying to only post-grad courses, at the very least go for a 3-1 split.

Dreamer
12-22-2010, 10:03 AM
great post dreamer. the only thing i would add is you can get in with a 2.2 in your undergrad degree if you apply to st georges, nottingham. you have to sit the gamsat for both of these unis however, and its much tougher then the ukcat (which is pot luck).

i wouldnt advice anyone to look at the medical school rankings and choose their school according to that. it really doesnt matter where you study, in the long run no one really cares.

at high school/undergrad try and get some work experience done. If your straight out of school, then a few weeks here and there should be sufficient. if your doing your undergrad however, it's a lot more competitive as dreamer said. Most of my cohort had several years of experience behind them ( a day a week for 2 years shows commitment), try and get a mixture of placements as well. at the very least you need a few months.

if your applying to the uk, then try and sit your ukcat exam early (at the start of summer). you get your results straight away and it allows you to see where you stand. if you have a particularly poor performance, then it gives you time to prepare for the gamsat (most med schools will want to see you sit ukcat, and a few others will require gamsat. this is at post-grad level however, i think in undergrad they dont use gamsat, and use bmat instead).

In order to maximise their chances, people will usually apply to a mixture of undergrad and post-grad unis (a 2-2 split is usually seen). i would highly recommend against applying to only post-grad courses, at the very least go for a 3-1 split.


which medical school are u in/ were in or hoping to get in2?

abbas
12-22-2010, 06:48 PM
im at warwick med school. and your background dreamer?

Admin Khan
12-22-2010, 08:46 PM
Lala to be fully honest with you. I ask my self this all the time. My own father, who is a doctor himself, does not want me to go to medical school.

Yes i know, spending 12 years of your life and being in $300,000 debt is crazy....and it drives people insane.

However, it all comes down to the individual. Some people see themselves going through all of this, and thinking its worth it. Some will say 'Hell with it.' and just not want to do it.

But Admin khan, there is an alternative option to medical school. And that is PA school.

PA is a physician. Actually, if you go to your doctor, you might not even know if he is a PA, MD, or DO. Since they have the same credentials, but work under a different license.

A PA is a masters program, and most of the time, they do go higher to a PHD in Public Health

PA school is an option to medical school, and a quite smart and more realistic to some folks.

1) PA is in high demand. In the next 5-15 years, they will be looked at greatly, and hired more than MDs.
2) PA school is very limited in the US. There are only 8 PA schools in the state of California. Only 8 throughout this huge state!
3) The program is very picky with its applicants. They want young folks that have great stamina and well sharped minds.
4) You have to have double the experience in health care, more than a medical school applicant. Reason is, PA does not take MCAT, in fact, majority of schools do not take GRE or any other test. They take a high GPA in demand and thousands and thousands of hours of medical experience.
5) Its a 2-3 years program, depending on the school. It is more intense than medical school, because its a shorter time period; however, that means its much more intense.
6) The student debt is *half* of what a medical school student will have.

PA is my backup plan...if in the future, medical school does not work out for me, PA is a great option. I will still be working in a clinic or hosptial. I will still be seeing and treating patients....and i will still be having the same salary as a MD and same respect.

If it was not for Afghanistan and for its people, i will be honest, then i would not put myself through this route.



Laila,

I have never heard of "PA school" but I have certainly heard of PA programs which many, and I mean many Afghans here are enrolled in. Put it this way, in our local mosque at Eid, I met at least 40 Afghans who were enrolled in the PA program. PA program is offered as an undergrad program at local liberal arts colleges here. The program is usually competitive, but surprisingly enough, it is full of Kandaharis. They almost always badmouth doctors, saying that they suffer for 8 years and end up making as much as they do. Since after 4-5 years, as experienced Physician assistants, they will also be getting paid well. You should choose what you like. Money isn't everything. So if your going into the field for the high pay, believe me if you don't enjoy what you do, you won't enjoy the money either. I actually think you enjoy medicine since you always speak highly of it. However, like our respected Barakzai sahab said, first put your feet in the shoes of a doctor. Visit a clinic and see if you enjoy what he does.

Also, I have no clue how you think a PA student has half a medical students debt, Is California that expensive? Most of the Afghans here attend PA school for FREE and they usually get checks as well. So not only do they attend for free, but they get paid 2K per semester for attending via FAFSA AND TAP. Yes, that equates to the basic assumption that they are currently jobless, and that their parents aren't rich. Even without financial aid, tuition here aren't that high. The average PA program here would cost someone 25-30K over the course of 5 years.

Admin Khan
12-22-2010, 09:03 PM
Assalam-Alaikum Barakzai sahab,
Another point might be that the PhD is a noble and academic pursuit, but your preceptor can completely limit your time to graduation based on what he subjectively judges to be your progress. He basically dictates the committee in some ways.

Well, I have many friends who were admitted into PhD granting institutions with undergrad degrees, and they ended up graduating in 4 years. Now, they all are successful professors. So like I stated previously, a PhD sounds more plausible to me. I am still not convinced as to why someone would spend a decade becoming a doctor(aside from personal interest?). Is the aftermath really that great? I mean, professors have it good. They are highly paid and have little to no stress. They usually run the show and they most of the time get paid to talk and criticize your opinion.


So when you weigh the time from undergrad to PhD to postdoctoral candidacies and balance that against the MD time + residency + fellowship, the outcome may not be all that different.
Barakzai sahab, the debt is my concern. 200-300K of debt? How long does it take to pay that off? like I said, I am interested in this field but I truly don't know if it is worth it.


*Perhaps Toramana, yourself, and others in the PhD track can comment on how they see the medicine track in comparison to those points I made regarding graduate studies. That way those that are considering hard science graduate studies versus Medicine can be better informed about the pros and cons.Sure. I don't mean to exert any negative influence on anybody here. If anyone want's to be a doctor with their own free will, I will not only encourage you, but I will mentally support you. However, if you are doing it for the money, you must be kidding me. Being a doctor does not equate to making top money. There are many other career paths that put doctors to shame[as far as money is concerned]. I honestly think taking the PhD route is more valuable in the long run. Your life is more relaxed and you don't get calls at 3AM asking you to run over to the hospital. I respect doctors for what they do, trust me. Doctors and teachers play a crucial role in our upbringing and anyone who offers them a cold-shoulder is simply ignorant, but my opinion and point is after a decade of hard work, Is it truly worth it?

BarakzaiAbdali, you mentioned you are an engineer, and you also mentioned you are a Physician. If you can, may you please elaborate on how you became a Physician with your engineering degree, and how long it took you to be a licensed Physician. I noticed you elaborated on how Med schools accept Engineering degrees, but I also notice Laila stating that Med schools like to see a year of biology, and as you might know very well, Engineers must take a couple of years of science, however, they are in sequences. You can opt out of the Bio sequences and go for the Chem sequences instead etc. Now hypothetically speaking, if someone has not taken any Chem or Bio courses, can he still apply to Med school? He/she might have an engineering degree without a year of Chem or Bio.

Laila
12-22-2010, 09:44 PM
Laila,

I have never heard of "PA school" but I have certainly heard of PA programs which many, and I mean many Afghans here are enrolled in. Put it this way, in our local mosque at Eid, I met at least 40 Afghans who were enrolled in the PA program. PA program is offered as an undergrad program at local liberal arts colleges here. The program is usually competitive, but surprisingly enough, it is full of Kandaharis. They almost always badmouth doctors, saying that they suffer for 8 years and end up making as much as they do. Since after 4-5 years, as experienced Physician assistants, they will also be getting paid well. You should choose what you like. Money isn't everything. So if your going into the field for the high pay, believe me if you don't enjoy what you do, you won't enjoy the money either. I actually think you enjoy medicine since you always speak highly of it. However, like our respected Barakzai sahab said, first put your feet in the shoes of a doctor. Visit a clinic and see if you enjoy what he does.
I am sorry if i confused you, but PA program and PA school is used interchangeably. Some schools offer the PA program, and there are some that is only for PA School.

Here there is a private university, its is called Turo Universtiy. It is a PA school. Then in UC Davis, they have the PA program offered....but yeah it is basically the same thing.

PA you are right, it is a Physician Assistant. However, people should not be fooled by the title. In fact, majority of PAs work by themselves, as their own physician. Some do work under a MD supervisor, but not all. It just depends. Actually the ones that work under a MD supervisor, hardly ever see them. They should be treated like MDs as much as possible.
LOL you are so right, PA programs are filled with Afghans nationwide. Many of these Afghan PAs were MD is Afghanistan or Pakistan. So they got into the program with their experience and have the opportunity to work as a physician again.

BTW, the PA title is going to be changed in the future, many have the wrong conception that they are simply a MDs assistant, which is not true.

Also, I have no clue how you think a PA student has half a medical students debt, Is California that expensive? Most of the Afghans here attend PA school for FREE and they usually get checks as well. So not only do they attend for free, but they get paid 2K per semester for attending via FAFSA AND TAP. Yes, that equates to the basic assumption that they are currently jobless, and that their parents aren't rich. Even without financial aid, tuition here aren't that high. The average PA program here would cost someone 25-30K over the course of 5 years.

Yes, the PA schools in California range from $40,000- $60,000 annually. Like it said, its only either 2 year program or 3 year program, depending on the university. And the tuitions throughout the state has gone up 30% from 2009.

My Afghan friends mother just graduated from University of California, Davis PA program. She is in $ 98,000 student debt. However, since she works for an underserved clinic, the government will pay off her debt in 5 years.

I honestly wished California did not have such high tuition, believe me, its a huge burden.


my source: My mother is a PA :)

Laila
12-22-2010, 09:51 PM
Barakzai sahab, the debt is my concern. 200-300K of debt? How long does it take to pay that off? like I said, I am interested in this field but I truly don't know if it is worth it.


Your whole life :) (literally)

However, some states do offer help in paying it off in 10-20 years, *if* you work in an underserved clinic or hospital.


BarakzaiAbdali, you mentioned you are an engineer, and you also mentioned you are a Physician. If you can, may you please elaborate on how you became a Physician with your engineering degree, and how long it took you to be a licensed Physician. I noticed you elaborated on how Med schools accept Engineering degrees, but I also notice Laila stating that Med schools like to see a year of biology, and as you might know very well, Engineers must take a couple of years of science, however, they are in sequences. You can opt out of the Bio sequences and go for the Chem sequences instead etc. Now hypothetically speaking, if someone has not taken any Chem or Bio courses, can he still apply to Med school? He/she might have an engineering degree without a year of Chem or Bio.
You can major in anything for medical school.

But, you do have to have the required courses completed.

So like you said, if they chose Chem over Bio, they will have to go back and complete one year of Bio with a B or better.

Dreamer
12-23-2010, 05:08 AM
im at warwick med school. and your background dreamer?

Barts in London.... graduated 2008

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 09:34 PM
Laila,

I have never heard of "PA school" but I have certainly heard of PA programs which many, and I mean many Afghans here are enrolled in. Put it this way, in our local mosque at Eid, I met at least 40 Afghans who were enrolled in the PA program. PA program is offered as an undergrad program at local liberal arts colleges here. The program is usually competitive, but surprisingly enough, it is full of Kandaharis. They almost always badmouth doctors, saying that they suffer for 8 years and end up making as much as they do. Since after 4-5 years, as experienced Physician assistants, they will also be getting paid well. You should choose what you like. Money isn't everything. So if your going into the field for the high pay, believe me if you don't enjoy what you do, you won't enjoy the money either. I actually think you enjoy medicine since you always speak highly of it. However, like our respected Barakzai sahab said, first put your feet in the shoes of a doctor. Visit a clinic and see if you enjoy what he does.

Also, I have no clue how you think a PA student has half a medical students debt, Is California that expensive? Most of the Afghans here attend PA school for FREE and they usually get checks as well. So not only do they attend for free, but they get paid 2K per semester for attending via FAFSA AND TAP. Yes, that equates to the basic assumption that they are currently jobless, and that their parents aren't rich. Even without financial aid, tuition here aren't that high. The average PA program here would cost someone 25-30K over the course of 5 years.


For our readers in high school/college, I would say that its a little misleading to say that PAs are like MDs and that the terms are interchangable. They are both valuable players in the American healthcare system and I have had excellent experiences with the PAs I have worked with.

The reason is that the majority of the 50 states still do place a number of impositions on PA prescribing capabilities beyond the routine primary care role of being able to prescribe statins, high dose aspirin, beta blockers, etc. or refilling dangerous anti arrhythmics such as Amiodorone that an MD already started for a patient.

The schooling and residency training that an MD undergoes has more stringent requirements behind it, coupled to the NBME/USMLE certification exams along the way. Within the field itself, the boarding and recertification process for, say a cardiologist or a pulmonologist, is critical. To even sit for such specialty boards, an MD has to undergo a fellowship. Doing the fellowship does not guarantee that one will be boarded and accredited to practice in that particular field either. This was one of the reasons that Michael Jackson's father was able to so easily pursue a lawsuit against Michael's doctor for prescribing a powerful anesthetic like Propafol. It turned out that the cardiologist was not board certified.

Where physicians will likely cede territory will be within the confines of primary care medicine and some element of Ob/Gyn care to midwivery. However most PCPs (primary care physicians) and OBs belong to extremely powerful lobbies that will likely ensure non board certified colleagues like NPs and PAs remain unable to dole out critical medications like narcotics without a supervising MD signature. The other reason that OBs will also be hesistant to cede ground to both midwives and PAs is that the litigation environment remains fraught with lawsuits for any element of malpractice.

Furthermore, the loan issues are not as dramatic as the public makes them out to be. As an example, this article references the occurence of a specialist, like an anesthesiologist commonly commanding a salary of $350,000 and evaporating their ~$200,000 loan debt (scroll near the bottom):

http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=124733 (http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=124733)

Most cardiology colleagues end up being able to rake in about $300,000 starting in the private practice sector and pay off their debt rapidly.

Furthermore, the salary command of a specialist, like a dermatologist, or even a hospitalist MD with internal medicine training is still about twice to three times that of the maximum PA earning potential. Comparable salaries begin to be seen in the outpatient primary care realm between primary care physicians and their PA colleagues. However, a specialized PA for intensive unit care still is outmatched by her MD colleague, critical care specialist by about 2-3 times.

The difficulty arises within the confines of internal medicine and primary care itself where salaries may be limited to the mid 100,000s in certain areas.

Moreover, surgical fields have not yielded an inch to any outsiders and no governmental organization, even the Obama administration, will cede that territory over to those outside that specialty or the MD world itself. Basic procedures (central lining, Lumbar punctures, arterial lining, paracentesis) are procedures that PAs learn, but if a student desires to become a heart, plastic, general, or neurosurgeon, PA school closes off that route.

Initiating hospital CODEs like a CODE 5/CODE RED (cardiopulmonary insult that results in someone not breathing or their heart not beating) and the drugs utilized during these dangerous scenarios are reserved for MD prescription and utilization.

ICU level decisions like initiating pressors (medications that save lives and return blood pressure and heart beat to where it ought to be) and anti arrhythmics (control an out of control or irregular heart rate) will also remain in the hands of MDs.

Moreover, academic guidelines that alter practice (for example what is best for the patient during a heart attack, etc) are all devised by MDs. NIH grants to fund these powerful studies in clinical environments are granted to MDs and MD PhDs by the steering committees that access these government purses.

When it comes to testing and utilizing clinical devices for the first time, like radiofrequency ablation needles, etc. the MD is currently the only individual utilized for such lucrative and valuable academic pursuits.

That being said, the PA is in high demand because they take over the burden of local primary care, the demand placed on hospitals with new duty hour restrictions for residents, and the demand for a skilled colleagues in the private practice world to interface with the patient in the complex testing and diagostic world that technology has bought us. They are valuable colleagues that are serving patients in new, invaluable, and innovative ways.

But higher levels of care beyond outpatient scenarios, including the emergent management of stroke, the acute response to a heart attack (stenting vs anticoagulation), or the surgical interventions that are conducted are likely to remain MD restricted well into the future.

kakargirl
12-23-2010, 09:47 PM
interesting facts wrora thank you

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 10:06 PM
Assalam-Alaikum Barakzai sahab,

Well, I have many friends who were admitted into PhD granting institutions with undergrad degrees, and they ended up graduating in 4 years. Now, they all are successful professors. So like I stated previously, a PhD sounds more plausible to me. I am still not convinced as to why someone would spend a decade becoming a doctor(aside from personal interest?). Is the aftermath really that great? I mean, professors have it good. They are highly paid and have little to no stress. They usually run the show and they most of the time get paid to talk and criticize your opinion.

Barakzai sahab, the debt is my concern. 200-300K of debt? How long does it take to pay that off? like I said, I am interested in this field but I truly don't know if it is worth it.
Sure. I don't mean to exert any negative influence on anybody here. If anyone want's to be a doctor with their own free will, I will not only encourage you, but I will mentally support you. However, if you are doing it for the money, you must be kidding me. Being a doctor does not equate to making top money. There are many other career paths that put doctors to shame[as far as money is concerned]. I honestly think taking the PhD route is more valuable in the long run. Your life is more relaxed and you don't get calls at 3AM asking you to run over to the hospital. I respect doctors for what they do, trust me. Doctors and teachers play a crucial role in our upbringing and anyone who offers them a cold-shoulder is simply ignorant, but my opinion and point is after a decade of hard work, Is it truly worth it?

BarakzaiAbdali, you mentioned you are an engineer, and you also mentioned you are a Physician. If you can, may you please elaborate on how you became a Physician with your engineering degree, and how long it took you to be a licensed Physician. I noticed you elaborated on how Med schools accept Engineering degrees, but I also notice Laila stating that Med schools like to see a year of biology, and as you might know very well, Engineers must take a couple of years of science, however, they are in sequences. You can opt out of the Bio sequences and go for the Chem sequences instead etc. Now hypothetically speaking, if someone has not taken any Chem or Bio courses, can he still apply to Med school? He/she might have an engineering degree without a year of Chem or Bio.

Once again, many excellent points in your comments (that is why you are the jirga mishr!)

Walaaykum Asalaam Wa rahmutallah wa barakathahoo

I would say that tenure is the issue with the PhD route. The MD in the US has little to worry about when it comes to tenure. To climb the ladder and go from associate to assistant to full and finally to tenured professor is competitive and arduous. I would argue that the MD professor has quiet a bit of flexibility and, if the environment gets hostile he can jump institutes and fields with greater ease. He can go private practice if academia starts to wear and grate on him or cause him too much consternation.

Once again, I would say that the the job occupancy rate is higher in medicine because of the supply/demand ratio game that goes on. For instance, this article in Science appears to be discussing prospects in both the US and Europe:

"About two-thirds of the respondents had held a single postdoctoral position or were currently involved in their first postdoc. Of those who had held multiple positions, 69 percent did so to receive additional training, while 37 percent continued their postdoctoral research because of poor job prospects..."

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/2006_09_15/science_opms_r0600018 (http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/articles/2006_09_15/science_opms_r0600018)

Note the graph that shows about 1/4 of respondents were on their second postdoctral period. Another pertinent set of information follows:

"Last year's median annual salary for the American respondents still working as postdocs was $38,000. (The sample size was too small to provide meaningful salary numbers for European postdocs.) Only 11 percent of participants reported receiving compensation other than a salary. For just over half of those, that took the form of travel costs.
Postdoctoral positions represent way stations to the academy for a majority of survey takers. On completion of their postdoctoral studies, 62 percent of former postdocs and 55 percent of current ones hoped to land a tenure-track academic position. An additional 15 percent of former postdocs and 20 percent of current postdocs sought to start their careers in industry. And 14 percent and 12 percent of former and current postdocs looked for nontenure-track positions as research scientists.
However, respondents who have finished their postdoctoral work reported clashes with workplace realities. Only 54 percent of those who sought tenure-track academic posts actually found such positions, while the number who became nontenure-track research scientists exceeded by 50 percent those who originally wanted such work."

Armed with this information regarding the candidacy of post docs for tenure tracked positions, I would hesistate before saying that it is any easier at all straight out of the PhD to land tenure tracked positions.

However, I fully agree with you, and as Paul McCartney once sang, "Money can't buy you love." The attraction to the field should be about what one can accomplish with it beyond accolates or transient pat on the backs. Both the MD and the PhD tracks offer noble ways to pursue science and each person has go gauge what suits their personalities and goals more. One also has to judge their technical capabilities and savvy.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 10:22 PM
Assalam-Alaikum Barakzai sahab,

Well, I have many friends who were admitted into PhD granting institutions with undergrad degrees, and they ended up graduating in 4 years. Now, they all are successful professors. So like I stated previously, a PhD sounds more plausible to me. I am still not convinced as to why someone would spend a decade becoming a doctor(aside from personal interest?). Is the aftermath really that great? I mean, professors have it good. They are highly paid and have little to no stress. They usually run the show and they most of the time get paid to talk and criticize your opinion.

Barakzai sahab, the debt is my concern. 200-300K of debt? How long does it take to pay that off? like I said, I am interested in this field but I truly don't know if it is worth it.
Sure. I don't mean to exert any negative influence on anybody here. If anyone want's to be a doctor with their own free will, I will not only encourage you, but I will mentally support you. However, if you are doing it for the money, you must be kidding me. Being a doctor does not equate to making top money. There are many other career paths that put doctors to shame[as far as money is concerned]. I honestly think taking the PhD route is more valuable in the long run. Your life is more relaxed and you don't get calls at 3AM asking you to run over to the hospital. I respect doctors for what they do, trust me. Doctors and teachers play a crucial role in our upbringing and anyone who offers them a cold-shoulder is simply ignorant, but my opinion and point is after a decade of hard work, Is it truly worth it?

BarakzaiAbdali, you mentioned you are an engineer, and you also mentioned you are a Physician. If you can, may you please elaborate on how you became a Physician with your engineering degree, and how long it took you to be a licensed Physician. I noticed you elaborated on how Med schools accept Engineering degrees, but I also notice Laila stating that Med schools like to see a year of biology, and as you might know very well, Engineers must take a couple of years of science, however, they are in sequences. You can opt out of the Bio sequences and go for the Chem sequences instead etc. Now hypothetically speaking, if someone has not taken any Chem or Bio courses, can he still apply to Med school? He/she might have an engineering degree without a year of Chem or Bio.

Regarding your question on transitioning out of engineering:

It took me no extra time to transition. I was an electrical engineer by training in undergraduate. There are various electives required by most ABET accredited engineering schools to expose engineerings to various elements of communication/humanities via imposed electives. I was fortunate and had many AP credits under my belt from high school.

Being an EE (electrical engineer), I did not have the luxury that BMEs (biomedical engineers) and some ChemEs(chemical Engineers) had when it came to incorporating such electives. Therefore, I was able to utilize those free spots in my schedule that were freed up thanks to the AP credits in things like German, American History, Euro History etc. and take the additional pre med requirements. I took organic chemistry during a summer semester and was able to get that out of the way as well.

In general though the Engineering Basics overlap tremendously with the premed route

For instance:

1 year of Chemistry and lab, 1 year of physics and lab, 1 year of math and possible labs are all easily satisfied by the first year of engineering school.
Most engineerings even MechEs(mechanical engineers) have some spaces for electives in which to incorporate their premed reqs.

Chemical Engineering makes the transition pretty easy too because they usually take Orgo Chem. The only additional prereqs they have to add in is the year of English and the year of biology and associated labs.

BMEs have all the prereqs done by the curriculum designs themselves.

In summary for the most part you can see starred below what are usually easily handled by the general engineering curricula (with "yep" next to it) and what are not

1 year of chemistry + lab (yep)
1 year of physics + lab (yep)
1 year of mathematics at a higher level (yep)
1 year of orgo + lab (yep if you are ChemE or BME)
1 year of English (depends on your elective time)
*1 year of Biochemistry (sometimes if you are a BME or ChemE)
* this requirement is not universal for most medical schools.

We could really use someone with our CompE (compter engineering) skills in the academic medicine realm and I hope someone as sharp as yourself continues to consider the transition Admin Khan. If there are any further questions on this engineering to medicine transition, give me a heads up.

Usually Engineers can easily find some biomedical research to take on due to their technical skills and the value that this represents to various professors that need these skills. This usually ends up resulting in publications and a good transition to the medical field.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 11:01 PM
I was gonna ask a similar question. What major (undergrad) would put one on advantage when applying to a med school? I am a Biochem major. And how hard/easy is MCAT?

@unhiddentruth, as far as I've heard, you don't have to be a pre-med (as an undergrad) to apply to med school. You just need to be sure to take all the required math and science courses you need to get into medical school. That's the pre-med part: it's generally just a name for that group of courses and not a college major. Like I am a Biochem major and a pre-med.


The MCAT is a difficult test. I sometimes felt like it was even harder than the certifying boards because of the range of subject matter covered. However, it is a test that is masterable and can be conquered with the right approach and a lot of hard work and study.

I think Laila answered it pretty well regarding your question of majors. Also refer to my answer regarding engineering majors. I would assume as a Biochem Major you will be easily able to satisfy the prereqs required that have been posted in a few answers on this thread.

I want to clarify on the prereqs portion though. It may be a bit different in California (I am generally less familiar with the West Coast system), but in the south, midwest, and East it there generally is not a number of volunteer hours you absolutely have to meet to apply successfully. If you are able to do something with exciting research or possibly publish, or even volunteer in a lab with MDs working in it, that is a high yield activity for building your CV for the future and also for getting into medical school.

For your own learning and to ensure you really want to go into the field, I do agree with Laila that you want to go through official channels and at least some amount of time in a hospital either volunteering or shadowing medical teams though.

VA Hospital physicians are top notch and very giving people usually when it comes to actually accompanying them on an inpatient service. There are some rules and small bits of paper work though for patient confidentiality and safety that have to be filled out in advance.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 11:09 PM
^ Your welcome. I am glad to have helped. I just saw the questions our members were posting, so i thought i would pitch in.

I am actually living in California.

I will definitely let you know if I do need help, but alhamdillullah my parents are both licensed physicians, so i get all the help i need :)


Try to make sure you apply outside of California as well as to your instate schools. We had a lot of Californians in the medical institutions I worked and studied at. I used to ask them jokingly why they left a state with such beautiful weather for such areas where the weather is pretty harsh in the Winter seasons. They would tell me that the reason that Californians tend to leave California state is that there are so many applicants to the californian schools that pool gets saturated. Many other states then look kindly on Californians and accomodate them very easily. A majority of these are private institutions that are throughout the US.

So do not feel limited to staying in state. You might even like it out here on the East Coast!

BarakzaiAbdali
12-23-2010, 11:17 PM
OK guys, its going to be a busy day tomorrow, and I am going to get going.

I agree heavily with Admin Khan regarding knowing what you get into and getting into it for the right reasons and not the wrong ones!

To that end, I wanted to give you guys an interesting and useful link. Its for a NOVA/PBS special called the Doctors Diaries. It tracks the lives of a few young medical students training at Harvard. The times have changed since they went though their training, but I would still say that it is a very accurate representation of the work load and the atmosphere in all ACGME allopathic medical schools.

