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Thread: Medical University- Plovdiv

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    summers4264 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Medical University- Plovdiv

    Hi

    I am currently trying to find out as much information as I can with regards to Plovdiv university. Being from the UK I don't know a whole lot about the school, things such as the general quality of the teaching and knowledge of lecturers, etc. I have heard people saying that standards can be a lower when compared with the UK and if coming back to practice in the UK you will be extremely disadvantaged.
    If I decide to go the decision will be huge for me as I'm sure it will be for a lot of people, so any information and if there are any current students at Plovdiv who could comment that will be great.

    Thanks.

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    English taught Italian/Spanish Colleges

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    [QUOTE=devildoc8404;1514960]I graduated two-plus years ago and am now a second-year resident at a university program in Switzerland.

    Wow! Devildoc I'm at thesame point as when you started out. I just got admitted into the English medical program in St. Kliment Ohridski. I would also REALLY love to end where you are - Switzerland - or Hollande as backup. Any advice?

    Would going to Italy/Spain or Czech/Russia make things easier? [Poland def not in my list]. Thinking of Humanitas as I do not have any knowledge of a Spanish medical school that teaches in English. Prague/Charles Uni has been considered but would love to focus on the two initial options I mentioned above. Answers inclined to Italian/Spanish colleges would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    I would certainly not attend St. Kliment Ohridski in Sofia. When I was there (I attended MU-Sofia), the alleged St. Kliment Ohridski program did not have any students or even an actual functioning program that we could determine -- there was nothing we could see at all. On the off chance that there actually is a medical program there at St. Kliment Ohridski now, it is in its infant stages and you are asking for even more headaches than are already inherently a part of the Bulgarian medical school experience.

    Switzerland will almost certainly require an EU/CH passport and language fluency (German, French, Italian -- or Romantsch, if you want to work in the middle of the Alps someplace). I was ridiculously fortunate to receive a position as a non-citizen. Holland is going to require EU citizenship and Dutch fluency. If you cannot speak those languages, you will not get hired. If you are not an EU/CH citizen (or married to one), you will almost certainly not get hired in Holland, and Switzerland will be an uphill battle.

    I think that a Western-EU diploma will be better than most Eastern-EU diplomas, with some exceptions, but Italy is an organizational nightmare and I would not select it as an option. I am on vacation this week in Italy, and while it is a lovely place, I can see so many organizational similarities (as in "astonishing lack of") between Bulgaria and Italy that it brings on the night sweats.

    Studying in Russia would be a pretty foolish idea if you want to work in the EU or CH, as they will definitely prefer an EU diploma over a Russian one. Poland has some very good English programs, such as Jagiellonian, so I am not sure why you are eliminating Poland as an option. There are bad programs there, too, but Jag is one of the best in E-EU. Spain does not have any English language programs to my knowledge.

    Charles First Faculty or Semmelweis are also fine options.

    The biggest thing about getting a job after graduation, aside from actually studying your butt off and learning to be a decent doctor, is going to come down to your language abilities and your citizenship. If you are not an EU (or CH) citizen, you will face an uphill battle in many locations -- such as Switzerland. Other EU countries will hire non-EU citizens with good language abilities, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
    Last edited by devildoc8404; 10-06-2015 at 04:15 AM.

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    Looks like I have to write something as long as 10 characters
    Last edited by EvilSpecialist; 10-07-2015 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Can't find a delete button

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    Well Devildoc I know you're very sceptical about studying in Eastern Europe and all but if you look at the MU - Sofia Official site - mu-sofia.bg/en, below the accreditation assessment area, you'll discover that St. Kliment Ohridski is actually Sofia University. It's also there on the SU page of the HECSBG website. It's also there on their Wikipedia page. Or maybe you mean their English program was not in existence when you were there perhaps? That doesn't make it that illegal tho. I spoke to Nevena Pazova (information centre, Room 1)

    Also, Medicine in E-EU may not be top-notch but if you check the rankings(don't think there's one) of the best 6-yr English bachelor programs in Europe, you'll discover that more than 35% of them come from that region. I'm pretty sure they're the next after U.K, Ireland, and maybe Scotland.
    Last edited by EvilSpecialist; 10-07-2015 at 08:37 AM.

