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Italian Med Schools

Discussion in 'General International Discussion' started by NLS, May 29, 2000.

  1. NLS


    Does anyone know of any good Italian Med. Schools?
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  3. PB


    I think that the University of Bologna has an English language program (6 years). Other than that, I'm not sure.
  4. PB


    If anyone has any knowledge of Italian schools, please respond to these posts. Are Italian schools really not worth the effort, according to Carlos Pestana's book?
  5. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999
    Italian schools are overcrowded and the educational system is very different from the one in the US. Here it is a struggle to get in and a lesser struggle to get out, in Italy is the contrary, everybody can get in, but they weed students out year after year. There are written and oral exams, at least for the Italian students. Attendance is "show up if you want" unless it is a lab.

    On the up side, life in Italy is great, there is much to see and much to do, although little time to do either as a med student. The cost of living is very high, so take lots of money with you. People are extremely friendly, as long as you stay away from Rome, where peole are extremely rude...(yet, the city is beautifull).

    Some of the programs that used to take lots of foreign students, don't anymore, so check with the Italian embassy in DC or the nearest Italian consulate. They can give you a list of programs that are open to Americans. I would stay away from Rome, if it is still one of the avaliable programs, because the University of Rome is notoriously overcrowded, Rome (and Milan) take the prize as high cost of living is concerned, the traffic in both cities makes the freeways in L.A. look like wide open spaces and the crime is high (particularly in Rome).

    I would definitely look into Bologna, which used to have a great medical school and it is a more laid back city (and the food is great there!). Perugia used to have wonderfull programs for foreign students, so check if that is a possibility. Do not go to any programs south of Rome. Check out Trieste too.

    As for the quality of the medical education, it is actually very good, but it is not geared to the US licensing system. It is very traditional, some of the medical schools are several hundred years old...and you can tell by the faculty (hehehe),and unless some program with a lot of US students has a special "Board Prep" avaliable, you are going to be very much on your own to prepare for boards. Professors are NOT accessible, they live in a world apart.

    One last point, Italian is ten million times easier to learn and master than Hebrew (for those considering Sackler), but Israelis speak a lot more English than Italians...

    [This message has been edited by UHS2002 (edited 06-08-2000).]
  6. PB


    Hi, UHS,
    thanks for the great info. about Italy. Did you live in Italy before? I would like to attend medical school in Italy, but there is an Italian proficiency exam and also a medical school exam that must be passed before admission. I am not yet proficient in Italian and am wondering if I should try to learn Italian in just the couple months that I have before the test in September. The classes don't actually start until November though. Do you have any idea how difficult the entrance exams are??
    One other thing: What do you think of medical schools in Spain? I'm proficient in Spanish, except for medical terminology, so Spain may be a better option.
    Thanks so much!!
  7. Stephen Ewen

    Stephen Ewen 10+ Year Member


    Do yourself one of the best favors you could possibly do for yourself.

    BEFORE you enroll, go to the country and live and study the language FULL-TIME until you are proficient. For English speaking begginers seeking to learn a new Latin-based language, this means one year full-time immersison with classroom. For non-latin based languages, this means two years.

    Hear this advice. You will not be sorry. You CAN make it through otherwise, but this is the time-honored best route.
  8. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999

    yes, I lived in Italy for several years (I spent a few years in Italy, a few in Israel and a few in S. America - which is one of the reasons I ended up starting medical school by the time all my friends had finished their residency... [​IMG] )

    I have a brother who is a physician in Italy and followed him, from a distance, when he was attending med school (at U. of Rome, by the way, and that is why I can actually feel very confident about advising people against it, LOL). Last time I was there he told me about a program for foreign students at the U. of Perugia, where you spend a huge part of your first year in Italy studying Italian and getting ready for the Italian proeficency test. See, there didn't use to be a language test a few years back, then the Italian government started demanding it because too many foreign students could not speak Italian and a few schools began offering a language program so that their applicants could make it through the test. I don't know if the U. of Perugia has a med school or not, but I think you should find out and also find out if any of the medical programs you are interested in have such a language course to enable you to pass the language test. Again, I would try the education attache at the Italian Embassy in DC.