*Some of the social issues are not necessarily applicable to Muslim or Afghan lives, but nonetheless, it at least provides you a glimpse of what you will encounter in the school hall, the wards, and facing the boards:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1114402491/ (http://video.pbs.org/video/1114402491/)


Enjoy guys and give me a heads up if the link does not work or is broken!

Here is the link to the NOVA page behind the special itself with some extra stuff:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/ (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/doctors/)

Admin Khan
12-24-2010, 02:36 AM
Barakzai sahab, I have a few things to say but I don't have time right now. I will probably post tomorrow. I need some sleep.

Da Allah pa amaan.

Dreamer
12-25-2010, 06:02 PM
Whats the question?
typical day in the UK is as follows for a Dr...
ward round... see patients... then u do the jobs... then u go hme.. when ur on call ur busy ;)

BarakzaiAbdali
12-25-2010, 11:33 PM
BarakzaiAbdali I have a question.

Salaam wrorre, ask me anything you wish!

BarakzaiAbdali
12-25-2010, 11:35 PM
Today I wanted to discuss 6 year programs and reserved seats in medical school.

For those of you here in the states that are in still in high school, you are the most undifferentiated group out of us all and, thus, the group that I hope groom as future physicians. I wanted to discuss another option that might be available to you for studying medicine. Now, because of my career trajectory, and avid interest in engineering before medicine, I went through a typical four year undergraduate experience and then 4 years of medical schooling. Admin Khan has raised some questions regarding the time lengths associated with medical training and I think this is another attractive way for those of you that find the years committed to medical training as daunting.

My younger sister actually took a route that shaved 2 years off this long road to becoming an attending doctor; she applied what are called BS/MD programs or sometimes, alternatively, BA/MD programs. These programs offer reserved seats for competitive young applicants straight out of high school. They are usually referred to as 6 year BS/MD programs for the fast tracks and are called 8 year BSMD programs for those that want the full undergraduate experience of 4 years with summers that give you some flexibility. The 6 year programs usually occupy your summers with coursework that squeezes 4 years of work into 2 years for the undergraduate phase and couples this to 4 years of medical school.

The advantage for my female brethren here who want to become high powered surgeons and still have a reasonable time in which to have a family life, is that you are usually a certified MD by the time you are 24 and done with general surgery residency by the time you are 29. A fellowship in something like plastics then places you at about 31 years of age when you are all done. On the other hand if you want to go in the direction of a medicine subspeciality like cardiology, pulmonology etc, you will still finish up 2 years earlier than your comrades.

The advantages of some these programs are that they do not make you take the MCAT if you get a reserved seat as long as you maintain a GPA of 3.6 or so or above. There are some excellent 6 and 8 year reserved seat tracks out there like Northwestern’s that provide you with excellent schooling at both the undergraduate and medical school levels. Furthermore, you cut out the costs of 2 years of undergraduate school in the process.

The draw backs with these programs usually tend to be social ones. Many folks underestimate the rigors that are required and did not realize they were going to be worked to the bone during those initial 2 years. Many of these schools have a few of these 6 year reserved seat folks mixed into a class with traditional 4 years undergrad and 4 years MD route. What I generally hear from their colleagues varies from the 6 year fast trackers being mature beyond their years to immature in many ways. I personally have had good experiences with the few of them I have had as interns of residents and think that my younger sister surpassed me in many ways that I am proud of her for; she is however pretty humble about it.

Applications toward these programs are very competitive, but generally do not take an Einstein to get into. If you wish and there is an interest for those of you who are in high school or who have brothers/sisters/family at that level, we can discuss this more.

Here is a list of some of these programs. I have not checked it for complete or up to date accuracy, but it appears to have some places on there that I know residents and other colleagues from:

http://www.minimedicalschool.com/ba_md_programs.html

BarakzaiAbdali
12-26-2010, 12:53 AM
I also wanted to write a post regarding why Admin Khan Lala is correct about knowing what you are taking on when you enter this field.

The general thought process that guides many immigrants to send their kids off into medicine or to encourage them to consider it, has to do with status and monetary gain. This pathway and mindset is not something unique to Muslim immigrants. You see this phenomenon in Asian immigrants, Hindu Indian immigrants, etc. In fact, the ascendance of an immigrant population may be marked by movement towards professional fields like law, medicine, scientific PhDs, MBAs, etc. The Nobel Prize winning organic chemist Dr. Roald Hoffmann once remarked that his mother and many Jewish mothers wanted their sons to become doctors and lawyers because of this same reason. He admired his mother’s drive, but eventually rebelled and decided research and a PhD pathway in organic chemistry was more appropriate towards his interests. However, it is a telling story about how hard those initial Jewish immigrants in the northeastern ghettos worked to elevate their people.

However, medicine is like no other field in that it has two faces. There is the people side of medicine that television and drama attempts to capture (but rarely do, I might add). Then there is the business side of medicine. The best way I can describe what that side feels like is to discuss a job I once had as a kid. My dad, God bless him, made me, at the age of 16, get a series of jobs in the service sector ranging from moving furniture to working at a gas station/food joint in the rural south when I was 16. I worked these jobs on weekends and ramped up to full time during the summer. As an example, the gasoline station/food joint place had horrible hours and the shifts ran till 3 am closing time (the food was pretty horrible to if you ask me). More often than not, since I was the youngest there I was expected to work into these morning hours doing menial tasks. Trust me, this was no Indo-Pak, Arab, or Afghan owned joint that breaks for moonzoona/salaah, it was owned and jointly operated by two feuding hillbilly families. Whenever an American holiday rolled around, the Muslim guy was always the one expected to work as you can imagine. Back then, I was pretty pissed at my dad for making me do this, but now, years later, I love him for it more than you can imagine. It taught me discipline and patience and the value of the American dollar. The general tempo would be that the business would get hit hard by customer rushes at various hours throughout the day and you would do algorithmic and repetitive work again and again and again until your shift ended. Medicine is a lot like that during your training phase. The intern physician comes in around 5 am in the morning and prerounds, morning after morning after morning, doing the same exam on some chronic patients again and again and again on about 10 patients (it used to be many more prior to the new restrictions). Then he presents for a few hours and is in front of a firing squad of seniors that test his knowledge and teach him all the while in an aggressive way. For a few hours thereafter he is expected to simultaneously attend teaching rounds, get paperwork done on his patients, make impossible things happen in the shortest time span possible, and then preempt anything that could happen tomorrow. Anything that usually is not done before 2 pm does not get done that day and you get reamed by the team for not getting it done. As a fellow in cardiology, you get called again and again and again about some of the same issues that general medical teams could manage, but you end up having to see ~100% of these or face serious consequences. Then there is the brutality of the 30 hour call that reaches its peak pain in the ICU.

The point is that if you do not like the process of meeting a patient, quickly and efficiently (15 minutes at most) hearing what bought him to the hospital in that 15 minutes, and spending another 15 minutes discussing what disease states you think are affecting that patient with your superiors, and then spending about 30-45 minutes writing up a full report of what you saw and what you think and justifying it with evidence while getting paged hundreds of times to deal with tasks or dying patients, then you find yourself caught in a series of repetitive motions that go on for what is seemingly eternity. Another hour is spent on getting the patient the proper tests and calming down family members. On a call night, you multiply this by 7 new patients and 3 old patients.

I think you learn to love it in medical school. What woke me up to the importance of medical service and understanding that that I was taking care of, and trying to correct damage done to, the most amazing biological system every designed (the human body) were experiences in that phase of my life.

I remember that I was on a pediatric oncology rotation and I was in the room of a young 5 year old that had his bone marrow toasted by whatever chemotherapy the team was utilizing at that juncture. That kid was going to die. I just knew it based on the probabilities of the hits his system took and the number of organ systems that had been utterly ravaged. Earlier that day I had to take go a lecture on end of life care and the lecture was geared towards adults who can make decisions about when to want to just stop therapies that may extend life slightly but do not necessarily extend quality of life. I had seen patients make these tough decisions on the adult Oncology wards and either go to some hospice that eased them towards a less painful and more dignified end or even suffer quick in hospital deaths. However, assigning a third year medical student to have that discussion with a pediatric patient’s family was completely improper and utterly devoid of any grace on the part of one of my residents. However, that was the position I was put in. Many researchers are realizing that end of life discussion is like a difficult medical procedure. Just as the mantra is “see one, do one, and teach one” for intensive care unit procedures like central line placement and thoracentesis, the teaching style is beginning to alter towards “see one, do one, and teach one” for end of life discussions with families and patients. In fact the Obama administration is putting some emphasis on this role for a doctors training because of how bad we doctors are at it. Doing it the wrong way costs inordinate amounts of money to the healthcare system and can cause much grief and pain for the patient. Nonetheless, I walked into the room, and as I initiated that discussion with the family and discussed options including removal of care, the mother of that child turned to me and yelled angrily, on the verge of tears “watch this!” She went over to her son who was emaciated, gaunt, and glass eyed and looked angelic only the way that a pediatric cancer patient can, and he reached his little hands towards her, but he couldn’t support the weight of his arms, so they quickly dropped. She then turned to me, and said, “How can you ask me, his mom of all people, to give up when he still reaches to me!?” I realized that I would never be that lazy ass resident or fellow that sent a third year medical student to do the job that I, the resident/fellow and teacher, needed to do.

In summary, I think you learn to love it when you do that thing that many doctors warn you not to do, which is project onto your patients. Each mother is your mother… each father is your father… each kid could have been your kid. The patient becomes all holy, and no matter if they are quick to anger at you, you hold your tongue; if they have you paged for a family call at 3 am, you take it because you would expect your doctor to do the same for you.

What I mean to say is that it cannot simply be about societal standing or acquiring personal honor… those things are fuel that burn out quickly. You can and have to find far better reasons to undergo this training.

Here is an excellent ethics article in The New Yorker by Dr. Atul Gawande on end of life care and perhaps ties into the some of these issues. This article has made waves in the past few months.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande)

It discusses end of life care and how heart wrenching it is for doctors to make these decisions. It is an easy and enjoyable read. For those of you that are applying in the coming year, it makes good reading because this issue can come up quiet often in interviews.

OK guys that is enough catharsis tonight. Enjoy. I hope that the Gawande article fuels some discussion in your minds and more questions if you have them.

Thanks Dreamer and Abbas for your informative posts. You guys appear to be sustaining the European/UK interest to this thread better than I can because I am absolutely ignorant when it comes to your systems and need this help.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-26-2010, 10:46 PM
Barakzai, my cousin wants to know which country is the fastest for becoming a doctor?
Salaam Yasmin,

Here is a more intricate way to think about the answer to that question: Divide it up into a series of questions.

1) Where do you want to practice?
2) What type of doctor do you want to be?
3) Where will you go to learn medicine?

1)
The reasons many folks come to the US are generally three-fold: In my experience, if they come here from Europe and are ethnically derived from Europe they tend to seek advanced fellowship training and then return to their home country. Other groups in various economically deprived countries ranging from China to India to Pakistan to Afghanistan come for a combination of the training and the economic benefit. The third is to get good training and then go and practice abroad in lucrative countries (Dubai etc) but maintain American board status.

Other foreign grads go to Europe, which is by no means a backwater. In fact many current studies touted in the highly successfull AHA (American Heart Association) meeting were European led and driven. However, the economic incentives are far greater here in the US and you can become an attending physician (aka the boss) even as a foreign grad. Many are still amazed at, despite how competitive it is, it remains the most welcoming country to outsiders wanting to train and then stay and work here.

The standards of practice in both the US and parts of Europe are advanced and constantly progressing in the light of new studies and with the introduction of new technology.

So I answer in regard to if your cousin is overseas and wants to come to the US to train, as many do, versus being born here in the USA and wanting to stay here but go the fastest route.

In the former case, I have specified in a prior post that if you are overseas and have not yet started an undergraduate degree it is more valuable for you to do what many Indian folks are doing and get into an American Undergraduate institution so you can get admission into an American medical school. If your cousin has already completed his medical training abroad then obviously that is no longer a choice.

An Important Point
The mistake that some make when they are born in the states and have a citizenship is to assume that they can simply go back to their country of origin and complete a medical degree faster and then make it right back into the US to practice, shaving off a few years. This is a fallacy. The foreign grad has to jump through a series of hurdles and where he graduates from can affect how easily he makes it back into the states. If he goes to Canada or the UK he might find it a bit easier. However, moving back to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India ends up costing you about the same amount of time. You end up having to spend some extra time doing abroad rotations here in the US or hunting down research work to become involved with. That can add a year or two.

2) What type of doctor you want to be directly relates to 1). If you want to practice primary care or general internal medicine the fact that you shaved off two years and saved yourself some money may actually work out. However, if you want to get into competitive specialities (orthopedic surgery, radiation oncology, opthalmology, Ear, Nose, Throat Surgery, urology, dermatology, radiology) you are severely limited by being a foreign graduate from underdeveloped countries and very often, from Europe; not because you are any dumber than your American colleagues, but rather because American grads are given preference. Some foreign grads from places like Aga Khan combat this with doing a few years of research and squeeze in to one of these fields. Some even pursue a PhD just to do this.

In fact, even general surgery, family practice, and internal medicine programs at the most renowned institutions like Johns Hopkins, the Harvard affiliated Hospitals, Columbia etc. rarely, if ever, accept foreign graduates.

So once again, the time you shave off come back to haunt you as a glass ceiling over your professional head as to what fields you can enter and how far you can advance. For instance, within Internal Medicine and Cardiology, the heads of the departments always come from the top US institutions for their residency and medical schooling.

3) Where do you plan to learn and practice?

Remember, the standards of how medicine is taught and how it is practiced can vary between even excellent clinicians. However, you want to train in countries that teach you what the most recent research shows you in regard to various treatment protocols and pharmacological interventions.

For example, many people inherently assume that putting a stent in someone prolongs their life if their heart vessel is blocked. However, this is a complex matter. When a complete block occurs and the person is physically having heart attack, yes, certainly a stent placed in the coronary artery prolongs life. However, in the cases of persons with stable narrowing of their heart vessels that is causing stable pain when they exert themselves only (and not at rest) and are not yet having a heart attack; they appear to not gain any "extension of life." This seems counter intuitive, after all, you are "stenting" open a blood vessel further. The issue is that large sample sized randomized trials are are showing us this. The American and European system are designed to test practitioners and standardize practice with such cutting edge knowledge. The most rural hospitals in the US with catheterization labs have cardiologists that may practice slightly differently (some are more conservative and some are more aggressive) but in general, they have to be aware of the standard of practice.

So Jasmine, at the end of the day, if you give me more information about your cousins age and where he is a citizen, I can hone my guidance for you.

Admin Khan
12-27-2010, 10:24 PM
I would say that tenure is the issue with the PhD route. The MD in the US has little to worry about when it comes to tenure.

It depends on your major. If you get a Ph.D in Mathematics, you will almost always have a job. Math Professors are in demand, and they usually can travel to any nation and get a high paying job. Especially with an American degree. That is just one example. Aside from the being well paid, their job is less stressful as opposed to being a doctor. Also, like I said before, Professors call the shots, they tell the students what to do. You teach how you want to teach. So in a sense, there is a more freedom.

To climb the ladder and go from associate to assistant to full and finally to tenured professor is competitive and arduous. I would argue that the MD professor has quiet a bit of flexibility and, if the environment gets hostile he can jump institutes and fields with greater ease. He can go private practice if academia starts to wear and grate on him or cause him too much consternation.
I understand, I really do. It all comes down to passion, but what is the average age of paying off your extreme debt? Gaining a Ph.D is much cheaper, and it's benefits are almost equal, if not better. You get equal respect, many people when they see the "Dr." respect you just as much as a Physician.

Once again, I would say that the the job occupancy rate is higher in medicine because of the supply/demand ratio game that goes on. For instance, this article in Science appears to be discussing prospects in both the US and Europe:
I understand that, but how does an average Afghan pay off the debt with such high interest rate?


Armed with this information regarding the candidacy of post docs for tenure tracked positions, I would hesistate before saying that it is any easier at all straight out of the PhD to land tenure tracked positions.
Definitely. I woudn't say it's easy, In fact, post-grad education requires time and dedication. I just think the lack of debt is what gives the Ph.D an upper hand. At what age does a doctor begin enjoying his/her live? This is an important question. Every Doctor I know is always worried about rising interest rate, and how he needs to pay it off immediately. Professors I know, are happy, they feel respected and they are far more relaxed.


However, I fully agree with you, and as Paul McCartney once sang, "Money can't buy you love." The attraction to the field should be about what one can accomplish with it beyond accolates or transient pat on the backs. Both the MD and the PhD tracks offer noble ways to pursue science and each person has go gauge what suits their personalities and goals more. One also has to judge their technical capabilities and savvy.I so agree with the above, It's almost as if I wrote it.

So BarakzaiAbdali, where can I learn more about the course I need to apply to Med school? Also, what do you think of graduates attending Med school in Aruba and other nearby Caribbean nations? I heard it's faster. Can you shed some light, respected wrora.

Manzareh
12-27-2010, 10:30 PM
wow this is the first time iv clicked this thread, some good stuff on here, well done guys

kakargirl
12-27-2010, 10:40 PM
yes manzareh told you before barakzai abdali wror is amazing and very intelligent he's done some amazing work on here :)

Manzareh
12-27-2010, 10:43 PM
^ yea he has, you have to be very organised to write long posts as you need TIME!!

Admin Khan
12-27-2010, 10:54 PM
yes manzareh told you before barakzai abdali wror is amazing and very intelligent he's done some amazing work on here :)
He is a priceless emerald.

kakargirl
12-27-2010, 11:01 PM
your right admin wror :)and we are so lucky he came on this forum i'm a big fan of barakzai wror,manzareh wrora your right about time and effort the post are written like the best author of medical infomation booklets that kings college do in london the number 1 uni in uk .

BarakzaiAbdali
12-27-2010, 11:33 PM
It depends on your major. If you get a Ph.D in Mathematics, you will almost always have a job. Math Professors are in demand, and they usually can travel to any nation and get a high paying job. Especially with an American degree. That is just one example. Aside from the being well paid, their job is less stressful as opposed to being a doctor. Also, like I said before, Professors call the shots, they tell the students what to do. You teach how you want to teach. So in a sense, there is a more freedom.
I understand, I really do. It all comes down to passion, but what is the average age of paying off your extreme debt? Gaining a Ph.D is much cheaper, and it's benefits are almost equal, if not better. You get equal respect, many people when they see the "Dr." respect you just as much as a Physician.
I understand that, but how does an average Afghan pay off the debt with such high interest rate?
Definitely. I woudn't say it's easy, In fact, post-grad education requires time and dedication. I just think the lack of debt is what gives the Ph.D an upper hand. At what age does a doctor begin enjoying his/her live? This is an important question. Every Doctor I know is always worried about rising interest rate, and how he needs to pay it off immediately. Professors I know, are happy, they feel respected and they are far more relaxed.

I so agree with the above, It's almost as if I wrote it.

So BarakzaiAbdali, where can I learn more about the course I need to apply to Med school? Also, what do you think of graduates attending Med school in Aruba and other nearby Caribbean nations? I heard it's faster. Can you shed some light, respected wrora.

I can certainly help you out with what course you would take. We could do it through private messaging or on here. This all depends on some of those factors I discussed previously and where you feel like your candidacy is strong and where you feel like it needs to be augmented.

The issue with the Aruban and Carribean medicals schools is what I wrote above in the answer to jasmine's question regarding her cousin. Some of them manage to put some physicians into the American system, but you have to understand that it is all about your end goals. If you want to keep many more options open and have an avid interest in a particular competitive field (for example if you like opathalmology and want to help save the eye sight of Afghan children using your work) then that route limits you very much.

However, there are the few that get through, do well on the USMLE exams and get preliminary spots in good programs in high end surgery residencies. However, these preliminary spots guarantee gruelling competition with other foreign grad colleagues and possibly being out of a job the next year (its like an audition process). In contrast, the American grad intern is nearly guaranteed that he will advance beyond his internship without a hitch.

If you feel that circumstances (money, etc) make it so that going outside the US is your most likely option, we can discuss this more and I can hone in and specify my guidance.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-27-2010, 11:38 PM
He is a priceless emerald.

If I am an emerald, a simple earthen stone, then you, kakargirl, and Manzerah outshine me like the precious stones in the tends of paradise.

Alchemist
12-28-2010, 01:34 AM
In regards to the debate as to which is better, Ph.D or M.D, I quote:

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory."

kakargirl
12-28-2010, 09:51 PM
If I am an emerald, a simple earthen stone, then you, kakargirl, and Manzerah outshine me like the precious stones in the tends of paradise.
aww wrora nothing measures up to you and thank you mashallah keep up the professional work your doing on here we are impressed .:praise:

Laila
12-28-2010, 10:06 PM
Laila I don't think its true that PA can open their own clinics. From what I know PAs can do everything a doctor does except opening a clinic.
No that is not true. Reason why you may think that is because PAs are not really recognized much outside of the US. But i am sure as the demand for PAs in the US increases in a couple of years, it should be more recognized around the world too.

Laila
12-28-2010, 10:08 PM
Doctor Sahib,

Do you by any chance, have any plans of practicing medicine back home? If you were able to, do you want to open/run your own clinic/hopsital.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-28-2010, 11:42 PM
No that is not true. Reason why you may think that is because PAs are not really recognized much outside of the US. But i am sure as the demand for PAs in the US increases in a couple of years, it should be more recognized around the world too.


I actually was wrong on a few counts in my prior posts on the PA (Physician Assistant) role and wanted to clarify where I was mistaken. I want to say at the outset that I know a lot about the medicine and MD process but am by no means the authority on PA schooling. However, I like to learn and that is why I made this thread because it facilitates mentoring and exchanges of information.

I talked to my two PAs on my service today to understand their admissions system and their range of practice. They tell me that it varies by state. In my prior posting I had noted that if one has a deep interest in surgical procedures and becoming say, a heart surgeon, then PA school is not the route for them. They tell me that things are different in California. My commentary is still true in that sense that Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting will be done by Cardiac Surgeons, who will still run the OR and determine who gets a new valve or who needs a CABG, but it turns out that PAs have their own strong role in the OR and can serve as first assists. This means that they can build up their skills to the point that they harvest the vein grafts from the leg for the surgeon to implant onto the heart.

They indicated that in some parts of the midwest the PA system has evolved where a physician signs via some electronic method and that they do in fact run their own clinics in these areas. This now means that PAs also have to buy malpractice insurance.

They indicate that volunteering about 2000 hours is an important part of the application process and that the GRE is the exam of choice. They note that working in a speciality is not based on a fellowship and that one can change specialties easily. However, they note that their role can be limited in certain specialities when it comes to independent implementation of a plan. For example, if a patient comes in septic and in shock, the pulmonary/critical care specialist must be consulted. They confirmed the role of physicians in executing the codes where a patients heart stops or stops breathing etc and their role in prescribing the meds involved.

It will be fascinating to see where American Healthcare goes in the coming years. I am sure you will all pick your own best path, but I hope I can convince you all to follow this one; who knows maybe we can practice together (I mean all of us).

BarakzaiAbdali
12-28-2010, 11:56 PM
I wanted to discuss another option out there for those of you that feel that the MD requirements may be a bit stringent and that you are looking for another path to work alongside an MD and compete against them for fellowships in specialties that you yearn to enter. You may not want to leave the mainland US and want to try a possibly more affordable route.

I admit, this is another pathway that I have no training in, but I know some colleagues that have made it this way and work alongside of me as co-equals that I deeply respect.

So I will set the stage for you. It appears that historically there were multiple degrees for practicing medicine in 1800s America, these included the MD route, the DO route, and 5 others. In the late 1800s/early 1900s the AMA (American Medical Association) decided that medicine needed standardization and that doctors needed to control their field to accomplish this for patient safety. So the general story is that the MDs ended up quashing all the other folks and nearly managed to drive the DOs out of business as well. In fact they appear to nearly have succeeded, but California reversed the trend. The California branch of the AMA attempted to ban DOs from practicing and even offered to convert their DO degrees into MDs. However, in a manner that I know not, the DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) trend survived the assault we MDs waged on them and are an alternate route towards the end goal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Osteopathic_Medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Osteopathic_Medicine)

So as an example, the other day my intern told me about a patient with a massive clot in his lungs and the patient also had clots in his lungs that could shoot up into the lungs and create such a backlog that the patient could die. He called an interventional radiologist in the hospital to help out. It turned out that this individual is a DO.

Somehow they take all the USMLE exams if they want and can apply to the same residency.

Now the caveat is that the trends still support MDs and these folks that manage to break out of primary care or internal medicine and make it into the high power specialities (Orthopedic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, dermatology, Radiology, Optjhalmology) are few and far between compared to their MD counterparts.

However, I wanted to offer it as a route of investigation for those of you that want to be those things and are willing to outwork and outcompete your MD colleagues to beat the odds and make it into the field. The admissions requirements for DO schools appear to be less stringent than the MD schools.

I believe that this option is generally limited to the US and that DOs become limited in terms of international prospects comapred to their MD counterparts.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-29-2010, 12:13 AM
Doctor Sahib,

Do you by any chance, have any plans of practicing medicine back home? If you were able to, do you want to open/run your own clinic/hopsital.

In a word, Yes. However, not in the common way. I think that Rehman Medical Institute serves as an inspiration for what can be accomplished in Pashtunistan/Pashtunkhwa. However, from what I understand from trainees from Khybar, RMI serves the wealthier strata of society primarily, or those with relatives that have American money. Nonetheless, the fact that folks are coming from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even parts of China to get care there speaks to the accomplishment that cannot be taken away from it.

The Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic are the models that I am a proponent of. The Israelis have utilized their connections in the US to recreate such efficient systems in their country. Multiple US presidents have recognized the promise and extensive accomplishment of these two centers and their special model of practice (integrated medicine):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124831191487074451.html (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124831191487074451.html)

Now that the Pashtun diaspora is growing strong and gathering momentum with folks like yourself at the helm we can also accomplish the same effect. This means that a centralized clinic like RMI ought to be constructed in places like Kandahar, Jalalabad, Quetta, etc and have satellite divisions (like Cleveland Clinic Florida is to the main Cleveland Clinic in Ohio). This would allow private individuals to work outside of the state/corrupt governmental pathway and take the power and currency that such centers produce and utilize a portion of this at peripheral centers (imagine a Rehman Institute Wana etc.). The peripheral clinic may not have the massive resources of the home base, but it would far exceed the capabilities of these mud hut clinics that are sponsored solely by a few NGOs and a few wonderful and giving Khybar and Nangrahari medical students. If you are wondering how this is economically viable, look at this snippet from the Wall Street Journal article above regarding the business model:

"The Cleveland Clinic stays profitable by offsetting its losses on Medicare patients with payments from private insurers and thousands of foreign patients who often pay its full list prices. Those prices can be two to three times higher than what U.S. insurance plans negotiate with the clinic. The clinic also pulls in significant revenue from philanthropy; it collected $183 million in 2008."

