Unemployed doctor

AmericaMany doctors fell out of work with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt because they did not pass the inpatient program – certificates were considered “as difficult as picking stars in the sky”.

The first in her family to go to college, Kristy Cromblin knew that entering medical school was a utopian dream. Every day, her parents are both skeptical and proud to see their daughter move towards that goal. Cromblin soon enrolled in Barbados Medical School, planning to one day become a surgeon there.

Song unexpected obstacles arrived. Cromblin divorced and had to leave school for 7 years to care for two sons. In 2012, she returned to her final year, excitedly completing tests and signing up for a resident doctor – the last step in her training.

But Cromblin didn’t know that the program’s HR department, which was flooded with resumes, used electronic software to filter the application. Eliminations range from low-level students to international students. Cromblin passed all exams and earned a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, but was rejected by 75 residency programs. In the following years, when she continued to apply, she knew she had to deal with practitioners who had graduated from medical school for the past three years. Her number of rejections kept increasing. Cromblin is currently unemployed with $ 250,000 in student debt.

“Sometimes you ask yourself about your worth. You wonder if you’re useless. I’ve had to encourage myself many times, that I deserve, I’m helpful, I’m doing too well,” she said.

Cromblin is one of 10,000 “senior doctors” in America, who graduated from medical school but were repeatedly rejected by the boarding program. Last year, the American Medical College Association published research showing that the country would have a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 doctors by 2033. The prospect is more alarming as hospitals across the country are fighting the Covid crisis. -19. However, every year, thousands of medical graduates with a doctor’s degree are not recruited. They have no residency experience, have not qualified for a license to practice in any state.

Dr. Kristy Cromblin. Image: NY Times

According to inpatient program directors, while hospitals are committed to diversity and consider many factors beyond test scores, they sometimes use a computer system to screen applications because they receive thousands of applications. . Suzanne Karan, anesthesiologist at the University of Rochester, said in a 2019 blog post: “Nobody has the time or the desire to read each application. The system makes our job a lot easier when there is one. can filter records in the form of Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteoarthritis (DO), foreign graduates “.

The number of senior doctors has been on the rise since 2006, when the American Medical College Association called for medical schools to increase their first-year enrollment quota by 30 percent. The organization is also pushing for hospitals to recruit inpatients, but this is still limited under the 1997 Budget Balancing Act. By 2019, Sen. Robert Menendez of the New Jersey Democratic Party, announced The Inpatient Physician Missing Act aims to increase the quota to 3,000 per year.

Talking about the young doctors he has led, Dr. Adaira Landry, the emergency doctor in Boston, said: “They wanted to be part of the health care system, but faced a huge setback. “.

Saideh Farahmandnia grew up in a minority community in Iran where access to higher education was limited. Farahmandnia clearly remembers the thrill of arriving at the Ross Medical School in Dominica in 2005, feeling “the luckiest person in the world”. After passing her practice certification exam, she happily phoned her parents, saying they had raised a doctor. Now, she cannot count the number of emails she refused to receive.

After finishing medical school, she spent two years researching with a heart surgeon at Stanford, thinking that this makes the inpatient application more beautiful. She applied to 150 rural to city hospitals and received 150 rejections. Farahmandnia patiently applied for each year until 2015, when her mother died suddenly.

“You left home to pursue your passion, promising to help the country that raised you. Now you have $ 300,000 in student debt and a degree that has robbed you of valuable time and mother. you, “recounted the heartbreaking 41-year-old doctor.

According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, the average debt of graduates in 2019 is $ 201,490. Those suitable for an inpatient position will soon advance and become doctors, earning an average of $ 200,000 a year. Others have to find jobs near an industry that can help them pay off their debt.

Dr. Douglas Medina, a graduate of Georgetown Medical College in 2011, said: “A few weeks ago, I tried to choose between paying a student loan and buying a stroller for the baby to be born. only my career has been harmed.

Doctor .  Saideh Farahmandnia.  Photo: NY Times

Doctor . Saideh Farahmandnia. Image: NY Times

Many American college graduates choose to study medicine abroad. Some have anxiety when taking the test, want to apply to schools that do not consider MCAT scores, others choose Caribbean medical facilities, the rate of acceptance is 10 times higher than that of the US.

But many candidates, especially those from families unfamiliar with the complexity of medical training, say they are unaware of the degree of rigor to international students. Kyle, the black doctor who fell into this situation, said: “When I graduated, I realized the application was not important, because I did not pass the alien exclusion algorithm in the first place.”

According to Kyle, what was most disappointing was that while the need to use black doctors was so urgent, he remained unemployed. “It was really heartbreaking. Everyone thought I should be a doctor. They watched me pass my tests and celebrated with me,” he said.

The director of residential programs said that in recent years, they have made an effort to look at the candidate as a whole. Dr. Susana Morales, clinical associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, said: “A college A score, a high test score does not make a perfect candidate. We care about diversity. in terms of background, geography “.

International students must look for other avenues to work in the medical field. Arkansas and Missouri are among the states that grant certificates of physician assistants to holders of degrees but not yet in boarding. They look forward to using their clinical skills to aid anti-epidemic, saying that the opportunity to be a physician’s assistant is especially meaningful in times of crisis.

Dr Faarina Khan, 30, decided to stop applying for boarding school after many failed attempts. In the past 5 years, she has spent more than $ 30,000 to sign up without success. But with her physician assistant license, she was able to join the Missouri Disaster Medical Support Group, helping treat people with Covid-19.

“Hospitals need to realize that people like me can come to work long hours if called. We don’t go to medical school just to sit on the sidelines,” she said.

Thuc Linh (Follow NY Times)


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