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Hello! Any current or former Hungarian med students or graduates?

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by Medster, Sep 10, 2000.

  1. Medster

    Medster Junior Member
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    Hello, are there any current, or former Hungarian medical students planning to practice medicine in the United States. If not Hungarian, any other foreign medical graduates that can give advice about the USMLE, residency, and rotations in the United States? I am currently a third year medical student at University Medical School of Debrecen. Is there anyone that can give me advice about my future?
    Thank you.
     
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  3. Stephen Ewen

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    Medster, it would be really beneficial to a lot of readers here if you could give us some first hand perspective and experiences at your school. Thanks!
     
  4. Medster

    Medster Junior Member
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    Hello, I have spent two years of medical studies in the English program in Debrecen, Hungary. I can say that the studies are very intense, and the faculty and staff are trying to see who is there to study, and who wants to really become a physician. Unfortunately, the attrition rate is quite low after the 2nd year, and those who make it past the first two years are usually considered war heroes. The basic science curriculum is quite rigorous. To study at this University and be successful, you must have a fierce determination and character, to succeed no matter what. I have a bachelor degree from the United States in the biology related sciences, and I can say that the Universities in Hungary do not exactly expect the basics. Out of my 2nd year class of app. 127 (including repeaters and first timers), only around 36 of us have been fortunate enough to go straight through to the third year. I myself was originally accepted to the University of Iowa Dental school, but opted to study medicine internationally. I cannot say that I have regretted my decision, but I often wish I had a less stressful route. In addition to rigorous studies, dealing with everyday life as a foreigner in Hungary is not exactly easy. I will say that the education thus far has been excellent, but the living conditions can be stressful. My undergraduate studies helped me very much, but the expectations laid upon the students who do not have much college may not be fair. As I am not aware of the admissions standards of this University, I will not comment upon that. However I will say that if anyone wants to study in Hungary, he or she must be willing to put up with probably the most stressful time of their lives. If you are interested in checking out this University, it is at www.dote.hu
    If anyone has any questions about anything I am able to answer.
     
  5. hvitgris

    hvitgris Junior Member
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    I spent 2 years at Pecs University Medical School in Hungary. My experiences are much the same. I had taken my pre-medical studies in Canada which greatly helped me through the first 2 years without failure. Many students without such experience had a very difficult time passing.
    I left because of the clinicals coming up in the third year. Many hungarians cannot speak english which complicates things for people like me that did not exactly master the language after two years.
     
  6. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member
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    In the early nineties, I spent some time at SZOTE. Loved the country and the women...hated the program. Most of my friends transferred to the Caribbean and are residents. I chose the DO route, with no regrets.

    My primary recollection of the educational process was the ridiculous amount of cheating that was tolerated and openly accepted.

    Anyway, I am aware of only one student from the US that stuck it out and he is a resident in neurology in Chicago.
    He felt that he was very poorly prepared for clinicals in US hospitals and is still catching up.

    Do as many rotations as possible in the US and take a prep course for the boards, since the Hungarian system is nem yo for the USMLE.
     
  7. Medster

    Medster Junior Member
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    Thank you for your advice. Moreover, do you know if your friend from Chicago had any problems with the boards? Please, which review courses do you recommend? I certainly understand all of the queries pertinent to the Hungarian system of education for foreigners (not only applicable to Americans; e.g. Dubai, Iran, Norway, etc.). However, we have to go along with what the system gives us, which may not be pretty sometimes. Any more advice would be much appreciated!
    Thank you!
     
  8. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member
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    He spent most of his time studying, plus he was a chiropractor prior to attending SZOTE, so he was able to pass the boards on the first attempt(s). The chiropractic school Zach attended had a very strong basic science program and he found this to be quite beneficial. With the notable exception of pharm, most of it was familiar to him.

    When I was in Szeged, we had 5 North Americans in the English program. The other students were from all over the world, with heavy concentrations from Israel, Sweden and the middle east. When I visited in May, I noticed a large # of first generation Americans of E. Indian heritage, a big shift from. Anyway, the improvements were vast from the early 1990's, eg cyber cafes, ATM machines, fast food, etc. Inflation has definitely hit. The tram was 20 forints in '92, now it is 120 f.

    Since NMSR and Compass are now part of Kaplan, it is about the only decent prep course available. IMHO, the key is to do thousands of practice questions, ie clinical vignettes.

    How did you end up in Debrecen? My recollection is that of an ugly industrial town. Pecs and Szeged had other universities (JATE, etc) that added to the enjoyment, plus the Russian and Serbian Mafias kept the streets safe and the Russian prostitutes loved to party with the Americans. Did you apply through Sippos(sp?) in NJ?
    I tip my hat to anyone that can graduate from an Eastern European medical school (Romania excepted)...US students have no idea how easy they have it!
     
