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Med school in India or US

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MindCastle15, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. MindCastle15

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    OK, so I just graduated from high school- I will be applying to colleges in the US for premed, and also to UK and India for medicine- just to clarify my position- I am an US citizen, living in India- there are around 2 top colleges that I could get into (very competitive) in India, being foreign- so I will be applying to the UK where the system is quite similiar to India. I want to do my residency in the US. About where I ultimately want to stay- that's obv hard to say atm, but I will prob stay in the US- however, I would like the option of going back to India if I want to- specially later in life. UK - I have no intention of practising there. I will just be going there to study.
    Taking all this into account-
    *1) How hard is it for IMG's to match into residency? Is there any difference between UK medical degree and Indian medical degree to those who coordinate residencies?
    2) Will I be able to get into a specialty of my choice, even if its not a very good school? On what criteria are you given the specialty of your choice?
    3) I am interested in research later on- will studying in the UK/India be detrimental to that? I'm talking about fellowships.
    4) Also- could anyone tell me a little more about the specialty medical genetics? I am interested in genetics- which specialties relate most to this field?
    5)Lastly,( I know this is not the correct forum), but exactly how hard is it for a good student (not brilliant) with a keen interest in learning to get into med school? How hard is the MCAT? This is important, because I don't want to go back to the US to study, and not be able to pursue my dreams. Everyone says its really difficult, and premed years are very stressful (some say even more than med school). I am not a slacker,but I don't really feel the need to be top in class all the time. I just like doing well in what I love.
    Any input on whether UK/India or US is right for me is also appreciated.
     
    #1 MindCastle15, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    If you want to train/work in the US you want to go to a college and then med school in the US. Your odds of getting ANY US residency are pretty lousy otherwise.
     
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  4. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    This is the wrong forum for this question, which has been discussed ad nauseam literally well over a hundred times. Do a Google search with site:studentdoctor.net pasted on the end. You'll find hundreds of results.

    The short answer is 10000000% go to a US school for dozens of reasons.

    1) extremely hard. UK degrees are far better but still way worse than a US degree.

    2) No. You will have to compete applying directly against US students in the match, and will not be competitive enough to beat them without a US degree for the vast majority of specialties.

    3) Plenty of research available in the UK medial schools, very little in the Indian ones, outside of the top schools.

    4) medical genetics is its own specialty. It pays very poorly and there aren't many residencies in it. You mostly do genetic counseling and testing. Lifestyle is great, pay isn't.

    5) Everyone thinks they're awesome until they fail. Most people fail. But you'll never succeed if you don't try. It's hard. The MCAT is very hard. Then getting all the other hoops jumped through adds a whole 'nother layer of difficulty. But roughly 40% of applicants end up at a US MD or DO school, so if you make it far enough to apply, the odds aren't horrible. That's a gross oversimplification, but you've basically asked me to summarize the entire preallo forum in a paragraph, so it's the best I can do.
     
    #3 Mad Jack, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  5. MindCastle15

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    Okay, I get your point> Basically, India is not an option, UK is slightly better. But you are scaring me about premed. :( It seems like even if you're good, you only have a slight chance of getting into an ok medical school and none at all in the good ones.
     
  6. allantois

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    If you can get into a top 2 college in India, you will get in somewhere in the U.S.
     
  7. Gladiolus23

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    I don't think you need to be scared of pre-med. It's not that difficult if you are a good student who can focus and study with some discipline. I do agree that the MCAT is probably the hardest part of being pre-med, but for that, you can start "studying" freshman year by paying attention to your pre-requisite science classes…don't just study to get the A, but really learn the material. Make flashcards for each class, and review them to retain material. Try to make it so that come MCAT time, you are already familiar with most of the content because you paid attention in school. That way you can devote MCAT study months to pure practice. If I had done all this, I would be in a much happier and stress-free position right now.

    You also need volunteering and research, so my advice for that is to get involved asap and stay in that organization throughout your undergrad years so that med schools know your committed. Overall, I think US is a good option and I think you will be able to do well. Btw, I've been in your exact same situation (also from India) so feel free to PM with any more questions. :)
     
  8. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Um... All of them are good. We've kind of got these "standard" things. Even the worst US medical school is better than 99% of the medical schools in India. You can get into any residency from a state MD school, so why does it matter what name is on your diploma?
     
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  9. Doudline

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    Based on what evidence?
     
  10. MindCastle15

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    And this is why I love sdn :D Thank you! :) For your optimism ;) and also because its amazing to find someone who's been through the exact same thing I'm going through! :) I will definitely PM you soon.
     
