Upwardly Global program alum Vladislav Zimin was interviewed by Michael Ollove for Stateline about his experience relicensing as a foreign-trained doctor in the U.S. The article also features Upwardly Global President and CEO Jina Krause-Vilmar.
It took 11 years for Vladislav to complete his training in Russia to become an interventional cardiologist, a specialist who places stents in clogged arteries. After that, he practiced for five years, ultimately becoming head of his Moscow hospital’s cardiology and radiology department. Then he emigrated to the United States in 2015 at age 32, and had to practically start all over again.
He spent seven years studying English and preparing for the rigorous U.S. Medical Licensing Examination needed to qualify for an American residency, which he’ll begin in July in Brooklyn. For him to get back to performing invasive heart procedures, he’ll have to repeat three years in residency, three years in a general cardiology fellowship and one year in a fellowship for interventionist cardiology.
By then, he’ll be 47. “It’s downshifting, that’s for sure, a very humbling experience,” he said. He was only able to do it thanks to savings and the money his wife earned—as a waitress for a time—to support the couple and their young daughter. After a couple years, he went to work as a consultant with expertise on medical devices to make a living while completing all the steps needed to practice medicine in the United States.
“You have to be open minded, you have to realize it’s going to be a big challenge, but at the same time you get to prove yourself all over again that you deserve to be a doctor.”
Through help from Upwardly Global, Vladislav eventually passed his relicensing exams, and this spring was offered residency at a Brooklyn, New York, hospital where the program director is a well-known educator. Read the full article here, and learn more about what Upwardly Global is doing to help healthcare workers re-enter the U.S. workforce here.