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Thread: Medical University- Plovdiv

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor View Post
    Wow, thanks for the help!
    Not a problem.

    "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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    Ok almost finished 1st year, so far so good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor View Post
    Ok almost finished 1st year, so far so good.
    Start thinking NOW about the places where you would like to work after graduation. Research the requirements and make sure that you can fulfill them, not just academically but also with regard to language and immigration requirements. Everything you learn can change over the coming few years, sometimes dramatically, so keep abreast of the situation in each place that interests you.

    Start now. DO NOT be one of those people (often the vast majority) who start their last year of medical school and have no clue where they can and cannot work, or make wild assumptions. Know your options, prepare for them, and study hard. Remember that simply passing your classes in BG is not enough on its own for clinical practice most other places.

    Good luck.

    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    Start thinking NOW about the places where you would like to work after graduation. Research the requirements and make sure that you can fulfill them, not just academically but also with regard to language and immigration requirements. Everything you learn can change over the coming few years, sometimes dramatically, so keep abreast of the situation in each place that interests you.

    Start now. DO NOT be one of those people (often the vast majority) who start their last year of medical school and have no clue where they can and cannot work, or make wild assumptions. Know your options, prepare for them, and study hard. Remember that simply passing your classes in BG is not enough on its own for clinical practice most other places.

    Good luck.
    Once again some excellent advice, thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    Start thinking NOW about the places where you would like to work after graduation. Research the requirements and make sure that you can fulfill them, not just academically but also with regard to language and immigration requirements. Everything you learn can change over the coming few years, sometimes dramatically, so keep abreast of the situation in each place that interests you.

    Start now. DO NOT be one of those people (often the vast majority) who start their last year of medical school and have no clue where they can and cannot work, or make wild assumptions. Know your options, prepare for them, and study hard. Remember that simply passing your classes in BG is not enough on its own for clinical practice most other places.

    Good luck.
    In Bulgarian universities, do GPAs matter much? So for example if at the end someone has a GPA of say 5.75 and someone has a GPA of 3.5 is there any advantage?
    What can I do to increase my employability?
    Also what awards can one get at the end of the degree? Do they give latin honors and do they have any benefits?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor View Post
    In Bulgarian universities, do GPAs matter much? So for example if at the end someone has a GPA of say 5.75 and someone has a GPA of 3.5 is there any advantage?
    What can I do to increase my employability?
    Also what awards can one get at the end of the degree? Do they give latin honors and do they have any benefits?
    I cannot speak for all Bulgarian medical universities, but I would imagine that most are fairly similar.

    At MU-Sofia you graduate with honors if you are above 5.5 on a 6.0 scale. You receive a nice little certificate in addition to your diploma, which looks good for applications and looks very good on your CV -- which is what future employers will look at when they are deciding whether or not to hire you. Also, at least at MU-Sofia, you get to graduate first, since honors graduates receive their diplomas before everyone else. That might seem like no big deal but it is a super looooooong ceremony and it was nice to be able to get out of there a little bit early.

    And yes, holy hell, your GPA matters. I guess it depends just a little bit on where you are applying for work -- there are certainly third world countries who will take anyone, but most people want more than 75 bucks a month salary. Think about it, if you are an attending physician and you have two equally-credentialed applicants and one has a 5.75 and the other one has a 3.50 on the transcript, who are you going to pick? You only get one CV, and having a Bulgarian medical school on it is already not exactly a highlight in most cases, so you need to get as much other good stuff on there as possible to make yourself look strong on paper... and then you need to be able to back that up.

    Increase your employability by making double-damn sure you are eligible to work in the countries where you want to apply (immigration-wise). Speak the language(s) of that country really well. Score high on their board exams, if they have any. Get loads of clinical experience -- this is frequently a serious issue at Bulgarian programs, especially in the English groups. I know people who had great grades and all of that, but they had next-to-no hands-on clinical experience and could not pass a clinical interview involving a simulated patient, so they were not hired. That sucks. Do not let that happen to you. Know how to draw blood, suture, properly assist in surgery, and complete a full physical exam (et-freaking-cetera), and practice these skills extensively. Again, in my experience this is sorely lacking for English program students in BG schools. If you are not getting this experience in rotations (and you likely will not in many of them) then you need to go in on your own time, and I mean evenings, late afternoons, or weekends, and show the attendings that you are serious about wanting to learn it.