  11. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Based on the fact that they meet LCME standards, which are generally regarded as the best accreditation standards in the world. Compared to Indian medical schools, where bribery and cheating is rampant, patient experience is sometimes hard to come by, etc.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33421572

    http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/india-medicine-education/

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0OW1NM20150617

    I mean, I can copy and paste for days, but basically Indian medical education is currently a disaster at all but the best of schools.
     
  12. doc05

    doc05 2K Member
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    if you are a US citizen, why would you even consider going to school in the 3rd world??
     
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  13. 700003

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    Please get your facts right before this could possibly offend anyone…India is a developing country, not third world.
     
  14. allantois

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    Expect that not all schools adhere by LCME standards.
     
  15. doc05

    doc05 2K Member
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    India is a large, developing democracy. I'm sure things will improve with time.

    But the fact that there is widespread poverty and undeveloped infrastructure means "third world."
     
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  16. Mad Jack

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    With regard to MD schools, yes, yes they do.
     
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  17. allantois

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    How funny to think that 2 years of study-at-home followed by 2 years of clinical experience qualifies US schools as the best in the world.
     
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  18. Mad Jack

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    It's the content that matters. If you can master the content, it doesn't matter whether you're in a classroom or sitting at home. In fact, it's probably better that you're sitting at home, since you can double speed lectures and get things down twice as fast or watch them two times instead of one, hence why the only studies I've ever seen regarding Step performance and recorded lectures showed a statistically significant increase in scores. At my school, for instance, they've made the tests more difficult over the last two years because our knowledge base is beyond where prior classes were, particularly in anatomy, something a couple of our professors largely credit to having recorded lectures. The two years of clinical experience is pretty standard the world over- in the six year schools, it's generally 2 years prereqs, 2 years basic medical sciences, 2 years clinical experience. The big difference being, if you want to be in the US, it takes place in the US healthcare system, which is massively different than most other systems.
     
  19. SPDF

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    I wouldn't go that far. It's a little different considering OP is a US-citizen, but I know plenty of people from european/asian countries who just matched into the US. You'll have less choices (I've heard from them it's mainly east coast hospitals), but there are choices nonetheless.

    I always thought that IMGs are okay based on the circumstances (ie citizen of said country), just FMGs (Caribbeans) are frowned upon. Even Caribbeans match; I considered the main problem with them isn't matching, it's that they accept practically anyone (low 20s MCAT), so there is a higher percentage of drop-outs and board failures.
     
  20. allantois

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    US citizens who went abroad for medical school have in fact done very well matching 10+years ago. Now, the situation is not so good for them and I think what people on SDN are concerned with is that there will soon be no residency spots left for IMGs and FMGs when OP will be trying to match 7 years down the road.
     
  21. Doudline

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    These links mostly talk about the health care system, not medical education.
    Fraud to get into medical school or to artificially inflate scores does not directly affect education, nor do bribes to receive care because of the shortage. False patients and lack of clinical practice for students is worrying, but it's based on a single anecdote.

    The SYSTEM is a disaster, not necessarily education. And LCME standards being regarded as the "best accreditation standards in the world" is not very convincing.
     
  22. RustBeltOnc

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    OP: Can you get into AIIMS Delhi?
     
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  23. Dr.Sticks

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    Wait, how does that work out? Isn't it that in the U.K/India you go to college for 2 years, and then go to medical school for an MBBS or something?
     
  24. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Did you even read the articles?
     
  25. notbobtrustme

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    based on the fact that the US isn't a 3rd world ****hole.

    aka, you can drink the tap water and not **** your kidneys out.
     
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  26. gyngyn

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    #25 gyngyn, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
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  27. ac62994

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    First of all, you're an incoming undergraduate freshman. A lot can happen in four years. Chill.

    I see no legitimate reason for your wanting to go to the UK/India. Stay in the US if you want to practice in the US. Don't count yourself out if you're feeling doubtful.
     
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  28. Dr.Sticks

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  29. NotAnotherPreMed

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    (Am from India, went to college in America and currently in the application process) By top 2 colleges you mean AIIMS/AFMC/JIPMER/Maulana Azad? Damn all of them have around a 1% (I think AIIMS has like 0.5% or even lower) acceptance rate. If you can get into any of them, you'll definitely match relatively well in America too. I have a few friends and relatives who studied for an MBBS in India and are now doing just fine in America. Finances should obv play a big role in your decision too. But if its not any of the absolutely top colleges in India then maybe US pre-med would be a better option overall.
     
