New here, moving in September, looking for medical contacts


Jun 20, 2018

I'm British and planning on coming to Argentina for an extended stay in September this year. I'm an anaesthetics registrar/resident in the UK and I am currently leaving my training job (for a variety of reasons, not limited to the disastrous state of the NHS at the moment!).

I don't plan on working in Argentina as an anaesthetist as the level of bureaucracy required to get Argentine registration seems to take way longer than I plan on staying in the country. I plan on being mostly funded from my British savings, plus teaching medical english via skype. However, I would really like to use my time in Argentina to continue my professional development. I therefore would like to do some or hopefully all of the following (and am looking to see if anyone has any contacts who might be able to help):

1. An observership in anaesthetics/intensive care/emergency room. I would observe what is happening and any work undertaken would be directly supervised (and indemnified) by the hospital team. I would obviously not expect to be paid.

2. Teaching in Argentine medical schools. I have some qualifications and lots of experience teaching medical students in the UK (I currently work freelance teaching for Cambridge medical school alongside my anaesthetics job). I would be really interested in teaching at an Argentine medical school, especially if they run classes to help their students with professional English. I would consider doing this for free (either in exchange for a visa, helping with point 1, or with potential for paid role)

3. Professional development courses e.g. ACLS, ultrasound, medical leadership etc. Clearly I would pay whatever these courses cost.

I am applying for a "rotación de visita" with the Hospital Italiano and I have contacted the Hospital Británico. However, they both seem to charge an awful lot of money to essentially let me work for them for free (I don't mind contributing to admin costs but considering I will be unemployed I cannot afford 1000s of USD). I have contacted UBA and Universidad Católica but I'm still waiting for a response.

I managed to do a similar thing to point 1 in Chile in 2012 when I was still a final-year medical student. The only way to organise it seemed to be finding a contact in a medical school there. They tried to charge a couple of thousand dollars but I had got quite a way through the process before they sprung that surprise on me and given I was working as a waitress in the UK to make ends meet I argued that it was unfair. They let me off, and I just paid my costs and offered to help any of their students go the other way. I can't really use the same argument now as I'm working as a doctor, and although I work for a university I don't have the same links as being a student there. Also, although everything was supervised I genuinely feel I made a positive contribution to the hospital team there. I worked very hard and did a huge amount of admin for the hospital interns which freed them up to see patients etc. My Spanish is nearly fluent and I have booked into an intensive language course including medical Spanish for my first month to ensure I would hit the ground running in a hospital.

I would be really grateful if anyone has any words of wisdom! Even if not, I'm looking forward to becoming part of the expat community!

Sorry for the essay!
I'm sure somebody who knows what they are talking about will come by shortly but in the meantime...

You might try looking up the BAExpats poster SDtoBA in the index and sending a Personal Message to her. Her husband is coming over shortly to work for a few weeks at a specialised hospital in the city and she may be able to tell you more about how it was arranged. My impression is that these sorts of exchanges/visits are arranged institute to institute not institute to individual and if you can't get the support of the institute you are in the process of leaving, you may have a hard time getting anywhere.

As for Medical English, I understand that UBA Medical School have made this a compulsory study module with the intention that doctors should be able to write and present papers internationally. There is a lot of scope for improvement here but for legal reasons I don't want to go into details.

All I've got to go on are meal-time conversations with a 2nd Year Junior Doctor from the Medical School at UBA so you'll appreciate that a) she doesn't really have the contacts you might be looking for and b) I'm in England myself right now and won't be back in Argentina to find out more for a few months anyway.

There's a lot of research happening over here and IMO cross-fertilisation of ideas is always A Good Thing so I hope you manage to work something out to mutual benefit. What ever happens - enjoy your stay.

Thanks elhombresinnombre, I have contacted her. I have full support of the hospital I am in, however they are a small district hospital who don't really arrange foreign visits! Also, I am not yet a consultant so it's a bit different to an expert in the field going to a foreign hospital to share their wisdom. I'm assuming the second year doctors are internados if they are still in medical school? To be honest any contacts anyone could offer would be very gratefully received, as currently I seem to be bouncing off admin staff!

D.B. Cooper, I've looked at your website but I'm not sure BABS does invasive surgery or has any labouring women, so I don't think there is much in the way of anaesthetics going on! Thanks for the good wishes though!