Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

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arrowhh
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Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by arrowhh » Mon, 26 Jul 2021 2:51 am

Hello all,

I am in the midst of applying for jobs with MOH to migrate to Singapore for good. I am presently a doctor in the UK, although I was born and brought up in Malaysia and still retain my Malaysian passport.
I am about to finish my residency training in the UK early next year.

Any foreign doctors here who have migrated to Singapore? How difficult is it to get a job in Singapore? What job entry level did you guys get?

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 26 Jul 2021 10:55 am

search for posts by taxico - he is our resident MO who has good advice on this - I don't recall it exactly but you do need several approvals and must have studied at an approved university as well to gain registration with the SMA.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by arrowhh » Mon, 26 Jul 2021 5:06 pm

Thank you. That is a good start

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Wed, 28 Jul 2021 6:43 pm

Medical practitioners are always high in demand here, you should have no problem finding a job if you are registered with the relevant authorities.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by PNGMK » Wed, 28 Jul 2021 7:15 pm

LF it varies a lot by speciality and experience.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 12:31 am

True, but that can be said about any field. The medical field, in particular is always under employed.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by MOCHS » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:24 am

From my knowledge, if one gets their MBBS in China or India, they are not recognised in SG and they need to take a qualifying exam in order to practice.

Most of them end up doing research in SG in the end. Even my colleague who was a gynaecologist back in China can’t practice here so she went into the research field instead.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:01 am

Up till about 10 years ago, there was only one Degree in Asia (MBBS) that was recognized by Singapore and that was from HK. What MOCHS said is absolutely true. Sad, but true.
Life isn't about avoiding the bruises. It's about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it!

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:40 am

MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:24 am
From my knowledge, if one gets their MBBS in China or India, they are not recognised in SG and they need to take a qualifying exam in order to practice.

Most of them end up doing research in SG in the end. Even my colleague who was a gynaecologist back in China can’t practice here so she went into the research field instead.
Does the qualifying exam stop people from obtaining certification here? That seems to be the standard just as with any other field (eg. In law where you have to take a test to be licensed to practice in a different area from where you first obtained your degree).

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:41 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:01 am
Up till about 10 years ago, there was only one Degree in Asia (MBBS) that was recognized by Singapore and that was from HK. What MOCHS said is absolutely true. Sad, but true.
So in order to practice medicine in Singapore you need to have obtained your degree locally?

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by MOCHS » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 2:32 pm

My colleague said it’s not just the qualifying exam, there are other factors at play (maybe even more requirements other than the exam?) and she does not find it worth it to go through all the hassle to practice in SG.

Don’t forget there are also language and cultural differences too so it’ll be a completely different way of practice for them. A lot of the elderly patients are dialect speaking, my colleague knows none of the dialects as she hails from further up North in China.

The Chinese terms/words we use in SG are also different compared to China. An example is “air-conditioning”, we literally say “cold air” in SG Chinese but in China, AC is referred to as “temperature adjuster” since the thermostat can be adjusted either hot or cold while SG only has the cold setting for the AC.

Certain medical conditions might be common here but maybe they did not encounter it back home. The local med school might teach these local/cultural nuances, even the healthcare sector also conducts dialect classes for their staff.

Most MBBS holders come here with their spouses anyway and are financially stable-ish so they aren’t too desperate to practice so they settle for something they are familiar in by doing research. I know of a dentist from India who is doing research in the dentistry department.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by smoulder » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 2:45 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:40 am
MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:24 am
From my knowledge, if one gets their MBBS in China or India, they are not recognised in SG and they need to take a qualifying exam in order to practice.

Most of them end up doing research in SG in the end. Even my colleague who was a gynaecologist back in China can’t practice here so she went into the research field instead.
Does the qualifying exam stop people from obtaining certification here? That seems to be the standard just as with any other field (eg. In law where you have to take a test to be licensed to practice in a different area from where you first obtained your degree).
That would seem strange. It's not only Indian and Chinese degrees, I met a Singaporean who chose to study in Russia and it was the same thing - she had to come back and take a test to practice here. It's not unusual for Singaporeans to study medicine overseas so I'm guessing that they are all taking additional tests.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 29 Jul 2021 3:51 pm

My comment was directed to the fact that up to around 10 years ago, there was only one MBBS and that was from a HK university that "could" be recognized after passing the local exam at SMA or whoever sets out the exams.

There are more today from what I understand but they still have to sit a SMA board exam. But if your degree is not from an accepted university, you will not be allowed to sit the exam or practice as an MD. A researcher or technician/clinician is as far as you will get without an MBBS from a vetted university.
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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 31 Jul 2021 12:22 am

MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 2:32 pm
My colleague said it’s not just the qualifying exam, there are other factors at play (maybe even more requirements other than the exam?) and she does not find it worth it to go through all the hassle to practice in SG.

Don’t forget there are also language and cultural differences too so it’ll be a completely different way of practice for them. A lot of the elderly patients are dialect speaking, my colleague knows none of the dialects as she hails from further up North in China.

The Chinese terms/words we use in SG are also different compared to China. An example is “air-conditioning”, we literally say “cold air” in SG Chinese but in China, AC is referred to as “temperature adjuster” since the thermostat can be adjusted either hot or cold while SG only has the cold setting for the AC.

Certain medical conditions might be common here but maybe they did not encounter it back home. The local med school might teach these local/cultural nuances, even the healthcare sector also conducts dialect classes for their staff.

Most MBBS holders come here with their spouses anyway and are financially stable-ish so they aren’t too desperate to practice so they settle for something they are familiar in by doing research. I know of a dentist from India who is doing research in the dentistry department.
Makes sense. There are a lot of intangible barriers other than the obvious technical challenges. Come to think of it, a family friend of mine does research at ASTAR. She was originally trained as a doctor from China, if I’m not mistaken.

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Re: Migrating to Singapore as a doctor

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 31 Jul 2021 12:23 am

smoulder wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 2:45 pm
Lisafuller wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 11:40 am
MOCHS wrote:
Thu, 29 Jul 2021 10:24 am
From my knowledge, if one gets their MBBS in China or India, they are not recognised in SG and they need to take a qualifying exam in order to practice.

Most of them end up doing research in SG in the end. Even my colleague who was a gynaecologist back in China can’t practice here so she went into the research field instead.
Does the qualifying exam stop people from obtaining certification here? That seems to be the standard just as with any other field (eg. In law where you have to take a test to be licensed to practice in a different area from where you first obtained your degree).
That would seem strange. It's not only Indian and Chinese degrees, I met a Singaporean who chose to study in Russia and it was the same thing - she had to come back and take a test to practice here. It's not unusual for Singaporeans to study medicine overseas so I'm guessing that they are all taking additional tests.
From what I understand, degrees obtained in the UK and the US for the most part do not require any “conversion” or additional certification.

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