These centers would stand independent from Mir Wais Hospital and Khybar and the other university institutes just as the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo stand apart from their university counterparts/competitors. Yet there would be collaborations.

I also want to replicate the accomplishments that the Jews and Indians have done for Israel and India by importing academic research. If stem cell therapies can be researched in India, it surely can be pursued in Peshawar or Nangrahar.

Laila
12-29-2010, 12:18 AM
I actually was wrong on a few counts in my prior posts on the PA (Physician Assistant) role and wanted to clarify where I was mistaken. I want to say at the outset that I know a lot about the medicine and MD process but am by no means the authority on PA schooling. However, I like to learn and that is why I made this thread because it facilitates mentoring and exchanges of information.

Doctor sahib,

No problem, we are all here to learn :)

I talked to my two PAs on my service today to understand their admissions system and their range of practice. They tell me that it varies by state. In my prior posting I had noted that if one has a deep interest in surgical procedures and becoming say, a heart surgeon, then PA school is not the route for them. They tell me that things are different in California. My commentary is still true in that sense that Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting will be done by Cardiac Surgeons, who will still run the OR and determine who gets a new valve or who needs a CABG, but it turns out that PAs have their own strong role in the OR and can serve as first assists. This means that they can build up their skills to the point that they harvest the vein grafts from the leg for the surgeon to implant onto the heart.


They indicated that in some parts of the midwest the PA system has evolved where a physician signs via some electronic method and that they do in fact run their own clinics in these areas. This now means that PAs also have to buy malpractice insurance.

They indicate that volunteering about 2000 hours is an important part of the application process and that the GRE is the exam of choice. They note that working in a speciality is not based on a fellowship and that one can change specialties easily. However, they note that their role can be limited in certain specialities when it comes to independent implementation of a plan. For example, if a patient comes in septic and in shock, the pulmonary/critical care specialist must be consulted. They confirmed the role of physicians in executing the codes where a patients heart stops or stops breathing etc and their role in prescribing the meds involved.
Okay that makes sense then.

Yeah here in California, some PA schools do not need the GRE. Some schools or programs ask for it if your undergrad GPA was not enough.
It will be fascinating to see where American Healthcare goes in the coming years. I am sure you will all pick your own best path, but I hope I can convince you all to follow this one; who knows maybe we can practice together ;)

Like you, doctor sahib, I also look forward to it :)

Laila
12-29-2010, 12:22 AM
I wanted to discuss another option out there for those of you that feel that the MD requirements may be a bit stringent and that you are looking for another path to work alongside an MD and compete against them for fellowships in specialties that you yearn to enter. You may not want to leave the mainland US and want to try a possibly more affordable route.

I admit, this is another pathway that I have no training in, but I know some colleagues that have made it this way and work alongside of me as co-equals that I deeply respect.

So I will set the stage for you. It appears that historically there were multiple degrees for practicing medicine in 1800s America, these included the MD route, the DO route, and 5 others. In the late 1800s/early 1900s the AMA (American Medical Association) decided that medicine needed standardization and that doctors needed to control their field to accomplish this for patient safety. So the general story is that the MDs ended up quashing all the other folks and nearly managed to drive the DOs out of business as well. In fact they appear to nearly have succeeded, but California reversed the trend. The California branch of the AMA attempted to ban DOs from practicing and even offered to convert their DO degrees into MDs. However, in a manner that I know not, the DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) trend survived the assault we MDs waged on them and are an alternate route towards the end goal.

[/URL][url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Osteopathic_Medicine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Osteopathic_Medicine)

So as an example, the other day my intern told me about a patient with a massive clot in his lungs and the patient also had clots in his lungs that could shoot up into the lungs and create such a backlog that the patient could die. He called an interventional radiologist in the hospital to help out. It turned out that this individual is a DO.

Somehow they take all the USMLE exams if they want and can apply to the same residency.

Now the caveat is that the trends still support MDs and these folks that manage to break out of primary care or internal medicine and make it into the high power specialities (Orthopedic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, dermatology, Radiology, Optjhalmology) are few and far between compared to their MD counterparts.

However, I wanted to offer it as a route of investigation for those of you that want to be those things and are willing to outwork and outcompete your MD colleagues to beat the odds and make it into the field. The admissions requirements for DO schools appear to be less stringent than the MD schools.

I believe that this option is generally limited to the US and that DOs become limited in terms of international prospects comapred to their MD counterparts.

My physician is a DO :)

When i was getting interviewed for my volunteer work, out of 5 people who were interviewing me, two of them were DOs.

the only DO program I know is the one in San Francisco, at Turo University.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-29-2010, 12:38 AM
My physician is a DO :)

When i was getting interviewed for my volunteer work, out of 5 people who were interviewing me, two of them were DOs.

the only DO program I know is the one in San Francisco, at Turo University.


Remember, you should not feel limited to staying in California. We are Afghans, we are made to live ruggedly (joking). My travels have taken me relatively far from home and to a number of different cities. It is hard leaving home, but you grow quiet a bit with the journey. Moreover, different places see you as willing to make good moves and take you more seriously when you apply for fellowship etc.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 12:26 AM
Today, I think I will seguey into the topic, "Women in medicine" and how it relates to the application process (especially in the context of being Muslim and Afghan). I may also say a few things that sound controversial and look forward to any commentary.

I will be happy when this thread will be taken over by muslimahs (pashtun girls, specifically)) who have better credentials than myself. I personally feel that women are detail oriented and very hard working in a way that makes them suited to clinical medicine and taking care of patients acutely. I know I am generalizing, but for some reason we guys have comparitively shortened attention spans

In the past few years I have noted that the number of female physicians amongst the Muslims is beginning to equal and possibly surpass the number of men. I went to a pretty good medical school here in the states run by some strong academic folks. In that same institution, the class I graduated in, we had 7 hijaab wearing Muslimahs and a number of other good gals. On match day (the day when everyone finds out in which speciality and where they will end up) these girls ended up outshining their female compatriots amongst the other races and made it into better institutions than most of the white men (since this latter group seems to be the group that everyone weighs themselves against for some ridiculous reason) and males in general.

You girls who want to take this pathway into medicine, especially if you are Pashtun, have an interesting story to tell. That is what it all comes down to if you get the basic credentials taken care of (MCAT, GPA, etc etc): an interesting story to tell. At the fellowship level it is about having research on your record and who you know. At the medical school admissions level though, they want to know about you and what interesting component of this diverse and dynamic world you can contribute and what adversity you overcame. Lets face it girls, we Pashtuns do not have the greatest track record when it comes to doing right by you. Don't get me wrong, many good men treat their women like Queens, but there are still certain ideologies about what gender roles ought to be. Some of this is pure biology, but some of it is unislamic. Although many of you females are in the West and still somewhat better off than your counter parts in Sher e Surkh or Deh rawood, you still have many challenges that you face in the West that involve keeping your identity intact and still living up to your God given potential. Moreover, you have to do this all in the face of the expectations families have on their daughters regardless of whether they are liberal or conservative. The Americans want to hear your story and they want to know what you think empowering you with a professional degree will do for your colleagues around the world. You should embrace this role and tell them the honest truth of your struggle to make it against the odds in a culture that reveres women in certain ways but also considers certain roles more appropriate for sons. You never have to feel like you are trashing pashtuns because you can always intellectually discuss the issues and talk about the drawbacks for women in western societies as well as a counterbalance.

How do you show practical evidence to buttress your application? Well, there are many refugee camps back home and many organizations that allow girls such as yourselves to help out when treating females and helping to translate. The most organized of these are actually on the KP side of the border and usually centered in camps like Jalozai (which I think was undone recently??- not sure). My sisters are both in medicine. One of them is already in practice in a speciality (Radiation Oncology) and the other is currently in surgical residency. Alongside making the right grades and scores, they would go to the camps near the borders between Quetta/Kandahar and the infamous Jalozai near Peshawar and accompany female physicians and aid workers on these endeavors. This activity made them stand out quiet a bit. Not only that, it built a link between them and their people and allowed them to see, even better than I, the way to make inroads and actually bring American medicine and its high quality to their people in environments that lack resources. They were able to write and talk about real world experiences and what the people on the ground, in Pashtunkhwa, were thinking about in regard to daily life, politics, the world, suffering, and how to help them. You want to be able to work with some official organization that can allow a male relative to accompany you though. Some of these areas were dangerous and absolutely required this. Moreover, you want to be able to work with an established organization so that you can cite them on your AMCAS application.

Within the field itself, the opportunities will abound you. Every subspeciality field wants to be able to claim that they have hard working diverse people. Even the good old boy locked field of orthopedic surgery is now becoming fertile ground for women applicants because so few think they can get in that the few that do apply are snatched up into these competitive residencies. For some reason I meet a lot of asian chinese and other ethnic group females in cardiology but not Muslimahs. It is not because they do not want them... rather I think that the muslimahs prefer fields like dermatology, radiology, etc that give them an excellent standing in life but also give them quiet a bit flexibility.

That is another thing to really think about. I really do not want to be yelled at today so I want to make myself crystal clear: I support the application of my pashtun sisters and muslimah sisters into any and all walks of life in my field. However, based on my personal experience with my female colleagues, caucasians, muslims, etc. when women do decide to start their families and get married the speciality they choose makes a big impact on the trajectory of their life. So for example, my sister in rad onc has a great time in her field; she is in a high power field that allows her to be flexible with her schedule. My younger kid sister on the other hand is the slave of the hospital in a manner that is pretty demanding. She was lucky to fast track through the BS/MD programs I told you about earlier so she gained two years on everyone and the issues of marriage are not being affected detrimentally. I do expect though that it will be a bit harder for her in finding a suitable mate that will be able to deal with her intensely busy schedule in the coming years.

It all really comes down to what you want to end up doing and what is important to you. One lady, a non Muslim, who was a vascular surgery professor of mine in medical school was so devoted to academics and her field that her and her husband decided against having a family. Other women professors chose fields that gave them a lot of time to teach medical students and do a little clinical practice, all at the same salary as they would have earned in full clinical practice. This in turn gave then the time to be their for their families. I think most Pashtuns I know prefer the latter pathway in that they think of the Islamic statement of "allahuma athanaa fid doonyaa wa'al akhiraa- give us good in this life and the hereafter." This philosophy empowers them to accomplish a lot because they want to be top notch clinicians but also be top notch mothers. Since the Clinton years, women have many options. When I was in residency training, a few girls had babies in residency and were given some quality time with their children.

A few good fields to think about if you want to be in a high class professional field and still maintain a reasonably leisurely quality of life are radiology, dermatology, and radiation oncology. These three fields are super hard to get into, but are rewarding in terms of the time they give you back. Two less competitive fields are family medicine and pediatrics. These fields are also very accomodating to those women who want to enter medicine and have a family life.

Do not listen to people who tell you that you cannot get married while you are training or in medical school. You absolutely can do so and many of my female muslimah collegues were married in medical school. Some of them were married in the middle of the toughest part of the training, which was residency. The caveat is that you have to make sure you marry a man that understands your schedule and what will be required of you.

It appears that cardiology and the surgical specialities are a bit more time consuming nad leave your life at the mercy of the hospital (even in private practice)... so if you are more traditional and want to be high powered I would consider those other fields I mentioned above.

Finally, other options are academic careers in which you couple clinical medicine to clinical or basic research. This approach appears to still be a male dominated arena, but it is beginning to open wide up for females. MD PhD programs and various clinical training residencies are in love with the idea of graduating accomplished future female physician scientists. This option gives you the chance to be the future female Eric Topol!

Remember girls, I see higher and higher USMLE scores going to females these days. I see the girls generating rich differential diagnoses and taking top notch care of their patients. They are outdoing us guys in many ways. This BS about how men are big picture thinkers and women are detail oriented is completely untrue. They are detail oriented but many of my colleagues couple it to their extensive knowledge base and see the connections better than their colleagues.

Admin Khan
12-30-2010, 02:59 AM
I can certainly help you out with what course you would take. We could do it through private messaging or on here. This all depends on some of those factors I discussed previously and where you feel like your candidacy is strong and where you feel like it needs to be augmented.

The issue with the Aruban and Carribean medicals schools is what I wrote above in the answer to jasmine's question regarding her cousin. Some of them manage to put some physicians into the American system, but you have to understand that it is all about your end goals. If you want to keep many more options open and have an avid interest in a particular competitive field (for example if you like opathalmology and want to help save the eye sight of Afghan children using your work) then that route limits you very much.

However, there are the few that get through, do well on the USMLE exams and get preliminary spots in good programs in high end surgery residencies. However, these preliminary spots guarantee gruelling competition with other foreign grad colleagues and possibly being out of a job the next year (its like an audition process). In contrast, the American grad intern is nearly guaranteed that he will advance beyond his internship without a hitch.

If you feel that circumstances (money, etc) make it so that going outside the US is your most likely option, we can discuss this more and I can hone in and specify my guidance.
Sure, we can discuss it here wrora.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 02:16 PM
Salaam Admin Khan,

I have a question for you. So the thread celebrated 1000 views yesterday. How does the view count work? Can one individual bump up the count by repeatedly logging on again and again and clicking on the thread? Would viewing the thread from one computer and then another give you two 2 view counts even though its the same viewer?

So after the thread's inception that amounts to on average ~ 70 views/day across 15 days since its creation.

I am wondering where Afghan interests on this forum generally lie so I have the following questions:

1) Within the education forum, how do other threads compare in terms of hitting a 1000 views? Did the stocks and bonds thread hit a 1000 faster than this one, as an example?

2) Within the whole forum, it appears that politics/culture attracts the most commentary in general, but are there other threads (religion, etc) that show a more rapid and sustained interest?

3) Based on the above, what are online Pashtuns generally interested in: are they more attractive to educational issues, religious issues, political issues, etc.

4) It is probably impossible due to the anonymity afforded by the net, but it would be neat to be able to break down views according to female versus male.

Dreamer
12-30-2010, 04:39 PM
I might need to ask your advise about step 2 for USMLE etc

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 04:54 PM
I might need to ask your advise about step 2 for USMLE etc

Absolutely. Im going to work on a few outpatient clinic notes in the meanwhile (on my post call day :dead:) but will address what strategies we used a little later tonight when I edit this answer.

Dreamer
12-30-2010, 05:01 PM
Absolutely. Im going to work on a few outpatient clinic notes in the meanwhile (on my post call day :dead:) but will address what strategies we used a little later tonight when I edit this answer.

very good... btw just out of curiosity say you have a patient in fast AF would u use bisoprolol (say its about 120 bpm) amioderone or digoxin... I alwasy go for Digoxin :)

IamDZJ
12-30-2010, 06:00 PM
can you people not wait 20 years before repainting your freaking examination rooms? and all your posters are yellow from hanging on the wall for too long. it's freaking depressing.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 07:15 PM
very good... btw just out of curiosity say you have a patient in fast AF would u use bisoprolol (say its about 120 bpm) amioderone or digoxin... I alwasy go for Digoxin :)

Depends if they are in Afib with RVR and if it is acute, perhaps contributing to flash pulmonary edema due to inefficiency of the pump function of the heart (diastolic filling time), then acute management centers on simple measures like the 3 doses of dilt (the one that seems to work the best for me :hmm:) or metop IV followed up by oral maintenance, but if these measures cause hypotension in the elderly then my attendings and I have resorted to low dose Dig loading and supplementing that with Amiodorone. The clinical practice in the US veers away from Dig in RVR/afib due to controversial information surrounding it from questionable studies about mortality/morbidity when it is utilized alongside its narrow therapeutic index. Wiki links the following article as an example:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/62g4v62272167l75/?p=7c71dc6f1f0e463ab54515c25f735dd9&pi=3 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/62g4v62272167l75/?p=7c71dc6f1f0e463ab54515c25f735dd9&pi=3)

Amio has its own toxicities as you well know, but its multiple mechanisms of action and its beta blocking affect at the SA node are helpful...

Dreamer
12-30-2010, 07:29 PM
I am 24 years old, is it too late for me too be a doctor?
No

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 07:35 PM
I might need to ask your advise about step 2 for USMLE etc


So I'll tell you how the Americans study for it. Since you are educated in the UK, you should have no issues at all. I hear that the MRCP is actually more gruelling. But what we do is we generally rely on our clinical shelf exams and then we get about 2 to 4 weeks of intense study. The one and only source we utilize is the online USMLE step 2 CK MCQ bank.

Seriously, I must have sat there and did hundreds of those questions a day x 14 days. When you are in the exam you think to yourself "man none of it is on here." But somehow when you reach an average score of 75-80% consistently on the 50 question blocks you end up doing very well on the actual exam.

A few of my in-laws from Khybaar had to deal with the language issues, but they utilized the Kaplan lecture series and the associated texts and supplemented that with the USMLE world Q bank and did pretty well (240s).

So with that in mind, if you have relatives in Peshawar or know folks on this forum they sell the Kaplan texts and have the live DVDs on the markets there from what my in laws tell me. They are pretty well put together.

At the end of the day though, the USMLE World Q bank was my big study tool.

Regarding CK: Its all about rote memorization of that book First AID for the CK. Its very accurate to exam. As a Britisher you should be perfectly able to fly through that exam.

Dreamer
12-30-2010, 07:42 PM
Depends if they are in Afib with RVR and if it is acute, perhaps contributing to flash pulmonary edema due to inefficiency of the pump function of the heart (diastolic filling time), then acute management centers on simple measures like the 3 doses of dilt (the one that seems to work the best for me :hmm:) or metop IV followed up by oral maintenance, but if these measures cause hypotension in the elderly then my attendings and I have resorted to low dose Dig loading and supplementing that with Amiodorone. The clinical practice in the US veers away from Dig in RVR/afib due to controversial information surrounding it from questionable studies about mortality/morbidity when it is utilized alongside its narrow therapeutic index. Wiki links the following article as an example:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/62g4v62272167l75/?p=7c71dc6f1f0e463ab54515c25f735dd9&pi=3 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/62g4v62272167l75/?p=7c71dc6f1f0e463ab54515c25f735dd9&pi=3)

Amio has its own toxicities as you well know, but its multiple mechanisms of action and its beta blocking affect at the SA node are helpful...

I had a good case other day... 38 yr old guy came in... he had had a chest infection for the last 3 weeks and had been to see his GP who had told him it was clearing up and gave him some diarolyte as he had the runs as well... anyway he came to hospital 2 days later as he had according to his girlfriend gone "crosseyed" and become increasingly deaf and unsteady on his feet...
saw him and his bloodwork showed him to have an elevated white cell count more than 30 and his CRP was elevated at over 300... he was septic.. on examination he had left lateral rectus palsy and decreased air entry at the right base and crackles at mid zone on right...I ordered a CT scan and am at this point thinking Meningitis? so give him Cefotaxime 2g STAT and then rder a CxR which shows a right sided Pneumonia in mid zone and collapse of his lower lobe... I give him IV Tazocin... CT head comes back and Im no expert but something looks weird in the frontal lobe... the radiology registra wants a repeat with contrast and thats when my shift ends! I was a locum so didnt knw what happened!

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 08:00 PM
I am 24 years old, is it too late for me too be a doctor?


Not at all, see my prior answers. Its about prereqs and various other things. If you comb through the earlier responses you will see the answer to your question. In fact, age can be seen as a mark of maturity in the American system. Just make sure you satisfy your prereqs (the class work that is needed to apply, take the MCAT, and do the extracurricular work required). Many primary care schools would actually look at your age as an added benefit. Write me back if you need more info.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 08:08 PM
Regarding the Steps themselves and how they relate to Afghan medical students its a bit more of a challenge for them. My dad's relatives who trained at Mir Wais/Quetta for house jobs and had time at Nangrahar medical and had to come over were not as familiar with the British system did a little worse on the steps. I believe the reason for this rests in the fact that the American medical system can usually be adapted to pretty well by those that are either from the British system or exposed to it in countries that the British occupied. So Pakistan was occupied by the British for a reasonable enough time length that their language skills and medical curriculum reflected the European model of teaching. However, Nangrahar was really only benefited by doctors like "Red" Duke and other Americans that went over in the 1960s before the fall of Zahir Shah.

For Afghan brothers, I think it is essential to begin reading American case studies and go across the border to be able to secure some sort of house job position if they cannot directly go to the UK or the US first and try to gain exposure.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 09:25 PM
Hey guys,

Regarding Mir Wais hospital, serving there, once things cool down in the Kandahar Offensive, might serve as an excellent alternative to serving in the refugee camps. You will likely see some excellent medical cases that stretch and challenge the capabilities of even the most capable and trained physicians and really serve the destitute. I encourage the females on here who are interested in medicine to see if there are options for accompanying doctors/NGOs there if you have a family connection. This sort of relates to my prior posts regarding ways you can show your unique heritage in the realm of patient care. I am sure you will have quiet a bit of experience to discuss in interviews after serving in a place like this that brings together NGOs, governments, insurgents, the local populance, and worldwide academicians/physicians.

Here is an excellent New England Journal article about Mir Wais:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp038253 (http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp038253)

BarakzaiAbdali
12-30-2010, 10:02 PM
I have tried opening a thread 10 times and it did not contribute to the views at all. I opened this thread 10 times and the view thing did not go up. I think its because PF has a lot of doctors. you have to realize that PF has a lot of members that are on vacation in Khyber Medical Colllege. Saifullah, Khushal Khan Khattak(these are members)are away for a few months due to studies in KMC but they do view threads. I view this thread when I am in College and when I am home.

I need to know the pre reqs Abdali. I might just get by degree in PolySci and become a doctor. You have influenced me a lot.

Inshallah wrorre, I will be back on tomorrow after work and we will go over this and chart out a course for you to follow. It will serve as a practical example for others that want to investigate making the switch. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad to see the interest that our people have in education. We can start the change here and take hold of our own destinies with Allah's permission of course.

darwezkhail
12-30-2010, 10:12 PM
Salaam Admin Khan,

I have a question for you. So the thread celebrated 1000 views yesterday. How does the view count work? Can one individual bump up the count by repeatedly logging on again and again and clicking on the thread? Would viewing the thread from one computer and then another give you two 2 view counts even though its the same viewer?

So after the thread's inception that amounts to on average ~ 70 views/day across 15 days since its creation.

I am wondering where Afghan interests on this forum generally lie so I have the following questions:

1) Within the education forum, how do other threads compare in terms of hitting a 1000 views? Did the stocks and bonds thread hit a 1000 faster than this one, as an example?

2) Within the whole forum, it appears that politics/culture attracts the most commentary in general, but are there other threads (religion, etc) that show a more rapid and sustained interest?

3) Based on the above, what are online Pashtuns generally interested in: are they more attractive to educational issues, religious issues, political issues, etc.

4) It is probably impossible due to the anonymity afforded by the net, but it would be neat to be able to break down views according to female versus male.


Barakzai dear brother,

I applied to just 1 medical school and they said they will contact me for an interview some time in February.

Does this mean I have "made the first cut" or they are pleased with my academic standing and just want to get to know me as an individual? What should I interpret it as? Please make du'a for me people. Insha Allah they will accept me.

darwezkhail
12-30-2010, 10:14 PM
I have tried opening a thread 10 times and it did not contribute to the views at all. I opened this thread 10 times and the view thing did not go up. I think its because PF has a lot of doctors. you have to realize that PF has a lot of members that are on vacation in Khyber Medical Colllege. Saifullah, Khushal Khan Khattak(these are members)are away for a few months due to studies in KMC but they do view threads. I view this thread when I am in College and when I am home.

I need to know the pre reqs Abdali. I might just get by degree in PolySci and become a doctor. You have influenced me a lot.

I might look at KMC as a back up. It sounds appealing.

Saifullah if you read this please let me know.

Dreamer
12-31-2010, 09:39 AM
post interesting cases!!!!!
I saw a lady in resus who kept being admitted with abdominal pain and vomiting... why the surgeons didnt take her I will never know since an acute abdomen is their remit.. anyway this time the paramedic had bought her back the day after she had been discharged and treated for dehydration... the paramedic had done an ECG trace and it showed new bundle branch block... I repeated the ECG and it showed RBBB .... clearly this was new since looking at old traces it wasnt there, here sats were hanging on arnd 90% and she was slightly tachycardic.... she had a PMH of angina and Im thinking hmmm maybe ACS? (Acute coronary syndrome) If her block was LBBB id be defo this is ACS but with RBBB I was more unsure... asked a cardiology registra who was quite dismissive but suggested I do troponin T anyway at 12 hours and if it came positive to treat as ACS... Then I ordered a CTPA as RBBB if new maybe associated with PE... And guess what Huge PE showed up on the CTPA! :)

BarakzaiAbdali
12-31-2010, 01:19 PM
post interesting cases!!!!!
I saw a lady in resus who kept being admitted with abdominal pain and vomiting... why the surgeons didnt take her I will never know since an acute abdomen is their remit.. anyway this time the paramedic had bought her back the day after she had been discharged and treated for dehydration... the paramedic had done an ECG trace and it showed new bundle branch block... I repeated the ECG and it showed RBBB .... clearly this was new since looking at old traces it wasnt there, here sats were hanging on arnd 90% and she was slightly tachycardic.... she had a PMH of angina and Im thinking hmmm maybe ACS? (Acute coronary syndrome) If her block was LBBB id be defo this is ACS but with RBBB I was more unsure... asked a cardiology registra who was quite dismissive but suggested I do troponin T anyway at 12 hours and if it came positive to treat as ACS... Then I ordered a CTPA as RBBB if new maybe associated with PE... And guess what Huge PE showed up on the CTPA! :)

Its a great idea to discuss cases in a separate thread.

However, my goal with this thread was to keep this from becoming a thread where medical advice is doled out for online patient care/or where we discuss NEJM articles/cases.

Its here really just provide youngins with information on getting into medicine and provide guidance for folks coming in from the outside.

I would recommend starting another thread in the science forum to discuss medical cases if you want to do that... otherwise the khyberians go nuts and start primping eachother. I really want to avoid people being turned off by coming into a discussion that they do not understand the discussion or they get lost in our medical jargon. They will then feel like they have to sift through tons of information to get to the guidance of how one finds their way to medicine.

I would say more young Afghans need to be directed into medicine at this point with such guidance at hand versus learning clinical medicine before they even get a foot in the door.

However, if something is discussed in the manner of how it helped one interview, write up a case report, etc; anything that helps guide people into the field the way Atul Gawand did here in his essay Letting Go

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande

Then it would help people when interview time comes around to discuss the complex ethical issues that they always ask you about in medical school interviews. I would try to hone it on providing articles like the one above or the Mir Wais one I posted last night from the New England Journal because they will then start reading such articles regularly and that will give them a leg up on their competition in discussing emotion/ethical aspects of medicine with great candor and ease.

kakargirl
12-31-2010, 01:45 PM
wrora thank you for the information you gave me it was spot on mashallah may allah swt make you a even bigger success ameen

darwezkhail
12-31-2010, 02:15 PM
Goal was to keep this from becoming a thread where medical advice is doled out or and really just provide youngins with information on getting into medicine and provide guidance for folks coming in from the outside.

