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  1. #1
    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    Thinking about Studying Medicine Abroad? Read This First!!

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    Check out this report put out by the National Association of Advisors for Health Professions (NAAHP) on how to advise their students who wish to obtain a medical degree abroad:

    NAAHP: International Medical Schools

    I thought that this article would give anyone who is seriously considering an education at an overseas medical school (In my case, I am attending AUC this May) a realistic look at the weight of their decision.

    Some good quotes from the text:


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    Extra Challenges
    One of the biggest issues that students should consider is that many of the U.S. citizens who go to international medical schools drop out before completing their medical education. Given the extra pressures on students at international medical schools, many of whom are admitted with marginal academic abilities and test-taking skills, this is not surprising. It is impossible to get accurate, independent measures for attrition rates, and the rates surely differ from school to school, but the possibility of failure is something prospective students should seriously consider. Even if they pass their classes, many are still not able to pass the USMLE. To provide some balance, it is also important to note that many students do complete their educations at international medical schools, meet the extra Fifth Pathway or ECFMG certification conditions required for graduates of international medical schools, successfully match with residency programs, and eventually become practicing physicians.
    Wherever a student goes, medical education will be expensive! Together with travel, housing, food and other living expenses, and without the tuition discount that a student at an in-state, public medical school would receive, the costs of attending an international medical school, even one with a modest tuition, quickly escalate. U.S. citizens at many international medical schools are eligible for U.S. Government Guaranteed Student Loans, which may be interest subsidized or unsubsidized, and there are other possibilities for borrowing money. If they are not independently or dependently wealthy, medical students will, however, have to go deeply in debt.
    All medical students are confronted by academic, and financial pressures, but those who attend international medical schools must contend with additional difficulties. Students will be isolated from their social support network of friends and family. Even at well-established international medical schools, students often find more difficult living conditions, less extensive learning resources, more limited teaching and clinical facilities, and fewer permanent faculty members. At some schools, a substantial part of the curriculum is taught in a language other than English. On rare occasions, international medical students have felt threatened by political unrest, hurricanes, earthquakes, and even a volcano.
    As if the challenges of completing their medical education in another country were not enough, the candidates who do successfully complete their medical educations at international medical schools must take extra steps to be eligible for accredited residency programs in the U.S., board specialty certification, and state licensure.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Important Personal Qualities
    To successfully contend with all the extra demands placed on students and graduates of international medical schools, candidates who take this path must be extraordinarily determined, motivated and resilient. To handle the basic science curriculum and pass all of the steps of the USMLE, they must be capable students and competent test-takers. They should have the adaptability and independence needed to thrive in another country, ideally already developed through a significant study or service abroad experience. If a substantial part of the curriculum is taught in a language other than English, they should gain at least a basic proficiency in the language before attending the medical school. They should take initiative, especially when planning their clinical rotations, and be flexible, especially when applying for residency programs. And, they should be prepared to graciously explain their decision to attend an international medical school.


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    Some Questions Students Should Ask

    1. How long has the International Medical School (IMS) been in existence?

    2. How can I contact the IMS telephone, fax, e-mail, WWW?

    3. Who is the Dean of Admissions?

    4. What are the entrance/admissions requirements?

    5. Is an undergraduate degree required in order to start school (matriculate)?

    6. Are there specific residency or foreign language requirements?

    7. Is the MCAT required or optional?

    8. If interviews are required, where are they held?

    9. What are mean Science and Overall GPAs for the previous entering class?

    10. How many classes of students enter each year, and when are the application deadlines?

    11. What are estimated annual expenses, including tuition and fees, books, supplies, study materials, housing, food, travel and other living costs?

    12. How do students fund their education? What loan programs and scholarships are students eligible for?

    13. How many students are enrolled in each class? What is the attrition rate for matriculated students, i.e., how many typically dropout before finishing? What are common reasons for dropping out?

    14. What is the length and structure of the entire curriculum?

    15. What are the academic credentials of the faculty teaching basic science courses? Where were they educated?

    16. Where do students do their clinical training?

    17. How do students perform on USMLE I and II? In recent years, what are the 1st time and total pass rates for students from this school?

