You Can’t Go Home Again

I am a graduate of the University College Dublin (Ireland) School of Medicine. Although I was born and raised in Massachusetts, I went to medical school in Ireland where I had extended family. I stayed to complete a residency in family medicine. I worked full time in that specialty for more than 10 years. I owned and operated a thriving practice of 2,500 patients. I always maintained a good standing within the Irish medical community, with the highest level of commitment to my patients and further education.

Due to unforeseen family circumstances, I had to return permanently to Massachusetts a few years ago. I am fully prepared and committed to the hard work of repeating a residency in this country; however, the barriers that I face in the U.S. are almost insurmountable.

Apart from passing several exams to get an ECFMG certificate, the requirement to begin practicing here, I am expected to gain U.S. experience through clinical externships for a number of months. These externships often cost thousands of dollars per month. I am also strongly advised to obtain research experience and volunteer. The match process only happens once per year at the cost of thousands of dollars, and often needs to be repeated year after year. I would be happy to do all of these things; however, the stark reality for me is that, according to all of the residency programs I have contacted and from examining previous residency match data, my chances of matching to a residency program are slim.

It is difficult to justify spending a large sum of money, effort, time and, most importantly, emotional investment when I know that there are so many U.S. citizen medical graduates that are unable to practice medicine here due to intense global competition.

When I hear of the worsening physician shortage in this country, which was highlighted with the 2020-2021 pandemic, I am saddened by the fact that so many other U.S. physicians with vast experience from around the world are repeatedly passed over year after year.

I am asking for a reasonable chance to gain a residency position in my own country. Please prioritize U.S. citizen physicians for these Medicare-funded positions.