I was 35 years old when I migrated to the United States in 2008, and because I have been a good Anesthesiologist for years, I decided to take the USMLE exams no matter what! The beginning was tough, but I was determined …long story short, I tried to keep myself active practicing medicine as much as possible while taking the exams and waiting to become a US citizen. In 2013 I became a US citizen and in 2014 I became ECFMG certified. I started applying thru the Match for 4 years in a row and I got only one answer: Sorry we are unable to provide you with an interview. Actually, I could never know why…my scores were average, not bad … may be old graduation, but I passed the exams recently, refreshed my knowledge. I have good work experience in Anesthesiology…may be my age, I was in my early 40’s not that old, I can do it …I never got an answer as to why they were unable to give me a chance…I have a question- I am American, I passed the exams, I deserve a chance, I am not better than anyone, but I was just denied a residency position in Anesthesiology, in my country without any specific reason, without support, just denial while aliens with less scores, less ability to communicate and less clinical experience are granted residency in Anesthesiology …is that fair?
I got back to my native country eventually. I am a good physician I could not give up my life’s purpose…which is serving people as a physician…I kept trying in some other fields like international fellowship. I live outside of the United States, working full time as an attending, so why not spend a year or 2 in my beloved native country as a fellow getting advanced training…again they gave me very tough time, dealt with me poorly looking down at me, made me feel like I have no rights, aliens are superior to me…after a long time, because I have good experience as a Pediatric Anesthesiologist.
I applied for International Pediatric Anesthesia fellowship at a program and was informed that I should get back to my native country immediately after completing the training. I was invited to do an observer ship, when I got there, I was informed that it would be illegal to provide 2 international fellowships in a row if I got one…however the program director provided a young Chinese lady with 2 international fellowships in a row, in order to help her continue her life in the United States…while I am begging for a chance …I also discovered that the same hospital provides another fellowship dedicated only to Chinese physicians…to my knowledge there is no specific fellowship program dedicated to American citizens exclusively! I accepted to wait my turn, I was told the post was held for a physician, also a young lady from Venezuela, who was a relative of one of the attending, her step 2 CS results was pending since that was mandatory for eligibility …unfortunately she failed to pass the exam and I was also denied the post as she was promised the post no matter what…I am just asking- Is that America, my beloved country? I have always dreamed to live in America, because of the rule of law …none is above the law…equal opportunity…generosity…land of opportunities …I got back with nothing except a broken heart…offended …feeling betrayed and disappointed.
A year after, I applied for another non- accredited fellowship program…sorry to say the program director was enthusiastic for me until another candidate applied and was favored by a surgeon working at the same center…I knew her, she was a resident at the same center in my native country, however she is of the same religious faith as the program director and the surgeon, they are Muslims…I am a Christian. I just wish I could help my beloved country USA as a physician. I am a good physician. I am proud to be an American, I am grateful to be an American …I just need to get an answer. Why? President Trump promised that Americans will no longer be forgotten…I am one of them.
Long story short, I turned my back, and now it is too late!