    #28 NotAnotherPreMed, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
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  30. I'm On My Way Up

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    I really doubt that such an issue exists for medical students that live a country with over a billion people. Regardless, OP should go to a medical school in the country where he wishes to practice. While it is definitely true that IMGs will have low chances at landing in a good US residency spot, the reverse situation is just as, if not more, difficult (especially due to the substantially larger amount of competition).
     
  31. Gladiolus23

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    AIIMS gets 80,000-90,000 applications for 72 spots. AFMC is an army college (with a bond to serve 7 years after med school, unless you pay your way out of that) and JIPMER/CMC etc are similarly very difficult govt medical colleges to get into. Also, since they are government, I don't think NRIs (aka US citizens) can pay a "donation" fee to get in. They have to actually go through the entrance exam. If OP is smart enough to get into that 0.08% at AIIMS, then I would say go for it.

    OP, if you can get into a top college in India then I think you can stay there and do fine.(although note of caution: one of my friends is at CMC and he is still planning to take time off to prepare for USMLE/residency…despite being at a prestigious college, he still seems a bit confused about the US route)

    In my opinion, the problem comes with the for-profit private medical colleges (Manipal, SRMC, Vydehi, Apollo etc.) which many students can get into by paying a fixed fee for their degree. They usually don't take an entrance exam or work hard to get into med school…they are in b/c they have the money. From what I've seen, these people tend to be the ones that are US citizens who cannot compete with the intense competition in India.
     
    #30 Gladiolus23, Aug 22, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  32. NotAnotherPreMed

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    ^So true. So I got to an engineering program at a top 10 US school and I challenge my more 'boisterous' classmates to solve even 2/100 of the problems on the test to get into the best engineering colleges in India. Its similar with medicine. Although you get into medical school in India solely on the results of national level exams after high school (blows the MCAT out of the water) and I don't buy into the belief that its the best way to choose future doctors just based on academic merit. Anyway, the concerns about patient experience are in fact opposite. The reason I and some of my friends hesitated before going to the US for premed is that the US wouldn't be able to provide the kind of patient experience that India does with each resident getting to see an incredible number of patients a day.
     
  33. Dr.Sticks

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    HOLY HELL!!
    For ALL U.S med schools we had almost 50k applicants.. 80-90k for ONE school? HOLY CRAP
    WOw
    wow
    my jaw is on the floor
    wow
     
  34. Gladiolus23

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    Yeah, its pretty intense. The thing about India is that almost everyone that can afford school wants to be an engineer or doctor. With a population of 1.3 billion, you can see that becoming a problem. And unfortunately, there's no such thing as doing research, community service, or clinical experience in order to get in. It's simply based on your rank on the entrance exam. And when I was there, EACH medical school had a separate entrance test! So there were like a gazillion books to study from lol

    The situation finally got to the point where private colleges started opening up, who depend on the rich native Indian people or U.S citizens to support them thru "donation" fees. So for a US citizen living in India, they are usually faced with two options: Go to med school in the US or get a guaranteed pre-paid seat in India. As a highschooler, the 2nd option seems much more attractive and many end up paying their way thru med school. That's the sad part :(, because by the end of it, it's hard to appreciate the value of the career you are going into
     
  35. NotAnotherPreMed

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    Lol the funniest part is that out of the 72 seats, 36 are reserved for certain classes of people (kind of like URM)- so the 'general' applicant has 36 seats to get to i.e. has to be one of the Top 36 in all of India. Additionally, people study for medical exams from the 11th grade for around 8 hours a day (even more). After going through that test of fire, only the best (at least academically) even survive...

    EDIT: Sorry for making this into a semi circlejerk of sorts but I just wanted to shine some light on the state of medical school admissions in other countries. Back to the main topic- if you can get into the top colleges in India OP- go. Otherwise the US might be a better option when you definitely want to work in the US.
     
  36. Gladiolus23

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    Yeah, it's the same situation with engg, what with IIT and all :D Yeah, my medical student friends in India definitely see a lot of patients. I shadowed a doc there who saw 100 patients a day, no joke.

    Haha so true there are actually designated centers to prepare for these entrance tests starting from 11th grade (Chaitanya and Narayana) if you've ever heard them.
     
  37. Dr.Sticks

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    I don't think I'm gonna complain about how competitive the U.S is.. It's easier to get into Harvard than it is to this Indian Medical school!!!
     
