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Thread: Medical University of Lodz

  1. #1
    pdawgcentral is offline Junior Member
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    Medical University of Lodz

    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone could give me any information pertaining to the Medical University of Lodz. I have really no idea what they're about considering all their sites seem to be in polish

    Anyhow, I suppose I should just take that as a hint but I'm still a bit curious as to how the school is overall. Would anyone reccommend going to it or is it a total waste of time? Chances are I'll probably pass and go to the Caribbean or elsewhere but it's good to know and consider schools from everywhere.

    Hopefully a few people can post their response.

    Thanks,

    pdawgcentral

  2. #11
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    Polish med schools

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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertEagleMD
    Thought I would intervene for a sec' here Miklos:

    I'd definitely agree that in going to schools for example in Lublin & Katowice, you are bound by the school to go through an agent. This being said, there are many people I know that have graduated from these schools. Most of them have transferred from Hungary, and are now doing their rotations either in NY or IL. Some are in residency, and others are doing their clinicals in the U.S. only after passing step 1.

    The downside of the whole thing is the price you would have to pay to the agent. There are quite a bit hidden fees to pay here and there. That is a fact. The sole reason as to why many people left from Hungary to Poland, is because Hungary does not allow you to directly transfer to the US... unless via the 5th pathway, but that's a whole different story. Now with the birth of recent caribbean schools, a new option is set on the table. In the end... it becomes a minor hurdle when trying to achieve a MD degree.

    I'll agree that prospective students seeking the transfer option in whatever school, get their facts straight before signing the papers. About learning the language, it's necessary if you actually want to get around in the city, and be able to communicate with the staff n' patients... but I know people that have graduated from poland and hungary that didnt know a spit of the language. It all depends on you... but if you're in a country you should learn something... about a couple hundred words will get you through fine.

    So, everyone that has studied in those two above mentioned schools are in the US, and this is a TRUE FACT.

    Prepin' up for the USMLE as in most of the european schools, is more on what you do on your own. Not a single school that I have heard, at least for poland & hungary... prepare you in a "USMLE style" manner. The basic sciences in poland may be a bit weaker when compared to hungary, but can be compensated on the amount of work you put in. That was one good thing about the euro schools, b/c they overstressed many concepts that you probably will never use again... but it aids in understanding, and it's better to know more than the bare minimum... at least for the basic sciences.

    Regarding the California issue. Most schools in europe are just starting to get that approval... In all true honesty, one state be it large or small does not make a difference, nor does hinder you from becoming a doctor elsewhere. Friends of mine that have graduated from the newer schools such as Sint Eustatius, and soon from Saint James are getting competitive residency spots... and not just in primary care. In due time,CA/NY approvals may change to favor the students... but you still have 40 some other states at least to deal with.

    I myself am in the 4th year in debrecen. I'm planning to take off to the caribbean program real soon... so that I can finish up my remaining clinics in the US. No regrets... I've spent some time here, and I'd rather get involved into the US standards and protocols. Not that anything is bad with this school, it's just I can see with my own eyes on how my friends are moving on quite nicely back home via other programs.

    If expenses are a thing to look at, hungary by far is the cheapest... then poland, and then the caribbeans. Regarding the latter, you'll be spending quite a bit more on the cost of living n' education... but in the long run... everyone planning to work in the US, will fall into the same US cost of living bracket.... it's just a matter of now or later... and if you're able to deal with it.

    I can vouch that everyone I know in whatever program, whether it be poland, hungary, the caribbeans... are all working back home, and they are happy.

    Whichever route you take, it will all lead to the same road. It all depends on how you want to get there. You will get that degree and find a job. Definitely follow up n' hear what people that are there have to say. Got any questions... hit me up. Alright then n' keep it real. 8)
    Re: not being able to transfer back to the U.S; I would like you to clarify this, because I am not sure I understand.

    Are you referring to clinical training in the last two years of med school or actually transferring to a US school?

    As far as the last two years at a Hungarian school doing clinicals in the U.S., (unless there is a different policy at Debrecen), there is no problem doing the final year in the U.S. as long as you pay for it and find a place to do it (like 5th Pathway, but must not be).

    As far as actually transferring to a U.S. medical school from a Polish or Hungarian school, both are possible if the student has an outstanding academic record and Step 1; the problem is that there are very few spots available (read less, often significantly less than 50/year) to enter. Additionally, most public U.S. med schools limit themselves to state residents, etc... It has been done from Hungary, but I will caution anyone coming to Hungary or Poland not to count on it.

