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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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    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    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

    Hmmm... that is not exactly what I said -- remember that English fluency only really helps in an English speaking country, i.e. UK or Ireland (maybe Malta). The hospitals in Spain, France, and Holland aren't going to give a rat's rear how good your English might be. If you want to complete residency in Germany, you had better speak German. If you want to train in Belgium, French or Flemish will be the order of the day. In those cases, English is nice to have, but in and of itself it ain't going to get anyone a job.

    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.

    Yup. 1) The BG students have EU citizenship (most students from the English program do not), 2) the native language program has better clinicals and allows students to complete ERASMUS years in other EU countries, 3) the English program students run a much (MUCH) wider gamut from good students to really, really, really, (no, really) lousy students, while the native language students have to battle through entrance exams and numerus clausus to get accepted. While all of these elements can play a role, though, the citizenship is a huge issue. Students in the English language program who have their crap together and who do have an EU passport generally have it a lot easier than their non-EU counterparts in getting hired in Europe for residency.

    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?

    Well, that's an assumption that does not always play out. A lot of the kids (not all of them, of course) who I knew in the BG language program spoke excellent English, and some of them were fluent. Hell, I knew a kid in the Bulgarian language program with an undergraduate degree from Columbia University (like, the one in New York City), and another who had graduated from an American private school in Switzerland. Geez, their English is probably better than mine most days. But again, English only helps in English-speaking countries of the EU (or in Scandinavia after residency), and even that doesn't tend to matter a hell of a lot if the student cannot get a work visa because s/he is not an EU citizen.

    Thanks in advance for your time!

    Not at all. Have a great week!

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

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


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    MDdad is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks for your prompt reply!

    So according to that, my son who is a HS sophomore and wants to study medicine in BG shouldn't be supper concerned than as he has both US and EU (Bulgarian) citizenships.
    Can you be more specific on why the Bulgarian language program offers better clinicals than the English one if they both follow the same curriculum (are they?) - is it just a matter of the teachings staff being condescending towards the "lousy students" or there is something else actually in the programs? In addition is ERASMUS available to the English thought students with EU passports to the same extend as it is to their BG colleagues?

    Best regards!

  4. #23
    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    The clinicals for BG students are better because the university cares a hell of a lot more about the Bulgarian students than they do about the English program students -- other than the money that the English program students bring in, of course, which is substantial. The curriculum is the same (on paper) except that the English program students also take Bulgarian language lessons in years 1 and 2, and they often have much worse teaching (yes, many professors are completely dismissive of all foreign students, no matter how serious they are).

    ERASMUS is available to EU citizens, so your son would be eligible to apply in all countries that accept English speakers (which I believe is most of them).

    The big question is where does your son want to work as a doctor? If the answer is back in the US, then I have to be frank: studying in BG is a long shot. The BG med schools do a very poor job of preparing people for the USMLE exams, and there is no US clinical experience offered through BG medical schools. Those are the two biggest factors in being able to match into residency in the US. People who have been successful in making it back to the US out of a BG medical school have to spend a TON of time outside of school studying for the USMLE, and there is absolutely zero institutional support for this... and again, it is the most important element of possibly (not guaranteed) matching into a US residency.

    Additionally, if your son wants to do something besides Primary Care medicine in the US, then it would be a fools errand to study medicine in BG. The chances of matching into a competitive specialty in the US out of BG are so slim as to make one weep and chuckle at the same time. My class and the class after it have four (total) graduates who returned to the US for residency, two in Family Medicine, and two in Pediatrics. That's it, and these were among the strongest students we had. Yes, there are a few others working in Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland (me) in excellent specialties, but bear these things in mind. While BG might seem like an inexpensive shortcut to a medical degree, it is a damn rough row to hoe if you are a serious student with serious ambitions... and there are a hell of a lot more who wash out on the way to becoming a US (or UK, or Swiss, or Canadian) doctor -- even if they do graduate -- than there are who make it.

    That said... if I can help at all, let me know.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
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    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


  5. #24
    Emperor is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Hey do you have any advice for a student starting first year?

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    It is on here. Enough information to gag a rhino. Use the search function and have at it!

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

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    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


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    When was the last time you went to Bulgaria?

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    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    It has been a little while... 2+ years ago in person, but I have a research project still running there.

    "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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    Emperor is offline Newbie 511 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    It has been a little while... 2+ years ago in person, but I have a research project still running there.
    I've been reading a lot of your posts and wow man, Switzerland is one of the best countries in the world! What are the language requirements for Switzerland anyway, is English fine?

  10. #29
    devildoc8404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor View Post
    I've been reading a lot of your posts and wow man, Switzerland is one of the best countries in the world! What are the language requirements for Switzerland anyway, is English fine?
    Um, no.

    The four Swiss languages are German, French, Italian, and Romantsch. English is a nice add-on, but speaking at least one Swiss language (C1/C2 level fluency) is mandatory to be considered for a residency position... and this is region-specific, of course. The East, North, and Northeast of Switzerland are German-speaking, the West and Southwest are French-speaking, and the Southeast is Italian-speaking. Romantsch is an ancient language spoken by a minority of Swiss in the Alpine regions, not where most people would be doing residency.

    "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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    Wow, thanks for the help!

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