  38. Glazedonutlove

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    and how do you feel about the rote memorization>application of material
     
  39. NotAnotherPreMed

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    Lol I went to this institute called Aakash Medical Coaching in the 11th grade since I wanted to go to school in India initially. When I set my eyes on the US later on boy wasn't I glad to see how little work the SAT took in comparison. IIT is god level. I went to visit a friend there who showed me his acceptances from Hopkins and Duke undergrad which he said were safeties if he didn't get into IIT lolol.
     
  40. Dr.Sticks

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    Hopkins and Duke safeties???
     
  41. Gladiolus23

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    Omg so did I! I started at Aakash for medical coaching, but then quit halfway because I was ambivalent about going to med school in India. I didn't want to pay my way through…so I came here, because I knew I can only get into a US med school on merit and at least that's possible here :p

    Yup my class in India was full of students applying to top 10 US schools as safeties…they have good options though. Hopkins vs IIT!
     
  42. NotAnotherPreMed

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    So I even took a couple of the tests to get into medical school in India and speaking from that experience- sure a part of it is rote memorization but the application based questions, especially in Orgo, Physics and Chemistry are hard as HELL (seriously I studied and require a through understanding. Again this stands true for probably the top 50 maybe 100 colleges in India. After that standards drop off.
     
  43. Glazedonutlove

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    not talking about exam. The medical/engineering education itself
     
  44. NotAnotherPreMed

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    Haha its true (obviously represents the creme dela creme of the Indian educational system but thats the funny part..if youre in the top 1% on the IIT entrance test, that means there are 5000+ people right up there with you).
    http://www.freeonlinetests247.com/instructions_for_free_online_test_IIT-JEE-Main-2015/414
    Try solving this :p Keep in mind you get very little time for each question and the paper is meant for 17 year olds.
     
  45. Gladiolus23

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    The medical curriculum has a lot of focus on rote memorization too…their exams are entirely essay-based (according to my friend, she literally regurgitates paragraphs from the textbook onto the exam). However, I'm sure the application part comes during the last 3 years of MBBS when they get to experiment on hundreds of patients. This is why it is important to go to a top school - in a school like IIT, AIIMS etc. you don't have anything to worry about. Their education is superior.
     
  46. NotAnotherPreMed

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    Education- yes. Only the very few colleges have great courses, research programs and other similar things that you take for granted in America. Its changing nowdays and hopefully in 10 years the classes will be fully application oriented. :)
     
  47. Glazedonutlove

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    then why is it not ranked competitively on an international lvl
     
  48. I'm On My Way Up

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    India could benefit substantially by having hundreds of millions of kids doing community service. As far as shadowing is concerned, I don't really believe something like that would help as much as most people would think. You have to keep in mind that many Indian students, from a very young age, are pushed by their parents into becoming either engineers or physicians whether they like it or not. Shadowing and clinical experience will likely end up being two more "checklist tasks" if they end up being required - at least for now. I'm sure quite a bit of development will happen for India's education system (both student and provider side) over time.
     
  49. allantois

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    The ignorance on foreign medical education in this thread is staggering, especially if you think that a country of 1 billion does not have enough smart people to go into medicine. If US med school admissions looked only at academic merit (GPA and MCAT) and did not discriminate against foreigners, we would be flooding with Indian, Chinese and other students from all over the world. You don't have to go very far, just look at top engineering programs in this country. And if anyone is interested in when students learn the basic science pre-requisites (bio, chem, physics, etc), I can only speak for socialist Europe where it is done in high school. American students need 4 or more years of college to catch up with the knowledge that kids graduating from high school in the rest of the world have in terms of math and sciences.
     
  50. Dr.Sticks

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    Getting a perfect MCAT, and a 4.0 GPA doesn't mean you'll be a good doctor..
    I would prefer that my doctor actually have skills, and care about people and not just be in it for "prestige"
    Being a doctor in Asian culture is a status symbol, not a calling.
     
    Goro likes this.
  51. NotAnotherPreMed

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
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    Status:
    Medical Student
    Rankings are also very dependent on research output which Indian institutions are only beginning to churn out. Even the best IIT doens't break top 200 colleges in the world whereas in terms of where the students go after graduation they rival the best colleges anywhere. I hope for the sake of my home country that it changes in the future too :)
    True. again I totally agree about the checklist part. However a lot of the things the US system hinges on (subjective evaluations of applicants) isn't possible in a system where there are too many people to consider. Hence everything is numbers driven and super intense.
     

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