FRCS vs USMLE for international fellowships

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Bharat sangal asked 1 month ago

I am a MCh surgical gastroenterologist…wanting to apply for foreign fellowships either HPB or colorectal…what will be a better option USMLE or FRCS ?? 

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1 Answers
Admin answered 3 weeks ago

I am a MCh surgical gastroenterologist…wanting to apply for foreign fellowships either HPB or colorectal…what will be a better option USMLE or FRCS ?? 
We assume that you want to pursue an advanced fellowship in surgical gastroenterology after passing one of the exams, USMLE Or FRCS and return back to your home country. 
But there is no separate Frcs for surgical gastroenterology. Currently Frcs (International) is available only for: 
General Surgery
Trauma & Orthopaedic
However the question USMLE vs MRCS would have been more apt, because you cannot directly appear for FRCS.  There are some advantages of passing MRCS

  • It opens up a portal to pursue further education in UK, Australia, Singapore and many of the commonwealth countries.
  • You can apply for GMC registration (UK Licence), without devoting additional time for going all the way up to FRCS. 
  • You can also approach IMG fellowship programs and will be given preference if you have MRCS
  • Easier, as the syllabus is limited to surgical and anatomical knowledge as compared to USMLE (for USMLE you will have to read all subjects) 

Following are the requirements as per one of the UK HPB fellowship programs:
All applicants must:-
• be working within an overseas institution which is a partner of the RCS England ISTP
• be resident overseas at the time of application and have no rights of residence to the
• hold a primary medical qualification recognised by the GMC
• have completed an acceptable internship (or equivalent) of not less than 12 months following
undergraduate training
• have completed at least three years of full time clinical practice/training (equivalent to ST3 or
above in the UK) since obtaining their primary medical qualification (excluding internships) and
including the 12 months prior to GMC registration being granted
• have passed the MRCS (UK) or hold an acceptable alternative qualification
• acknowledge that the short-term training is for a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of
24 months
• have a knowledge of, and intention to comply with the UK GMC – Good Medical Practice whilst
in the placement
• achieve a minimum score of 7.0 in all categories of the International English Language Testing
System (IELTS) and an overall score of at least 7.5
Following are sample requirements be one of the popular US HPB Fellowship programs:

Prerequisite Training/Selection Criteria


Citizenship and Visa Requirements:
US citizens, US permanent residents (Green Card), Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, non-US citizens eligible for/with planned J-1 Visa during their fellowship (for US fellowship programs).
Medical School Requirement:
We accept graduates of US or Canadian medical schools and foreign medical schools only if ECFMG certified.
Examinations and Certifications:
Applicants must have passed the USMLE/COMLEX Step 1, 2, & 3 exams, had at least 1 year of prior training in an ACGME accredited residency or fellowship (or Canadian equivalent), are ABS or Canadian board eligible or certified, and hold a General Surgery specialty certificate from a Board or College outside of US or Canada at the beginning of the fellowship. 
Licensure Requirements and Information − Incoming Fellows:

  1. Must have completed 1 year of prior training in an ACGME accredited (or Canadian equivalent) residency or fellowship program in the United States. 
  2. International Medical School Graduates (IMGs) must complete certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and Step 3 of United States License Examination (USMLE).
  3. Are expected to obtain an unrestricted California license prior to starting at Stanford University Medical Center.

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