Foreign medical school grads: are they really MDs

16 Nov

Foreign medical school grads: are they MDs
Are patients at risk, utilizing the services of a medical doctor trained overseas? Extreme divergence in opinion has filtered through the medical profession and beyond on this subject for years. As a physician who operates a research company, Healthnets Review Services, it never occurred to me that these hard working people were anything less than the doctors they claim to be. After I received a horrific misdiagnosis by a physician from India, I began to question the abilities of some of our foreign guests. Dr. N—– claimed that I had a malignant tumor of my right knee after reviewing a radiological procedure. With two recent MRIs that diagnosis was a remote possibility. He insisted the diagnosis was real and reported to my orthopedic specialist, who wanted me to see an oncologist immediately. For three hours I thought death was close by. My colleagues at a private radiologic facility outside Bel Air Maryland’s main hospital accommodated me and repeated the test that very day. An American trained tech and I read the films, no tumor. An excellent American trained radiologist confirmed what we saw. No cancer, but extreme anxiety for the interim. Broaching the chief of radiology at the hospital the next day, he claimed the physician who read the films is connected to John Hopkins and holds an appointment there. He went on to state no harm done, we will change the record to reflect the new reading. My professional demeanor refused to allow me to express my true feelings, but my upbringing on the streets of Brooklyn New York didn’t. After venting my frustrations and other selected words I left with vow not to refer anyone to this facility. When I told my story to my colleagues, patients and others the floodgates opened and not to dissimilar stories flowed forth.
Nurses have related on many occasions that they felt their knowledge base was greater that the foreign physicians they were working with in various health settings. Utilizing the resources of Healthnets Review, I made many attempts to obtain data on India’s medical schools. For some reason much of the information is not available to the public. Worse, neither the state of Maryland, where I unfortunately reside,nor the feds had any comparative studies on medical school training in India. I found this strange because the Maryland Board of Physicians and the feds license and allow these people deemed physicians into the country. Licensing authorities will state on the record that transcripts and degrees are verified. My questions are who are they being verified with and what type of training do they have? What I can state in this article is the so-called medical student in India receives much less training than their American counterparts. This training may be equivalent to nursing educations programs here and not much more. To counter this latter statement, the feds will state the foreign grad must undertake rigorous testing in the clinical and medical sciences before being licensed. This answer is unsatisfactory because there are intense preparatory courses, books, mentors etc., to help these people pass any examine put before them. Maryland Board of Physicians has licensed thousands of these foreign doctors, with minimal evidence that they are the actual product they state. Is this political correctness gone too far? Perhaps some dark night one of these officials will present themselves to an emergency room with a life threatening illness and be confronted by someone they licensed as an MD but in reality is a nurse or less. Irony has a way of findings its path back home. Mark Davis, MD. President of Healthnets Review Services,


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