How to build a medical career in the US
Medical career in the United States seems for many unattainable dream. Years of intense study are required to obtain or confirm a cherished medical degree, and the search for residency may take even longer. However, practice shows that emigrant doctors can return to the medical field and begin to do what they love much earlier than they will undergo all the necessary procedures to confirm their status in America. Moreover, even those who have never tried themselves in this field can successfully start a career in the medical field.
From lawyer to nurse
For a lawyer Mikhail Snigirev from St. Petersburg, the move to the United States came as a surprise - due to the changed situation in the country, he had to hurry to leave Russia in February 2017 and apply for political asylum. In New York, a young man decided to change his line of business and practice medicine.
«Even practicing jurisprudence, I felt that the medical field interested me more. Familiar psychologist advised me to vocational school Institute of Career Continuity, saying that she has a very good reputation. Head teacher Irina Kokurina turned out to be an extremely kind and sympathetic person, and it was she who helped me decide how to start a career. As a result, I finished the courses of a phlebotomist (Phlebotomy) - a specialist in blood sampling from a vein, and a specialist in electrocardiogram removal (EKG Technician). Almost immediately after that I managed to find a job in the laboratory. To my surprise, it was not a big deal.“- Michael shares.
Mikhail Snigirev confesses: he was not able to immediately offer a post of phlebotomist, and the refugee had to begin his career in the US with administrative work - data entry.
«I processed the results of the analyzes coming into the laboratory from phlebotomists, and entered all the data into the computer. In essence, this is the second part of the same work, and, of course, it was important for me to see how the process itself is carried out. The only drawback was the nightly nature of the work, since all analyzes are collected during the day, and, accordingly, they are processed at night. As a result, after a few months I left."He says.
Soon after his dismissal, Mikhail found a second job - all during the first year of his stay in the United States and without previous experience in this country. For such a success, a St. Petersburg resident thanks first of all the Institute of Career Continuity.
«It was easy for me to study there, since I came to the USA with good English already. In addition, I got a terrific teacher. Natalie Pollydore, extremely competent woman. She explained everything in a very interesting and intelligible way, and it was obvious that a person literally lives with his profession. She has a wealth of professional experience, and in the process of her studies she told us many cases from her work. In addition, the school has an electronic library, which is also very convenient.“- Michael shares.
Then Mikhail Snigirev plans to study as a nurse (Registered Nurse).
«Irina Kokurina suggested to me: in spite of the fact that my legal education is not related to medicine, I can carry out an evaluation of a diploma and go to college under an accelerated program (accelerated program), based on previous education. For the Registered Nurse specialty such accelerated programs exist and it gives you the opportunity to quickly get a bachelor's degree in nursing"He explains.
Irina Kokurina emphasizes: the Institute of Career Continuity is not just a chance to master a new profession in demand within a short time, but also the opportunity to consistently, step by step, build your career.
«Our career counselors individually help to relate the student's past experience, his strengths and expectations to the course and plan of the most suitable career for him. If we talk about medicine, there are two areas: administrative and clinical professions. The choice of the sphere depends on what exactly the person wants to do: work with patients or provide technical organization of the process. There are people who can not physically transfer the type of blood and touch the patient, but nevertheless want to work in medicine. No one denies them. For example, they may be engaged in accounting, billing or coding."- Irina suggests.
We are talking about the programs Electronic Health Records and Electronic Medical Billing and Coding, which will teach the proper management of medical records and coding. By the way, more than 95% of all hospitals and more than 60% of all medical offices use electronic records of medical records, and therefore most of the vacancies require certified specialists who are able to professionally process data in electronic form. A specialist in medical billing and coding (Medical Billing and Coding) is also very popular in the United States, where medical insurance is the basis for providing medical services. He is the intermediary between the insurance company and the medical office. It provides reimbursement for medical treatment expenses, verifies claims data, the compliance of the assigned codes with legal and insurance rules, and so on. On this course, students will learn about the types of insurance, master the special coding of various medical services and maintain professional medical records.
