Dr. Falin Larsen’s story
I am a third generation US citizen. The USA is my native-born country.
I went to two medical schools as transferring in the Caribbean: the first two years I was at The American University of Antigua. Then, I transferred to University of Medicine of Health Sciences for the last two years, during the economic recession in 2009. At this period, I was unable to pay for school. So, I have to pause a year to do a lot of clinical rotations instead and study for my USMLEs. I had volunteered a lot of clinical work since 2009.
I eventually graduated in 2015 after I found financial support and new loans. I studied and passed my USMLEs step 1 at second attempt, then I passed USMLE step 2 CK and CS and got my ECFMG certificate in April 2015.
Never comes to my mind about the current stagnant residency system when I got into medical school. Not until 2015 when I had started to apply for residency every year for the last three years without success yet the cost was averagely $10,000 to $15,000 per year for total fee in both residency applications and some interview invitations. I have realized the current residency system has done a lot of wrongdoing. They sponsor visas for foreigner doctors who are not affiliated to the US as a citizen or even permanent legal residents as green card holders. This is called outsourcing jobs right at home. They should offer residency spot for US citizen foreign-trained doctors like me and thousands of other US foreign-trained doctors out there! We are terribly mistreated. I feel very sad and I almost always burst into tears when anything, any causes, any reasons that get any close to this issue. I feel so humiliated and helpless for my own plagued situation.
My current student loan is roughly $250, 000 and I am unable to pay back. The bank has gone after me, harassing me with threatening, intimidating, and humiliating! They have called my house, my mother’s house eight to ten times per day! My mother and I myself have to put the phone off the hook at night so we are able to get some rest! I feel like myself a criminal for doing nothing wrong in my own country where my dream has been shattered because of a wrong medical licensing and residency system. I did have some advisers, but their advises did not help, even in some case, it has bad effects on me. I have to be my own hero.
Since the Missouri Assistant Physician AP Licensing program has signed into bill in Missouri in 2015, I had applied and I got my AP license. However, since this is a very new license and the system has not yet adapted to its novelty, AP licenses are still not much of help. I have tried to apply for jobs with my AP license; however, I was told that some employers do not know how to do the billing; some other employers offer too low wages like $10 per hour. I am willing to work as a medical professionals to provide care for the American people of my country, but I am now an adult who needs to be able to stand on my own feet and not to rely on other people. This AP license seems not to help me and the American public in Missouri at this moment unless there are more improvements on the way later on.
My personal life is also troubled because of my professional life. My husband, though loves and cares about me and supports me financially, still sometimes has problems with me. We do not want to have kids yet. He does not want to marry to someone with too much loan to pay back! It almost always makes me cry whenever I have to talk about this with anyone at work, with my mother, my husband, my friends, anyone!
I feel like a victim of abuse, an abusive medical licensing and medical residency system. I believe I am not the only victims, but the American public is an indirect victim because our nation is currently in too much shortage of medical professionals while qualified MD like myself is pushed into the margin of life.
Thank you for reading my story.