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How Colombian doctor Henry Becerra is furthering his career in NYC

Inspired by innovation and patient care

A drive to participate in innovative medical research was the primary reason that Dr Henry Becerra from Colombia planned to move and practice in the United States. “I knew I wanted to progress, and there is more opportunity in the US for research and to develop my professional skills.”

Now a doctor at a New Jersey hospital, Dr Henry Becerra reflects that this desire for innovative critical thinking was one of the main reasons he chose to practice medicine. The other component was a desire to provide care.

“Since I was a child, I really liked the idea of helping people, and I love interacting with patients. I love problem solving and I always want to do my best to improve people’s lives.”

After moving from a small town outside Botoga to study medicine at and graduate from the National University of Colombia, Dr Becerra worked in Colombia’s healthcare system for almost 13 years. Hoping to continue to learn and work with thought leaders in his field, he made the decision to move overseas.

“I chose to move to the US as I wanted to work with the latest medical technology and participate in more research,” he said.

 

Preparation is key

International Medical Graduates planning to practice in the United States and receive ECFMG certification are required to take the OET Test. By preparing for our test, they not only prove their competency with English language; they're also able to practice everyday workplace scenarios specific to their profession. 

The fact that everything he learned in preparing for the OET Test would be used in his new role was a big motivation for Dr Becerra when studying. “If you already know clinical language, you can learn the communication skills via OET, and these are the skills that people should have,” he said.

Taking the time to prepare was an important factor in Dr Becerra’s success on the OET Test, and he urges others to make time to study: “prepare. Look for help, don’t do this by yourself. If you prepare well for the test you will absolutely use what you learn every day in your career.”

Our extensive preparation materials were one of the major reasons Dr Becerra was impressed with his experience with OET.

“I used the website, downloaded course materials, and watched videos. The website was full of useful resources, it was a rich preparation experience.”

Dr Becerra chose to take the OET Test on Computer at a Prometric centre in the suburbs of Bogota, saying, “My handwriting is terrible so I was glad to have the opportunity to do the test on computer!”

Due to his extensive preparation, Dr Becerra received excellent results and was ready to undertake the next step – moving abroad!

 

Workplace excellence

Dr Becerra now calls New York home and says that aside from enjoying a picnic in Central Park or going to the movies, he gets a lot of joy from working as a surgeon in New Jersey.

“I’m always excited, and feel like everyday is my first day.”

For OET alumni like Dr Bacerra, it's clear how valuable the skills they’ve developed while studying for the OET Test become – they have confidence to engage and treat patients and can communicate effectively within teams.

This has certainly been the case for Dr Becerra, who feels that the OET Test helped prepare him for his new life in New York.

“The things that OET tests you on – how we communicate with patients, how we read information, exchange emails and write – we use these skills every day in our career.”

When asked what advice he would share with others considering sitting our test, Dr Becerra recalls his own method for success: “Start studying early and prepare thoroughly. Enjoy the journey and focus on your strengths.”