    18. How many students graduate each year?

    19. Where did students in the most recent graduating class match for residency? In what specialties?

    20. How can I contact some former IMS graduates who are practicing in the U.S. in my area?
    - Slaol
    http://corbinmd.blogspot.com/

    American University of the Caribbean (AUC) class of 2012

    Chief Resident Family Medicine
    Hennepin County Medical Center

  2. #2
    Locutusofborg's Avatar
    Locutusofborg is offline Member 535 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaol_121 View Post
    Wherever a student goes, medical education will be expensive! Together with travel, housing, food and other living expenses, and without the tuition discount that a student at an in-state, public medical school would receive, the costs of attending an international medical school, even one with a modest tuition, quickly escalate. U.S. citizens at many international medical schools are eligible for U.S. Government Guaranteed Student Loans, which may be interest subsidized or unsubsidized, and there are other possibilities for borrowing money. If they are not independently or dependently wealthy, medical students will, however, have to go deeply in debt.
    All medical students are confronted by academic, and financial pressures, but those who attend international medical schools must contend with additional difficulties.
    I think this is largely untrue. Many offshore programs, including 3 of the Big 4 Carribean schools are Stafford eligible. In the Philippines, ECFMG eligible programs that are licensed in all 50 states are cheaper by a factor of 10 compared to US schools, and living expenses are cheaper roughly by the same amount, depending upon lifestyle. In fact, financial considerations were one of my big incentives to go abroad.

  3. #3
    Slaol's Avatar
    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locutusofborg View Post
    I think this is largely untrue. Many offshore programs, including 3 of the Big 4 Carribean schools are Stafford eligible. In the Philippines, ECFMG eligible programs that are licensed in all 50 states are cheaper by a factor of 10 compared to US schools, and living expenses are cheaper roughly by the same amount, depending upon lifestyle. In fact, financial considerations were one of my big incentives to go abroad.
    Even though the "big 4" are Stafford eligible, students who graduate from those schools, as a whole, have more debt at graduation. The cost of living on an island is much higher, as is the cost of flying to an international location vs going to an in-state institution.


    • $139,517 According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average educational debt of indebted graduates of the class of 2007. The average debt of graduating medical students increased in 2007 by 6.9 percent over the previous year.
    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/5349.html

    When I graduate from AUC, I will be in debt almost 260k (if I take out the max loans).

    I'm not saying for students to NOT go abroad - I think it's a great idea, which is why I am doing it. I just wanted people to know the risks.
    - Slaol
    http://corbinmd.blogspot.com/

    American University of the Caribbean (AUC) class of 2012

    Chief Resident Family Medicine
    Hennepin County Medical Center

  4. #4
    Leo F. Swiontek is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Medical Study Abroad

    It is interesting and good to study medicine abroad in some developed conteries like america, uk etc. You will get the latest knowledge and technologies in medicine.



    Leo F. Swiontek

  5. #5
    golakers is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    phillipines huh?

    i've been wrestling with these same questions for about 6 months now. there are a lot of options and not a ton of information online. even emailing admissions officers often reveals nothing more than what is on the website.

    cost is definitely a factor for me, like locutusofborg, and for this reason I am having a difficult time selecting a school. the phillipines sounds very affordable, but how is the curriculum or the US match stats??
    "The Dude abides."

  6. #6
    trauma is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by golakers View Post
    i've been wrestling with these same questions for about 6 months now. there are a lot of options and not a ton of information online. even emailing admissions officers often reveals nothing more than what is on the website.

    cost is definitely a factor for me, like locutusofborg, and for this reason I am having a difficult time selecting a school. the phillipines sounds very affordable, but how is the curriculum or the US match stats??
    I would caution you against going to the Philippines if you are not adventurous. Outside of the Caribbean schools, most foreign schools will not prepare you for USMLE. Even with the same curriculum, the way they ask questions in their exams are very different so you have to prepare on your own. The different culture might also turn you off unless you are adventurous. The school there that has a lot of foreigners is Fatima but they are the most expensive (about 10K-15K a year). All schools there will require you to pay a one-time foreign fee of about $10K.

  7. #7
    Gloogle is offline Newbie 510 points
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    The funny thing about that whole article or whatever it is, is that it doesn't have one single positive comment about studying abroad.

  8. #8
    surfermd is offline Member 510 points
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    I agree. I've been hearing a lot about this recently and I gotta say, it does NOT look very promising for all of us currently in the Carib. I already know of two new medical schools opening up in my current state this year alone...

  9. #9
    october's Avatar
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    quack, quack, blah, blah


    More of the same "crap" they have been saying for decades. decades later and many successful graduates.

    the difference is nowadays "delivery" of such "propaganda" is instantaneous online and arguably more effective. we didn't have the internet. all we had were our books, lecture notes, and motivation and great classmates with a dream/goal

    Tell me something new!
    Last edited by october; 04-23-2008 at 01:43 PM.
    ================================================== =
    Take this soul, strand it in some skin and bones
    take this soul. and make it sane, sane

    what no man can own..... only God can take
    take this heart, take this heart. take this heart

    and let it break

  10. #10
    trb_5 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    all that is a bunch of crap...i have 6 cousins who went internationally and all of them are fine...

    about 50% of the doctors in america are from a different country...my uncle did his medical school in pakistan and didnt even come to america till he was in his 30's and he is a professor of medicine at USC med school

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