I would recommend starting another thread in the science forum to discuss medical cases if you want to do that... otherwise the khyberians go nuts and start primping eachother.

Barakzai, why did you ignore me?

BarakzaiAbdali
12-31-2010, 04:28 PM
Barakzai, why did you ignore me?

Did not ignore. At work. Promise, will answer later when I get home from the hospital. wanted to answer the question well and not just give you a bad answer.

darwezkhail
12-31-2010, 04:54 PM
Did not ignore. At work. Promise, will answer later when I get home from the hospital. wanted to answer the question well and not just give you a bad answer.

Sure thank you wror jana

BarakzaiAbdali
12-31-2010, 08:30 PM
Sure thank you wror jana

Wrorre,

Give me your profile.. are you living in the US, Europe, or back home in Afghanistan/Pakistan? Are you in Pakistan and applying as you mention Khybar? Then I can shed some light on your answer because you note interviews start in February (in the US they always start in September). I am leaving the hospital now and will go eat and then be able to sufficiently answer you with some of the details above.

darwezkhail
12-31-2010, 08:38 PM
Wrorre,

Give me your profile.. are you living in the US, Europe, or back home in Afghanistan/Pakistan? Are you in Pakistan and applying as you mention Khybar? Then I can shed some light on your answer because you note interviews start in February (in the US they always start in September). I am leaving the hospital now and will go eat and then be able to sufficiently answer you with some of the details above.

I applied to a European school in the middle east. KMC looks appealing as a backup due to its being cheaper and its location but RCSI is my first choice. I am not looking forward to coming back to the US ever again. I am fed up with it and want to get out as soon as possible ..

kakargirl
12-31-2010, 08:48 PM
Barakzai, why did you ignore me?
salam darwezkhail please never be impatient barakzai wror works very long hours in hospital and in these days due to holidays hes covering extra work ,he always replys, just be patient everyone gets a reply from barakzai wror. bless him

darwezkhail
12-31-2010, 08:53 PM
salam darwezkhail please never be impatient barakzai wror works very long hours in hospital and in these days due to holidays hes covering extra work ,he always replys, just be patient everyone gets a reply from barakzai wror. bless him

walaikum salam khore

the only reason i asked him that was because he replied to someone else after me but not me..

kakargirl
12-31-2010, 08:59 PM
walaikum salam khore

the only reason i asked him that was because he replied to someone else after me but not me..
wrora i know, but now you know he comes on very tiny time slots hes working in a very busy unit ,so always wait for his reply he will reply inshallah always :)

darwezkhail
12-31-2010, 09:12 PM
wrora i know, but now you know he comes on very tiny time slots hes working in a very busy unit ,so always wait for his reply he will reply inshallah always :)

okay thank you khore lol

Admin Khan
12-31-2010, 10:26 PM
Barakzai mashra,
I am still waiting for your response as well. No rush.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-31-2010, 11:00 PM
I applied to a European school in the middle east. KMC looks appealing as a backup due to its being cheaper and its location but RCSI is my first choice. I am not looking forward to coming back to the US ever again. I am fed up with it and want to get out as soon as possible ..

Brother, I only delayed because the answer to your question requires more thought.

So here is the deal regarding what I think is best for you. You have to balance it versus what you think is best for you.

In my opinion, if you are a US citizen, then you ought to try your best to stay within the US and attend school here. Even if you are not a US citizen, the pathway into a US medical school is not as bad if you attend a US undergraduate institution (if you are young enough). There are medical schools here in the states that are open to folks without citizenship, or even green cards, who are meritorious. I had two girls in my class, one from Japan and one from India, without green cards, who went to an American undergraduate school, did all the right things, and ended up getting the MD through an American school.

If your concern is the criteria the US generally sets up for admission (GPA, MCAT, extra curriculars, research accolades) then there are other avenues as well. For instance, if you think that you can improve your CV with a year's worth of post bacclaureate work in a good research project (I can provide a good list of these) and either take or retake the MCAT, some schools may very well be willing to give you an interview and then a shot.

The reason for this stems in some earlier posts where I explained why this is so. Your long term economic advantage and training advantage lie in the US where the protocols are tested and devised. By going through the system fully as an American, you will have many more options open to you here within the mainland US for advanced training. I can give you a practical real world example I just witnessed today. There is a Labenese Christian fellow who graduated from American University of Beirut, an excellent foreign grad school. He went on to go to a local hospital residency, not really renowned for its standing in the US, but he still became chief resident and is very sharp. I was talking to the pulmonary critical care specialist today regarding that individual's matching into the program at the hospital where I work. Her answer was blunt; she said she fought hard for this guy to be there because he is very clinically capable and had saved hundreds of lives as a hospitalist. However, he was up against American grads with research that they had accumulated on their CVs throughout the years and he lost out.

Regarding the European schools; I think you can see from brother Dreamer and his posts that they graduate very competent and capable physicians. Once again though, it comes down to where you want to end up. The issue with going to a UK or Irish school as an American is that you are limited in how high in the ranks you can climb. Brother Dreamer has the advantage because he is a UK born citizen and can eventually become an attending within their system. Their system is beginning to clamp down on foreign grads entering the workforce and the climb to reach the rank of attending is rendered impossible for folks that are not British citizens. I may be wrong there, but I have personal friends that went to Dublin and realized that they had to come back to the states. They would not be able to break through the new "glass ceiling."

In reference to the western schools that are based in the East, the best option out of these for devout Muslims and US citizens is the prestigious Cornell University program in the middle east. You get an American certified degree and can sit for the USMLE board exams (this is what I heard from colleagues at least, I need to confirm this myself).

I assume that the European schools that are middle east based will once again put you at a disadvantage compared to your British born or Irish born collegues should they choose to return to the UK.

If, at the end of the day you decide you want to return to the US, but that your heart is set on the school you noted above as your first choice, then the the European based model will probably prepare you better for the USMLE exams and give you a better chance than other foreign grads.

Regarding Khybar: In every generation there are many devout US brothers that decide that their kids are going to turn out to be "bad people" if they grow up here in the US (I guess that makes me a bad person:cryy:). Then there are others also do not want to deal with interest and that is why they go to Khybar. The latter issue is a commendable one. They seek only to make Allah (S) happy with them and value akhiraah more than the world. I truly truly love these people with all my heart because they are far better people than me. However, if you decide to go to Pakistan, Aga Khan will prepare you better from what I understand. If you decide to go to Afghanistan, unfortunately, Kabul may prepare you better than Nangrahar. These institutions like Aga Khan have a foot in the door in the West. The US is also starting to create hurdles for returning for those wonderful brothers from Khybar due to the US relationship deteriorating with Pakistan.

The brothers from Khybar are some of the smartest and most capable doctors in the world. They are truly hard working and are like hafizaan of Harrison's Text Book of Medicine. However, their curriculum does not prepare one for the USMLE and their school has yet to integrate the way Aga Khan has, in order to give its students a head up into entering the US market. It has been because of the hard work of some brothers and sisters from there, who have setup networks in the US, that there is an underground railroad type system being built to help these folks (boys and girls) make their way here. Nonetheless, if they lack US citizenship, advancing into the ranks of fellows is like climbing Mt Everest for them and it does not work out except for a select few (however trust me these boys are like the fighters of Waziristan they will eat two pieces of bread and sit in the ward for the whole day until they get their goal accomplished).

American citizens that go abroad to Khybar versus the UK based schools end up limiting themselves in the ways I have posted on previously. They save a few years and a few dollars, but their capabilities to get into competitive residencies and this land strong fellowships is hamstrung. However, if their motivation was for the sake of Allah, I see barakah coming their way as well and I always tell them that Allah runs the world as he wishes. One day, Allah may make them my boss, so I shall never think I am better than they.

Bottom line, here should be your way of doing this: 1) If you can go to an Americans chool. If this is out of the question for either religious reasons or economic or scholastic then 2) Go to the european system you mention and then 3) Go to Khybar if you cannot go to Aghan Khan.

BarakzaiAbdali
12-31-2010, 11:08 PM
Sure, we can discuss it here wrora.


Salaam Mishr Admin Khan lala, this is the last post I saw from you. I did not see the imbedded question. Do you want me to start off by asking you a few questions in regard to applying? If there was another question that was asked, then can you guide me to it because this was the last post from you that I saw.

Admin Khan
12-31-2010, 11:35 PM
Salaam Mishr Admin Khan lala, this is the last post I saw from you. I did not see the imbedded question. Do you want me to start off by asking you a few questions in regard to applying? If there was another question that was asked, then can you guide me to it because this was the last post from you that I saw.
Oh, my question was what are some great classes[including prereqs]to have to impress MedSchool.

Since you said all majors can apply to Med School, I am sure there at least has to be a list of Prereqs.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-01-2011, 12:09 AM
Oh, my question was what are some great classes[including prereqs]to have to impress MedSchool.

Since you said all majors can apply to Med School, I am sure there at least has to be a list of Prereqs.


Salaam wrorre, the good news is that you, as an engineer, have a leg up on most folks. The work that you have done, when viewed by the right people on the admissions comittee will already impress them. They will see courses like circuit design and physics and be pretty intimidated.

However, you are right in that there is a certain level of prereq coursework that is required. For example, though the medical school says that they require a year of Physics, it is crucial to take the Physics that either the engineers or the premeds take because that is what they are looking for. Sometimes I noted that the bio major version of a course was easier than the version we had to take. For example, there was the joke about "Physics for poets" meaning that Physics course that all the art majors took that was an easier A and then there was the Physics for the premeds which was a notch above the one for the "Poets" in difficulty... and then we engineers got it the worst with our physics courses that incorporated Circuit design and device development. Some biomedical engineers were sly and took the Premed one because it satisifed both curriculums and they ended up with easier As.

In general though the classes I took were as follows:

Engineering Physics x 1 year + associated lab
Engineering General Chemistry x 1 year + associated lab
Organic Chem x 1 year + associated lab
Biological Sciences x 1 year + associated lab

Let me pause here to note that the Bio course you should take should teach you molecular bio as well as general bio. Once again, try to avoid taking the easy Bio course that the :"poets/philosophy majors" take. Take the course that the premeds are taking. This course will cover everything from the Citric Acid cycle to molecular clocks in evolutionary biology to gene therapy and plasmids. The reason for this is that it at last preps you somewhat for the MCAT.

Ok let me go on:

I took
Calculus x 1 year and avoided any accessory Mathematica labs because I had already dabbled in it as a high schooler and the med schools did not require such labs (this single year satisifed the requirement)

Beyond this for my engineering degree I took the additional third semester of Calculus that covers surface integrals etc and the semester of differential equations but the latter are not required for medical school admissions and really do not matter in their eyes when they compare you to others. However, if you ace them, of course they make you stand out because they think: wow he aced diffEQ.

For the humanities portion of the requirements I had to take about a year of WRITING based english courses. So I took:

Introduction to Poetry: Close Study and Criticisms of Poems x 1 semester

and

Advanced Poetry Workship x 1 semester

This covered a years worth of English writing credits that are required and made me seem more well rounded to the committees.

By the time I started medical school, a few schools started to require Biochemistry x 1 semester (which is a good deal because you gotta do it again in medical school anyway).

Then, your other coursework, whether you are an engineer or a sociology major or a Political Science major is how you craft your application. For example, if a Political Science Major takes those above prereqs and supplements that with some electives in the Politics of Healthcare he can use that in his interviews.

As an engineer, you do not want to hurt yourself by taking unnecessary bioengineering courses with kids that were born premed in the cradle and are going to be deeply involved in the Biomedical Engineering Curriculum. Instead, take the basic prereqs I noted above and supplement that with electives in your own field and then utilize your skills in research work. These imaging radiologists/scientists all want a guy like you that can program in C++ and utilize Visual Basic etc. You need not hurt yourself by trying to craft a curriculum that you think medical schools will fancy. They generally gloss over your transcript. As an engineer they will already know you worked your ass off.

As an example, I did not go out of my way to take biomechanics etc or bioimaging... instead I utilized Federal Work Study funds to do research and applied AP high school credits toward some of the required social sciences electives some engineering schools demand now to be ABET accredited. It was hard though man, I was putting in about 15-20 hours or so a week into a lab doing research work and then doing all the engineering course work as well. But it balances out because I was not having to take some irrelevent coursework that mattered little to either my engineering or medical work. I used to fall asleep in random places because it wore me out. It turned out to be invaluable because I gained research experience and was easily able to gain more research positions in medical school to craft my CV.

Admin Khan
01-01-2011, 12:14 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,
I mean it when I say this, I highly appreciate your time. Where would we be without you?


Oh, I might annoy you later on with more questions.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-01-2011, 12:36 AM
BarakzaiAbdali,
I mean it when I say this, I highly appreciate your time. Where would we be without you?


Oh, I might annoy you later on with more questions.

No annoyance at all! These things are here for posterity and for my sisters and brothers. He in whose hands is the soul of Muhammad (S) gave much to me, if I were to hoard it up, why then I would be a base person.

Dreamer
01-01-2011, 05:59 AM
the american system seems so long winded and complex... the british one is far more easier... enter at 18 come out at 23 (providing u pass all ur exams and went straight after A level)

Dreamer
01-01-2011, 10:28 AM
Dreamer can you practice in the USA?

only if I pass the USMLE steps 2 and 3.... Ive cleared step 1 with 96th percentile score but did it as a Joke... the exam was pretty easy...

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 10:36 AM
Same is case with Pakistan

You apply for admission in governament medical college on the basis of your F.SC (equalant to A-level) and entry test.

A merit list is issued in which canditates having top merit are selected. In merit 50% quota is for F.Sc marks and 50% quota is for entry test marks.

Medical education in governament institute is very cheap, it has fee of nearly 200 dollars per year.

Dreamer
01-01-2011, 12:02 PM
Same is case with Pakistan

You apply for admission in governament medical college on the basis of your F.SC (equalant to A-level) and entry test.

A merit list is issued in which canditates having top merit are selected. In merit 50% quota is for F.Sc marks and 50% quota is for entry test marks.

Medical education in governament institute is very cheap, it has fee of nearly 200 dollars per year.

that is cheap indeed... here in my days it was £1200 a year and free in Scotland... now the govenment had raised fees and so students frm high income backgrounds will have to pay about £9000 a year! still free for Scottish students in Scotland and its been frozen at £3000 a year in wales just those poor students in England :(

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 01:54 PM
Brother, I only delayed because the answer to your question requires more thought.

So here is the deal regarding what I think is best for you. You have to balance it versus what you think is best for you.

In my opinion, if you are a US citizen, then you ought to try your best to stay within the US and attend school here. Even if you are not a US citizen, the pathway into a US medical school is not as bad if you attend a US undergraduate institution (if you are young enough). There are medical schools here in the states that are open to folks without citizenship, or even green cards, who are meritorious. I had two girls in my class, one from Japan and one from India, without green cards, who went to an American undergraduate school, did all the right things, and ended up getting the MD through an American school.

If your concern is the criteria the US generally sets up for admission (GPA, MCAT, extra curriculars, research accolades) then there are other avenues as well. For instance, if you think that you can improve your CV with a year's worth of post bacclaureate work in a good research project (I can provide a good list of these) and either take or retake the MCAT, some schools may very well be willing to give you an interview and then a shot.

The reason for this stems in some earlier posts where I explained why this is so. Your long term economic advantage and training advantage lie in the US where the protocols are tested and devised. By going through the system fully as an American, you will have many more options open to you here within the mainland US for advanced training. I can give you a practical real world example I just witnessed today. There is a Labenese Christian fellow who graduated from American University of Beirut, an excellent foreign grad school. He went on to go to a local hospital residency, not really renowned for its standing in the US, but he still became chief resident and is very sharp. I was talking to the pulmonary critical care specialist today regarding that individual's matching into the program at the hospital where I work. Her answer was blunt; she said she fought hard for this guy to be there because he is very clinically capable and had saved hundreds of lives as a hospitalist. However, he was up against American grads with research that they had accumulated on their CVs throughout the years and he lost out.

Regarding the European schools; I think you can see from brother Dreamer and his posts that they graduate very competent and capable physicians. Once again though, it comes down to where you want to end up. The issue with going to a UK or Irish school as an American is that you are limited in how high in the ranks you can climb. Brother Dreamer has the advantage because he is a UK born citizen and can eventually become an attending within their system. Their system is beginning to clamp down on foreign grads entering the workforce and the climb to reach the rank of attending is rendered impossible for folks that are not British citizens. I may be wrong there, but I have personal friends that went to Dublin and realized that they had to come back to the states. They would not be able to break through the new "glass ceiling."

In reference to the western schools that are based in the East, the best option out of these for devout Muslims and US citizens is the prestigious Cornell University program in the middle east. You get an American certified degree and can sit for the USMLE board exams (this is what I heard from colleagues at least, I need to confirm this myself).

I assume that the European schools that are middle east based will once again put you at a disadvantage compared to your British born or Irish born collegues should they choose to return to the UK.

If, at the end of the day you decide you want to return to the US, but that your heart is set on the school you noted above as your first choice, then the the European based model will probably prepare you better for the USMLE exams and give you a better chance than other foreign grads.

Regarding Khybar: In every generation there are many devout US brothers that decide that their kids are going to turn out to be "bad people" if they grow up here in the US (I guess that makes me a bad person:cryy:). Then there are others also do not want to deal with interest and that is why they go to Khybar. The latter issue is a commendable one. They seek only to make Allah (S) happy with them and value akhiraah more than the world. I truly truly love these people with all my heart because they are far better people than me. However, if you decide to go to Pakistan, Aga Khan will prepare you better from what I understand. If you decide to go to Afghanistan, unfortunately, Kabul may prepare you better than Nangrahar. These institutions like Aga Khan have a foot in the door in the West. The US is also starting to create hurdles for returning for those wonderful brothers from Khybar due to the US relationship deteriorating with Pakistan.

The brothers from Khybar are some of the smartest and most capable doctors in the world. They are truly hard working and are like hafizaan of Harrison's Text Book of Medicine. However, their curriculum does not prepare one for the USMLE and their school has yet to integrate the way Aga Khan has, in order to give its students a head up into entering the US market. It has been because of the hard work of some brothers and sisters from there, who have setup networks in the US, that there is an underground railroad type system being built to help these folks (boys and girls) make their way here. Nonetheless, if they lack US citizenship, advancing into the ranks of fellows is like climbing Mt Everest for them and it does not work out except for a select few (however trust me these boys are like the fighters of Waziristan they will eat two pieces of bread and sit in the ward for the whole day until they get their goal accomplished).

American citizens that go abroad to Khybar versus the UK based schools end up limiting themselves in the ways I have posted on previously. They save a few years and a few dollars, but their capabilities to get into competitive residencies and this land strong fellowships is hamstrung. However, if their motivation was for the sake of Allah, I see barakah coming their way as well and I always tell them that Allah runs the world as he wishes. One day, Allah may make them my boss, so I shall never think I am better than they.

Bottom line, here should be your way of doing this: 1) If you can go to an Americans chool. If this is out of the question for either religious reasons or economic or scholastic then 2) Go to the european system you mention and then 3) Go to Khybar if you cannot go to Aghan Khan.


Brother, I only delayed because the answer to your question requires more thought.

So here is the deal regarding what I think is best for you. You have to balance it versus what you think is best for you.

In my opinion, if you are a US citizen, then you ought to try your best to stay within the US and attend school here. Even if you are not a US citizen, the pathway into a US medical school is not as bad if you attend a US undergraduate institution (if you are young enough). There are medical schools here in the states that are open to folks without citizenship, or even green cards, who are meritorious. I had two girls in my class, one from Japan and one from India, without green cards, who went to an American undergraduate school, did all the right things, and ended up getting the MD through an American school.

If your concern is the criteria the US generally sets up for admission (GPA, MCAT, extra curriculars, research accolades) then there are other avenues as well. For instance, if you think that you can improve your CV with a year's worth of post bacclaureate work in a good research project (I can provide a good list of these) and either take or retake the MCAT, some schools may very well be willing to give you an interview and then a shot.

The reason for this stems in some earlier posts where I explained why this is so. Your long term economic advantage and training advantage lie in the US where the protocols are tested and devised. By going through the system fully as an American, you will have many more options open to you here within the mainland US for advanced training. I can give you a practical real world example I just witnessed today. There is a Labenese Christian fellow who graduated from American University of Beirut, an excellent foreign grad school. He went on to go to a local hospital residency, not really renowned for its standing in the US, but he still became chief resident and is very sharp. I was talking to the pulmonary critical care specialist today regarding that individual's matching into the program at the hospital where I work. Her answer was blunt; she said she fought hard for this guy to be there because he is very clinically capable and had saved hundreds of lives as a hospitalist. However, he was up against American grads with research that they had accumulated on their CVs throughout the years and he lost out.

Regarding the European schools; I think you can see from brother Dreamer and his posts that they graduate very competent and capable physicians. Once again though, it comes down to where you want to end up. The issue with going to a UK or Irish school as an American is that you are limited in how high in the ranks you can climb. Brother Dreamer has the advantage because he is a UK born citizen and can eventually become an attending within their system. Their system is beginning to clamp down on foreign grads entering the workforce and the climb to reach the rank of attending is rendered impossible for folks that are not British citizens. I may be wrong there, but I have personal friends that went to Dublin and realized that they had to come back to the states. They would not be able to break through the new "glass ceiling."

In reference to the western schools that are based in the East, the best option out of these for devout Muslims and US citizens is the prestigious Cornell University program in the middle east. You get an American certified degree and can sit for the USMLE board exams (this is what I heard from colleagues at least, I need to confirm this myself).

I assume that the European schools that are middle east based will once again put you at a disadvantage compared to your British born or Irish born collegues should they choose to return to the UK.

If, at the end of the day you decide you want to return to the US, but that your heart is set on the school you noted above as your first choice, then the the European based model will probably prepare you better for the USMLE exams and give you a better chance than other foreign grads.

Regarding Khybar: In every generation there are many devout US brothers that decide that their kids are going to turn out to be "bad people" if they grow up here in the US (I guess that makes me a bad person:cryy:). Then there are others also do not want to deal with interest and that is why they go to Khybar. The latter issue is a commendable one. They seek only to make Allah (S) happy with them and value akhiraah more than the world. I truly truly love these people with all my heart because they are far better people than me. However, if you decide to go to Pakistan, Aga Khan will prepare you better from what I understand. If you decide to go to Afghanistan, unfortunately, Kabul may prepare you better than Nangrahar. These institutions like Aga Khan have a foot in the door in the West. The US is also starting to create hurdles for returning for those wonderful brothers from Khybar due to the US relationship deteriorating with Pakistan.

The brothers from Khybar are some of the smartest and most capable doctors in the world. They are truly hard working and are like hafizaan of Harrison's Text Book of Medicine. However, their curriculum does not prepare one for the USMLE and their school has yet to integrate the way Aga Khan has, in order to give its students a head up into entering the US market. It has been because of the hard work of some brothers and sisters from there, who have setup networks in the US, that there is an underground railroad type system being built to help these folks (boys and girls) make their way here. Nonetheless, if they lack US citizenship, advancing into the ranks of fellows is like climbing Mt Everest for them and it does not work out except for a select few (however trust me these boys are like the fighters of Waziristan they will eat two pieces of bread and sit in the ward for the whole day until they get their goal accomplished).

American citizens that go abroad to Khybar versus the UK based schools end up limiting themselves in the ways I have posted on previously. They save a few years and a few dollars, but their capabilities to get into competitive residencies and this land strong fellowships is hamstrung. However, if their motivation was for the sake of Allah, I see barakah coming their way as well and I always tell them that Allah runs the world as he wishes. One day, Allah may make them my boss, so I shall never think I am better than they.

Bottom line, here should be your way of doing this: 1) If you can go to an Americans chool. If this is out of the question for either religious reasons or economic or scholastic then 2) Go to the european system you mention and then 3) Go to Khybar if you cannot go to Aghan Khan.


Barakzai wrora, thank you so much for this advice.

RCSI is also my first choice but I would like to have a backup. Their interviews begin in mid January and I was asked to travel there for one. I talked to my dad about it and he disagreed and had me ask them if a phone interview was possible instead, which they agreed to. They said they'd contact me for a phone interview in February which I'm cool with. You still didn't indicate what this signifies brother. I'm new to all this.

Will you please help me with the admissions process for Aga Khan because it seems a little confusing. One problem I have with schools taught by non-native English speakers is the language barrier. I don't want to constantly have to mentally correct grammar mistakes or decipher the intended meaning of something that was improperly written. That's why I opted for the European school which is primarily taught by Europeans who speak English as their native tongue.

I'll still apply to Pakistan though. Some people mentioned they pay as little as $200 a year? Which ones are those? Thanks everyone..

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 02:52 PM
@Derwaizkhel
Nearly 200 dollars are for regular students who get admission on the basis of merit.
If you apply on foriegn seat for khyber then you have to submit atleast 6000 dollars per annum.

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 02:53 PM
Agha khan is a private institute and it has very high fee.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 02:55 PM
@Derwaizkhel
Nearly 200 dollars are for regular students who get admission on the basis of merit.
If you apply on foriegn seat for khyber then you have to submit atleast 6000 dollars per annum.

Okay, thanks for clarifying that.

I need some help with the application, any volunteers?

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 02:56 PM
Agha khan is a private institute and it has very high fee.

Its fee is still less than half of what American medical schools require.

abbas
01-01-2011, 02:59 PM
darwezkhail


i havent kept up to date with this thread, but could i ask whether you have considered applying to a UK institution?
competition is fierce, but we do have a fair few canadian internationals on our course. they reserve spaces for internationals on every course here ( i think), so if you havent considered studying here, i would recommend you give it some thought

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 03:03 PM
Okay, thanks for clarifying that.

I need some help with the application, any volunteers?

You have to apply next year as admissions this year have completed.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 03:10 PM
You have to apply next year as admissions this year have completed.

Lol... are you sure about that? I was looking at the entry test for Ayub and they cover Zoology and Botany on it. A little unusual.

I guess I will just stick with RCSI... They will accept me insha Allah but its expensive. I was looking for cheaper backup alternatives. I will keep trying. I am not going to let people like Luffy discourage me.

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 03:16 PM
I am not discouraging you, governament colleges have date for every thing. New first year classes have started in the november.
And there is no zoology and botany subjects in our course, who has told you such non-sense.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 03:20 PM
I am not discouraging you, governament colleges have date for every thing. New first year classes have started in the november.
And there is no zoology and botany subjects in our course, who has told you such non-sense.

I am applying all the way for next fall, Luffy. Lol.

And according to the website, those subjects are covered on the entry test. Well I don't see any deadlines mentioned for Ayub. For Aga Khan, the deadline to receive applications is February 4th, 2011. If anyone is willing to help me with the applications, I would tremendously appreciate it. I am not very familiar.