    Re: reasons that people leave Hungary. Not the case, I am afraid. Most students that leave Hungary, do so because they can't hack it. Polish schools happily accept Hungarian transfers and allow them to re-take final exams without having to repeat the class; the converse is not true.

    Re: language. Without a decent knowledge of the local language, students will not be able to get much out of their clinical experience.

    Re: California. I and NeilC have mentioned it before. Someone that knowingly attends a school that is not approved in California is foolish at best. The climate is likely to change in favor of more rather than less regulation. The "40" states could shrink significantly by the time the prospective student graduates. Also, the importance of the big states like California, New York and Texas should not be understated; together they provide a very significant number of residency positions. Additionally, if more states adopt California type rules, imagine the possibility of being offered a great position after your residency and you having to turn it down because you cannot get licensed in that state... Limiting yourself in such a way is foolish. In real life, (as well as medicine) you need to keep your options open.

  3. #12
    ABCD is offline Junior Member
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    University of Lodz

    Lodz now has an affiliation with Alliance ( a Hope Medical like outfit). They are based in NYC.

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    A couple of points

    Hi.

    Miklos, there are a couple of points that I'd like to respond to in your recent posts.

    I'm studying in Bratislava, Slovakia at Comenius University (2nd year) and my husbanad is 3rd year.

    1. Slovakia is in Central Europe and we are not able to access Stafford loans.

    We are currently working on paperwork for this and then will begin the papers for California approval.

    2. The English program at Comenius is not 4 years - it is 6 years. It is a duplicate of the Slovak language program - which is certified by California.

    One could argue we recieve higher quality education compared to the slovaks for 2 significant reasons. We get the department heads and experts because they have the English language skills (a fact the Slovaks openly rue). Our class size is small and ratio is perfect for learning subject matter where size matters - ie anatomy.

    3. Reasons people leave Hungary. We have 4 Scandanavian girls who transferred from Hungary to Slovakia. Not one of them once mentioned stringent academics as the reason. They liked the academic rigour but not the admin.

    Here, as there, if you fail a course, you repeat the year, pay the full tuition to take the one course again. Nice.

    4. I don't consider myself or my colleagues foolish for attending this school because it is not California certified. If all things were equal I would have choose Prague because the city is nicer. I think the schools are equivalent and living conditions the same. (I've also lived there).

    This school is in Europe, good teaching faculty and facilities, comparatively cheap tuition and close to Vienna for clinical and research options. I will have EU citizenship for myself and kids.

    Regardless, my medical education - and all education in fact - works if I make it work. I am working with the school to be certified by California and also to get recognition by the States so we can get loans. Someone must take the initiative to get this work done. It is in my best interest and I will hold the school's hand through the process. We have an interested and sincere man to work with who is wearing too many hats at the school, but we will get it done.

    S-

  5. #14
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    A couple of points

    Quote Originally Posted by peacefuljourney
    Hi.

    Miklos, there are a couple of points that I'd like to respond to in your recent posts.

    I'm studying in Bratislava, Slovakia at Comenius University (2nd year) and my husbanad is 3rd year.

    1. Slovakia is in Central Europe and we are not able to access Stafford loans.

    We are currently working on paperwork for this and then will begin the papers for California approval.
    S,

    I admire your efforts to get the loans and the California approval. I hope that you succeed.

    2. The English program at Comenius is not 4 years - it is 6 years. It is a duplicate of the Slovak language program - which is certified by California.
    This is true. I would just like to point out that the reason the Slovak language program is accredited is that Slovakia is an OECD country and the Slovak program prepares doctors for local practice(see California requirements). The same applies to most of the other countries in the region.

    One could argue we recieve higher quality education compared to the slovaks for 2 significant reasons. We get the department heads and experts because they have the English language skills (a fact the Slovaks openly rue). Our class size is small and ratio is perfect for learning subject matter where size matters - ie anatomy.
    Fair enough. However, there is a downside to having professors teach your classes: the material may not be appropriate to your level of education. I have had a number of professors try to turn us into subspecialists, instead of teaching us the basics and the importance of the field and its approaches. For this reason, I prefer younger teachers with decent English skills as opposed to old professors.

    3. Reasons people leave Hungary. We have 4 Scandanavian girls who transferred from Hungary to Slovakia. Not one of them once mentioned stringent academics as the reason. They liked the academic rigour but not the admin.