  9. Medster

    Medster Junior Member
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    Hello, I ended up in Debrecen through a family friend. Unfortunately, this friend has been of no use to me, because of his partying and enjoying life there. There was a local Jordanian agent named Subuh who completely mislead us into thinking that the duration of my studies would be 4 years, instead of 6 years that the program actually is! He also promised a guaranteed match with a passing USMLE score, and rotations in the United States! This was all very appealing to us, considering the Caribbean schools were more expensive. Unfortunately, this was all a bogus fairytale once we had arrived there. This useless scam artist just wanted the thousands of US dollars, because this was all part of his pathetic career. So actually, I had entered the FIRST year of the SIXTH year program! He had promised us before AND after the transaction that I was a THIRD year medical student. I only found this out once I had arrived at the educational office in Debrecen. Although there were other intelligent hard working students in my year, it was very difficult to make this distinction among the vast array of irresponsible, immature students. It was okay to tell my family and I that I had to expect 6 years of studies; however, it was like a nightmare learning after 6 months of finishing college credits to obtain a college degree, instead of 4 years of study, it is actually 6 years. I have not spoken to mr. Subuh since then, and have decided to stay, although I am currently leaning on leaving to a 4 year program. I do not know if this is wise, but I do not want a fight with the rotations and the USMLE scores. I myself am uncertain about my future there, and do not want to end up another one of those guys in the sixth year wandering around. However, the education has been challenging. I just wonder whether or not I should get out while I still have time. Although I have survived to the third year, now the clinical rotations in the Hungarian language will just be a huge barrier(this is what I feel). There are a minority up there who are successful, or even extremely successful. However, the red tape just seems to be too overwhelming as of this point. Any advice please!
    Thank you!
     
  10. prefontaine

    prefontaine Senior Member
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    IMO, you would be better off in the Caribbean, eg SGU, AUC, Saba or St Matthews.
    Consider MUA. Avoid Ross.

    It will be much easier to pass the USMLE and even if your rotations are in the UK, you will be better prepared for the US system.

    The Carib path is well worn. The students may bitch (just like everywhere), but after what you have been through, it will be fairly smooth sailing.

    Theoretically, you could still start residency sooner than if you stayed in Hungary. Don't the Hungarians finish in August of the sixth year?
     
  11. Medster

    Medster Junior Member
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    I am not fully aware of the graduation times, but usually I hear alot of complaints pertinent to the dates and timings of the graduations. As far as my studies in Hungary, the 2nd year was taught much better than the 1st year, although I do not know whether or not the material parallels well with the USMLE. Do you know how the material is taught at St. George University? Is there alot of independent learning, or is the educational material well oriented to the students? How is the educational system in St. George comparable to e.g. undergraduate education? Right now I feel as if my science background is strong, however, I do not want to go into a system which expects you to research many, many different various materials.
    How good is the educational system at St. George?
     
  12. shangrilah

    shangrilah New Member

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    I am a second year student at Semmelweis (Budapes), and I am sorry to say that the cheating still goes on (and big time) during exams you can only hear a crowd mumbling in hebrew together with another crowd mumbling in greek. And the fact that the professors tolerate this situation is quite frustrating. Together with the cheating, the hiring of faculty members specialy by israelis and greeks put all the other students to a disadvantage. The overall experience has been TRAGIC, and I already started to look for a school to either transfer or start all over again. Any suggestions???
     
  13. jdm

    jdm Member
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    Medster et al,

    I've enjoyed you guys talking abt the hungarian med schools. They intrigue me - for cost and they're really kind of prestigious medical schools in the big wide world - so I'd like to ask some very specific questions. How do/did you guys pay for it? Can you get loans from the us govt? And the lectures, is it big faceless lecturings or is there some semblance of group activities? Do they utilize an organ systems or problem-based learning method? I've heard there's a lot of emphasis placed on oral exams, is this true? How is the housing - do you live in the community or is it on or near campus?

    Any further information wd be appreciated - along these lines or others you feel pertinent.
     
  14. Aria2012

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    it might be a couple of years late to answer to the above questions, but simply I can tell you, yes!
    There are no lies or any sort of negativities out there about these universities, basically these universities are just fit for the middle-easter/Europeans. Canadian/Americans are not the lucky ones down here. As far as cheating, its the same thing after 7 years, at the same school. As far as housing, they've got the hostels for you for something around 80000 HUF (with the Internet). Not a lot of people will become good doctors in here. System doesn't make you a doctor (you have to run and run after it), they make you really frustrated instead. and the majority of examinations are in oral which doesn't make sense to someone coming from N.America. There are more to say...
     

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