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  1. #1
    epimed is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    English Program in Russian Universities

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    By now, I've taken a good look at Russian universities, the good, the bad and the ugly (apparently the last two are more prominent). Though Russia is still down on my list, I can't help but try to know about some opinions and the experiences in these universities.

    I know that while Russia remains a bit of an unpopular option for Indian and Chinese med students, there is still a considerable number studying medicine in Russia. I'm wondering about the English programs: are the students from different parts of the world/cultures or are the majority from India/China? Now, I have nothing against Indians or the Chinese, I'm just curious to know.

    Also, I've searched all med school in Moscow (which are supposed to be the "best") using the AVICENNA directory (aka WHO directory) along with the FAIMER. There is a field in both of these directories titled "Language of Instruction" or "Instruction Language". In Russia, or rather in Moscow, only RSMU (Russian State Medical University) has English along with Russian written in the language of instruction field. Does this mean only the English program at RSMU is recognized?

    This whole thing about the recognition of English programs is seriously worrying me, I'm even considering the Russian program.

  2. #2
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    When you say "recognized," what exactly are you talking about? Where do you want recognition? Where do you want to practice? What do you want to do?

    I would not have Russia atop my list, to be frank, but that's just me.

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  3. #3
    epimed is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    Well, I'm talking about recognition by the FAIMER and AVICENNA, which I believe is recognition at an international level. I would really like to have my degree recognized in as many countries as possible, and I know that's not possible with the English program in Russia. I would like to practise somewhere in the EU: Germany, France or really anywhere else where the salaries for MDs are better that of E-EU and I would sure like my degree to be recognized in the US. And according to my knowledge, EU degree and citizenship is definitely a plus, that's why I'm considering some E-EU med schools that have a reasonable tuition, like Bulgaria.

  4. #4
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    OK. No English program at any medical school in Bulgaria has 50-state approval in the US, so that means no California, or any of the states that follow its list (somewhere around 7-9 states, as I recall). However, the other 40+ states are open, assuming you can pass the USMLEs, get ECFMG certified, and match into a residency there. That is not a given, especially without US citizenship. It is getting harder and harder, even if you DO have US citizenship and graduated overseas.

    The same situation exists with every program in Romania. Yes, the Balkan English programs are cheaper, but you can't practice in all 50 states. Now, if you study in the native language program, then you get all 50 states, but you need to fluently speak the native language. On the good side, EU approval is not a problem, however you must speak the language in the country where you want to work, and you must pass their exams if they have one (like France, etc.). Some places, like Germany currently, are very friendly in that regard because they are seeking doctors. Other countries are almost impossible, especially if you are not an EU citizen (like the UK, Holland, etc.). And since you mentioned citizenship, before you ask, time as a student in a country does not count as reckonable time toward citizenship there. This means that you can't study for 6 years in Bulgaria and then put in for Bulgarian citizenship at the end of it. You are starting over again when you are working as a resident someplace, if you are lucky.

    Now, there are some (NOT ALL) E-EU English language programs that are 50-state approved in Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary, for example. However, they are not as cheap because they can market themselves to that strength (50 state approval). Russia is a crapshoot for the goals you have outlined. It is not guaranteed approved for the EU or Canada, it is not set up to prepare you for the USMLE for the US, and you have no recourse if the school tries to screw you over like you could in the EU. Conceivably. Sort of.

    International recognition-wise, I would recommend the Irish medical schools. They are some of the best in the world, the teaching is natively in English, and they have a strong reputation. They are also very expensive, but it is worth it in my opinion. If you can beg, borrow, or steal enough, then that would be my first recommendation because it would open up the EU, US, Canada, etc.

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  5. #5
    bidiboom is offline Permanently Banned
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    Besides if you are a Russian youngster and graduate from a Russian school, its understandable from the standpoint of a US/Canadian health institution director (who evaluates the candidates applying for residency positions). But if you go to a med school in Russia from Canada or US, then they will try to see a very good and specific reason for this choice, like family ties and so a mandatory choice. If they cant see such a reason behind your choice, they may not like it. Actually I think that goes for any director of good medical environments.

    If I am wrong please correct me guys.

  6. #6
    epimed is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    All right, I've taken a look at Slovakian med schools, and they seem to be all right. My main concern is the living costs. I mean I'm only interested in living in the student hostels, which are probably cheaper. Devildoc, you studied in Bulgaria and I'm wondering what was your monthly budget (though it might not fit my question as you had a family and your budget was obviously higher than that of a single student).

    I mean the most I can afford as for living expenses is $500 including accommodation and everything.

  7. #7
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    The budgets are totally different. I am married with two kids, and we live in a nicer (and more expensive) part of town than the Studentski Grad. More importantly, you can't compare the cost of living between Slovakia and Bulgaria. They are totally different countries and totally different economies. In order to have any value to the numbers, you'll need to hear from someone who is studying at the university you are interested in, and not from someone in another country and situation entirely.

    FWIW, however, for a newish 2BR apartment in Sofia we pay about 425 Euros (this is far more than most students pay, because we are in a different part of town with a newer place). Utilities range from 25-100 Euros, depending on the season. Food costs vary so much as to be completely ridiculous, depending on what you want to eat and where you want to shop. The open air markets are cheap (unless a vendor rips you off, which happens a lot until you get used to the place). The fancy grocery chains are expensive. I would imagine that a student could share a small apartment near the medical faculty and come in under $500/month on living costs, as long as you were relatively frugal. I am quite sure that a student could live in the Studentski Grad for less than that, but it is NOT close to the medical faculty. Like, at all.

    I have no idea on costs in Bratislava, or wherever else you might be thinking about. Good luck!

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  8. #8
    epimed is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    I was reading the admission requirements for Sofia when I came across a point that said something like applicants should be eligible to attend universities in the country in which they received their high school diploma from. Does this mean I should be accepted to a med school in Canada to be eligible to apply? I'm probably wrong but just want to make sure.

  9. #9
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12699 points
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    Holy crap, NO! Hell, the medical school admissions standards in Canada are absolutely cutthroat right now. This is talking about universities in general, as in undergraduate studies. (And why would anyone study in Sofia if they were accepted to a Canadian medical school?)

    What that means is that your Canadian high school diploma should allow you to attend undergraduate studies at a Canadian university, if you decided to study there and were accepted. Since medical school in Canada is a graduate program AFTER undergrad, they are not talking about medical school.

    Basically, if you graduated from an accredited high school in Canada, you are good to go in that regard.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
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    Clinical Research Fellow / Resident
    Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman 1996-2003


  10. #10
    epimed is offline Junior Member 512 points
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    Haha you had me laughing there. Exactly, who in their right mind would want to go to Bulgaria if they were accepted in Canada? LOL

    Anyways, I am extremely confused atm. Really really confused. It's the living costs that are confusing me. I mean do you have any idea about what your friend or others at Sofia that don't have a family pay each month in regards to their living expenses? I've contacted an agent in Hungary regarding Slovak med schools, and he told me that I will need a MINIMUM of 700USD EACH month for living expenses! Now I've done my research about these universities and the countries in general, and they seem to tell me the opposite. I mean if I find a place in the student hostels I'll obviously prefer to live with someone, so that the cost of the rent will come down. Here is what one of the universities has in their website regarding housing:

    Housing | UPJS

    I certainly hope things will be at least somewhat cheaper in Bulgaria........damn...this whole living expenses thing is hard to live with.

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