    Here, as there, if you fail a course, you repeat the year, pay the full tuition to take the one course again. Nice.
    I will stick to my guns here. The number one reason students leave Hungary is because they cannot hack it. Though I do find it encouraging that they make you repeat the year.

    4. I don't consider myself or my colleagues foolish for attending this school because it is not California certified. If all things were equal I would have choose Prague because the city is nicer. I think the schools are equivalent and living conditions the same. (I've also lived there).
    Re: California approval. Did your husband know that Comenius was not California approved when he started attending? Did you?

    I will continue to warn people away from schools that have not certified their English language programs as well as schools that do not have loan availability. I do this, because it is in the interest of the prospective student.

    I have frequented both Bratislava and Prague. I have found the Slovaks much more welcoming than the Czechs, though Bratislava is quite tiny compared to Prague.

    This school is in Europe, good teaching faculty and facilities, comparatively cheap tuition and close to Vienna for clinical and research options. I will have EU citizenship for myself and kids.

    Regardless, my medical education - and all education in fact - works if I make it work. I am working with the school to be certified by California and also to get recognition by the States so we can get loans. Someone must take the initiative to get this work done. It is in my best interest and I will hold the school's hand through the process. We have an interested and sincere man to work with who is wearing too many hats at the school, but we will get it done.

    S-
    I believe that the teaching faculty, facilities, tuition and location are good. However, for the Comenius English program to become attractive to those wishing to practice medicine in the US, it must get loan availability and California approval.

    I wish you luck and hope that you are able to help them get the recognition.

    Re: EU citizenship. You do realize that you are getting a "second class" EU citizenship, right? As of today, only Britain, Ireland and Sweden will waive the seven year restriction on the free movement of labor from the new EU countries. Other countries, especially Austria and Germany will continue their quota systems.

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    Hi

    Hi.

    If you are ever in Bratislava, please send me a PM and we can hook up. I'd like to meet you.

    Re: EU citizenship. The point is not free movement for me. Rather I'd like to have it for my kids and have the option in the future to work as I'd like. Also, they will have tuition discounts and waivers at university or grad school if they will prefer to study in Europe. By the time I'm done school and residency in the states the restrictions will have been lifted.

    Also, should I choose to take some projects with some of the consulting firms, I need an EU passport so I can work on multinational EU projects. The ones I've worked on to date were a nightmare - always hiding behind someone else and trying to dodge the auditors re: who was doing the work. North Americans are not welcome on EU projects. So, it would be helpful for that reason as well.

    Re: California. We didn't look at it and don't really care too much about it. We now have 2 kids from California in our class and thus we are working on it. It seems to be quite a bit of paperwork. We have time to get it done and it's secondary to loans for sure. Progress to date is that the forms have been ordered. After exams we will have the first meeting of the new year to deal with this again. After that we will be meeting and splitting up tasks. I will set up bi-weekly reporting back to the others. I take minutes. Put names and timeframes to promises - who will do what. etc. The admin. finds it irritating I'm sure, to have everything recorded formally, but I think it is the only way to get something done here (aside from Bribes). AND I did bring back a nice bottle of crown royal for the man....

    I agree people should be made aware of California issue prior to enrolling. If that were the biggest issue confronting new students, it would be a dream. We have other issues.

    Re: loans. This is the big one and we should have DOE approval & Stafford flowing by end of term. Next will be CANHELP and Teri etc. This is really critical.

    The reason (they say) that Comenius is behind is that they never had any North American students. And they are right, why bother if no-one from that region is attending the school. That is changing and thus, they are addressing these issues.

    If I had one recommendation for the school: Hire an administrator/international relations director/marketing guy!!! Don't continute to hope your department heads have time to do any sort of thing in this area. The school will never grow for this fact alone.

    Ciao. S-

  7. #16
    Regmata is offline Junior Member
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    Medical University of Lodz

    Is the question over the validity of Polish programs because there is not many people here that post from those schools?

    I know 3 guys who went to school in Poland, completed a 4yr program and are now back in the U.S.. I know 1 of them got a plastic surgery residency, his first choice of placement. The other 2 got into a residency program, but I do not know their status. I also have another friend who just left for Poland. Unfortunately I don't know the school that they attended. I will find out shortly.

  8. #17
    gvanderv is offline Member 511 points
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    Poland

    Regmata,

    I think some people are very negative, because many of the Polish Schools are associated with agents. These agents have really screwed over many people. From what I can find the Poznan School appears very legit and I have a interview planned. I also feel that many of the students who go to these schools have a chip on their shoulder, because they were unable to enter an American school. The culture is very different from the US and they are unable to handle it.