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 03:26 PM
Oh you were talking about entry test. Entry test cover F.SC subjects so it is in biology ,chemistry and physics. But there is no entry test for foriegn students.
I have never applied for agha khan so i dont know about their admission procedure. Make phone call to them and ask details from them.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 03:31 PM
Oh you were talking about entry test. Entry test cover F.SC subjects so it is in biology ,chemistry and physics. But there is no entry test for foriegn students.
I have never applied for agha khan so i dont know about their admission procedure. Make phone call to them and ask details from them.

But they didn't indicate the fact that the entry test is not required of foreign students on their website. Are you sure of that? So how do I apply? Can someone help me..

Michin Khel
01-01-2011, 03:41 PM
Lol websites of governament institutes are never upto date and complete, clerics do so to increase their importance (that is you have to directly ask them).
I would ask about the procedure from them , then i would inform you.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 03:44 PM
Lol websites of governament institutes are never upto date and complete, clerics do so to increase their importance (that is you have to directly ask them).
I would ask about the procedure from them , then i would inform you.

I would really appreciate that Luffy.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-01-2011, 10:18 PM
Barakzai wrora, thank you so much for this advice.

RCSI is also my first choice but I would like to have a backup. Their interviews begin in mid January and I was asked to travel there for one. I talked to my dad about it and he disagreed and had me ask them if a phone interview was possible instead, which they agreed to. They said they'd contact me for a phone interview in February which I'm cool with. You still didn't indicate what this signifies brother. I'm new to all this.

Will you please help me with the admissions process for Aga Khan because it seems a little confusing. One problem I have with schools taught by non-native English speakers is the language barrier. I don't want to constantly have to mentally correct grammar mistakes or decipher the intended meaning of something that was improperly written. That's why I opted for the European school which is primarily taught by Europeans who speak English as their native tongue.

I'll still apply to Pakistan though. Some people mentioned they pay as little as $200 a year? Which ones are those? Thanks everyone..

I can only comment on what the interview process means here in the states as I have no experience with the institutions in question. The interviews here can mean a few things. More often than not it means you are a viable candidate for them. If you have some connection to the institution through relatives/friends it may be a courtesy interview and you cannot depend on that place. You usually will know your own standing based on your credentials that you apply with and how you obtained the interview. You also have to understand that when you interview here in the States, if it is at a local state school, they are interviewing people from all over the state and know that they may not be able to recruit all the candidates they want. So they interview many viable candidates in order to be able to fill their spots. In general though, they try not to waste their time and the applicants time if the applicant stands little to no chance of getting in.

The interview process itself is crucial though. Here within the states, if I really wanted to attend a school, I would never do a phone based interview. A large part of medicine is the impression you make. They want to be able to witness your communication style and warmth as a person. It is like the televised debates between two candidates that occurs here in the states. They are not just judging you based on your merit... that was what got you the interview in the first place. Now they want to make sure that you can look and act the part of a doctor. You have to generally present yourself in a reasonably approachable yet conservative style (Black or Navy Dark Blue Suit and a nice tie etc). You have to prepare for these interviews as well in your own way. A good strategy can mean you rule the roost during the inteview process.

From what I understand, the Canadians that go to Ireland and the other students that go to the Caribbean have to interview really only as a formality. So I have no idea how this school works as it is not in the mainland US. However, I do know folks from the UK who were originally Canadians and Americans and they told me that the interviews were generally the formality and that the schools generally know that they will be making a profit off these foreign students.

So the answer to your question is hard one brother because as I said, I am trying to understand what your limiting factors are. Is it that you are fairly religious and refuse to take the loans required for the American degree? Is it that you worry it will be an economic strain on the family? Is it that you feel your choices are limited? None of these are shameful things at all. I think I can guide you a little better if you give me an idea of your US citizenship status and what is so urgently taking you away from the US?

BarakzaiAbdali
01-01-2011, 10:26 PM
the american system seems so long winded and complex... the british one is far more easier... enter at 18 come out at 23 (providing u pass all ur exams and went straight after A level)


I partially disagree because in the US system you are more often than not able to become a full attending by the time you are 29 years old in general medicine or 30 in general surgery. From what my relatives in Ireland tell me the initial course to completion of the MBBS/MD equivalent occurs earlier at 23, but the training phase/residency and fellowship equivalent end up placing you at the attending position a little later than the American grad. what I mean by this is that a fresh new residency graduate can directly grab an assistant/associate professorship and attend on the wards straight out of residency. The fellowship adds time but it adds only about 3 years.

One Irish fellow who was visiting the hospital I used to be at for medical school told me that you are nearly gray haired when you reach the specialist attending level.

For the rest of you viewers, an "attending" physician means an physician that has completed all his training and now can practice independently. A resident physican is a physician in training. An intern is the first year resident. A "fellow" physician is in some way an attending because he has finished his residency but he is now specializing so he is in a fellowship. He can become an attending in his specialized field after his fellowship. As an example, an attending that graduated his general medicine residency or general surgery cannot attend on the endocrinology, cardiology, ICU wards, or Cardiovascular Surgery Wards but an attending that went on to complete fellowships in these specialities can.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-01-2011, 10:52 PM
Dreamer can you practice in the USA?

Nearly all foreig grads can practice here, but as Dreamer noted they have to pass all 3 steps and then apply to residency and finish it to practice here. For the grads coming in from Europe (predominantly the UK), they have a better shot at landing a reasonable US residency that can give them a shot at specialization at some State Universities (University of Florida, University of Indiana, etc). However, to enter say Yale, Harvard, Univ of Chicago, Stanford, etc they have to spend a year of two in the research lab making the right connections. Those spots are generally reserved for US grads unless the European grad is arriving with some top notch research from Cambridge or Oxford.

All foreign grads also have to satisfy the US security demands in regard to Visa status. Doctors generally find the system very navigatable and find a way to stay where without any hitches. Applicants throughout the world generally find our system the most welcoming because anyone like Dreamer or Luffy can come here and become an attending physician. Sometimes there is a glass cieling when it comes to competitive fellowships and specialties.

darwezkhail
01-01-2011, 11:25 PM
I can only comment on what the interview process means here in the states as I have no experience with the institutions in question. The interviews here can mean a few things. More often than not it means you are a viable candidate for them. If you have some connection to the institution through relatives/friends it may be a courtesy interview and you cannot depend on that place. You usually will know your own standing based on your credentials that you apply with and how you obtained the interview. You also have to understand that when you interview here in the States, if it is at a local state school, they are interviewing people from all over the state and know that they may not be able to recruit all the candidates they want. So they interview many viable candidates in order to be able to fill their spots. In general though, they try not to waste their time and the applicants time if the applicant stands little to no chance of getting in.

The interview process itself is crucial though. Here within the states, if I really wanted to attend a school, I would never do a phone based interview. A large part of medicine is the impression you make. They want to be able to witness your communication style and warmth as a person. It is like the televised debates between two candidates that occurs here in the states. They are not just judging you based on your merit... that was what got you the interview in the first place. Now they want to make sure that you can look and act the part of a doctor. You have to generally present yourself in a reasonably approachable yet conservative style (Black or Navy Dark Blue Suit and a nice tie etc). You have to prepare for these interviews as well in your own way. A good strategy can mean you rule the roost during the inteview process.

From what I understand, the Canadians that go to Ireland and the other students that go to the Caribbean have to interview really only as a formality. So I have no idea how this school works as it is not in the mainland US. However, I do know folks from the UK who were originally Canadians and Americans and they told me that the interviews were generally the formality and that the schools generally know that they will be making a profit off these foreign students.

So the answer to your question is hard one brother because as I said, I am trying to understand what your limiting factors are. Is it that you are fairly religious and refuse to take the loans required for the American degree? Is it that you worry it will be an economic strain on the family? Is it that you feel your choices are limited? None of these are shameful things at all. I think I can guide you a little better if you give me an idea of your US citizenship status and what is so urgently taking you away from the US?

Brother I do not have any family or friend connections with them, lol. I think my transcript might have stood out to them. With the grades I have, I could get into an American medical school if the criteria was based on just grades alone. But its mainly the thousands of hours of extracurricular work which I am not looking very forward to neither am I looking forward to those meaningless minute details which they additionally require to create an arbitrary and worthless system. I firmly believe that average American doctors are not only some of the most incompetent but probably the most corrupt, money-seeking, in-compassionate there are. The only thing that sets them apart is advancement in technology. When my father came here to the States in the 80's haplessly suffering from Malaria, he had literally gone to 3 doctors without any of them being of any help. Finally he went to an American-Iranian doctor who, in essence, saved his life. Even Americans themselves complain of the deteriorating and failed system in the West.

Apart from that, in all honesty, and most importantly I am fed up with America and Americans altogether. I want to leave this country and way of life to them because I do not belong here. Growing up, I never even bothered trying either. I have no emotional attachment to this country and rather I find it, its way of life and populace quite repugnant and loathsome in their obsessive materialism and lack of touch with the true purpose of life and its inherent spiritual implications. I don't feel I have the true freedom to practice Allah's religion, in its entirety, here. My future is going to be in a lone Afghan village, living no better of a life than those around me. So in conclusion, brother, these are all my limiting factors. Lol..

Now with my biography made known, I am interested in applying to some Pakistani schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on top of RCSI. The former would offer the advantage of being able to pay out of pocket. How nice that would be. :loveit: Insha Allah I will call them later tonight. Jazakallaho Khairan my dear brother for your help and advice.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-02-2011, 12:04 AM
Brother I do not have any family or friend connections with them, lol. I think my transcript might have stood out to them. With the grades I have, I could get into an American medical school if the criteria was based on just grades alone. But its mainly the thousands of hours of extracurricular work which I am not looking very forward to neither am I looking forward to those meaningless minute details which they additionally require to create an arbitrary and worthless system. I firmly believe that average American doctors are not only some of the most incompetent but probably the most corrupt, money-seeking, in-compassionate there are. The only thing that sets them apart is advancement in technology. When my father came here to the States in the 80's haplessly suffering from Malaria, he had literally gone to 3 doctors without any of them being of any help. Finally he went to an American-Iranian doctor who, in essence, saved his life. Even Americans themselves complain of the deteriorating and failed system in the West.

Apart from that, in all honesty, and most importantly I am fed up with America and Americans altogether. I want to leave this country and way of life to them because I do not belong here. Growing up, I never even bothered trying either. I have no emotional attachment to this country and rather I find it, its way of life and populace quite repugnant and loathsome in their obsessive materialism and lack of touch with the true purpose of life and its inherent spiritual implications. I don't feel I have the true freedom to practice Allah's religion, in its entirety, here. My future is going to be in a lone Afghan village, living no better of a life than those around me. So in conclusion, brother, these are all my limiting factors. Lol..

Now with my biography made known, I am interested in applying to some Pakistani schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on top of RCSI. The former would offer the advantage of being able to pay out of pocket. How nice that would be. :loveit: Insha Allah I will call them later tonight. Jazakallaho Khairan my dear brother for your help and advice.

Wrorre,

You are correct that many American doctors are less familiar with such tropical diseases like Malaria that the Iranian would be more likely to see epidemiologically based on where he was raised and trained. In the States, illnesses like Malaria, Chagas, and even TB are relatively rare. In fact when a case pops up its a big deal. However, we hope to adjust this to our changing world that has its new immigration trends, and to educate our colleagues on tropical medicine as many residencies across the states are now doing.

You are also correct that many doctors abroad are so very skilled and have my utmost respect. However, Allah has given you a huge blessing to be able to take some of this technology and do as the Bani Israel did and transmit it to your people. I would say that a part of that shadowing experience is what prepares you for the rigors of the wards here and abroad. Medicine is more than just a set of books... a doctor has to learn to be a diplomat, a businessman, and a scientist all in one. Exposure to life here and abroad can build these qualities.

However, you are fixed on your goal and desires and I wish you only the best in your work. If you choose to come back I will put you in touch one day with some fine gentleman who are from our areas and will guide your return.

Since you appear to want to go to Pakistan as a back up and not to Nangrahar or Kabul, I would say your school choices should then be Aga Khan, Khybar, King Edwards, and Abbatabod in possibly that order. Luffy saib and others would know more than I. But I can tell you that from the residents I meet that they tend to hail from Aga Khan and Khybar more than other centers in the encounters that I have had. There are also many King Edwards folks around in the residencies.

Laila
01-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Doctor Sahib,

I am going back to Afghanistan for 6 months in 3 years. Near Nangarhar Univeristy, there is a hospital that my father used to work in. A close friend of my fathers, an OB/GYN, is willing to let me work with her. What do you think of it for exposure and experience, considering its an underserved country? in respect to volunteer work prior to medical school or PA school.

darwezkhail
01-02-2011, 12:50 AM
Wrorre,

You are correct that many American doctors are less familiar with such tropical diseases like Malaria that the Iranian would be more likely to see epidemiologically based on where he was raised and trained. In the States, illnesses like Malaria, Chagas, and even TB are relatively rare. In fact when a case pops up its a big deal. However, we hope to adjust this to our changing world that has its new immigration trends, and to educate our colleagues on tropical medicine as many residencies across the states are now doing.

You are also correct that many doctors abroad are so very skilled and have my utmost respect. However, Allah has given you a huge blessing to be able to take some of this technology and do as the Bani Israel did and transmit it to your people. I would say that a part of that shadowing experience is what prepares you for the rigors of the wards here and abroad. Medicine is more than just a set of books... a doctor has to learn to be a diplomat, a businessman, and a scientist all in one. Exposure to life here and abroad can build these qualities.

However, you are fixed on your goal and desires and I wish you only the best in your work. If you choose to come back I will put you in touch one day with some fine gentleman who are from our areas and will guide your return.

Since you appear to want to go to Pakistan as a back up and not to Nangrahar or Kabul, I would say your school choices should then be Aga Khan, Khybar, King Edwards, and Abbatabod in possibly that order. Luffy saib and others would know more than I. But I can tell you that from the residents I meet that they tend to hail from Aga Khan and Khybar more than other centers in the encounters that I have had. There are also many King Edwards folks around in the residencies.

I was of the opinion that the Afghan schools may be under-equipped and therefore slightly inferior. Am I right in making that judgement? Thanks wrora.

darwezkhail
01-02-2011, 01:35 AM
^ Sure brother. No pressures.

The numbers listed on the various websites for KMU colleges are so old that they do not even work. Lol. This is weird.

Luffy, you are my last hope. I hope you provide me some help.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-02-2011, 04:24 PM
Doctor Sahib,

I am going back to Afghanistan for 6 months in 3 years. Near Nangarhar Univeristy, there is a hospital that my father used to work in. A close friend of my fathers, an OB/GYN, is willing to let me work with her. What do you think of it for exposure and experience, considering its an underserved country? in respect to volunteer work prior to medical school or PA school.

Laila, Its absolutely a great idea for both your personal ambition of applying and for spiritual reasons. First of all, do it for learning and for helping people out and God will put barakah in it. Make that your niyaat and you will prosper either way. It will also give you a personal goal and ambition to work toward. Then, when you get in, what you will seek to achieve will be for the selfless benefit of others, especially the most downtrodden of our people. You will gain fuel to work through the ensuing tough years of training with the inspiration that you are doing this for the benefit of the world and not for personal gain.

In regard to the practical aspect and implications of your work, it gives you some good stuff to write about in your personal statement. Get some good pictures while you are there. For my interviews, I had a portfolio I had put together with my research work and I supplemented that with some articles in the news about the work I was conducting using tribal connections to build links between Afghan and American Universities back in the earlier part of the last decade.


You have to look at your interview and application like a business portfolio in a way. When you approach it with this unique mindset and prepare the way a politician or a business man or a lawyer does his brief you can blow them out of the water. Remember, you want to put interesting things like this on your AMCAS application and also reflect on it in your personal statement. Then you control the terrain of the interview because they will want to discuss this with you. You pull them onto your ground and seize the initiative in the interview. What is more to your benefit is that you provide a view to the Americans from the perspective of an Afghan girl. We can talk more about this if you would like.

Look at the application and the interview like a battle that you want to control the tempo of. Eventually you develop a stump speech in a way. More often than not they are blown away.

I was telling my wife to do the same thing recently when she was in Pashtunkhwa. She is planning on applying to professional schooling. I sent her to the camps on the border and she also visited some of the Khybar run clinics in the Wana area. It was an amazing experience and she has a lot to talk about now. She saw some appalling oncological (cancer) cases and played a good part in the team effort a local NGO was putting in to couple American/European trained doctors to help those local grads care for the tribal Pashtoons.

Also Laila, if that OB.Gyn in Afghanistan has American accreditation then consider getting a recommendation from them, especially if they have academic affiliations. Try to define a role there for yourself and be actively involved.

I will post more later after work. Back to the grind. Tell me if this was helpful. If you have specific questions on what I wrote above then write back. I will post mroe after work to answer the other questions.

Zarmeena
01-02-2011, 10:51 PM
salamz.
i am a new member and I live in Connecticut.. I was googling "Pashtun medical" and I found this thread as the 1st result so I read all 18 pages and i am very happy and glad to be here. so thank you for your service.

i have a few questions but i will ask one at a time.

i am currently in college and my parents dont want me to take a loan since it requires interest and i dont think i am bright enough for a scholarship.nor am i rich. how do i attend med school? :( its my life long dream to be a doctor.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-02-2011, 11:19 PM
salamz.
i am a new member and I live in Connecticut.. I was googling "Pashtun medical" and I found this thread as the 1st result so I read all 18 pages and i am very happy and glad to be here. so thank you for your service.

i have a few questions but i will ask one at a time.

i am currently in college and my parents dont want me to take a loan since it requires interest and i dont think i am bright enough for a scholarship.nor am i rich. how do i attend med school? :( its my life long dream to be a doctor.

Zarmeena,

Wa salam wa rahmatullah. I am very glad you have this drive. I live in southern Connecticut. Where do you hail from back home (Qandahar, peshawar, Jalalabad, Quetta?)? You are the exact reason I started this thread. My goal is to help you and to find ways to make this work. Are you in high school? Are you in college? It appears that your family is religious. Are you a male/female? Sorry, I know these are somewhat personal questions and you can always answer them through the private messaging as well, but I figure I can reach more people this way as they may come across the answer and think: I fit this profile and this may work for me as well.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-03-2011, 11:30 PM
Dear Zarmeena,

There are a few steps you need to take. First, you are not at the fixed end point yet where you have to not follow your dream. If you say to yourself “well, it looks as if 5 years or so from now I won’t have the money to go to medical school, and my parents won’t me take interest loans, so the dream is over”; then you end up psyching yourself out.

I wish I had more info about you so I could hone my answer, but I will assume you are still in the high school phase based only on the wording of your question. You might very well be in college already.
* I will address high school level efforts in another post. *

1) Go to school at a university. It does not matter if it is University of Connecticut, NYU, University of Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins, etc. Sure some colleges like Harvard and Yale Universities will give you a leg up, but any university will set the stage for your efforts. Usually, this part of your career is manageable financially. It does not even matter if it is a local liberal arts school like Quinnipiac, Bryn Mawr, or wherever. Find out if they put at least some folks into some medical school somewhere. Avoid community college unless it is a financial issue and a bridge to college/university. Many schools understand that the latter is necessary for those with financial difficulties to bridge them over to a university eventually. I have a friend who is in neurosurgery. He and I attended medical school together. First, he was with the US army, then he was sweeping floors as a janitor, then he went to community college, and he worked his way up into a university. He applied to medical school and his accomplishments and story were enough to seal the deal.

2) Read through some of my prior posts. There are two things you are REQUIRED to do (prerequisite courses, MCAT) and a few things that are basically requirements, but they just do not call them that (extracurricular stuff). The most helpful things to do for the extracurricular stuff long term is basic science research with a lab group that has some link to medical oriented research. As a student in need, you can utilize your federal work study funds for this. For example, if you are a Computer Engineering/Programming major, get involved in radiological/imaging sciences research; if you are a basic biology major get involved in cellular therapy research or other pursuits that are your fancy. **I am going to do another completely separate post on how to acquire research projects for the American college/high school student and for the foreign medical grad.** If you are a liberal arts major like a sociology degree seeker and want to stay away from the bench side sciences, you can involve yourself in studies looking at, for example, contraceptive practices in third world countries like Afghanistan (giving you a way to relate your research to your background and utilize this very powerfully for your interview).

3) *Once you show your merit with steps 1 and 2 above, doors will open up, I promise. For example, the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s top 3 hospitals has a medical school now with FULL tuition paid for its students. The caveat is that you devote an extra year to research as it is a five year program. However, I think that a year doing some prestigious research work is well worth it. In fact, many fellowship level physicians opt to do this just to make themselves more lucrative to academia. There are other schools like Mayo that may follow suit. If you work extremely hard my friend, you can make it. Also, if you are smart enough to get into medical school, which Masha-Allah you are, you just need to search out that part of you that is your drive and harness it. Learn to love studying your books. Take them with you everywhere you go. You are a Pashtoon my friend; look at this as your own personal struggle to succeed and you will do so with Allah’s help. Also, many medical schools have internal scholarships that are competitive, but that pay for nearly full years worth of medical schooling. We had a local scholarship covered by the parents of a young medical student that died in car crash. A friend of mine won that scholarship and had a year paid for. Once you get in you will have shown enough smarts to do that, so you certainly will be competitive enough for such things.


4) Beyond the options in 3, there are Muslims out there that are willing to help. Once again, you have to show merit first. Get that medical school acceptance letter in your hand (or a series of acceptances) and find a benefactor. I have a colleague, also a strict Muslim, who was the son of a simple middle class guy. His dad could not afford the costs of medical school. He had to take the full loans through medical school. However, he and his dad discussed options with some wealthier Muslims in the community as his education in medical school came to an end, and he took non interest loans from them, certified in writing and notarized, and paid off the full sum of his loans before interest accumulated on them. Some of you are the kids of good folk who do not have all the money in the world. You may have close friends and family members that you can work an agreement out with. Many mosques are beginning such efforts in the states. Doctors are collectively coming together and putting funds towards scholarships/non interest loans to meritorious members of the community. If you get that medical school acceptance letter in your hand, you will have definitely showed your capabilities to such people. I plan on firmly contributing to such efforts in the future and hope that all the physicians on here make this intention along with me. We should do so for our fellow Pashtoons once we are all done with our training.

5) If all else fails, go outside the US to other countries. I talked about the option Khybar already and Luffy discussed how the costs of going there are far less than the ones in the US. Although you will face those limitations I noted in prior posts, Pakistani medical schools will still lay down the path for you to enter American medicine one day should you so choose. Once again, you will have to work very hard to get back into our system here, but it is being done everyday. I have two brothers in law from there who have made it work and I am sure they have the same level of God given intelligence as you. Afghani schools are still far behind and in their current status do not provide much of a legwork to make your way here. However, Khybar Medical does have seats for us Afghans as well.

6) If you are a female: Ok this is not at all meant to offend anyone; it is merely a practical suggestion that is geared towards the ground level realities that our women folk may face. If you are a female, use Islam to your advantage as it is a blessing for you. God has given you the right to a mahar in your nikah contract. If you meet a good person and you TRULY think that person is marriage material, be upfront and honest about your goals and aspirations regarding attending medical school. Examine their financial situation. If you decide you still want to marry that person regardless of finances, then do so and live a happy life working toward your dream together. However, if they have the financial means: discuss the possibility of having your husband to PAY your way through professional schooling. I personally believe that this is an excellent mahar gift for a girl. However, many people do not know this but for the mahar contract to count in the US, you have to have 2 lawyers officially witness it and go through the actual legal procedures required for making it legally binding. Many muslimah girls do not know this and end up getting the short end of the stick when their husband do idiotic things. This is a delicate matter though and make sure that the man you want to marry has it in his heart to take on this excellent and rewarding duty.

Bottom line: For now my friend, work on getting those acceptance letters in your hand. Allah will help you with the rest and I will also be there to guide you.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-04-2011, 08:30 PM
I previously discussed how there are tracks for those that wanted to start out pursuing their career early. I mentioned how there are 6 year programs throughout the US that directly accept people into a two year bachelors degree course and supplement that with 4 years of medical schooling. These degree pathways are called BS/MD programs. However, there are a few other things that high schoolers can do if they decide they want to pursue medical schooling.

1. Take AP coursework. In the US, many schools offer advanced placement (AP) courses that allow you to get college credit. You should take as many of these courses as you can to A) be ahead of the curve when it comes to doing well later on, but also B) opening up space in your college schedule to pursue extra curricular research related work.

2. There are many programs locally at Universities that take in High School students and put them on lab work projects. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, many Universities have summer programs that can be springboards for long term project work. Many people do not understand just how amazing an opportunity it is to get involved early on. There certainly is a whole lot of life lessons you glean from working in a some odd job as a high school student (in fact that was what I did for some of high school). However, when you start in on a research project at the high school level, people treasure mentoring you and the expectations generally are not that high. So when you actually end up producing good data/results, you stand out. As an example, my younger sister worked on a proteomics project (sort of like genomics except at the next level) with our local university and she started her work in high school. This allowed her to build her CV (Curriculum Vitae). The CV is the most important thing for a professional medical doctor to build. It is like a resume, but more detailed. I will post separately on the CV as it is a very important subject and deserves its own posting. You can usually find these projects and activities by searching out summer research opportunities. Other options are to find a cool lab online and actually try to contact a member of the team to join their work. Usually if you have some good hard coursework under your belt like an AP physics, AP chem, and AP bio course, you can really start out a preliminary CV/resume and note to them that you have some lab experience through your coursework. They understand, of course, that at the high school level you know nothing, but they still will want to take you on and teach you. Often times you have to get used to the fact that these positions may end up being volunteer style positions that become paid positions as you prove your worth. You can get officially registered at the university/hospital as a volunteer and specifically designate yourself as a research volunteer. Then, you can stack this experience onto your CV.

3. Get involved as a hospital volunteer. You can even do it through some organization like the Red Cross, that can look even better. Beyond this, also consider volunteering, during a summer, with an organization like habitat for humanity, or even in our own neck of the woods with an NGO in Afghanistan. I think the latter is the best option and will make you look fantastic for applying to some big name colleges.

4. Consider building your high school resume towards a strong BSMD program like Northwestern University. They appear to have the best around. See what sort of profile their students fit. More often than not it means getting solid SAT scores, solid SAT 2 scores, ACT scores, a strong GPA with advanced courses, and of course something that makes you stand out like the research I mentioned above or some impressive volunteer work abroad.

If there are any further questions, the floor is open.

Dreamer
01-04-2011, 08:44 PM
wow I just saw this thread, I have a question but it's my cousin who is asking it.

After you get accepted in Med school how difficult do the studies get? is there any way to audit the course work?

depends on which country lol
its not hard... At least I didnt find the work load hard... the exams were solid... we got bombarded with Histology and in 1st year in our Viva we had 9/15 on histology and anatomy alone 2nd year it was 14/20 :S

BarakzaiAbdali
01-04-2011, 09:01 PM
wow I just saw this thread, I have a question but it's my cousin who is asking it.

