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New medical graduates then pursue their clinical specialty training (internship/residency), with the length of the training varying depending on the specialty. Overall, to become a doctor in the US, on average, a student can expect 10 to 16 years of higher education and post-graduate training.
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The Ministry of Health is responsible for post-graduate medical training and determining the number of positions available. Once registered with the Physicians Association, application for post-graduate training is possible. The funding for post-graduate training comes from the National Health Service budget.
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Entry to medical education in Italy follows the completion of high-school education and the grades obtained in a national exam, and it is subject to a numerus clausus (i.e., annual quota) set by the Ministry of Education, University and Research. It takes about six years for students to complete the first medical degree.
Despite remarkable progress in health status and life expectancy in OECD countries over the past decades, there remain large inequalities not only across countries, but also across population groups within each country. These inequalities in health status are linked to many factors, including differences in exposure to risk factors to health and in access to health care.
Mental disorders account for one of the largest and fastest growing categories of the burden of disease with which health systems must cope, often accounting for a greater burden than cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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Belgium shows average health outcomes compared to other OECD countries. Life expectancy at birth is 80.7 years, just above the OECD average. Quality of care is fair, standing again near the OECD average. Health expenditure at 10.2% of GDP is higher than the OECD average of 1.3% points in 2013. Health policy in Belgium relies on shared responsibility of both the federal authorities and federated entities (regions and communities).
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Although many health indicators are improving in Mexico, the country has the lowest life expectancy in the OECD. This is due to unhealthy lifestyles with higher risk factors to health leading to chronic diseases and mortality, but also to persisting barriers of access to high-quality health care services.
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Despite achieving near universal health coverage with a basic benefit package that all health payers must provide, health financing in Chile remains inefficient and inequitable. There is room for improving the system by moving towards a unified, equitable social security system for the entire population.
OECD governments have to decide whether they want to cover more services at a limited reimbursement rate, or whether they want to extend more the financial protection for a limited number of services.
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Although Ireland has seen remarkable improvements in the health of its population in the last decades, several challenges lie ahead for its health system. Based on available OECD analyses, further progress could be made to promote efficient use of hospital resources, strengthen primary care, address high pharmaceutical spending and prevent the spread of risk factors including obesity and alcohol consumption.