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Advice Please

ElliotCElliotC Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
edited January 2008 in High School Student Topics

I'm a 16 year old male from the UK and I want to be a doctor in America, preferably California.

I'm a very able student but up until this point I have not been working very hard, as I (luckily) can and have been breezing through school as an above average student, unable to decide what I would like to do when I'm older. But I am determined to try harder as I now have decided on a career.

I took for my GCSE's:

• CiDA (Certificate in Digital Arts, (challenging IT class basically)) - Worth 2 GCSE's
• Business Studies - Worth 1 GCSE
• French – Worth 1 GCSE
• Math - Worth 1 GCSE
• Chemistry - Worth 1 GCSE
• Biology - Worth 1 GCSE
• Physics - Worth 1 GCSE
• English - Worth 1 GCSE
• Religious Education - Worth 1/2 a GCSE
• IT - Worth 1/2 a GCSE

Any advice, comments, tips would all be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Post edited by ElliotC on

Replies to: Advice Please

  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Being a doctor in America is MUCH easier -- MUCH easier -- if you attend medical school in the US. You will be greatly helped in this cause if you can obtain a permanent residency and a resident status within a specific state -- both of which are difficult to do.

    Do you have a more specific question?
  • ElliotCElliotC Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    How would I go about that? And what would be the alternative if i was unable to get a permanent residency and a resident status within a specific state?

    Sorry if the answers I'm looking for seem obvious, it's just that I have found the best way to learn is to ask questions, and as you can probably guess, I'm only just starting to gather information so at the moment my knowledge is minimal.

    Thanks again for your help
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    Excellent candidates will be admitted to medical schools even without PR status -- it's easier, but not impossible, otherwise.

    I'm afraid immigration tips are a little beyond my knowledge base, though.
  • ElliotCElliotC Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    So if I emigrate to California, what would I do from there? Would I have to do any extra tests? I'm not familiar with the process as I have lived in a small town all my life.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    So the UK and the US should be similar up through high school. You'll then apply to college -- you'll be looking for a four-year bachlelor's degree in a liberal arts subject: biology, chemistry, economics, sociology, etc. Something academic. I think it is okay to do this overseas so long as you spend one year in the States, but I have never actually seen it done. I have finally met one student who went to a Canadian undergrad, but that is one out of thousands of medical students I know and even then, Canada's much closer than Europe.

    Like US citizens, you'll face the same requirements: during the course of those four years, you will need to take ten specific courses: 2 general chemistry, 2 organic chemistry, 2 physics, 2 biology, and 2 English. 2 math is also a good idea. You'll then take the MCATs. You'll sign up for the same application service and submit the same applications.

    Without a PR, all the steps will be the same -- the only difference is that you will be at a statistical disadvantage during the process. Notice, however, that a PR or even a citizenship will not necessarily solve this problem -- federal residency (i.e. US Greencard) is necessary but not sufficient for a state residency (i.e. CA residency). It is the state residency which will give you significant advantage during the application process.

    Let's say you gain admission without a US PR. In that case, your tuition will be tricky to negotiate, and you will (I think) be ineligible for financial aid. One of my international (Australia) classmates was asked to pay all four years' of tuition plus living expenses up front, and the school releases the funds to her as needed. The details are beyond my expertise and in any case beyond your scope of worry at this point.

    If you are insistent on practicing within California, it will be helpful (a little) to go to medical school and then your residency within California. It is not by any means a big deal; US MD's are generally pretty flexible geographically anyway. But, I figure if you want to end up in California eventually, you'll probably appreciate being there for those few years anyway.

    I do recommend that you try for a US undergrad if you want to practice medicine eventually in the US. Details about how to handle this process are probably available in other sections of this forum.
  • ElliotCElliotC Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you for such an informative reply; this has been really useful to me. You have been a great help and covered all my queries for the moment. Unfortunately I don't think it will be long until I need more help :)

    Thanks again
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