After you get accepted in Med school how difficult do the studies get? is there any way to audit the course work?

I think it it is a very tough road. I mean my average first and second year medical school schedules revolved around 8+ hour study days and 12-16 hour days on the weekends. That was of course, not counting the lectures if they were worth going to. There is no point in auditing those courses. You just have to get in to medical school and go through it all. The best way to prepare is to take some good college courses that may address the subject matter, like microbiology, pharmacology, pathology etc. Otherwise, it is not worth auditing a course unless it is physiology.

You have 2 basic science years that drill the information into your head and then you usually have 2 clinical years that drill clinical protocols and expose you to stuff that you just have to see and can really not learn only from text books. It becomes more practical the last 2 years. However it is a joy to see the knowledge you learned actually applied (and sometimes not pan out!).

I felt like 2 years of my life (first two years of medical schooling) were really spent living in the library. The laboratories and dissections can also be very demanding and consume time. The clinical ward months are very structured here and you are expected to act like a minature intern physician. You are there for long hours and usually you are performing a lot of scut work alongside trying to prepare for shelf exams. You pick up, on average 5 patients that are all yours and that you are expected to make decisions for (someone is always watching over you of course). You are simultaneously preparing for the USMLE exams. I think that is what makes the curriculum challenging… its not the individual components that are hard… it’s the things all be staggered together like that. The average foreign grad studies for the Steps ~ 6 months. The American grad has about 6 weeks, if that. The joke about Step 1 was: “2 months” and Step 2: “2 weeks and 2 number pencils.” The ICU clinical ward months are very demanding but very rewarding. As a medical student the expectations are less, but you still are there long hours.

Some of how hard it is depends on what you want to do. If you want to be an ophthalmologist, radiologist, orthopedic surgeon, or dermatologist you have to bust your butt and stand out. Just getting through does not suffice. If you want to settle for something less then you can try for mediocrity. If you want to go to a solid general surgery or internal medicine residency, you have to work hard and get Alpha Omega Alpha status (top percentages of the class).

Mayana
01-04-2011, 09:10 PM
The one thing that bothers me the most probably is how time consuming it is. In Germany, it only takes 6 years for a student to become a physician. Here in the US, it takes up to 12 years, you will spend your entire twenties in lecture halls, libraries and labs. Not that I mind that, but I sometimes wish the hassle wasn't be that big. =/

Michin Khel
01-04-2011, 09:17 PM
In pakistan it takes 5 years study and 1 year house job.

Medical study is not so easy like other fields so 5 or 6 years are appropiate to become a docter.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-04-2011, 09:24 PM
Dear BarakzaiAbdali how did dreamer become a doctor at age 23? Why is it that we Americans have to study for 10 years to become a doctor(including undergrad)while Pakis and Britishers only study 4 years?

I have seriously considered changing my major to premed due to your amazing advice.
Dear Wrorre,

That is not the case. If you read my prior threads wrorre, you will see that it generally balances out. They become doctors officially with an MD or an MBBS, but they are not attending physicians. For example, your family doctor is an attending physician, which means he is all done with both medical school and training. Your cardiologist in the US is also all done with medical school and training etc if he has his own office. However, the young people that work on your family members inside the hospital are trainees. They are resident and fellowship level physicians.

Furthermore, the standard of certification in the US means that to become a cardiologist you must do a fellowship. However, in Pakistan the the country has not yet standardized things. They do a residency equivalent period called house job. Thereafter, an extra year or two as an apprentice earns you the chance to call yourself a "heart doctor." They may be capable, but you certainly cannot call all of them standardized to have trained to the level of an American specialist or subspecialist; at least in Pakistan. By the time they come here and finish getting into residency (they usually spend about 1 or 2 years trying to just get in) and then try to apply to fellowship (they have a harder time landing competitive ones) they reach the same age as the American graduate.

The British system is far more elegant and standardized than the Pakistani one of course and they produce top notch physicians. However, you are not an attending physician until more years of training and subsequent specialization.

So the bottom line is that where the American adds usually 2 years to his bachelors level studies, he has less gap years to the end goal. This ends up balancing the three groups out where all three end up being attending physicians around the same age. Simply having the degree and not being an attending means little in the world of medicine... you cannot practice and be licensed.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-04-2011, 09:27 PM
The one thing that bothers me the most probably is how time consuming it is. In Germany, it only takes 6 years for a student to become a physician. Here in the US, it takes up to 12 years, you will spend your entire twenties in lecture halls, libraries and labs. Not that I mind that, but I sometimes wish the hassle wasn't be that big. =/


See my above answer to Shlombay Wrorre's question. Once again, its about where one practices and where one sees the most economic benefit. The German may get his MBBS/MD degree in a shorter period of time, but the residency and fellowship portions and the requirements therein end up placing him at the nearly the same finishing point as the US student. Moreover, the Germans have it a little tougher than the British on easily making their way into the system here which also adds time if they want to make it into an American residency.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-04-2011, 10:52 PM
Dear BarakzaiAbdali how did dreamer become a doctor at age 23? Why is it that we Americans have to study for 10 years to become a doctor(including undergrad)while Pakis and Britishers only study 4 years?

I have seriously considered changing my major to premed due to your amazing advice.


Dear Wrorre,

I am touched that you take my advice so much to heart. Remember though, it is not necessary to change your degree.... you can always stay in your degree and just finish the requirements. In fact, if it is a good degree that is better than just simply switching to a common degree like chemistry, biology, etc. Coming out Columbia, you will be able to go to any medical school in the nation if you do the right moves.

You are a computer engineering major right?

Mayana
01-04-2011, 10:54 PM
There is a really interesting podcast in the iTunes store called The Pre-Med Podcast.. It covers many different and interesting topics that concern the aspiring Pre-Med student. Check it out, people! =D

Laila
01-04-2011, 11:12 PM
Laila, Its absolutely a great idea for both your personal ambition of applying and for spiritual reasons. First of all, do it for learning and for helping people out and God will put barakah in it. Make that your niyaat and you will prosper either way. It will also give you a personal goal and ambition to work toward. Then, when you get in, what you will seek to achieve will be for the selfless benefit of others, especially the most downtrodden of our people. You will gain fuel to work through the ensuing tough years of training with the inspiration that you are doing this for the benefit of the world and not for personal gain.


I have always, always wanted to contribute in any way possible towards Afghanistan. That has always been my dream. What better way to actually interact with its people and help them in need. And Afghanistan, of course we all know, needs potential and ambitious people, of their own people, to help them.

In regard to the practical aspect and implications of your work, it gives you some good stuff to write about in your personal statement. Get some good pictures while you are there. For my interviews, I had a portfolio I had put together with my research work and I supplemented that with some articles in the news about the work I was conducting using tribal connections to build links between Afghan and American Universities back in the earlier part of the last decade.


That is definitely a good idea. I never thought of making some sort of portfolio for my interviews.
You have to look at your interview and application like a business portfolio in a way. When you approach it with this unique mindset and prepare the way a politician or a business man or a lawyer does his brief you can blow them out of the water. Remember, you want to put interesting things like this on your AMCAS application and also reflect on it in your personal statement. Then you control the terrain of the interview because they will want to discuss this with you. You pull them onto your ground and seize the initiative in the interview. What is more to your benefit is that you provide a view to the Americans from the perspective of an Afghan girl. We can talk more about this if you would like.

When it comes to that time, i will definitely come to you for more advice. If you dont mind, may i have your email via private message?

Look at the application and the interview like a battle that you want to control the tempo of. Eventually you develop a stump speech in a way. More often than not they are blown away.
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I was telling my wife to do the same thing recently when she was in Pashtunkhwa. She is planning on applying to professional schooling. I sent her to the camps on the border and she also visited some of the Khybar run clinics in the Wana area. It was an amazing experience and she has a lot to talk about now. She saw some appalling oncological (cancer) cases and played a good part in the team effort a local NGO was putting in to couple American/European trained doctors to help those local grads care for the tribal Pashtoons.

Also Laila, if that OB.Gyn in Afghanistan has American accreditation then consider getting a recommendation from them, especially if they have academic affiliations. Try to define a role there for yourself and be actively involved.


I do not think that lady has US accreditation. She herself studied alongside with my father at Nangarhar Medical University. But hey, i think a personal recommendation shall still be valid, right?
I will post more later after work. Back to the grind. Tell me if this was helpful. If you have specific questions on what I wrote above then write back. I will post mroe after work to answer the other questions.


Very helpful doctor sahib :) I will post more concerns and/or questions when needed.

Dreamer
01-05-2011, 04:31 AM
Dear BarakzaiAbdali how did dreamer become a doctor at age 23? Why is it that we Americans have to study for 10 years to become a doctor(including undergrad)while Pakis and Britishers only study 4 years?

I have seriously considered changing my major to premed due to your amazing advice.

our system is different
basically its this
Medical School- 5 YEARS of which 2 are pre-clinical and then 3 are clinical
mines was an integrated model so in year 1 we studied physiology of all systems alongside anatomy, pharma, histology etc... this was called Systems in Health
year 2 was same but called Systems in disease so focussed more on pathophysiology
year 3 was cardiorespiratory and endocrine clinical year as well as clinical theraputics and ethics
year 4 were all the specialities so obs and gynae, psychiatry, neurology etc
year 5 was elderly care medicine
take exams at end of 5 years- pass and get MBBS now your a Dr

you then do FY1 or Housejob (4 months medicine and 4 months surgical attachment as well as another 4 months in any speciality)
your now an SHO and you specialise
do SHO for three years take your membership exams of the chosen speciality
so MRCP, MRCGP, MRCPysch, MRCOand G MRCS etc
upon completion of the SHO years and providing youve passed the relevent exams (different specialities allow diff time frames for when you can take the exams) you become an SPR or specialist registra of the chosen field... this lasts about 5 years and is the same as the atteneding physcian but your still under a consultant... after the 5 years you take exist exams and get you CCT and now your a consultant... :)
our system is longer allowing for more training but upon MBBS your a Dr and you get paid so :)
Ive passed the USMLE step 1 and it wasnt that hard... dont know what all the fuss was about

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 11:32 AM
our system is different
basically its this
Medical School- 5 YEARS of which 2 are pre-clinical and then 3 are clinical
mines was an integrated model so in year 1 we studied physiology of all systems alongside anatomy, pharma, histology etc... this was called Systems in Health
year 2 was same but called Systems in disease so focussed more on pathophysiology
year 3 was cardiorespiratory and endocrine clinical year as well as clinical theraputics and ethics
year 4 were all the specialities so obs and gynae, psychiatry, neurology etc
year 5 was elderly care medicine
take exams at end of 5 years- pass and get MBBS now your a Dr

you then do FY1 or Housejob (4 months medicine and 4 months surgical attachment as well as another 4 months in any speciality)
your now an SHO and you specialise
do SHO for three years take your membership exams of the chosen speciality
so MRCP, MRCGP, MRCPysch, MRCOand G MRCS etc
upon completion of the SHO years and providing youve passed the relevent exams (different specialities allow diff time frames for when you can take the exams) you become an SPR or specialist registra of the chosen field... this lasts about 5 years and is the same as the atteneding physcian but your still under a consultant... after the 5 years you take exist exams and get you CCT and now your a consultant... :)
our system is longer allowing for more training but upon MBBS your a Dr and you get paid so :)
Ive passed the USMLE step 1 and it wasnt that hard... dont know what all the fuss was about


Salaam Dreamer,

Here, consultants = attendings.

I am getting worried that the message is getting lost here because the Americans have accepted the unsubstantiated claim that this system here ends up churning out physicians that are all older than their colleagues abroad or their colleagues that studied abroad and came back. I want to clarify that this simply is not true when we crunch the numbers.

I was clarifying for the viewers that pretty much anywhere you go, it is a nearly equal committment once you factor in the various additional training years that are at times country dependent. Moreover, I was clarifying that if one views the US system attending level as the endpoint (that is, if one wants to come back but go through other systems to become an attending) then you still end up having to jump through hoops that land you at about an equal age as your colleagues that never left states.

As I said in the discussion regarding MD versus PhD, I think that the time committment is worth it because in general the stacking of postdoctoral periods in a PhD route ends up resulting in your success end-point being about the same and possibly later than the MD route. See the links I sent Admin Khan in those posts a few pages earlier on this thread. In his personal endeavors he has seen folks reach that end point early. Once again though, I am advocate of doing what you love to do as opposed to for purely economic motives. However, if the discussion comes up we should at least look at the facts of the matter.

The issue is that the Americans on here should not walk away confused thinking that they are locked into years of training that they could avoid by cutting corners going elsewhere.

Regarding being paid once one recieved the MD/MBBS, that also happens here. A PGY1 resident is also paid $~60,000/year. The clarificationis is that that your consultants are equal to our attendings in terms of how we view the rank and file.

Guys, nearly any field except the trade fields like engineering, requires additional training and input time. For example, a lawyer does get through law school, on average in 3 years, but he also has to do his clerkships with the courts. The day he gets the JD degree (law degree) is not the day he automatically becomes a lawyer capable of taking on supreme court level cases. 99% of those guys have to do those clerkships.

The MBA route at a good school requires showing a few years of experience in the work force and then applying.

Certainly, the last two routes do not extend as far as the training Dreamer and I have to undergo, but they also offer a larger degree of unstability in terms of job placement/salary etc. Of course, if you have a passion, these things should not be your primary motivators. Your passion in the field will propel you toward success.

Regarding engineering... once again, it is a hand on trade field that opens up many doors and can be immediatly applicable. However, the days of the American BSE level civil engineer going directly out there and capturing a high level post are no longer here. This now requires climbing through the ranks and achieving a master level degree at some juncture or possibly an MBA. Still, it happens everyday and as I echo my statements above, do the degree for the love of it and doors will open for you.

About the pathway here in the US, to clarify:

High school ---> College (4 years) --> Medical school (4 years) and then you get an MD --> residency (variable time length but you are paid) (you are called a resident physician and hold a rank called a PGY1,2,3... etc which means Post Graduate Year--> fellowship (usually 2-3 years) --> Attending (equivalent of consultant) or the top Dog of the chain

Alternatively, if one does not want to do a fellowship the pathway goes:

High school ---> College (4 years) --> Medical school (4 years) and then you get an MD --> residency (variable time length but you are paid) (you are called a resident physician and hold a rank called a PGY1,2,3... etc which means Post Graduate Year: generally medicine residency --> Attending (equivalent of consultant) of the top Dog of the chain

The residency time lengths are usually as follows:
Internal Medicine (this leads to cardiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, etc): 3 years
General Surgery: 5 years
Immediate specialized pathways like dermatology, opthalmology, orthopedic surgery are about 4-5 years.

So I think I have shown here reasonably well I hope that anywhere or anyway you go, to get that end point, where you are an independent doctor, takes nearly an equivalency of years in all the systems.

My hope is that this shows the Americans that you need to take advantage of your citizenship and not throw away a barakah God gives you if you can apply here. You are not going to be at an age disadvantage or have to undergo lengthened training.

PS. Dreamer, I keep trying to accept the friend add list message you sent but for some reason it doesnt process. Ill see what is going on with it later.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 06:04 PM
I have always, always wanted to contribute in any way possible towards Afghanistan. That has always been my dream. What better way to actually interact with its people and help them in need. And Afghanistan, of course we all know, needs potential and ambitious people, of their own people, to help them.


That is definitely a good idea. I never thought of making some sort of portfolio for my interviews.


When it comes to that time, i will definitely come to you for more advice. If you dont mind, may i have your email via private message?



I do not think that lady has US accreditation. She herself studied alongside with my father at Nangarhar Medical University. But hey, i think a personal recommendation shall still be valid, right?


Very helpful doctor sahib :) I will post more concerns and/or questions when needed.

I will create an alternate email address as the past few rotations have been relatively light for me and things are likely to pick up per upcoming subspeciality fellowship interviews. I am interested in further subspecializing in congestive heart failure. That way you guys can reach me at that address and I can answer via iphone etc.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 06:13 PM
Salamoona,
I have about a year left to finish my masters degree in Math at NYU. I was wondering if there is joint program to become a doctor shortly after.

Regards,
Aseerullah.

Salamoona Wrorre,

The essential thing is to take a look at the prerequisites that Admin Khan and I spoke about in a few exchanges a few pages back in this thread. Tell me if there are any issues finding this. You also generally need to take the MCAT. See if there are any biomathematics projects that are ongoing at NYU. If like some mathematic departments that overlap with engineering schools, you are trained in mathematica, matlab, LabView etc, that may also serve you when working with such groups. So once again, see what prereqs you would need to satisfy and which ones you have credits for, second hit the MCAT hard, third get involved in the way I said earlier. Your masters degree already is an added plus. Your pitch to any programs should be that you want to utilize your mathematics/engineering background in the realm of academic medicine and that is your skill you bring to the table. Note that you have an interest in outcomes research which requires statistical skills (we doctors get little bouts of that here and there but many still have a hard time understanding the simple concepts of t-tests, COX hazard models, sample size and its relationship to power, number needed to treat and its cogency when conducting studies. The fact that you are a mathematician and can visualize and derive these concepts gives you that niche to exploit. Then you can join me and do all of the statistics for my stem cell therapy work ;)

However, at the end of the day, if you get your MD, you are not married or obligated to follow me into academia. Private practice and pure clinical practice remain open to you as options. Its just that this is your key selling point and what you bring to the table.

Dreamer
01-05-2011, 06:17 PM
Brakzai bro, your forgetting one thing... in the UK those of us who choose to go into family medicine can be independently practising by the time we are 28 years old... I dont think you can do that in the States this is because it is of all the specialities the one that requires the least post grad training yet pays the most!

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 06:30 PM
I was of the opinion that the Afghan schools may be under-equipped and therefore slightly inferior. Am I right in making that judgement? Thanks wrora.

You are 100% correct in this.

Nangrahar has little facility to work with and Kandahar has zero facilities. I tried to forge a link there years ago and get equipments etc sent there, but Education Minister Fayaz was a lazy good for nothing and did not at all respond to my enquiries, despite repeated messages and calls. The sponsors all backed out as a result. Qayyum Karzai was equally inept and sent a cursory response without any followup, and was more focused on rebuilding the battered power structure of the Popalzai tribe while paying lip service through Sarah Chayes, to the cause of Afghan education; she eventually also figured out as I had been telling her for years, that they were hollow carcasses (his nephew Yama was quick to remind me that the Barakzai were out of power for good despite me not wanting or caring for a role at all in any governance.) Tooryalai Wesa, a fellow Barakzai, was a bit more open, but that was before he left and became involved in the illegitimate government of Afghanistan. They are working on creating Kandahar University, but that, like most of their other projects, it will fail. Here is recent proof for this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/03/AR2011010302175.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/03/AR2011010302175.html)

The title of the article is: US Funded Intrastructure Deteriorates Once under Afghan Control.


Moreover, with the tempo of the war reaching a fever pitch, it will be years before Afghanistan sends viable candidates that can compete with their KP brethren. Hopefully, we can change this when Afghanistan earns its freedom from these nonmeritorous, feudalistic folks that were lazy here in the US and continue to be lazy and condescending there. We will work together to make it a bastion of education that creates cross border fertilization and ties the Pashtun doctors on both sides of the border to one another. Imagine how exciting it will be when a colleague in Peshawar refers his patient to a cardiologist in Jalalabad or Qandahar and vice versa.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/03/AR2011010302175.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/03/AR2011010302175.html)

However, the silver lining is that Khybar Medical retains a few seats for tribal folks and Afghans.

Zarmeena
01-05-2011, 06:32 PM
"
There are a few steps you need to take. First, you are not at the fixed end point yet where you have to not follow your dream. If you say to yourself “well, it looks as if 5 years or so from now I won’t have the money to go to medical school, and my parents won’t me take interest loans, so the dream is over”; then you end up psyching yourself out. "

thank you for responding to me i really appreciate it. i am almost done with my premed and i am just worried since i dont know if i will be accepted or not nor do i have a second plan set up. i still dont know how i am going pay for med school. i come from a super religious family roaara.

"
I wish I had more info about you so I could hone my answer, but I will assume you are still in the high school phase based only on the wording of your question. You might very well be in college already.
* I will address high school level efforts in another post. *"

yes i am in college

"

1) Go to school at a university. It does not matter if it is University of Connecticut, NYU, University of Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins, etc. Sure some colleges like Harvard and YaleUniversities will give you a leg up, but any university will set the stage for your efforts. Usually, this part of your career is manageable financially. It does not even matter if it is a local liberal arts school like Quinnipiac, Bryn Mawr, or wherever. Find out if they put at least some folks into some medical school somewhere. Avoid community college unless it is a financial issue and a bridge to college/university. Many schools understand that the latter is necessary for those with financial difficulties to bridge them over to a university eventually. I have a friend who is in neurosurgery. He and I attended medical school together. First, he was with the US army, then he was sweeping floors as a janitor, then he went to community college, and he worked his way up into a university. He applied to medical school and his accomplishments and story were enough to seal the deal. "


i cant afford nyu or its like. I attend an ordinary 4 year college.



3) *Once you show your merit with steps 1 and 2 above, doors will open up, I promise. For example, the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s top 3 hospitals has a medical school now with FULL tuition paid for its students. The caveat is that you devote an extra year to research as it is a five year program. However, I think that a year doing some prestigious research work is well worth it. In fact, many fellowship level physicians opt to do this just to make themselves more lucrative to academia. There are other schools like Mayo that may follow suit. If you work extremely hard my friend, you can make it. Also, if you are smart enough to get into medical school, which Masha-Allah you are, you just need to search out that part of you that is your drive and harness it. Learn to love studying your books. Take them with you everywhere you go. You are a Pashtoon my friend; look at this as your own personal struggle to succeed and you will do so with Allah’s help. Also, many medical schools have internal scholarships that are competitive, but that pay for nearly full years worth of medical schooling. We had a local scholarship covered by the parents of a young medical student that died in car crash. A friend of mine won that scholarship and had a year paid for. Once you get in you will have shown enough smarts to do that, so you certainly will be competitive enough for such things.

how can i prepare myself for that school? also what if i dont get accepted. i still dont know how to pay for my tuition.

my dad has spoken to many mullahs and they all said the minute the intention of interest gets involved where it cumulates interest or not is haram. brother i am very worried plz help me.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 06:33 PM
Brakzai bro, your forgetting one thing... in the UK those of us who choose to go into family medicine can be independently practising by the time we are 28 years old... I dont think you can do that in the States this is because it is of all the specialities the one that requires the least post grad training yet pays the most!

US track into family med:

26 years old when MD obtained in US on average... 3 years family medicine residency = attending in family medicine at the age of 29, so you have us beat by by one year. If a US student goes to Britain and comes back he adds that year on anyway trying to get his stuff together to get back into our system, putting him at 29 years old when all is said and done. The American that goes to Khybar adds on average 2 years landing him at 30. In the coming years with the Obama Healthcare plan the system will move toward the British model, but incorporate PAs, and NPs, etc. The PMD (primary care medical doctor) will accumulate a bit more clout.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-05-2011, 06:42 PM
"
There are a few steps you need to take. First, you are not at the fixed end point yet where you have to not follow your dream. If you say to yourself “well, it looks as if 5 years or so from now I won’t have the money to go to medical school, and my parents won’t me take interest loans, so the dream is over”; then you end up psyching yourself out. "

thank you for responding to me i really appreciate it. i am almost done with my premed and i am just worried since i dont know if i will be accepted or not nor do i have a second plan set up. i still dont know how i am going pay for med school. i come from a super religious family roaara.

"
I wish I had more info about you so I could hone my answer, but I will assume you are still in the high school phase based only on the wording of your question. You might very well be in college already.
* I will address high school level efforts in another post. *"

yes i am in college

"

1) Go to school at a university. It does not matter if it is University of Connecticut, NYU, University of Cincinnati, Johns Hopkins, etc. Sure some colleges like Harvard and YaleUniversities will give you a leg up, but any university will set the stage for your efforts. Usually, this part of your career is manageable financially. It does not even matter if it is a local liberal arts school like Quinnipiac, Bryn Mawr, or wherever. Find out if they put at least some folks into some medical school somewhere. Avoid community college unless it is a financial issue and a bridge to college/university. Many schools understand that the latter is necessary for those with financial difficulties to bridge them over to a university eventually. I have a friend who is in neurosurgery. He and I attended medical school together. First, he was with the US army, then he was sweeping floors as a janitor, then he went to community college, and he worked his way up into a university. He applied to medical school and his accomplishments and story were enough to seal the deal. "


i cant afford nyu or its like. I attend an ordinary 4 year college.



3) *Once you show your merit with steps 1 and 2 above, doors will open up, I promise. For example, the Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s top 3 hospitals has a medical school now with FULL tuition paid for its students. The caveat is that you devote an extra year to research as it is a five year program. However, I think that a year doing some prestigious research work is well worth it. In fact, many fellowship level physicians opt to do this just to make themselves more lucrative to academia. There are other schools like Mayo that may follow suit. If you work extremely hard my friend, you can make it. Also, if you are smart enough to get into medical school, which Masha-Allah you are, you just need to search out that part of you that is your drive and harness it. Learn to love studying your books. Take them with you everywhere you go. You are a Pashtoon my friend; look at this as your own personal struggle to succeed and you will do so with Allah’s help. Also, many medical schools have internal scholarships that are competitive, but that pay for nearly full years worth of medical schooling. We had a local scholarship covered by the parents of a young medical student that died in car crash. A friend of mine won that scholarship and had a year paid for. Once you get in you will have shown enough smarts to do that, so you certainly will be competitive enough for such things.

how can i prepare myself for that school? also what if i dont get accepted. i still dont know how to pay for my tuition.

my dad has spoken to many mullahs and they all said the minute the intention of interest gets involved where it cumulates interest or not is haram. brother i am very worried plz help me.


Salaamoona Zarmeena. I am currently at work at outpatient clinic and taking a little break per the above rapid fire responses. However, I want to answer yours with some very deep thought tonight (hopefully) or tomorrow. I need to stew on this and think about it so I do not answer it with haste and cause you any further problem. This is a delicate situation and wrong advice on my part would not help your cause. I respect your izaat for your parents and family and will try to work out something equitable.

A few more questions:

Did you take the MCAT yet?
You are likely going to submit the AMCAS at the end of the year, right? Does this mean you are a third year college student?
Are you a biology major?
Are you from greater Pashtunkhwa in Afghanistan or Khybar Pashtunkhwa in Pakistan? (The latter question only has to do with me discussing various options.)
Does your college put people into medical school?
How many state medical schools are in your state?
What state is it? (I only ask because we can work together to see what the instate options/probabilities are)

BarakzaiAbdali
01-06-2011, 05:04 PM
Dear Zarmeenay,

Regarding the medical school issue:

If you feel like your application is lacking, then you can either private message me and tell me where you think you will get scrutinized or you can post on here. We can then work through this together. The other option is to do take a year long breather and strengthen your application at a post bacc program like this excellent one at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) called the IRTA fellowship that has a proven track record of folks going on to medical school:

https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta)
https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta)

To prepare for applying to this, you ought to get involved in a research project at your school or local major academic center. If this is an option, write back and I can instruct you on how to strengthen your prospects for such a program, as applications can be competitive. Folks from all sorts of background can find their niche at the NIH, which is a research powerhouse. People like Elias Zerhouni MD, Francis Collins MD, and the editor of Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, Dr. Anthony Fauci MD, are all located there. Working with them is enlightening, you get some pay, and you can get a good recommendation that helps your chances.