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    My skepticism about the Balkans (and E-EU in general) is the result of my own personal experience. It is not tainted by personal failure, either -- (like far too many diatribes here on VMD) -- as I graduated and am now a third year resident in a university hospital. Yes, you can obtain a good career in medicine from a school in the Bloc. The point is that it is a huge pain in the butt dealing with the problems inherent to life and study in E-EU. The point is that far too many of the English language students there are terrible/lazy/unethical, and their incompetence will turn professors against all foreign medical students, no matter how hard they work. The point is that there are far better options for most serious students.

    Let's be honest... the competition after UK and Republic of Ireland (Scotland is part of the UK) for English language medical education is pretty freaking slim. Aside from Malta and the new programs in Italy, there simply aren't any outside of the E-EU. There is no way in hell that the quality of medical education in the Balkans -- specifically in English -- is remotely comparable to programs in the UK or Ireland.

    I am well aware that there are decent medical schools in E-EU. My issue is not with the qualifications, per se, it is with the lack of organization and the amount of additional stress for English program students in E-EU. There are outliers (or places where there is marginally less annoyance/corruption), such as the more established programs like Jag and Charles First Faculty and Semmelweis, but other than that it is not a great choice for English language programs as a first line of application.

    Sofia University (Sveti Kliment Ohridski) is a fine university, but while I was there it did not have a functioning English language medical program. It was advertising one, and trying to bring students in, but we never met anyone (EVER) who went there. I am fully aware of the differences between Medical University of Sofia (my alma mater) and Sofia University - Sveti Kliment Ohridski. They are different institutions.

    I absolutely did not say that any program was illegal. I said that IF the program exists (and it may, finally), it would be a huge red flag for issues regarding English language instruction at a program where there are guaranteed to be enormous growing pains... in addition to the problems inherent to education (and life in general) in the Balkans.

    I would recommend asking the following questions of Gospozha Pazova:
    - When did English language instruction officially begin at SU-Sv.K.O.?
    - How big is the class, both Bulgarian and English language curriculae?
    - How many students have graduated from the English program? How many have graduated from the Bulgarian program? Can you contact any of these graduates?
    - Which hospitals are utilized for clinical instruction? (Since the MU-Sofia hospitals are the clinical referral hospitals for the country, and they are unlikely to be made available for an outside institution...)
    - Et cetera.

    Honestly, you can go wherever you want. I wish you well. I am just offering my .02 as a survivor/graduate of the Balkan medical education gauntlet. For what it's worth, I would only recommend to a friend or family member that the Balkans be considered an absolute last resort for medical school, if all other options fall through. It worked out for me, yeah, but it cost me a lot of stress, hair, and annoyance.

    Good luck to you, wherever you end up.
    Last edited by devildoc8404; 10-08-2015 at 03:12 PM.
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    Yup. It would be pretty much unwise of me not to listen to you. I'm taking Bg language courses so I'm kinda considering the Bulgarian curriculum. Currently exploring other options outside Europe. Thinking of Canada. Maybe I'll do pre-clinicals in Bg before applying to ca medical schools...? ...Switch to the SU Foundation year/special introductory course then apply to an undergraduate program in Ca...?
    Or...apply to Ca.then skip the first undergraduate year after SU preclinicals?

    Still looking at all the possibilities since my understanding of Bulgaria-Canada is quite fuzzy.

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    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    You need to do a lot more research.

    Briefly... you cannot do that Bulgaria-Canada thing. First off, you need a Canadian or US bachelor's degree (a 4 year university degree) to even apply to Canadian medical school, and the chances of being accepted there as a non-Canadian are almost zero -- there are Canadian citizen students with outstanding grades and test scores who are being forced to study medicine in the Caribbean because they cannot get into a Canadian medical school. It is harder to get into medical school in Canada than it is in the US, and the US is no freaking cakewalk. Bulgarian medical school credits will not count for anything at a US or Canadian medical school, because the educational systems are completely different.

