General Information for International Medical Graduates
Thanks for your interest in graduate medical education in programs sponsored by the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. This is an intricate and constantly changing area of medical education, and the complex rules of multiple regulatory bodies present challenges to all of us. We will do our best to ensure that all information contained within this document is accurate, but due to the ongoing nature of oversight responsibilities inherent in accreditation processes, this information is subject to change.
Applicants for residency training within our programs must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Graduate of medical school in the U.S. and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
- Graduate of an international medical school, meeting one of the following qualifications:
- Have a currently valid ECFMG certificate or
- Have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a U.S. licensing jurisdiction.
- Graduate of international medical school who has completed a Fifth Pathway program provided by an LCME-accredited medical school.
There are a number of important issues of which you must be aware:
- Level of Medical Training
- Current medical students - If you are currently enrolled as a student in good standing in an international medical school, you may qualify for a clinical rotation in our medical school. Please see http://som.uthscsa.edu/srselect/home.asp and click on "Visiting Students."
- Physicians currently enrolled in training programs - Physicians who are currently enrolled in graduate medical education (residency, fellowship programs) outside of the United States may apply for an Observership. Some programs offer them, others do not - for more information, please go to http://www.uthscsa.edu/gme/gmepolicies.asp and see Policy 4.4.1. The individual program contact information is at http://www.uthscsa.edu/gme/trainingprograms.asp.
- Physicians not currently enrolled in training programs - Physicians who have completed graduate medical education outside of the United States, and are not currently enrolled in residency or fellowship programs, do not qualify for Observerships through the GME route. You may be interested in pursuing another course - that of Continuing Medical Education - please see http://cme.uthscsa.edu/
- ECFMG - Graduates of international medical schools must obtain a certificate from ECFMG (please see http://www.ecfmg.org/) This requires that you pass several qualifying examinations, and is explained fully at the ECFMG site. The ECFMG Acculturation Program website can be found here.
- Application for residency programs - Our programs receive applications via the NRMP (please see http://www.nrmp.org/). The program director(s) of programs to which you apply will review applicants' information electronically. If you are selected to be interviewed, the program will require that you travel to our campus for a personal interview, and you will have to pass required security background checks.
- Citizenship, immigration status - Physicians who are enrolled in our GME programs, who are not United States citizens, must have permanent residency status or an appropriate visa for graduate medical education. The preferred visa is the J-1 visa. Immigration policy changes often, and thus non-citizen residents must maintain communication with the UTHSCSA Office of International Services (OIS), which will provide administrative support for the visa. If a non-citizen resident becomes out of status, he/she may be terminated from the training program. Please see Policy 2.1.14 at http://www.uthscsa.edu/gme/gmepolicies.asp for more information.
- Medical licensure in Texas - In order to enroll in residency training within the state of Texas, a physician must qualify for one of two options (both administered by the Texas Medical Board):
- Physician in training permit - the training permit may not be applied for before you are offered a training position. However, it is a good idea to review the requirements in order to minimize waiting times. Information is available at http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/professionals/physicians/training/physiciansintraining.php.
- Medical license -
- International Medical Graduates should refer to a list of medical schools which the TMB accepts for issuance of a medical license. (please see http://www.uthscsa.edu/gme/documents/substantialequivalence.pdf). If your medical school is not on this list, obtaining a medical license in Texas may prove to be very difficult or impossible.
- Graduates of international medical schools must successfully complete three years of graduate medical education in the US before they are eligible to apply for a Texas medical license.
- Medical licensure requirements in other states - the states vary in requirements for medical licensure. A listing of all states' medical boards is available at http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html
We hope that this information is helpful to you, and offer our best wishes in your future career.