U.S. clinical training is a great way to experience the U.S. healthcare system first-hand. However, like AMO visitor Josue, if you want to have a career as a U.S. physician, USCEs are a great way to find your place in the healthcare system.
Read Josue’s story below and learn how a former IMG preceptor and a local patient population, helped Josue picture his future as a U.S. physician.
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A Career in U.S. Healthcare: Josue’s AMO Story
I am a recently graduated Mexican doctor, and throughout my academic life I had never taken a break. S0, I took this opportunity to see what future I could have as a doctor in the United States, specifically as an internist. Without a doubt it was a great opportunity and a extraordinary experience.
Dr. R. is a great internist who completed his studies in the Philippines. He has a lot of experience, as he is a retired hospital doctor and currently only attends his office–at which I had the opportunity to be. Among all of his consultations, I learned how he approaches patients and how skillful he is with his accurate answers to questions. In addition to having a great team where we performed stress tests, ITB, EKG and aorta scan, his work team is very friendly. They know how to speak Spanish, so they took me to eat and see places near and far from Watsonville. A doctor’s assistant even took me to see San Francisco and Santa Cruz, an incredible experience. I made a great friendship and they encouraged me a lot to follow my dreams and goals.
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When I first applied to AMO for my clinical rotation in the U.S. I was torn with a bittersweet feeling of excitement and nervousness. To come to a new country where the culture and language was so new to me I couldn’t help but feel like I would not be able to communicate well with patients or my mentor. However, after my first day the nerves and anxiety diminished, as I had the best first day anyone could ask for. I was met by a small agricultural town known as Watsonville where I quickly learned most of the population was Latino/Hispanic like myself.
I met Dr. R. who at one point was also an international student applying for internal medicine residency in the states. This made me feel enthusiastic knowing that I too could one day have a future as a physician in the U.S.
As the time went on, he taught me what the U.S. healthcare system was like, especially focusing on preventative exams. I was able to perform and assist with stress tests, ITB, EKG and aorta scans. But most of all I would like to highlight his communication and patience in teaching and speaking with his patients. It is something I admired. I learned that listening to the patient’s needs were his top priority as well as using this to execute his plans and diagnosis.
The staff was wonderful to work with as well. I saw how important it was to be bilingual in a country which houses so many different cultures. They helped me practice and advance my English medical terminology. They quickly began to feel like family and encouraged me to follow my dreams and I couldn’t be more thankful for them. They took me in with open arms and showed me around the small town of Watsonville. I was also able to travel to other cities like Santa Cruz and San Francisco.
I can’t express how incredible this experience was. Now I can say this has given me an insight as to what it’s like to chase the “American Dream.” I hope to one day be back and represent Mexican culture as a future practicing physician and make my dream a reality.