Katwalker

10+ Year Member
May 2, 2008
1
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Wisconsin
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm very interested in going into overseas medical schools (I'm looking mainly at Australia and the UK at present), but I'm not sure what the requirements are as compared to U.S. schools, what the process entails, or what to do to assure that an overseas medical education will allow me to practice medicine here in the U.S.

Does anybody here have any experience in this, or any resources I could check out?
 

shan564

Below the fray
10+ Year Member
May 30, 2007
2,558
404
St. Louis via Sydney via St. Louis
www.encephalotomy.com
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
I'm very interested in going into overseas medical schools (I'm looking mainly at Australia and the UK at present), but I'm not sure what the requirements are as compared to U.S. schools, what the process entails, or what to do to assure that an overseas medical education will allow me to practice medicine here in the U.S.

Does anybody here have any experience in this, or any resources I could check out?
It's hard for international students to get into UK medical schools. Also, UK schools are usually 6-year undergraduate entry programs, so you probably wouldn't want to do that if you already have a Bachelor's degree.

You can consider Ireland... I believe RCSI and Cork College both have 4-year medical schools that accept international students. But with the weak US dollar, tuition is really expensive there (40,000 Euros per year... which is about USD $60k).

Australia is a good option. Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Flinders, Wollongong, Monash, and a few other schools all accept international students into their 4-year graduate medical program. The admissions requirements are very different from the US... instead of subjectively looking at their applicants, they rank everybody objectively:

-If you have a great MCAT and a low GPA, apply to U.Queensland and U.Sydney. Queensland's admissions rankings are based almost entirely on your MCAT score (assuming that your GPA is above 2.67); in Sydney's system, 50% of the ranking criteria is MCAT and the other 50% is your score from a structured objective interview.

-If you don't have a spectacular GPA or MCAT, you should consider Flinders, Monash, and Wollongong. All three of those schools weight the GPA and MCAT equally in their rankings process and they also consider an interview).

-If you have a low GPA/MCAT but have a lot of personal experience, you should apply to Wollongong. 40% of their ranking score is based on your personal background.


When it's time to come back to the US, you'll have to take the USMLE and apply for a residency just like all of the American graduates. There will, however, be a few differences:
-You'll have to study independently for the USMLE, since the Australian school won't really prepare you completely for Step I.
-You'll need a higher score on the USMLE to meet the minimum requirements of most residency programs (they usually require slightly higher scores for international graduates).
-You won't develop contacts in the US, so you'll have more trouble getting good references.

Those three points aside, people usually don't have much trouble coming back to the US. Usually, Australian graduates perform at least as well on the USMLE as American graduates, so I wouldn't worry about that. As far as developing contacts, most Australian schools will let you do some of your clinical rotations in the US... so you'll be at an advantage over graduates from countries like India and China.

All that aside, many people decide to just stay in Australia because they seem to have a better overall quality of life.