    I agree with Stephen though, about the language requirement, unless you are going into a program which is taught in English (which is why Israel, Ireland, Australia may be more appealing). Could you learn enough Italian between now and your exam to pass it?! Hard question to answer. If you are set on an Italian program, ask the Italian Embassy if they have a sampler of the exam or a list of material covered. Let me know if you get it, and I will let you know if I think it is feaseable to learn it in a few months.

    If you speak Spanish, then Spain would be a good option. Don't worry about the medical terminology, you will have plenty of time to become familiar with that in med school. The cost of living in Spain used to be lower than Italy, but I haven't been there in so many years, and that may have changed. As for the quality of their medical programs, I have no idea, although, as a rule, I think most Western European programs are fairly comparable (sorry if I am offending those of you who are keen on Eastern European med schools, but I met plenty of Eastern European medical graduates and I was not impressed by the quality of their programs - the good graduates were mostly self taught).
  9. PB


    I have a few other questions:

    1)Do you think that the 6 year medical program in most of Europe is a disadvantage/something that should play a big role in the decision to go to those schools? I am currently 25 years old and am thinking in the future about a family and how medical school/residency will play a role in my decisions. I think this is why a lot of people choose the newer Eastern European medical programs in English, which are usually 4 years. I actually called the California State Licensing Board of Medicine, and the lady I spoke to said that none of these Eastern European programs in English are recognized. She said that they are just there to take money from Americans, and the quality of education is not fully established, unlike most of the Western European schools.

    2) Is your brother an American citizen? Is he currently practicing in Italy? I'm just curious about what he thinks about medicine in Italy and how it is/was for him.

    3) Does anyone have information about good medical schools in Spain?

    Thanks a lot for your excellent advice. I appreciate it so much.

  10. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 1999

    sorry for the delay in replying.

    My brother is practicing in Italy. He likes it there because it is a less stressfull lifestyle. Physicians there actually get to go on more than 2 weeks vacation a year...That is important to him. A little over half of the medicine practiced in Italy falls within the confines of "socialized medicine". That also means that physicians go routinely on strike. Aaaaaaargh, I really don't think I could stand that part. There is a significant amount of clinical and basic science research going on at the major medical centers and he thinks that the practice of medicine there, technically speaking, is as good as in the US. The major difference is that they lack the vast amount of financial resources we have here. Basically, if you need a cutting edge new treatment, you better have a lot of money and come to the US to get it. It is not that physicians there are not aware of the science and technology but, rather, that their access to it is somewhat more limited.

    The job market for physicians in Italy is rather pitifull, when compared to the US. There is also a rather hierarchycal system which keeps young doctors from advancing too far. If you are lucky, you get noticed by one of the "authorities" in your chosen specialty and you get to be his/her sideckick until he retires or dies. If you are unlucky, you are going to be pulling shifts at several different hospital trying to make a decent living...

  11. manuv4

    manuv4 New Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    I am an italian resident (who actually hopes to move to USA because my boyfriend lives there) and I would be pleased to answer to any further question about being and getting to be a doctor in Italy. By the way I work in Bologna and I can say I agree with what it has been said till now.

  12. bjw

    bjw New Member

    Jun 29, 2000
    I also am interested in practicing in Italy or even going to school there, my wife is Italian and It would be a dream come true for her. Do american doctors have any opportunity for success in Italy and for those of you that know or have brothers doing this would you please send me an email address so that I might communicate directly with someone doing what I am considering doing or at least respond in the forum. im interested in knowing what kind of lifestyle an american md can look forward to, and would a specialist do better or worse ect. my personal e-mail is [email protected] Thanks
  13. Gus18


    Jul 26, 2012

    This thread is old, but I discovered it when I was doing a search. I would like to find out more information about applying to Italian medical schools. I have completed by undergraduate degree in the US (all of the pre-health requirements). From what I've found, most of the programs in Italy are 6 years. Is there anyway that I could receive credit for the courses I've taken? Will they be recognized? I understand that getting my medical degree in Italy would mean it would be difficult to come back to the states, but my intention is to live there. That being said, does anyone know what the life of a physician is working privately or what about being a civilian doctor for an army base? I would like to stay in Milan for medical school.

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