    If you graduate from a Bulgarian medical school, pass the USMLE Steps, become ECFMG certified, and are fortunate enough to match into a residency in the US (or, in some alternate universe, Canada), then your Bulgarian degree is recognized. Otherwise, no deal.

    Studying medicine overseas and returning to practice in Canada is also extremely difficult, even for those with a Canadian passport.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


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    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    Answered in the other thread. No need to hit it multiple times.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


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    007reviewer is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I would STRONGLY recommend against studying in Bulgaria. From my experience at Plovdiv University- it is absolute shambles. The amount of cheating, bribery and general lack of organisation is unbelievable. I don't know how they are GMC accredited tbh- I don't think it's going to last long. It is absolutely shocking. Firstly, they take on way too many students than they can accommodate, all because they are extremely greedy when it comes to money. There are no entry requirements, I'm not even kidding. Anyone can go there and study medicine...there are people who don't even have GCSE's or A-Levels. The uni literally doesn't give two pooh poohs about who they accept so there are a lot of people who are just here to take the piss. The facilities are pretty rubbish, the new building is nice but again people have to sit on the floor in lectures due to the the uni being over capacity. There is no distinguishing between the terrible and excellent students as those that are terrible all cheat, and end up with the same marks as those that work hard. A lot of the teachers don't take the english students seriously and are very condescending and not willing to help. The uni has no set dates for exams, which is a massive joke really. They are just set whenever. This is the same with the holidays. Those who want to book flights home ect..can kiss goodbye to that. PLEASE only study here if it your last and only option, you should really try all other possible routes before coming to a place like this. It is honestly a massive joke. The doctors that graduate from here...quite frankly I would be scared. Considering how easy it is for people to pass. They literally never kick anyone out.
    Good luck...and don't make the wrong decision by coming here.

    P.S the city itself is beautiful!

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    MDdad is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Hi devildoc8404,

    I am a bit confused with what you're saying ..., not so much by this one statement that a local language fluency, plus fluency in English is a must to practice in the EU, but rather with another of your posts where you stated that students from the Bulgarian language program get recruited heavily in EU in comparison to those from the English program. Just wondering how does that work, as the BG students will most likely be a lot less proficient in English to begin with, not to mention a second European language?
    Thanks in advance for your time!

    Sincerely,
    MDdad

    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    I would certainly not attend St. Kliment Ohridski in Sofia. When I was there (I attended MU-Sofia), the alleged St. Kliment Ohridski program did not have any students or even an actual functioning program that we could determine -- there was nothing we could see at all. On the off chance that there actually is a medical program there at St. Kliment Ohridski now, it is in its infant stages and you are asking for even more headaches than are already inherently a part of the Bulgarian medical school experience.

    Switzerland will almost certainly require an EU/CH passport and language fluency (German, French, Italian -- or Romantsch, if you want to work in the middle of the Alps someplace). I was ridiculously fortunate to receive a position as a non-citizen. Holland is going to require EU citizenship and Dutch fluency. If you cannot speak those languages, you will not get hired. If you are not an EU/CH citizen (or married to one), you will almost certainly not get hired in Holland, and Switzerland will be an uphill battle.

    I think that a Western-EU diploma will be better than most Eastern-EU diplomas, with some exceptions, but Italy is an organizational nightmare and I would not select it as an option. I am on vacation this week in Italy, and while it is a lovely place, I can see so many organizational similarities (as in "astonishing lack of") between Bulgaria and Italy that it brings on the night sweats.

    Studying in Russia would be a pretty foolish idea if you want to work in the EU or CH, as they will definitely prefer an EU diploma over a Russian one. Poland has some very good English programs, such as Jagiellonian, so I am not sure why you are eliminating Poland as an option. There are bad programs there, too, but Jag is one of the best in E-EU. Spain does not have any English language programs to my knowledge.

    Charles First Faculty or Semmelweis are also fine options.

    The biggest thing about getting a job after graduation, aside from actually studying your butt off and learning to be a decent doctor, is going to come down to your language abilities and your citizenship. If you are not an EU (or CH) citizen, you will face an uphill battle in many locations -- such as Switzerland. Other EU countries will hire non-EU citizens with good language abilities, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

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