This may give you some extra time to really decide on how to resolve issues around the cost of medical schooling. Some prior suggestions that I reiterate include getting something in your hand, including the admission letters and asking folks in your community who are known to be wealthy and giving, for an Islamic Loan. The other option is to take subsidized governmental loans where the government pays the interest until you graduate. Then, in the meantime, as you progress through medical schooling, you can find such a benefactor and have them pay off the balance of the loan at your graduation, instituting an Islamic Loan agreement between you and them. Finally, another option we ought to explore is the availability of Islamic Banking organizations within the US and their capability to help out. I would think that putting a student through medical schooling represent a more solid investment than a mortgage since they would be paying for the education of a future doctor. The fact that 99% of people get through medical school should provide even more of an incentive that this is a safe thing for them.

You see, the difficult thing about all of this is that just two decades ago, American medical schools were a good old boys club, with the tradition being passed on from father to son. Eventually, this oligarchial process was broken. The problem with the loan issue is that this threatens to restrict the medical school seats to the very wealthy and keep those that are meritorious, but lacking in such resources, out of the system. This then creates intellectual stagnation, feudalism, and sustained oligarchy.

However, this was not the goal of the ban on interest. Yusuf Ali, the renowned Quranic translator has generally been censored by modern editors because he viewed charging interest as a sin, but not paying it in accordance with Western financial challenges presented to Muslim immigrant populations. You can read this view of his in the foot notes to Surah Baqrah in the original unedited translations he released. His ideology probably rested on the aforementioned issue that I raised regarding a clamp hold that the very rich or very feudal can put on the advancement of the masses. I personally think that the ban does extend to both taking and giving interest primarily because the utilization of it has created a world society that drowns in perpetual debt and is beholden to the world powers in a constant state of slavery. The ban on interest is a state of civil disobedience meant to break this yolk.

This all comes down to you applying and getting in at some point though. You need not hunt down these resources only to find yourself in a position of not being able to ask for these resources.

Another option is the Khybar Medical Pathway which many religious folks before you have taken. It will involve going abroad and returning into the system will be somewhat of a challenge, but is very doable. As a US citizen you will have a pretty good chance of doing so.

Unfortunately, the student loan debt issue permeates many of the professional schooling pathways, from the MD to the MBA to the JD route. It is quiet probably becoming a second mini bubble of sorts. The unfortunate thing about it is that you cannot write these loans off or declare bankruptcy.

Once again, those of you who are physicians or aspiring physicians, from Zarmeenas case you can see the challenges facing the ummah. Many of us get into the field and end up living lives of luxury, forgetting about the struggle involved. We need to be active in importing knowledge back to Pashtunistan and we also need to be active in coming up with capital and creative solutions to these issues.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-06-2011, 05:26 PM
Perhaps we need to touch base with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Ingrid Mattson regarding options and views for youngsters in the USA. The latter is local Connecticut. I do not agree with everything Sheikh Yusuf says, but he appears to have genuine intentions and is a studied individual.

Zarmeena
01-06-2011, 10:10 PM
Salaamoona Zarmeena. I am currently at work at outpatient clinic and taking a little break per the above rapid fire responses. However, I want to answer yours with some very deep thought tonight (hopefully) or tomorrow. I need to stew on this and think about it so I do not answer it with haste and cause you any further problem. This is a delicate situation and wrong advice on my part would not help your cause. I respect your izaat for your parents and family and will try to work out something equitable.

A few more questions:

Did you take the MCAT yet?
You are likely going to submit the AMCAS at the end of the year, right? Does this mean you are a third year college student?
Are you a biology major?
Are you from greater Pashtunkhwa in Afghanistan or Khybar Pashtunkhwa in Pakistan? (The latter question only has to do with me discussing various options.)
Does your college put people into medical school?
How many state medical schools are in your state?
What state is it? (I only ask because we can work together to see what the instate options/probabilities are)
no i havent taken mcat yet.
yes i am 3rd year.
no i am not.
I am from afghanistan.
no the college just does not.
I am from CT so I dont know.
Connecticut

I also come from a very strict family. being a woman its hard to convince that I will be in debt for hundred thousand dollar.

Zarmeena
01-06-2011, 10:14 PM
Regarding the medical school issue:

If you feel like your application is lacking, then you can either private message me and tell me where you think you will get scrutinized or you can post on here. We can then work through this together. The other option is to do take a year long breather and strengthen your application at a post bacc program like this excellent one at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) called the IRTA fellowship that has a proven track record of folks going on to medical school:

https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta)
https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta)


To prepare for applying to this, you ought to get involved in a research project at your school or local major academic center. If this is an option, write back and I can instruct you on how to strengthen your prospects for such a program, as applications can be competitive. Folks from all sorts of background can find their niche at the NIH, which is a research powerhouse. People like Elias Zerhouni MD, Francis Collins MD, and the editor of Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, Dr. Anthony Fauci MD, are all located there. Working with them is enlightening, you get some pay, and you can get a good recommendation that helps your chances.

i will inquire about this and research to see what happen but i cant just depend on this. probably millions are applying.


This may give you some extra time to really decide on how to resolve issues around the cost of medical schooling. Some prior suggestions that I reiterate include getting something in your hand, including the admission letters and asking folks in your community who are known to be wealthy and giving, for an Islamic Loan. The other option is to take subsidized governmental loans where the government pays the interest until you graduate. Then, in the meantime, as you progress through medical schooling, you can find such a benefactor and have them pay off the balance of the loan at your graduation, instituting an Islamic Loan agreement between you and them. Finally, another option we ought to explore is the availability of Islamic Banking organizations within the US and their capability to help out. I would think that putting a student through medical schooling represent a more solid investment than a mortgage since they would be paying for the education of a future doctor. The fact that 99% of people get through medical school should provide even more of an incentive that this is a safe thing for them. i spoke to my dad about the above and he does not want to ask people for money. my father is against banks and the concept of interest. even the islamic banks say they will charge interest if not paid. and some say they will charge interest but they will give the interest as zakaat. either way interest is involved and my dad dont want to do that.


Another option is the Khybar Medical Pathway which many religious folks before you have taken. It will involve going abroad and returning into the system will be somewhat of a challenge, but is very doable. As a US citizen you will have a pretty good chance of doing so.

i cant leave the country.


i am really thinking of not becoming a doctor since there is no way my parents can afford such high money and i dont want to graduate premed and not attend med school and i wont find a good job.

Zarmeena
01-06-2011, 10:15 PM
n also thank u for responding. i very appreciate it.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-07-2011, 02:32 PM
How easy it is from MBBS of Pakistan to come to USA?

It is being done every year in the droves. In the coming years (5 to 10 years), the New York City hospitals will likely be forced to curb the number of foreign grads they accept. That is likely because the number of American grads will increase across the nation.

However, the trek is arduous. It involves having a plan, doing extremely well on the USMLE 1, 2, 3, and finally, making sure you go through the application process in the right way.

To give you an idea, the average American grad has to apply to about 10 or so Internal Medicine programs to feel safe. The average MBBS grad ends up applying to about 60 or so and gets just a little over a handful of interviews at schools/sites that are less than capable for setting one up to acquire a competitive subspeciality fellowship.

Moreover,the cost is a factor. However, the various foreign grads have set up networks and end up housing/helping each other and getting each other observerships that give them a better chance.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-07-2011, 02:39 PM
Regarding the medical school issue:

If you feel like your application is lacking, then you can either private message me and tell me where you think you will get scrutinized or you can post on here. We can then work through this together. The other option is to do take a year long breather and strengthen your application at a post bacc program like this excellent one at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) called the IRTA fellowship that has a proven track record of folks going on to medical school:

https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta)
https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta (https://www.training.nih.gov/resources/faqs/postbac_irta)


To prepare for applying to this, you ought to get involved in a research project at your school or local major academic center. If this is an option, write back and I can instruct you on how to strengthen your prospects for such a program, as applications can be competitive. Folks from all sorts of background can find their niche at the NIH, which is a research powerhouse. People like Elias Zerhouni MD, Francis Collins MD, and the editor of Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine, Dr. Anthony Fauci MD, are all located there. Working with them is enlightening, you get some pay, and you can get a good recommendation that helps your chances.

i will inquire about this and research to see what happen but i cant just depend on this. probably millions are applying.


This may give you some extra time to really decide on how to resolve issues around the cost of medical schooling. Some prior suggestions that I reiterate include getting something in your hand, including the admission letters and asking folks in your community who are known to be wealthy and giving, for an Islamic Loan. The other option is to take subsidized governmental loans where the government pays the interest until you graduate. Then, in the meantime, as you progress through medical schooling, you can find such a benefactor and have them pay off the balance of the loan at your graduation, instituting an Islamic Loan agreement between you and them. Finally, another option we ought to explore is the availability of Islamic Banking organizations within the US and their capability to help out. I would think that putting a student through medical schooling represent a more solid investment than a mortgage since they would be paying for the education of a future doctor. The fact that 99% of people get through medical school should provide even more of an incentive that this is a safe thing for them. i spoke to my dad about the above and he does not want to ask people for money. my father is against banks and the concept of interest. even the islamic banks say they will charge interest if not paid. and some say they will charge interest but they will give the interest as zakaat. either way interest is involved and my dad dont want to do that.


Another option is the Khybar Medical Pathway which many religious folks before you have taken. It will involve going abroad and returning into the system will be somewhat of a challenge, but is very doable. As a US citizen you will have a pretty good chance of doing so.

i cant leave the country.


i am really thinking of not becoming a doctor since there is no way my parents can afford such high money and i dont want to graduate premed and not attend med school and i wont find a good job.


Connecticut is a difficult state to apply in currently, with the options being Yale and University of Connecticut. States like Ohio and other midwestern/southern states are prime territory. However, we are in the process of helping Quinappiac lay the groundwork for a new medical school in the area.

I would recommend that you at least prepare for and take the MCAT. If you do very well on it, (score of 35 or so) then you should be a slam dunk and have a good case to apply. Otherwise, consider the GRE for PA school. Other folks on here that are applying in those directions can help out.

If you read my earlier threads, there are less expensive options that still can help you achieve patient care, like DO school, PA school, etc. These are less expensive routes and other avenues in case you feel that your application may be a tough sell.

Another way to ensure that you do not end up jobless, is to try and make your major a practical one. For example, Molecular Biology does lay the groundwork for a PhD route, however, an engineering major or a business major etc, can still be utilized to apply to medicine with, but then you have a backup plan in place as well.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-08-2011, 12:30 AM
BarakzaiAbdali what are prereqs for PA programs?

I think Laila is more familiar with the prereqs and process and can probably chime in. However, it appears to be a biology degree style pathway though some places are asking for biostatistics per the PA that works in my ward. The GRE is also the exam that is required for PA school. However, I do not want to talk out of my element as incorrect guidance would not benefit you... so I defer to Laila or someone who is going through that process.

Laila
01-08-2011, 01:42 AM
BarakzaiAbdali what are prereqs for PA programs?

I can help you (or anyone else) with that :) Here we go.......
Education (Bachelors)
* Okay, PA school/program is a Master Program in Public Health.
*For PA school/program, it is highly recommended to major in the science or math field.
*An applicant should have at least a 3.0 GPA. It is recommended, in order to make yourself a strong applicant, to have a GPA between 3.5-4.0 since its very competitive.

During your undergrad, these courses have to be completed:

* Human Anatomy w/Lab
* Human Physiology w/Lab
* 1 years of General Biology w/Lab
* 1 year of General Chemistry w/Lab
* 1 year of Organic Chemistry w/Lab
* Microbiology
* Mathematics......okay this is where schools have differ requirements
---It is recommended to complete two semesters of Calculus
* Genetics
* Humanities/Arts
* Medical Terminolgy

Work Experience
* Prior to applying to PA school/program, an applicant needs to have hands-on health care work experience. This includes: foreshadowing, working in a clinic and/or hospital, working with EMT, working as a medical assistant, working as a physical therapist, etc. Anything that will give you the opportunity to work directly with patients.
* You need a minimum of 1,000 hours in total. Do not expect to get paid. I have been working with my hospital for 9 months part time. And i have been working here for nearly a year, and i wont be getting paid at all. Do it for yourself, so you can see if this is really want you want :)

GRE
*This differs state to state, and university to university. Many schools/programs require the GRE. However, not all do. So you need to know where you are applying to make sure if they require it or not.

Recommendations
* You will need a few strong recommendations. One of your recommendations will have to be from a PA. It can be a PA that you have volunteered with or whatever. But the school wants to see how much do you know what a PA does daily and what sort of responsibility do you know regarding this career.

Interview

Of course since its a professional career, you will have plenty of interviews. But in your interviews make yourself stand out. PA school/program love sharp, smart, and outgoing young folks. They look at how much passion you have in this path.

HOWEVER......never, i say never in your interview, mention that you chose PA school over medical school because medical school's path was difficult for you. I knew someone that did that, but obviously not on purpose. I think he tried to make it into a nice joke in an intense interview, but he only did damage to himself.


OTHER
Many PA's go for their PHD a few years after they start working. Its smart to do so, that is if you wish to.

Many PA's start off with a salary of 100 K. Yeah i know that sounds very appealing. But if they are practicing General or Family Medicine, there will be a maximum that they can make, states salary differs.

My mother is a PA. She has a higher salary than the MDs at her clinic. How great is that ;)

A PA has to continue education throughout his/her career span. These include conferences all around the state and country. They have to complete a certain amount of hours. But the conferences are fun, they always have good lectures in nice, luxurious hotels. But its good because you learn about new diseases and treatments.

A PA may specialize in many medical fields such as:
Pediatric Care
OB/GYN field
Internal Medicine
Community and Public Health
Family Medicine

In the US, in the next 5-10 years, PA's are in high demand. You should see how many medical companies prefer PAs over MDs.

PA school/program is just as competitive as medical school. A medical student in the US usually completes 4 or 5 years of medical school.
A PA student in the US usually completes 2 or 3 years of PA school. So you have to imagine how intense a PA student studies. This student is learning everything a medical student is learning, but in less time. For PA, the first year is all science courses.....then the second year is clinical rotations. A medical student studies science in the first 2 years. Then the last two years are clinical rotations. Both are great, smart, and rewarding careers.

Oh god, i ranted off too much :lal9: but i hope it helped for you Aseer jan or anyone else who has questions regarding PA school.

If you guys have more questions regarding a certain university or state, dont hesitate to ask :)

BarakzaiAbdali
01-11-2011, 07:54 PM
Glad to see we hit above 2000 views.

I’ve touched on the subject of procuring research positions and given a 20,000 feet overview. However, I have not really gone into too much depth about avenues of pursuit of such positions. I think the discussion of this warrants an individual posting because it potentially benefits 3 groups of people: high-schoolers, college age applicants, and foreign graduates.

Why is pursuing research work important to the applicant of all levels? Well, the American system that has been in place seeks to graduate the Academician, an individual that is also referred to as a triple threat: a research scholar, a top notch clinician, and a teacher to others. The general shortage of physician-scientists that has developed is due to greater financial benefit falling in other medical sectors alongside the student loan debt that one accrues. For this reason, various fellowships like the Howard Hughes Fellowship and the NIH Howard Hughes Medical Fellowships were devised to attract medical students with potential into the realm of academic medicine.

It is primarily for this reason that every medical school across the USA, whether they have a primary care emphasis or not, seeks to acquire competitive young applicants with research on their resume. Advancing to the resident and fellowship level is also contingent on trying to demonstrate some aptitude for asking questions that could fuel future investigations and alter medical practice. It is not an absolute requirement, but it is a well desired trait for competitive slots and spots.

Everyone has to start somewhere. The high school student can start by simply going to their local university or looking online for summer enrichment programs. Some high schools have competitive programs that can help bright young students acquire a spot in a lab somewhere. You should not expect luxury or massive intellectual stimulation at the outset. As a youngster, you may just start off doing some repetitive experiments like isolating DNA or even washing dishes for the lab folk. However, you need to make it clear that you want this to spawn a future independent project that you can follow through on.

The College age applicant can utilize federal work study funds as a deal sweetener and hunt down a lab on campus that has a project that needs someone to push forward. There are many projects that medically linked PhDs or MD PhDs have on the back burner because they do not have the manpower to a lot someone to push them forward. However, this may involve being a volunteer researcher and not getting paid. You should look at it as the end benefit will be your involvement and a possible publication. All the while, you need to be putting together a CV (curriculum vitae). This is a sort of resume that details scientific exploits. As you progress through medical schooling, and as you build up to apply to residency, the application process distills everything you plug in, into a CV. The same occurs for fellowship applicants. There is a book called First Aid for the Match that provides a few example CVs that doctors utilize when applying for such positions. All students that are firmly set on the medical pathway ought to start thinking in terms of the CV, and how to build and augment it. The college student can utilize his degree and try to find work within his own department or offer his skill set to medical researchers that are working on things that would suit his background.

The foreign graduate has a few rough choices he has to make. Currently, the NYC hospitals offer him spots for rapid entry into the American system but little opportunity for advancement. As the new healthcare plan is incorporated, the number of American Medical Graduates is slated to increase with a corresponding freeze on the number of residency spots. There will be a push on the American hospitals to begin recruiting American only grads to fill these excess Internal Medicine and Primary Care spots. Therefore, the foreign graduate ought to make a plan to rapidly enter the US system in the coming years. However, another avenue involves doing a rotation/observation at major medical center that can accommodate this and to find a faculty member doing some sort of research work. More often than not, clinical research work offers the opportunity to publish rapidly in comparison with basic science efforts. On the other hand, basic science research work offers more accolades and opportunities. Usually a good project takes about 2 years to complete. Many foreign grads find that his is just the right amount of time to build up their application for residency through ERAS.

Those that are interested in primary care can also involve themselves in predominantly clinical research work that suits important questions that can help primary care specialists in their day to day practice. For example, an engineer interested in primary care might involve himself on research involving electronic medical record systems. Some research work delves into how to most efficiency deliver care.

At the end of the day, just participating earns you some points, but work hard towards a publication of some sort to show for your efforts. Your first project may not produce this… it may just be your way to learn some of the basic bench side techniques to help you be more efficient in your future endeavors. The other crucial benefit that participating in such work gains you is a network. Medicine, despite its emphasis on merit, utilizes networking to a great degree and is also a very close knit field where everyone knows everyone else within various specialties. So the trade off may be that you do not publish in a short amount of time, but the recommendation you get from your mentor and the friendship you develop may very well be your ticket towards higher goals.

I don’t know maybe at some point we can do an example run and work with someone here who is seeking out research. That of course will take time and some effort, but we can explore how to find projects and how to procure them.

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:05 PM
You also need Chem 1 & 2 and Organic Chem 1 & 2 :smile1:

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:13 PM
I am a political science major and I TOOK MOST OF THESE COURSES BECAUSE OF BARAKZAIABDALI.

I don't need most of these courses. I HATE CHEMISTRY WITH A PASSION.

Political Science? I thought you were a Math major.

Chemistry is awesome, I love chemistry with a passion. Give it a chance!

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:18 PM
I'm a behavioral neuroscience major, thinking about changing to chemical engineering. But for now, the classes for both majors and the Pre-Med requirements overlap, so I'll make a decision once I'm ready to transfer.

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:25 PM
I can swear 2 years ago you told me you were majoring in psychology.

2 years ago eh, I changed my major from psychology to psychobiology during my first semester in college. Psychobiology = behavioral neuroscience

Laila
01-11-2011, 08:41 PM
2 years ago eh, I changed my major from psychology to psychobiology during my first semester in college. Psychobiology = behavioral neuroscience

BioPsychology? right.....I have been told only UCSB and UCLA has that major

I am doing a major in Biology with an emphasis in Human Physiology and a minor in Psychology. Do you think I should just go for BioPsychology?

sahil112
01-11-2011, 08:42 PM
loll how can u major in so many subejcts:O all are these degrees? at university? :O

Laila
01-11-2011, 08:46 PM
loll how can u major in so many subejcts:O all are these degrees? at university? :O

Well with a Major in Biology BS, you can have an emphasis in a certain field (which is beneficial for medical school). I have chosen Human Physiology. I love it! And i am going for a Minor in Psychology.

Yes at a university, for my Bachelors.

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:47 PM
BioPsychology? right.....I have been told only UCSB and UCLA has that major

I am doing a major in Biology with an emphasis in Human Physiology and a minor in Psychology. Do you think I should just go for BioPsychology?

Psychobiology/Biopsychology is more like behavioral neuroscience, it emphasizes more on the brain and neurotransmitters and how our behavior is related to that whereas your current major & minor combination is more general and less specific. Psychobiology is a great PreMed major as it covers all the pre-med requirements but is unique and stands out on the application. The problem with it is that it is not offered at too many universities.

Yeah, you're right, only UCLA and UCSB have that major - UCR and UCSD have a good BS program in psychology which is somewhat similar.

Laila
01-11-2011, 08:48 PM
Psychobiology/Biopsychology is more like behavioral neuroscience, it emphasizes more on the brain and neurotransmitters and how our behavior is related to that whereas your current major & minor combination is more general and less specific. Psychobiology is a great PreMed major as it covers all the pre-med requirements but is unique and stands out on the application. The problem with it is that it is not offered at too many universities.

Yeah, you're right, only UCLA and UCSB have that major - UCR and UCSD have a good BS program in psychology which is somewhat similar.

Yeah that is a problem that is not well offered in CA. Have you looked into researching in this field?

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:53 PM
I would love to work in research in that field.. however I wanna have a plan B in case I don't get into the university I want. Hence the Chem E major..
I really wish this major was offered at more places as it's really interesting and exciting and a bigger variety in majors always is beneficial.

Laila
01-11-2011, 08:54 PM
I would love to work in research in that field.. however I wanna have a plan B in case I don't get into the university I want. Hence the Chem E major..
I really wish this major was offered at more places as it's really interesting and exciting and a bigger variety in majors always is beneficial.


Have you looked to see if its offered at a private university or CSU?

Mayana
01-11-2011, 08:56 PM
Have you looked to see if its offered at a private university or CSU?

Nah I haven't looked into that, to be honest. My counselor told me about PsychoBio at UCLA and I was like BAM that's it!
I'm sure they have similar programs at just about every uni.. they have neurobiology at UCI, for example..

BarakzaiAbdali
01-11-2011, 11:09 PM
Nah I haven't looked into that, to be honest. My counselor told me about PsychoBio at UCLA and I was like BAM that's it!
I'm sure they have similar programs at just about every uni.. they have neurobiology at UCI, for example..

Will write back. Getting over an illness. I think the general direction towards chemE is not a bad one.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-11-2011, 11:10 PM
So now u want to be a doctor mayana?

Salaamoona wrorra,

Will write you back... getting over an illness. I think I caught the flu in the hospital.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-12-2011, 03:09 PM
Dear BarakzaiAbdali(Prime minister of PF),

I have taken Physics 1, and Physics 2, Calc 1 and Calc 2, Bio 1 and Bio 2 am I good for Med school SIR?

Salamoona Wrorre,

Like Mayana is saying, it appears you require general chemistry (2 semesters) and the associated labs. The same goes for Physics in terms of having to take the labs if you have not done so. You also need Organic Chem 1 and 2 with associated labs. The Bio courses also require concurrent labs. Sometimes the courses have labs built into them depending on where you go to school and that is usually evidence in the transcript/course design. You probably have a year long writing/english credit under your belt per your current major.

No need to call me Sir. I am your brother and not your elder. Write me if this is confusing. Here are some links with further explanations. Harvard has done a good job explaining the details:

http://hms.harvard.edu/admissions/default.asp?page=requirements (http://hms.harvard.edu/admissions/default.asp?page=requirements)

Hopkins also does the same and provides this link:
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/process/coursereqs2010-2011.pdf (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/process/coursereqs2010-2011.pdf)

in this general page:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/process/requirements.html (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/som/admissions/md/process/requirements.html)

BarakzaiAbdali
01-12-2011, 03:13 PM
I would love to work in research in that field.. however I wanna have a plan B in case I don't get into the university I want. Hence the Chem E major..
I really wish this major was offered at more places as it's really interesting and exciting and a bigger variety in majors always is beneficial.


Chem E is a great field and I wish that I had done my undergraduate studies in that field as opposed to electrical engineering because of the good overlay that it has with the cardiovascular system (though electrophysiology as a subspeciality within cardiovascular diseases does lend itself to a lot of overlap with electrical engineering).

It has a lot of scope in the world and is a very lucrative engineering speciality outside and inside the US. However, take a look at the general requirements and see how much of the ChemE curriculum you have satisfied. It is by no means a cakewalk. If you have to execute this is a backup you can do a quick masters in Biomedical Engineering and come to medicine once you augment your CV/application with such coursework.

Remember, a great field to go into... but the engineering field is a conceptual one that demands a lot of respect and effort to be degreed and capable.

Mayana
01-12-2011, 03:50 PM
Yes, wrora, it definitely is a great field to look into and I'd like a backup in case everything doesn't work out the way I want it to so that I can still have a career even if it is just with that B.S. And for now, the Chemistry courses I am taking anyway overlap with the ones required for Chem E, so that's good.
And when you find time, do elaborate on the "overlay with the cardiovascular system", I didn't quite get what you mean..

BarakzaiAbdali
01-12-2011, 03:59 PM
Yes, wrora, it definitely is a great field to look into and I'd like a backup in case everything doesn't work out the way I want it to so that I can still have a career even if it is just with that B.S. And for now, the Chemistry courses I am taking anyway overlap with the ones required for Chem E, so that's good.
And when you find time, do elaborate on the "overlay with the cardiovascular system", I didn't quite get what you mean..

The heart is a biomechanical/electrical pump that encourages flow through a vasculature meshwork. Some electrical-biomedical engineers map out the the heart as a voltage source, supplying the energy differential to permit forward flow (max pressure at the left ventricle and "zero" at the atrial inflow side), and the vasculature as resistances and capacitors. Some biomechnical engineers simply this into heart serving as an electromechanical pump/generator, converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. Chemical engineering systems take these issues into account and really analyze the system based on pressure and flow models that accord with the models that cardiologists utilize for clinical correlation. The concept of cardiac output and pressure differentials, as well as laminar and pulsatile flow are handled well in chemical engineering systems design.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-13-2011, 04:32 PM
after medical school what is next step? I have matric finished from swat what is my first step?