    Doing the minimum at a Balkan medical school will get you graduated... and that is about it. I know plenty of people (too many) who graduated with medical degrees and are NOT working as physicians. It is usually quite easy to get into Balkan schools, but you pay for it as it is a hell of a lot harder to get out as a well-qualified physician. YES, it matters how well you do. YES, it matters how much you learn. YES, it matters that you prepare for board exams and clinical exams that you might not end up needing where you end up working. Because remember - if everything goes your way - you are going to be a doctor, and you are going to be treating patients, and they are real people with real freaking diseases and you have a responsibility to be both compassionate and competent.

    Soap Box / off

    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    I cannot speak for all Bulgarian medical universities, but I would imagine that most are fairly similar.

    At MU-Sofia you graduate with honors if you are above 5.5 on a 6.0 scale. You receive a nice little certificate in addition to your diploma, which looks good for applications and looks very good on your CV -- which is what future employers will look at when they are deciding whether or not to hire you. Also, at least at MU-Sofia, you get to graduate first, since honors graduates receive their diplomas before everyone else. That might seem like no big deal but it is a super looooooong ceremony and it was nice to be able to get out of there a little bit early.

    And yes, holy hell, your GPA matters. I guess it depends just a little bit on where you are applying for work -- there are certainly third world countries who will take anyone, but most people want more than 75 bucks a month salary. Think about it, if you are an attending physician and you have two equally-credentialed applicants and one has a 5.75 and the other one has a 3.50 on the transcript, who are you going to pick? You only get one CV, and having a Bulgarian medical school on it is already not exactly a highlight in most cases, so you need to get as much other good stuff on there as possible to make yourself look strong on paper... and then you need to be able to back that up.

    Increase your employability by making double-damn sure you are eligible to work in the countries where you want to apply (immigration-wise). Speak the language(s) of that country really well. Score high on their board exams, if they have any. Get loads of clinical experience -- this is frequently a serious issue at Bulgarian programs, especially in the English groups. I know people who had great grades and all of that, but they had next-to-no hands-on clinical experience and could not pass a clinical interview involving a simulated patient, so they were not hired. That sucks. Do not let that happen to you. Know how to draw blood, suture, properly assist in surgery, and complete a full physical exam (et-freaking-cetera), and practice these skills extensively. Again, in my experience this is sorely lacking for English program students in BG schools. If you are not getting this experience in rotations (and you likely will not in many of them) then you need to go in on your own time, and I mean evenings, late afternoons, or weekends, and show the attendings that you are serious about wanting to learn it.

    Doing the minimum at a Balkan medical school will get you graduated... and that is about it. I know plenty of people (too many) who graduated with medical degrees and are NOT working as physicians. It is usually quite easy to get into Balkan schools, but you pay for it as it is a hell of a lot harder to get out as a well-qualified physician. YES, it matters how well you do. YES, it matters how much you learn. YES, it matters that you prepare for board exams and clinical exams that you might not end up needing where you end up working. Because remember - if everything goes your way - you are going to be a doctor, and you are going to be treating patients, and they are real people with real freaking diseases and you have a responsibility to be both compassionate and competent.

    Soap Box / off
    Thank you again for the advice (I hope you'll be on this website for the duration of my course )
    By the way what were the first 2 years like compared to the later years? It feels pretty demotivating studying things like medical physics in first year.

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    The last half beats the hell out of the first half, especially if you take it seriously and want to implement clinical applications for what you have learned.

    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by devildoc8404 View Post
    The last half beats the hell out of the first half, especially if you take it seriously and want to implement clinical applications for what you have learned.
    Thank goodness.
    Just need to get through one more year then >.<

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