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Thread: Foreign doctor working in South Africa

  1. #1
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Default Foreign doctor working in South Africa

    I have a doctor friend who has just finished their medical studies and who is busy doing their United States Medical Licensing Exams (US MLE) to work in the US. After my friend has worked in the US she wants to work here in South Africa.

    What do foreign doctors need to do to be able to qualify to work locally? IE, all the papers and examinations and/or conditions required?
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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    Grandmaster Kloon's Avatar
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    I guess you make better money being a doctor in SA than in the States.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kloon View Post
    I guess you make better money being a doctor in SA than in the States.
    Ummm No quite the opposite i would think.

    Their are however many reasons why a foreign qualified doctor would want to work in SA.

    To answer the original question, It all depends on the original qualification, internship done etc.

    S/He would have to contact the HPCSA to get the finer details.

    http://www.hpcsa.co.za/hpcsa/default.aspx?id=143

  4. #4

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    I once heard two young (late 20's) doctors talking in Obs Cafe in Cape Town. They sounded like Irish accents to me. The one appeared to be telling the other one about working in SA. As far as I could tell one had been here a while the other just arrived. The 'veterans' comment was something like, 'You'll see more knifings and GSW's in one week here than in 5 years back home'. I assume GSW is a gunshot wound. The way they spoke it seemed they where here for real trauma experience and not cash.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by w1z4rd View Post
    I have a doctor friend who has just finished their medical studies and who is busy doing their United States Medical Licensing Exams (US MLE) to work in the US. After my friend has worked in the US she wants to work here in South Africa.

    What do foreign doctors need to do to be able to qualify to work locally? IE, all the papers and examinations and/or conditions required?
    I think SA (Bara) is the best hospital to do your internship then she can go overseas...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waaib View Post
    I once heard two young (late 20's) doctors talking in Obs Cafe in Cape Town. They sounded like Irish accents to me. The one appeared to be telling the other one about working in SA. As far as I could tell one had been here a while the other just arrived. The 'veterans' comment was something like, 'You'll see more knifings and GSW's in one week here than in 5 years back home'. I assume GSW is a gunshot wound. The way they spoke it seemed they where here for real trauma experience and not cash.
    They say its the only place you can get that kind of experience outside of a war zone.

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    Here we go - another thread about how bad it is here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Slog View Post
    Here we go - another thread about how bad it is here.
    Whether you like it or not its one of the reasons people come here, to get experience with gunshots, stabbings etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by w1z4rd View Post
    I have a doctor friend who has just finished their medical studies and who is busy doing their United States Medical Licensing Exams (US MLE) to work in the US. After my friend has worked in the US she wants to work here in South Africa.

    What do foreign doctors need to do to be able to qualify to work locally? IE, all the papers and examinations and/or conditions required?
    USMLE is a long process. It's a set of 4 exams - the last being the local State board exam which many people don't know about. It seems questionable why someone planning to do residency in the
    US would want to work in SA afterwards. I won't even mention that US doctors are the highest paid in the world and that being a doctor in the States
    carries more prestige and respect than in SA. Still there are foreign doctors working in State hospitals either for free or for limited compensation, I know
    of some US, Canadian and EU graduates who've worked for a while in trauma units in SA. However outside of trauma and possibly surgery they won't get much experience, as SA is way behind in the medicine which is practiced in
    both private and public hospitals when compared to 1st world counterparts.
    If you want to get your hands dirty doing pretty simple procedures which
    may not be readily accesible to junior doctors in the First World SA is
    pretty good I guess.
    I can say however that US residency program directors put preference to US experience, they'll ask "Baragwanath what?"

    I can only assume that this person will enter on a non-immigrant J1 Visa and will have to go back to where they came from after completing their residency or else do 2-3 years in a J1 Visa Waiver job.

    As for how busy hospitals are, local hospitals eg Tygerberg and Groote Schuur get just as busy as Baragwanath, after all one person can only do so many thoracotomies per day.
    Last edited by PeterCH; 29-01-2008 at 09:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waaib View Post
    I once heard two young (late 20's) doctors talking in Obs Cafe in Cape Town. They sounded like Irish accents to me.
    South African doctors are working in Ireland for the cash. Local pay is quite pitiful. These guys had to pay for the priviledge of putting some stitches into
    homeless people here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JK8 View Post
    I think SA (Bara) is the best hospital to do your internship then she can go overseas...
    I would think that Groote Schuur would be the best hospital for that. It will offer less experience but the name itself has the most prestige as people
    still recognise where the first heart transplant was plus many researchers and clinicians working at GSH are known overseas. I can always say that
    one of the guys who taught me anaesthesiology was the guy who was present at the first heart transplant.
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  12. #12

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    I'd like to bump this thread as I have a friend in the exact same position as the original thread poster.

    My friend is a UK qualified doctor looking to work in Cape Town. Can anyone offer any advice or contacts?

    Thanks

  13. #13
    Karmic Sangoma ghoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukewd View Post
    I'd like to bump this thread as I have a friend in the exact same position as the original thread poster.

    My friend is a UK qualified doctor looking to work in Cape Town. Can anyone offer any advice or contacts?

    Thanks
    Your friend will need register with the HPCSA http://www.hpcsa.co.za/home_graduates.php

    This is a long process, so when your friend comes here, he or she will need a support base. The fastest you are looking at is two and a half years. There are two exams that your friend will need to write. Theory and practical. The practical is much harder than the theory. It is advised your friend does a course to get acclimatized to the South African way of doing things. Your friend will be tested on SA specific things like, "how to deal with a Sangoma".

    The exams will take a year or two to complete depending on how good your friend is. Then there is a waiting game of 6 months to a year. During this time you have to wait for an internship position to open, for you then to be appointed to the position. Only then can you apply for your work visa. This takes another 4 months. Once you get your visa you can then tell the hospital that you are ready, and if they have not forgotten about you, you should be working in the next 3 to 4 months from then.

    The HPCSA are a nightmare to deal with.

    Once you have visa and appointment you then have two years internship. The zuma year is not a requirement for foreign interns. Interns do get paid very well.

    If your friend is seriously interested still you can PM for more specific details

    On a brighter note, I made the OP in 2008. I am now happily married to my doctor
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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    Super Grandmaster ToxicBunny's Avatar
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    Oh, so it wasn't just a "Friend" then was it?
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    I have been called a retard my whole life

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToxicBunny View Post
    Oh, so it wasn't just a "Friend" then was it?
    I think at that stage it was a close friend, but then I went over to live in Manila for a bit, and it became way more than that
    "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all..." - Oscar Wilde

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