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  1. #1
    cm05qk is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Skeptics on Polish/International Medschools

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    Hi everyone,

    I am a Canadian student and am looking into applying to medicine abroad. I am finding it extremely discouraging to apply to both pharmacy and medicine in Canada.

    I have begun to look into international medical schools, both in Europe and in the Caribbean. I am hearing mixed reviews.

    My dad seems to think that if I go, I will be spending all this money, get into all kinds of debt, and I will be little more than an MD who drives taxis if I decide to come back to Canada, or attempt to practice in the USA.

    Can someone please clarify the risks, facts, and fictions about medical school abroad?

    As well, where to begin in terms of applying would be great. I am novice at the medical school application process, but plan to verse myself over the summer to apply for 2011.

  2. #2
    Dave_MD is offline Member 515 points
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    Fact: Jagiellonian University Medical College is in fact a real medical school that grants an MD degree and graduates become real doctors.

    Examples of where Jagiellonian Med Class of 2010 graduates Matched in March.

    Obstetrics/Gynecology at McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario
    Pediatric Neurology at McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario
    2x Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic (Couples Match)
    Anesthesiology, Pediatrics at Penn State
    Internal Medicine at Advocate Lutheran Hospital in Park Ridge, Chicago
    Internal Medicine at Woodhull Medical Center/NYU School of Medicine
    Emergency Medicine: University of Toledo
    Neurosurgery: University of Louisville, Kentucky
    Psychiatry: SUNY Brooklyn, NY
    Anesthesiology: Medical College of Wisconsin
    General Surgery: Case Western Reserve, Cleveland
    Internal Medicine at Drexel University Hahnemann Philly
    Internal Medicine at University of Connecticut, CT

    Taxi driver? Didn't see anyone match into that I guess if your dad means Anesthesiologist, Neurosurgeon or Internist when he says taxi driver, then yes, we graduate many taxi drivers.

    A vast number of doctors currently practicing in both Canada and the US got their degrees from elsewhere. Your dad needs to leave preconceived notions behind and look at the facts about getting your MD abroad.

    If you wanna apply to Jag. Start here:

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    Hope that helps.
    Jagiellonian University Medical College
    MD Class of 2013

  3. #3
    Cetacea is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Your father is over-generalizing. He's coming from a good place though, and he's right to be skeptical because there are definitely 'schools' out there that will take your money in return for a piece of paper that's fairly worthless. But if you focus on reputable schools, then you have nothing to worry about. Most European schools and their English programs are fine. Wherever you go - Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Australia - you'll go into debt. But most find the debt load is much less when going to schools in Europe. You're still going to have to work very hard, score well on your exams, do as much networking and electives as you can back in Canada, and of course...provinces are weird in their rules for IMGs (Ontario is the easiest i've heard to get work in, B.C. is more strict). But Polish, Australian and a few Caribbean schools attract many Canadian students who graduate and practice all over. Show your father the alumni list and where they are now working. Nothing in life is a guarantee and as a foreign graduate, there will be a stigma, but there are some perfectly good schools out there that are worth looking into.

  4. #4
    cm05qk is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks very much for the responses, everyone. They were very helpful!! Yeah my dad is usually the very skeptical type, and he always is of the belief that the international schools are "too good to be true" for Canadian students who want their MDs and want to return to Canada.

    Does the challenge with these schools lie more within obtaining a residency position or actually getting licensed and starting practicing? Like I said I am new to most of the international options available, so I want to clear up all the heresay about them that I have heard in the past.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Dave_MD is offline Member 515 points
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    The challenge is in obtaining a residency, as usually IMGs must have higher scores on the Boards than US graduates in order to be considered for the same spots. Also some residency programmes, especially the more competitive ones, will not even look at an IMG applicant.

    Also, returning to Canada is a lot harder than the US which is why many Canadians end up doing residency in the States. Once you have a residency though, you are well on your way to becoming a licensed and practicing physician.

    As you can see by the Match List, hard work and perseverance pay off and many graduates do in fact match into competitive specialties all over North America.

    Hope that helps.
    Jagiellonian University Medical College
    MD Class of 2013

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