At The Doctor Job, many of our clients have completed their medical education outside of the U.S. In some countries, the degree that is equivalent to the U.S. and Canada’s Doctor of Medicine degree, is actually two degrees: the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees, awarded simultaneously and defined with the acronym M.B.B.S. In some places, this baccalaureate degree is designated by acronyms, such as BMed of B.M.B.S.; however, M.B.B.S. is the most common.
In countries where a baccalaureate degree is awarded to a physician who has completed his medical treatment, this is to distinguish him or her from a Doctor of Medicine or M.D., or a physician who has completed advanced research and submitted a thesis or dissertation in some field of medical science. In North America, on the other hand, an M.D. merely refers to one who has graduated from medical school, but does not necessarily designate someone who has completed formal research or defended a thesis.
Before practicing in the U.S., most international medical school graduates obtain a certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, or ECFMG, which is a requirement to complete the USMLE Step 3 exam, as well as a prerequisite in most states before one can receive an unrestricted medical license. Typically, once an international medical graduate has gone through these steps and becomes licensed to practice in the U.S., they are, for all intents and purposes, an M.D., and most jurisdictions will allow for the use of M.D. in their title, regardless of the original degree earned.
So, should your resume say you are John Smith, M.D., or John Smith, M.B.B.S? That all comes down to a matter of taste and situation. While M.D. more immediately alerts a prospective employer that you have the requisite training for the position, most professionals in charge of medical staffing are familiar enough with foreign medical graduates and their prerequisites to practicing in the U.S. If you do choose to use M.B.B.S. in your title, be sure your resume indicates your eligibility to practice in the U.S. Some ways your resume can clue prospective interviewers to your eligibility include providing any current U.S. medical licenses you hold (include the license number) or indicating that your international medical degree is certified by ECFMG.