research jobs for foreign M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

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research jobs for foreign M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

Postby Frank » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:38 pm

I have some questions that may be relevant for other forum readers who have medical qualifications from outside U.S./Canada.

My background is M.D./Ph.D. with specialization in virology and I am currently working as a postdoc at an American university. For personal reasons (read: marriage), I want to stay in the U.S. and I am wondering what kind of industry jobs would suit someone with my background, but without a U.S. medical license.

I have been jobhunting for a while, and here are some problems/questions that I encountered:

1) I receive a lot of calls from recruiters for M.D. jobs that I am not legally qualified to do in this country (clinical trials) and very little response to applications that I submit for R&D type jobs. Could it be that recruiters consider me "overqualified" with the M.D.? What is the best way to present my unique background and experience?

2) Would it be worth spending the time and money to obtain U.S. licensure in order to get into industry? I would be willing to consider doing that, but not to spend another 3-5 years in residency, which would mean I am in a training position until I'm almost 40.

research jobs for foreign M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:52 pm

Hi Frank, happy to have you on the forum. Please pass along the "word" about this forum to your friends and colleagues so that we can really get this thing moving.

I can see your problem in applying to certain job types. Research positions are PhD jobs, and you'd really have to have a good story in order to get yourself into a research position. Have you had a lot of bench experience? If not, best move on, because R&D managers wouldn't easily hire an MD unless there was a track record of doing PhD-level basic research.

However, the clinical field would seem to be ideal for you, as would positions in Pharma companies called "Medical information Specialists." I hope that we can have a person come in here and post with their experiences regarding Medical Information Specialists, because this is a field that I do not recruit in, so I don't have the personal experience. However, these people are the first technical contact for MD customers who use the pharma company products. They support the work of salespeople but they are not sales oriented. They give seminars, travel with sales reps, etc. I think you'd be great in that kind of role if you had that interest.

The clinical field is one which is tough to crack because it seems that they need persons with experience in order to get the interest from employers. One way to get that interest might be to talk to some temp staffing firms. You'd be much more marketable with some experience, and these companies may be able to put you into a job that lasts a few months or more, making it easier to market yourself into a clinical role.

Never mind what recruiters say and do. Being a fellow with a lot of recruitment experience, I can tell you that most of the time they are looking for something very specific. They may have an open assignment from a company for a CRA (Clinical Associate) and the paperwork reads "BS or MS in Nursing with Infectious Disease Experience." I'm sure you've got more than the equivalent expertise for this, but you don't have exactly what they need. They WILL NOT GO TO AN EMPLOYER AND TRY TO SELL THEM ON SOMETHING ELSE. That just is rarely if ever done. So, you'll be needing to go directly to the employers in the clinical area. Try it through networking, but if you have too many comments about a lack of experience, than try to go the temp route.

I am not qualified to answer the last question about time and money for a US Licensure. i am sure that this is very much worth the time and effort for many people -- but it is a personal decision.

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research jobs for foreign M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

Postby Jim Gardner » Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:30 pm

One thought to add to Dave's--how about Drug Safety and Surveillance? All big pharma companies have departments that do this (they don't have a choice). After the recent Vioxx debacle, this might be a time when Safety and Surveillance is being beefed up at companies. I know that MD's (and epidemiologists and PharmDs) are hired for positions in this field, but I don't know if they have any specific training or licensure requirements.

Good luck!

Jim Gardner
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research jobs for foreign M.D. or M.D./Ph.D.

Postby GAT » Thu Nov 04, 2004 5:06 pm

Dear Frank,

Unfortunetly in the US medical system, there is no place for general practioners unlike the case in European countries. If you want to practice medicine you need to do a residency. Period. For becoming eligible for residency you need to pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (both CS and CK). For having a license to practice independetly you must pass Step 3 in addition to doing a residency. You can take Step 3 without doing a residency in some states (e.g Connecticut) but you can not practice unsupervised without completing residency training.

Gokce Toruner
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