On May 3-4, 2017, TAPF held 2 panel discussions at the Royal College of Physician Thailand annual meeting and at Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. There was a good turnout at both events. The majority of attendees were residents-in-training or junior faculty.
The discussions primarily focused on types of medical training in the US after graduating from medical school and steps involved. Traditionally, clinical training (hands-on) begins with residency training followed by fellowship. After training completion, the graduates from this pathway are eligible to sit for American Boards examinations. For those candidates who are not interested in pursuing clinical training, there are several other options available including obtaining additional medical/non-medical degrees (MPH, PhD), pursuing 1-2 years research fellowship (hands-off), and short-term shadowing. Although highly sought after by Thai trainees, shadowing (or ‘observership’) experience alone would not likely lead to a successful residency or fellowship match. However, currently there are several official shadowing programs available with fees for international medical students or graduates. Examples are GI program at Massachusetts General Hospital, Intervention Pulmonary Program at Cancer Treatment Center of America in Newnan, GA, Internal Medicine program at University of South Florida. Anyone who wants to apply for a shadowing experience should check with the program about how much one would be allowed to interact with patients (i.e. will you be allowed to take H&P, examine the patients, or perform procedures under supervision?). For additional information, please visit TAPF Facebook page or Facebook page of USMLE for Thai Physicians (UTP).
We appreciated warm welcomes from both the organizers and attendees. We are hoping to see you at TAPF annual meeting in Las Vegas on June 23-25, 2017.