    Gerry

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    Poland

    I don't think its really Poland that is the issue, it seems to be rather the 4 year English language programs. Perhaps Poland is the only one who has these. I don't know of any in the Czech or Slovak Republics or Hungary for that matter.

    Those programs were designed specifically for North American students. It is a radically different teaching approach to teach in the 'American style' vs. the European style and my own personal reason for doubting that it can be successful lies in the above.

    The 6 year programs are supposed to be 2 year 'pre-med' and then 4 years clinical but in fact, they are more blended than that. We are doing a medical biology and anatomy in the first 2 years. Some courses like microbiology start in 2nd year and run into the 3rd year. The format is idential to the Slovak language program, content, exam formats etc. and the professors are used to that.

    All schools in the region are in a desparate need for cash. Professors make no money and work insane hours. So, the programs were likely started to make money for the schools. Not for more esoteric reasons like 'cultural exchanges' or 'diversity in the classrom' no. it was, and is, money only. BUT the biggest difference is that in America if you pay we have a concept of some type of service for that money. But that basic concept is not here. Yes, you paid, you have a problem? Oh well. Actually the saying in Slovak is bohu ziel = God is sad = its impossible or nothing can be done.

    You know what? I'm a firm believer in that if you are type of individual willing to go through what most IMG's have to go through to be a physician, you will make any experience work for you.

    We are being given an opportunity to learn the art and science of medicine. For those eager to learn and with an interest and passion in the subjects, you will be successful. For those expecting it to be like America and living out a dream that belongs to their parents, or expecting to be spoon fed the material (I'm talking like being given the name of good texts) then this is not the place for you.

    You must say. OK I have to take BioChem this year. What does the First Aid book say is important, what does the official topic list say is important. What books are highly ranked from the First Aid book. And study. If you get a good profs (in this example ours are AWESOME - better than Queen's) then you are lucky. But if not, you are on your own. You must go to labs, do protocols and experiments and learn it on your own. You are given questions that are on the final. Work them out and study and pass but focus on the format and content for the USMLE.

    Why not come over for a tour if you are really serious? It is a big undertaking. On one trip you could check out Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Prague. See what you think.

    TALK to the students. most important.

    S-

  10. #19
    Miklos is offline Elite Member 511 points
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    Post-communist mentality

    Quote Originally Posted by gvanderv
    Regmata,

    I think some people are very negative, because many of the Polish Schools are associated with agents. These agents have really screwed over many people. From what I can find the Poznan School appears very legit and I have a interview planned. I also feel that many of the students who go to these schools have a chip on their shoulder, because they were unable to enter an American school. The culture is very different from the US and they are unable to handle it.

    Gerry
    Gerry,

    The agents are one issue. The cultural issue is another. As you put it: "Being able to handle it."

    I'll put it another way: "It takes two to tango!"

    As peacefuljourney says, North Americans have certain expectations. When we pay for a service, we expect to receive something in return. When we feel that it wasn't fair, we except to complain and to be compensated. This is a mostly alien concept in the region.

    Let me try to illustrate this point. The reason, McDonald's is super successful in both Hungary and the Czech Republic (and believe me, they are!) is very simple. They deliver what they promise, at the price they promise and the customer is king. (I make no claim on the quality of their food.) This is what you are used to in North America. In fact, it it were not so, you'd go elsewhere. Here it is brand new. The customer expects to be ripped off (that's why he is highly suspicious of everyone) and knows he has no recourse. The Hungarian equivalent to the Slovak phrase is: "Sajnos nincs!" meaning that they are terribly sorry, but there isn't anything that can be had or alternatively be done.

    In the same way, schools in this region are far closer to the communist way of thinking than the (let's call it this for simplicity's sake) McDonald's way. Many because (as peacefuljourney has pointed out elsewhere) you needed to be a card-carrying party member in order to advance in academia.

    The question, you need to ask yourself is what recourse you have if things don't work out at the med school you choose to attend (and many who do so often do it blindly). I will tell you...you have none. So, you'd better choose wisely.

    Miklos

    BTW, Gerry. I am fluent in both the Hungarian language and culture and have taken advantage of my studies to widely travel the region. Additionally, classmates of mine came to Hungary after studying in Poland. I tend to think that I know a little bit about the situation here.

    Do you speak Polish? Have you been to Poland? Have you lived abroad for a considerable amount of time?

  11. #20
    AussieAbe is offline Newbie 510 points
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    just getting to my 5 posts

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