Thursday 31 March 2011

MBBS or MD after your name?

Whats in a name?

If your degree after graduation from medical school is MBBS, BMBS, Bmed or the like, then that is what your educational qualification is. American college of physicians recognizes foreign medical degrees and they will often send out letters to you addressed as John Smith, M.B.B.S. However if you have done postgraduate medicine in home country and have the M.D degree then you can use an M.D

Simplification to Avoid Confusion

Many patients you will come across do not have much knowledge of international medical education. They are not aware that MBBS, BMBS, Bmed etc all medical degrees and do not recognize them as such out of ignorance. To reduce the chances of confusion, international graduates can use MD next to their name

Recognition of Foreign Medical Degree

At Johns Hopkins university and its satellite hospitals, I spoke to medicine residents. They had white coats provided to them by the hospital with their name embroidered and MBBS written next to their name. American college of physicians also will refer you by your original degree. American medical association unless specified otherwise will just use the generic MD next to your name. Many luminaries like Dr. Vinay Kumar (Robbins & Cotran pathologic basis of disease) and Dr. Abul Abbas (Cellular and Molecular Immunology) have no reservations writing MBBS after their name.

For Professional Purposes

When ever you present your self to the patient you can refer yourself as MD, if you are giving a talk or presenting in front of your peers, you may use your foreign medical degree. After all, the more people know, the better the acceptance of the acronym. At least one state medical society backs the use of acronym MD for MBBS.

According to the Wisconsin Medical Society: PHY-007 Use of the MD Title: The Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Medical Society Policy Compendium 2007 Copyright © 2007 by the Wisconsin Medical Society Defends the use of the MD title by physicians who graduated with an MBBS and are licensed to practice medicine in Wisconsin believes in clarifying Wisconsin statute so that International Medical Graduates licensed to practice as medical doctors can use the title MD. (HOD, 0405).

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