Forgive me if I use a little naiveté when answering your question. I am going to answer it in terms what an American thinks is best to do from the view within the American Medical System. The reason why I term my approach as naïve is that two of the most difficult places on earth from which to access this system appear to be Afghanistan and Khybar Pashtunkhwa (KP). This appears to be related to the security situation and the ill begotten and ill executed war on “terror”. However, I write this with the personal interactions I have had that show me some of what I advise is very possible.

First, know that the Indians and Southern Pakistanis are taking the new “right” approach. They used to utilize the typical foreign graduate route of high school, college, and medical schooling in india à American residency. However, they realized that this pipeline is bound to taper off eventually and that it limits options for them when they attempt to enter the field. Now they understand that they can secure J1 or education visas and start off within the American College System. I am a bit unfamiliar with the terminology utilized in Britain and the regions she formerly governed (including Pakistan), however, my assumption is that “Matric” means the American equivalency of high school. If this is the case, then you ought to utilize this new approach that the Indians (Muslims and Hindus alike) are capitalizing on and enter the American system at the college level. This does not mean you have to start at Harvard… I know Indians who went to Iowa University and subsequently went on to top tier private US Medical schools. The Arabs are also slowly catching on, but this usually at the level of the oil company scholars and the sons of some high level sheikhs. This approach does demand some money and quiet a bit of effort… but it saves you the time, money, and effort required on the other end that usually results in a entering the US system at a position that erects the glass ceiling above you and limits advancement. As a personal example, I have a close Indian Muslim friend who did exactly what I write about above and did his Bachelor of Science in the Midwest. He proceeded to gain entrance into one of the finest American Medical Schools and is now a resident at one of the world’s premiere institutes, Massachussetts General Hospital (or Man’s Greast Hospital as we joke). He has neither a green card nor a citizenship.

If you stay in KP, I would suggest applying to Aga Khan. That school appears to be adept at getting folks into the American system with greater ease and prepares them for the idiosyncrasies of our system (e.g. working with an advanced electronic medical record system, MRI/CT scanning, etc). That institute also appears to be challenging the glass ceiling and is finding innovative and creative ways to enter the American system in specialties that are often restricted to American graduates like ophthalmology, ENT Surgery (ear, nose, throat), Radiology, and Radiation Oncology.

The initial step, should you choose to follow either pathway, will be to ignore Pashtuns that have no vested interest in your success. Look out for what is best for your own interests. I am about to generalize and I mean no offense and have not experienced this on this forum, but I have personally seen this in real life in multiple situations. I recall when my own sisters were getting ready to go off to medical school, Pashtun colleagues of my parents were advising them against this, telling them that girls ought to not leave the household. In the background, their own daughters and sons were all gearing up to apply and take the same route. I am fortunate that my father did not take a single piece of advice from these people. For some reason, instead of wishing the best for their brother or sister, and wishing what they want for themselves, our people’s general modus operandi is to try and drag others into our misery. Chris Rock once joked that this was the same plague on his African American people and why he viewed this trait as a major contributor to their continued failure as a people. This is why we Pashtuns continue to chase success and unity at all levels (even the medical level) the same way Don Quixote chased windmills. Our Indian, Arab, and Jewish colleagues on the other hand get on their knees so that their future generations and colleagues can stand on their back to get to the next level.

The bottom line: See of if you can carve out the option of going to college at an American institute that is a university and that has a track record of placing people into medical schools. If this is a long shot, then consider Aga Khan or Khybar Medical. Do not listen to naysayers that are distracting you from your achievable objective.
Those of you with younger siblings who live abroad and who are currently going through the medical training route, I suggest that you consider this approach for your younger siblings as well.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-13-2011, 09:41 PM
I had some other requests for a private email address. I invented this one for further usage:
ColdSteelHealer@hotmail.com

I aptly use the pseudonym American Abdali (the one person on here who has ever seen me will get the joke). In the coming days, I will try and catalogue preparing for the interview process as I begin this same process again for the sub-subspecialty level (it closely mirrors all other levels). I hope that this cataloguing of how to prep aids others on here.

Zayam
01-13-2011, 11:38 PM
"Once we stop taking things for granted, our own body can become one of the most surprising things of all. It never ceases to amaze me that my body both produces and destroys 15 million red blood cells every second. Fifteen million! That's nearly twice the census figure for New York City. I am told that the blood vessels in my body, if lined up end to end, would reach around the world. Yet my heart needs only one minute to pump my blood through this filigree network and back again. It has been doing so minute by minute, day by day, for more than eighty years and still keeps pumping away at a hundred thousand heartbeats every twenty-four hours. Obviously this is a matter of life and death for me, yet I have no idea how it works and it seems to work amazingly well in spite of my ignorance.


I do not know how my eyes adapt, yet when I chant by candlelight they are a hundred thousand times more sensitive to light than when I read outdoors on the porch at noon. I wouldn't know how to give instructions to the 35 million digestive glands in my stomach for digesting one single strawberry; fortunately, they know how to do their job without my advice. When I think of this as I sit down to eat, my heart brims with gratefulness.


From there it is only a small step to seeing the whole universe and every smallest part of it as surprising. From the humble starting point of daily surprises, the practice of gratefulness leads to these transcendent heights."


Just wanted to share a quote from a book called. "Common Sense Spirituality" by Brother David Steindl-Rast

Zarmeena
01-14-2011, 06:37 PM
you have greatly helped me barakzaiabdali iwill continue to follow the topic here and i will return with more questions. i hope i have not bothered you.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-15-2011, 12:32 AM
you have greatly helped me barakzaiabdali iwill continue to follow the topic here and i will return with more questions. i hope i have not bothered you.

Zarmeena,

Salamoona,

I wish I could have done more and feel that I left you hanging. We are not there yet, but my hope is that in the years to come a few of us on this forum can join together and make this process a whole lot easier for folks like yourself. The goal will be to pool resources and put together scholarships for deserving students, male and female, that want to attend American medical institutes and still live a riba free life.

Ask as many questions as you would like.

All of my best Regards

American Abdali

unknownprince
01-17-2011, 03:43 AM
Barakzai,

I have many thoughts racing through my mind about medical school.

1) If one completes medical school in the US, are there still great residencies outside the US?

2) What medical schools outside the US meet the US in standards? I am talking about schools that are just as tough to get into and also require MCAT and all the other stuff. I would be willing to go out of country for a high quality education, and nothing else.

Not to get too political, but I don't think America needs physicians anymore, plus, the healthcare system is going to collapse anyways.

kakargirl
01-17-2011, 07:21 PM
Barakzai,

I have many thoughts racing through my mind about medical school.

1) If one completes medical school in the US, are there still great residencies outside the US?

2) What medical schools outside the US meet the US in standards? I am talking about schools that are just as tough to get into and also require MCAT and all the other stuff. I would be willing to go out of country for a high quality education, and nothing else.

Not to get too political, but I don't think America needs physicians anymore, plus, the healthcare system is going to collapse anyways.
salam wrora, barakzai abdali wror will answer you as soon as he's well he's been very ill lately may allah swt give him health .

Saifullah
01-17-2011, 07:24 PM
United kingdom (oxford, imperial, UCL, cambridge) and many universities in europe are of high standards...

Admin Khan
01-17-2011, 08:37 PM
BarakzaiAbdali,

Feel better champion.

kakargirl
01-18-2011, 10:20 PM
BarakzaiAbdali wror is still very ill may allah swt give him health,he's had a attack of bad flu and food poisening, may allah swt give him health and recovery soon ameen.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-19-2011, 03:31 PM
Thanks guys, for the kind words. Im slowly but surely getting back into it.

unknownprince
01-19-2011, 04:43 PM
I was having flu-like symptoms yesterday. I ate a grapefruit, and it disappeared.

Dreamer
01-19-2011, 05:08 PM
Thanks guys, for the kind words. Im slowly but surely getting back into it.

bless your heart

Saifullah
01-19-2011, 06:57 PM
wats up wid everybody they all acting like aunty's. i have the flu as well its not like the end of the world..lol

kakargirl
01-19-2011, 07:25 PM
wats up wid everybody they all acting like aunty's. i have the flu as well its not like the end of the world..lolbarakzai abdali wror has had flu and food poisening and kept on working long hours in hospital which made everything worst than it would have been if he had rested .

Saifullah
01-19-2011, 07:30 PM
i was jokin

BarakzaiAbdali
01-19-2011, 09:40 PM
wats up wid everybody they all acting like aunty's. i have the flu as well its not like the end of the world..lol

I do not disagree... a healthy young guy should be able to sustain this thing. I have not been sick in years. This was DFA confirmed A strain and really had me down for the count. This was then followed by a raging gastroenteritis that I had to keep up with via oral hydration therapies. The latter came in from a piece of likely infected buffalo meat. The monkey wrench in all this is that I was just in the unit taking care of a bunch of folks with c diff. So I just empirically started myself on flagyl and dramatically improved... stool antigen/toxin pending.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-19-2011, 09:50 PM
Barakzai,

I have many thoughts racing through my mind about medical school.

1) If one completes medical school in the US, are there still great residencies outside the US?

2) What medical schools outside the US meet the US in standards? I am talking about schools that are just as tough to get into and also require MCAT and all the other stuff. I would be willing to go out of country for a high quality education, and nothing else.

Not to get too political, but I don't think America needs physicians anymore, plus, the healthcare system is going to collapse anyways.

Salamoona,

1) If you look back at my prior posts when you get the chance you will see that I harp on a huge point in regard to what you lose and what you gain as a US citizen. The issue with going to Europe as a noncitizen is that you will never be allowed to reach the rank of attending after training. The Indians are finding this out fast and leaving in the droves, either to return to India or to come to the US. These are new policies that have affected UK immigrant trainees.

2) Many do. I am sure Dreamer and others are as qualified if not more, than many of their American counterparts at the same level of training. However, I am sure they would also advocate that you look at your end game and decide what your goals are in terms of where do you want to end up? Dreamer has the distinct advantage of being a UK citizen and being able to advance into the highest strata of practicing physicians there. As a US citizen, you will not be able to do this. Canadian schools, on the other hand, do take American citizens and feed them back into the system with reasonable ease and they make their way into excellent residencies. I trained with a gal from McGill, who grew up in Michigan. She was as capable, if not more than her counterparts. So consider Canada as an added option, in order to make it back here.

You will eventually have to marry and provide stability for your family. As a result, if medicine is your chosen route... you will have to plan in such a way that you are not living hand to mouth and chasing your career through training across multiple continents.

Regarding the saturation of the field... I cannot disagree with you more. The AMA, and the college of surgeons has been playing a master game in restricting the number of physicians, and adjusting the supply demand ratio so well that a shortage will exist for decades. What will affect the field is the incursion of various players at the general practitioner level, like NP, PA, and other folks. However, specialists, general surgeons, and the like shall remain masters of their destiny to a great extent.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-19-2011, 10:04 PM
United kingdom (oxford, imperial, UCL, cambridge) and many universities in europe are of high standards...

Undoubtedly. The studies that are coming out of Europe, and the multi center trials, are leading the way in various respects. If you look at the wbpage for the last AHA conference... there were many high impact factor studies coming out of Europe. I would love to be involved with any of those teams on any of those studies. Europe is also pushing the envelope on innovative, cost saving techniques at the surgical level, like beating heart surgery.

However, when giving advice to folks like unknownprince, the issue remains: where does he himself in 20 years? As a US citizen, I want to live close to my parents and be able to practice and stay continental. If someone else is willing to leave, and sacrifice some aspect of career advancement due to their lack of a citizenship in countries abroad, but are content with that... then more power to them.

However, family life appears distant at the age of 19... however 10 years down the road, it becomes a reality. Whether you are an engineer, an artist or a doctor, you have to be able to make your goals mesh together. If you marry... and you want one kid, and are willing to live a pretty simple life, you might be comfortable with these a number of career sacrifices/directions. Rizq comes from God alone, and I firmly believe that. However, a part of this may very well relate to wise decision making being a blessed thing.

As an example: imagine if you are a general physician who can treat x number of patients and pull in $120,000. You decide that you can live off $60,000 and will treat x/2 pro bono. This example negates business costs etc. However, your wife and kids have a right over you... any decision you make has to incorporate their well being, education requirements, and required quality of life.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-19-2011, 10:22 PM
When you feel better i have many q's to ask you BarakzaiAbdali.

Sure, you can post them and I can answer them... just forgive me for the slowed pace. I have some interviews coming up and may space out the answers. However, go ahead and put them here.

unknownprince
01-19-2011, 10:35 PM
Salamoona,

1) If you look back at my prior posts when you get the chance you will see that I harp on a huge point in regard to what you lose and what you gain as a US citizen. The issue with going to Europe as a noncitizen is that you will never be allowed to reach the rank of attending after training. The Indians are finding this out fast and leaving in the droves, either to return to India or to come to the US. These are new policies that have affected UK immigrant trainees.

2) Many do. I am sure Dreamer and others are as qualified if not more, than many of their American counterparts at the same level of training. However, I am sure they would also advocate that you look at your end game and decide what your goals are in terms of where do you want to end up? Dreamer has the distinct advantage of being a UK citizen and being able to advance into the highest strata of practicing physicians there. As a US citizen, you will not be able to do this. Canadian schools, on the other hand, do take American citizens and feed them back into the system with reasonable ease and they make their way into excellent residencies. I trained with a gal from McGill, who grew up in Michigan. She was as capable, if not more than her counterparts. So consider Canada as an added option, in order to make it back here.

You will eventually have to marry and provide stability for your family. As a result, if medicine is your chosen route... you will have to plan in such a way that you are not living hand to mouth and chasing your career through training across multiple continents.

Regarding the saturation of the field... I cannot disagree with you more. The AMA, and the college of surgeons has been playing a master game in restricting the number of physicians, and adjusting the supply demand ratio so well that a shortage will exist for decades. What will affect the field is the incursion of various players at the general practitioner level, like NP, PA, and other folks. However, specialists, general surgeons, and the like shall remain masters of their destiny to a great extent.

this puts things in perspective. Thanks for putting this forward. I guess one has to start looking at priorities.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-22-2011, 12:58 AM
Is there any way I can see if the courses I have taken are equivalent to the required courses to be a Physicians. Are there any accelerated programs for students who have a Masters degree in Math?

A few posts ago, I answered Shlombay regarding the prereqs and posted what Hopkins and Harvard generally consider prereqs. I noted these schools, but most others fall in line when they speak. If you attend a major university, most of these have a prehealth professions committee office. What you can do, is try to explore the equivalency with them as some colleges vary in terms of what is considered their local equivalent of, for example, a premedical physics course. If that is not available, then a good rule of thumb is that the course should be reasonably difficult enough to satisfy a biology degree coursework pathway, so see what the bio majors are taking.

I think the masters is a helpful thing, but generally, the best route is to put it to use in biomathematical research/biostatistics/biomathematical modeling with an in house, university research group. In general, the major elements: prereqs, MCAT, letters of rec, GPA, etc are rarely if ever waived.

kamranalikhan
01-26-2011, 10:59 AM
Assalamoalakum ! Salam to all friends.me dr nangiale khan from mardan.have done mbbs from kmc peshawar.have great wish to pass mrcp may my Allahalmighy bless me and all those friends who wishes to become.dear brothers of this forum i neeed mrcp2 mcqs or links i shall be very thankful.

Dreamer
01-26-2011, 01:05 PM
Assalamoalakum ! Salam to all friends.me dr nangiale khan from mardan.have done mbbs from kmc peshawar.have great wish to pass mrcp may my Allahalmighy bless me and all those friends who wishes to become.dear brothers of this forum i neeed mrcp2 mcqs or links i shall be very thankful.

MRCP was easy... use the Pastest books

BarakzaiAbdali
01-26-2011, 06:28 PM
Are there any cheap medical schools? I'm willing to relocate like public med schools?

Case Western has a prestigious sub program at the Cleveland Clinic that is full tuition paid. However, it is a 5 year thesis based program, but that only helps with residency apps.

State institutes on average, are easier on the bank account than the privates, but in general they are also generally priced at about an in state tuition of $28,000 and out of state at about $40,000 per year.

With that in mind, a good strategy is to establish residency in a state with a low population to school ratio, like Ohio where there are 7 medical schools, a large proportion of which are public.

BarakzaiAbdali
01-26-2011, 06:30 PM
Assalamoalakum ! Salam to all friends.me dr nangiale khan from mardan.have done mbbs from kmc peshawar.have great wish to pass mrcp may my Allahalmighy bless me and all those friends who wishes to become.dear brothers of this forum i neeed mrcp2 mcqs or links i shall be very thankful.

I completely defer to Doc Dreamer. I have no idea how the MRCP works. I apologise. Would love to learn more about it myself.

Dreamer
01-26-2011, 06:43 PM
I completely defer to Doc Dreamer. I have no idea how the MRCP works. I apologise. Would love to learn more about it myself.

whats to know... its a membership exam for the college of physicians...(internal medicine Drs) made up of part 1, part 2 and PACES
U must pass this to become a Registra in Medical specialities.... once a Reg you can sub-specialise in cardiology, dermatology etc

BarakzaiAbdali
01-31-2011, 10:54 PM
Ah the medical interview trail, half political, yet still clinical. It helps gives you respect for a novice politician who likely has to come up with his dog and pony show and travel on a low budget. It also helps you realize that politics is a horrible field to work in and you appreciate medicine a whole lot more. So, I want to use this opportunity to leave some bulleted points as my time is a bit limited these days.

1. The difficulty of the interview varies. For the premedical student level, generally the medical school interview is geared toward your application without too many surprises. Higher ranked schools may throw some curveballs. Generally though, if you control the tempo and keep the listener engrossed, the medical school level interviews are not too bad.

At the residency level it varies on what you want to go into. The easier to get into residencies: family medicine, internal medicine, pathology, some general surgery programs are pretty straightforward. As long as you can not look like an ax murderer and speak reasonably well, you should do fine. As an Afghan/Pashtun we have a lot to talk about and they generally want to get to know you as a person.

The more competitive fields like dermatology, radiology, rad-onc, highest ranked Internal medicine programs, most gen surg programs that are university based can be more challenging. As an example, I had a colleague that went into derm, she told me that she had to act out the part of Romeo and the program director (a male) played Juliet. My sister, a surgeon, had to widdle a boat out of soap. Another colleague who went into ortho had to suture two pieces of cheese together (it was there all day and everyone had already had a go at it so it was much harder by the time he got to it).

At the fellowship level for GI and cardiology within internal medicine, it gets pretty difficult as well. When you are beyond that, it gets a little bit easier because the sub-subspecialty slots need to be filled (e.g. congestive heart failure, interventional cardiology, etc.)

* I will add to this tomorrow/coming weeks on how to take on the interview and how to deal with the aftermath. It is the most important individual skill for the international medical graduate and American medical graduate alike.
*Currently here in Boston, which by the way is as terrible to drive in and is equally filled with as many nasty, ill mannered people as New York City.

Laila
01-31-2011, 11:45 PM
^ Looking forwards to more, helpful information :)

BarakzaiAbdali
02-02-2011, 07:44 PM
Interview Tips:

1. Know thine enemy. I had little time to prepare for a recent interview, so I did the following: I read the programs web page and did not memorize every word but rather took away a few bulletted points about what they claim makes them unique. Often times, at the higher levels of training, the program will tell you who you will interview with. Look these people up and see what they are about. Take a look at their publications via pubmed. You usually have about 30 minutes in which to make a lasting impression. Listen closely during the introductory speech when they tell you about their program. They will tout certain aspects of what makes them unique and give you information about the nuts and bolts of the program. This gives you fuel for further questions when they ask you, in order to see if you are truly interested: "do you have any questions for me?"

Try to tie in your application to those key points you noted that they tout about their program. For instance, at the medical school level, if they say that they have a research elective, etc, you should look up some of their lead scientists and read few quick abstracts of their work. Then you tell them that you are interested in coming to their instutition because you have followed the works of Dr. X, Y, and Z for some time now in the literature and think that the school offers you a unique opportunity to work with these people. Mention specifics. Its sort of like that scene in the usual suspects where the police officer, who had been listening to Verbal Kent (played by Kevin Spacy) realizes that he just had Kaiser Sose sitting in his office. He looks around and sees that Sose has been reading the various news clippings on the wall and was weaving a story together based on these little clippings:

YouTube - Usual Suspects (1995) Shocking Ending HD (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_6560AW1zQ)[/URL]

keep your eyes open and make connections. Convince them that you and they are a good fit.

So as an example, I knew that the center I want to do a heart failure/transplant fellowship at is a tertiary center... but I had no idea that they do a large number of HVADs, LVAD, or where a local quaternary center. I heard all of that during the interview. I was given the names of the 3 people I was going to interview with: The days before, I looked up quickly, 1 to 2 recent strong works by these physicians. During the interviews, as I discussed my own work, I noted to them that I had also read their papers recently. So for instance: One of the gentleman had done recent genetic studies that on phenotypes of coronary artery disease and noted that it might be difficult to go for one specific genetic marker of that disease. I told him about my own interests and studies in the genetics of heart failure and noted that its diverse phenotypic and genotypic basis, yet its common end results (NYHA class heart failures) lends it to being a suitable model to test for genetic markers. I then added that I note this because I had read the gentleman's work on Coronary Artery disease/gentics. His eyebrows raised and he looked happy that I had taken such interest in his program as to look up his work. I threw a few more similar comments his way about how I wanted to come and do advanced training at a center that sees so much transplant and congestive heart failure that is a "quaternary center".

So now, for the medical student who does not know who they will interview with: You do get a list at the beginning of your interview day. Take a quick second to look up these people and their interests on your iphone or droid or something. Understand their background: If you are talking to a primary care doc who does not do much bench side research, hone your interview to that, etc. If you have done a lot of research, you can note to that individual that although your work is predominantly benchside, you are interested in clinical and medical educational research work as well. If you are talking to a big time qualified specialist, you should still have read up on some key faculty doing great work at that school and note that you have been following Dr. X, Y, and Zs work and talk about how that individual shows the academic quality of the center you are interveiwing at.

Basically, show them that you care about their center and did enough of a background check on them to see that you were a suitable marriage of minds.

BarakzaiAbdali
02-03-2011, 11:08 PM
Recently had a discussion with a third year medical student here at Yale applying for opthalmology (one of the most competitive specialties). They are at the top of their class and are a reliable source.

I asked them what went into getting a slot/interview. They had done their homework and had a direct discussion with the program director to find out how thousands of applicants are filtered. Turns out here are the criteria:

"i found out how they do residency interviews for optho. its a ten point system. 1 pt for board score, 1 pt for AOA, 1 pt for research in optho, 1 pt for top 25 medical school, 1 pt for top 25 college, 2 pts for recs, 1 pt for an extra degree, 1 pt for class rank, 1 pt for personal statement. and you have to have seven to interview."

The awarding of medical school interviews and subsequent ranking of candidates worked the same way for the committees I sat on, except boards were replaced with MCATs etc.

I hope this gives you a look behind the veil of the process.

Best Regards
BKA

unknownprince
02-09-2011, 01:42 PM
who is applying to medical school this summer? Where are you applying?

BarakzaiAbdali
02-10-2011, 09:54 PM
So I just had another interview. Some tips to add:

1) If you are interviewing somewhere, find a factoid about that center and stress to your interviewer that you know they have read your file, but you have also read theirs. This can apply to the medical student, the resident, or the fellow going for advanced specialization:

E.g. Lets say you are an interviewee talking to the University of Pittsburgh. So they are a major transplant center. There are few major transplant centers, and on top of this few that do multi organs systems. For example, despite Yale's rep, all their heart transplant and lung transplant patients go to Columbia. For that reason, Yale's strength does not lie in Heart Failure and Transplant. However, Univ of Pittsburgh is a huge monolith giant transplant center. So you can show some initiative and say, whether you a medical student, resident, or fellow, that not many centers are up to the level of U Pitt where you have the chance to take care of end stage patients requiring transplant and then conducting post transplant care of these patients after they get their organ.

2) Hone your dialogue to who you are talking to. For instance, if you have a ton of research on your CV, the assumption is that you are going to be a practicing physician that conducts some research in coordination with your clinical care. Therefore, you have to understand that if you are talking to a medical school interviewer at Yale, and if the person you are talking to is an internal medicine physician or a psychiatrist... note that these people are wary of people that want to dive right into lucrative specialties (usually because their specialities are not lucrative). Thus, indicate to them that you are interested in so many aspects and facets of medicine. Note that your research may be in GI, immunology, dermatology etc, but that you want to take advantage of your 3rd year surgical and medicine rotations to understand where skill meets desire in your own development. One of the key things that has won many an interviewer into my corner was when I noted that there are some people that, for example, "love" neurosurgery but for whatever reason they are not good with technique. Then there are those that hate their career and may be very good at what they do. Both of these groups diminish productivity. I used to tell interviewers that I wanted my personal inclinations to meet my skills at some middle point so that I enjoyed doing whatever it was that I would be good at.

As a practical point, when i was interviewing for fellowship, I applied with a lot of research on my record. So programs knew that I was acclimated to this. However, if you tell a cardiology program that you want to do interventional cardiology, and they have you set up to interview with a bunch of heart failure and general cardiologists, you might be out of luck. The reason for this is that most interventional cardiologists are worked like surgeons and find little time to be able to delve into the bench side research realm in coordination with clinical care. A few exceptions to this rule are Dan Simons at Case (formerly at the Brigham) and Eric Topol. So, if you do decide you are going to be straight up and tell them that you are going interventional, use the example of Dan Simon and indicate that you want to follow in that individual's footsteps. If you provide the guy across from with a roadmap like that, he can see your vision for your career and trust you a bit more!

BarakzaiAbdali
02-10-2011, 09:59 PM
who is applying to medical school this summer? Where are you applying?

If you guys are applying and live in the same area, you should form study groups for your MCATs. Seriously, think of it like a MCAT Lashgaar. What you then do is keep each other on track and even take courses together at a commercial program. If not, then you can acquire exam crackers or some equivalent and just set aside 10 hours a day to study in a group. That worked well for some of us way back when we took on that battle.

Also note that an excellent resource is this website:

http://www.studentdoctor.net/ (http://www.studentdoctor.net/)

However, many of these people that post here are crazy hard core gunners that try and psyche eachother out. So take everything there with a grain of salt. The most relevent section was the interview section where people post questions they were asked at specific schools.

IamDZJ
02-12-2011, 02:41 AM
does anyone know how to cook kaRRo??

unknownprince
02-12-2011, 03:20 AM
Thanks BarakzaiAbdali,

I hope everyone here who will be applying exchanges information that will benefit everyone.

qunduz92
03-21-2011, 10:51 PM
barakzai, when one is preparing to apply for residency programs during their last year of medical school how does that generally work? what are the requirements for a US med school student to be able to get into a residency besides their USMLE scores? i.e. are there reccomendations and interviews involved in the process?

thanks

qunduz92
03-21-2011, 10:55 PM
also barakzai,

say one goes to an osteopathic school instead of allopathic, and obtains an allopathic residency, what changes are there in their qualifications if any?