International Graduate – Readiness to Train
“International medical graduates entering into an American medical training program can be overwhelmed by the applications, education, and cultural experiences. Written in cooperation with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and ACP, The International Medical Graduate’s Guide to US Medicine and Residency Training is a practical guide featuring information and guidance on the application process, residency training in America, the American medical culture, certification, and beyond.” To purchase, go to: https://www.acponline.org/atpro/timssnet/products/tnt_products.cfm?action=long&primary_id=330371400All International Graduates (and their programs) who intend to train at the University of Florida College of Medicine must make contact with the College of Medicine Office of Immigration and Licensure.
It is important that the International Graduates who plan to train in the U.S. and the University of Florida in Gainesville recognize the diverse social, economic, religious, language and cultural needs of their American patients upon entry to GME.
IMG’s bring their own diversity from the cultures from which they come. Having diversity within the healthcare team allows for improved care delivery within a multicultural environment.
In addition to all the pre-requisites to Match to a US program (NRMP, USMLE, ECFMG, VISA, etc), as well as the Institution’s (UF) requirements, the IMG must be aware of his/her own personal requirements to travel to, live in and train in Gainesville. The following information is a guide to help support a successful transition.
University of Florida College of Medicine welcomes applications for residency and fellowship training from our international colleagues. The University of Florida, College of Medicine, will sponsor J-1 visas for residency training only through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The College of Medicine will only, in limited case-by-case circumstances, sponsor any new H-1 type visas for training in any medical specialty. Permanent resident aliens who already have permanent work authorization are welcome to apply. All applications must be filed through the Electronic Residency Application System-E.R.A.S.
Once selected/Matched for a training program, it is important that IMG’s complete requested paperwork as soon as possible so that all deadlines can be met. Additional information for application of a J-1 visa can be found at: http://www.ecfmg.org/evsp/processing.html
Website of U.S. Embassies, consulates and Diplomatic Missions: http://www.usembassy.gov/
It is important that J-1’s entering the United States wait to apply for a Social Security number until after checking in with their departments and SEVIS validation. Applying for a SS number prior to this may cause significant delays. For further information, contact:
M. Louise Brophy
Coordinator, Immigration and Licensure Programs
Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Office of the Dean, College of Medicine
Plan for expenses:
Pre-arrival – Plan on airfare ($ varies) and a place to stay when you arrive (temporary or permanent). The average hotel/motel costs $75 per night.
There are some good websites to help you evaluate and estimate your monthly living expenses. Here is one such site you should consider in estimating your costs for living in Gainesville: http://cruisenews.net/independence/indpt.php?name=expenseestimate
And also: http://www.leavingthefolks.com/cost.php
Expenses to plan for should include: (all expenses are estimated)
Rent: - Avg. 2 BR / 2 BA apartment Costs ($1000)
- Add in any monthly fees the complex may charge ($150)
- You are required to pay the security deposit = first and last month’s rent. ($2000)
- Renters Insurance ($400)
Utilities: All companies ask for up-front deposits, these are estimated monthly costs:
– Telephone (land line) ($35)
– Cell Phone ($150)
- Electric ($150)
- Natural Gas ($20)
- Water/Sewer ($20)
- TV Cable ($75)
- Trash pickup? ($20)
Vehicle: If you use the RTS City Bus System, your UF ID badge allows you to ride free. If you want a personal vehicle, it will require:
- Acquiring a Florida Driver’s License ($48)
- Purchase of vehicle (Varies $5,000 and up)
- Purchase of vehicle Registration ($225 new)
- Transfer of Title (if it’s a used vehicle) ($85 used)
- Purchase of annual vehicle insurance ($1300+ per year)
- Weekly fuel costs – check current rates
- Living Expenses: Daily living expenses include:
- Food (figure $7 for each individual per day)
- Weekly Laundry Expenses ($4 per load wash/dry if using Laundromat)
- Setting up household (dishes, pots, pans, cups, glasses, silverware)
- Household supplies (cleaning supplies, soap, TP, shampoo, etc.)
- Spouse/Children – Multiply and add in expenses as above; daycare?
- Leisure – Hobbies, restaurants, movies, travel to home country, etc.
- If you park your own vehicle on Campus, it will cost you $500 per year. Once your payroll is in place, you may opt to request it payroll deducted on each paycheck – approx. $12.
- Receipt of paycheck. Your first paycheck will not be for the total 2 weeks. It depends on the pay-period end date and when the July 1 start date is, but most likely your first paycheck will only be for a 7-day period (estimate $880 before taxes for a PGY 1). All this could change if your Visa paperwork is incomplete.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Language is not limited to verbal or written communication. The ability to communicate through accents, slang, non-verbal and body language will be an important aspect of your success. You are encouraged to continually develop your communication abilities. Your peers, attendings, chiefs, churches, community organizations, friends and family can all provide support. Also: UF’s English Language Institute: http://www.eli.ufl.edu/bios/teachers.htm
TOEIC – Test of English for International Communication: http://www.ets.org/
TOEIC measures the ability of non-native English-speaking examinees to use English in everyday workplace activities. It includes resources and solutions for nonnative English speakers and English-language programs, institutions and organizations and tools to improve English skills.
The University of Florida has 99 cultural clubs and societies that may introduce you to other natives from your home country. http://www.union.ufl.edu/involvement/search/index.asp?NameValue=&CatValue=Cultural&DPValue=
Adjusting to American Culture
“Moving to a new country and making adjustments to their culture and way of life may be challenging.” go to page 24 of the UF International Center’s Handbook for more details: http://www.ufic.ufl.edu/evs/AmericanCulture.html?menuId=1&smId=7
UF International Office
UF Intercultural Communication Institute: http://www.ufic.ufl.edu/
The UFIC Provides services for people who need knowledge and experience in effective communication with people whose languages, customs, beliefs, and communication styles vary from theirs.
Centers of Worship:
There are a variety of websites that can help you find the church of your denomination. Here are a few:
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
UF College of Medicine – Immigration & Visa
THE HANDBOOK FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Other resources: ECFMG Aculturation Program:
This document was developed by the Office of Housestaff Affairs, Graduate Medical Education, and the College of Medicine Office of Immigration and Licensure @ University of Florida & Shands Hospital.