«The program Electronic Medical Billing and Coding is only 90 hours, and it is extremely in demand- emphasizes Irina Kokurina. - This is the direction that is now required in all medical offices, because the rules of accounting, coding, payments are changing, and all doctors are forced to use the new system. Even a good doctor gets almost no money if he uses the services of a bad biller, whereas with a good biller he thrives. And for this specialty, just a school certificate is enough.».
People focused on working with the patient, Irina advises to start with small courses, the completion of which already gives you the opportunity to start work in the medical field in the United States. “For example, this could be the profession of a phlebotomist or an electrocardiogram removal specialist (EKG Technician). These courses take only two and a half weeks, and after receiving the certificate it is not difficult to find a job.“- says the director of the Institute of Career Continuity.
The next step of the career ladder may be a more intensive course of study in the medical assistant at the reception in medical offices (Clinical Medical Assistant). It also includes a phlebotomist and an electrocardiogram specialist.
«This program is 540 hours, of which 390 is classroom instruction, and 150 hours is an internship in clinics and medical offices. Medical Assistant helps health care providers in the assessment, examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients. In this case, the holder of a diploma of a doctor with more than five years of work experience, according to the current rules, can receive a Medical Assistant certificate without training. However, even a doctor who came from the post-Soviet space, I would advise short courses in Phlebotomy or EKG Technician, since the very ethics, attitude towards the patient and his treatment in America are different from ours. Obtaining such certificates will allow doctors to start living and working in the United States while they confirm their medical degrees or are retrained as nurses ", - Irina Kokurina explains.
Another patient care program is courses on Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) that provide basic patient care and assist them in their daily activities.
For those who have chosen for themselves the technical part of the doctor’s work, in addition to electronic medical accounting, billing and coding, knowledge of Microsoft Office is also offered.
Irina confesses: she herself was a doctor in Russia, so the topic of medicine is very close to her. The teachers of the Institute of Career Continuity have a mandatory work experience in the field of study, which is transferred to students during practical training. In addition, all students receive unlimited free access to all electronic textbooks of the Institute.
For many doctors from the post-Soviet space, the passage of these courses is indeed an opportunity to quickly return to the profession. However, this does not mean that they should give up the dream of becoming a doctor in America. Moreover, these two processes may well be carried out in parallel.
Alina Dovgan arrived in the US in September 2017, shortly after receiving her medical degree in Russia. She found information about the Institute of Career Continuity on the Internet, and decided not to risk finding medical residency and relearn for another medical specialty. Having come to school, Alina was amazed that her fate turned out to be more important for the director than her own business interests and income.
«Irina Kokurina just told me to get up and leave. I did not understand why she was refusing me, because I wanted to pay the tuition fees, and it would be beneficial for Irina to get a new student. But she was adamant: she said that I was not yet ready to change my profession, and that I should first try to confirm my medical diploma with honors and not give up my career as a doctor so easily. She said, “I can take this money from you, but I’ll be sorry if you don’t even try to become a doctor.”“- Alina remembers.
Alina listened to the advice and decided to take up the evaluation of the diploma, but in parallel with this, as a second option, begin to study as a nurse.
«After that, I was accepted to school. We decided that I would be in parallel to prepare for the exam for a nurse's license (NCLEX-RN Exam) and for passing medical exams. In addition, I completed a phlebotomist course in order to get a part-time job while studying. Irina and her colleagues helped me compile a resume. I wanted to work in the hospital, but I didn’t want to take employees there without experience in the USA. Finally, I was invited to an interview at one medical office. Before work began, it was necessary to undergo a five-day training course. On the fourth day, I took blood from a patient with very complex veins. However, in the internship I was a pediatrician and I have experience working with complex veins, so I managed. The diagnostician from the laboratory next door saw and appreciated my work, and then left his card asking me to call. I called and they invited me to an interview on the same day. They took me to work without any experience, because their doctor saw my work and he liked it. At the new work there were also trainings and exams that I successfully passed.", - says Alina.
In parallel with her work, Alina continues her studies and is preparing to take examinations for a nurse and then, in a year and a half, for a doctor. She is very grateful to the Institute of Career Continuity not only for the opportunity to start a career in a new country, but also for the human attitude and sincere non-indifference to her fate.
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