DukeMed vs University of Cambridge (England)

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

What option would you choose?

  • Duke. 4years. $240,000

  • University of Cambridge. 5years. $75,000

Results are only viewable after voting.


Full Member
Mar 2, 2016
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
I am an international student who has been in the US for the past 5 years. Due to a previous unsuccessful medical school application cycle, this time I decided to try an apply abroad just in case. I am European, so I thought that applying to school in the UK would be a good call.

Fast forward 6 months. I have narrowed it down to two options.

- Duke School of Medicine: 4 year program in NC. Awesome 3rd year.
- Cost: $60K per year (including financial aid). Possibility of research funding for 3rd year.
Total cost: $180K-240K
- University of Cambridge: 5 year program in England. 2 years of pre-clinical, 3 years of clinical. It is kind of like undergrad: I would be in a dorm, possibly in a varsity athletic team, etc.
- Cost: $15K per year (including scholarship).
Total cost: $75K

My primary medical interests are specialized surgeries (neuro, cardiac, plastic...)

I like Duke because I really like the US and it would be the straightforward path to match into an American residency. However, I have never really lived in the UK so I do not know whether I would like it there as well.

It is important to consider that I can not get private loans in the US, so the full $60K/year would have to come from my parents, who would have to get a loan for me.

I know that they are both great options, and that I would probably love it in either place, but I also know that my future will be completely different depending on which option I choose, so any opinions and thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2015
Reaction score
The differences between the two schools are too innumerable to compare and I wouldn't even know where to start. The biggest thing you need to consider is where you want to practice in the future, NOT whether you'd like living in Durham or Cambridge for the next 4-5 years. 4-5 years is not a long time compared to the rest of your career. If you want to practice in the US, the best thing you can do is 1.) get US citizenship 2.) go to a US medical school. It's as simple as that. If you don't care where you practice, then go to the UK; it will be difficult for you to match into competitive specialties in the US as a non-US citizen.

I would add that the physician situation in the UK is very much in turmoil right now, given all the recent strikes and such, and the politics concerning reimbursements/cost-cutting measures. I'd suggest doing more research on your own regarding the long-term outlook of physician careers in the UK and the steps you'd need to take to apply to a US residency as an IMG, as well as thinking more carefully about your long term plans. Money and lifestyle in your case does not matter as much. I'm worried that the advice you'll get from pre-allo will lead you astray from the real considerations you need to be making.