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Non-Caribbean International Medical School Options

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JohnSnow

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I have decided to create this thread, for informational purposes, in the hopes that it will aid fellow North American applicants in their quest to become doctors.

First, I am assuming that, because you're reading this thread, you do not believe yourself to be a competitive applicant for medical school in the United States or Canada, MD or DO. Maybe you have applied a few times and came up short, or maybe you have a couple of rough years on your transcript which have damaged your application and you've decided to look abroad.

The Caribbean schools spend a lot of money advertising and often present their programs as great alternatives pathways into medicine and while that may be true I would like to present other, less well-known options.

Breaking down options by region

Europe

United Kingdom - well-regarded schools; however, they can be just as competitive as North American medical schools when it comes to admission. In short, if you can't get in here, you're going to have a lot of difficulty getting in there. The schools operate on a quota system for international students and the quota is often a single-digit number. Also, most of the programs available to international students will be 5 years in duration. Most schools are eligible for US Federal Loans. Cost is comparable to private tuition fees in the US.

Ireland - well-respected institutions; there are four 4-year graduate entry medical schools, and six medical schools overall (two only offer undergraduate entry medicine which are 5-6 years in duration). Admission is slightly less competitive than in the US. Minimum requirements are probably a 3.0 GPA and 27 MCAT, there isn't a heavy emphasis on GPA and MCAT score can be a massive booster for your application. So if you're sitting on a 3.05 GPA and 32 MCAT this could be a really good option for you. Most schools are eligible for US Federal Loans. Cost is comparable to private tuition fees in the US.

Poland - There are English-language medical school programs that are recognized by the medical boards of all 50 states. Jagiellonian University in Krakow is the oldest and generally regarded as the best. Medical University of Lublin, Medical University of Silesia, Medical University of Warsaw, and Poznan University also come to mind. Admissions criteria are a little looser for these schools. 2.5 GPA and 24 MCAT are probably 'minimum' requirements, but it certainly helps to have have higher numbers. These degrees are recognized throughout the European Union and in all 50 US states (to the best of my knowledge). On the negative side I don't believe any of the schools are still eligible for US Federal Loans, but on the positive side tuition is $15,000 - $20,000 per year at most of these schools, and the cost of living is significantly lower than in the US, but the quality of life in Poland has been steadily increasing since the 1980s and is almost on par with western Europe. I would go to Poland before going to the Caribbean. The schools offer both 4-year graduate entry programs, and 6-year undergraduate entry programs.

Czech Republic - A medical degree from Charles University First Faculty of Medicine's English-language program in Prague is recognized throughout the European Union and in all 50 US states. The program is 6-years in length, and costs about $16,000 per year. I do not believe the program is eligible for US Federal Loans.

Hungary - There are a few English-language programs in Hungary that are recognized throughout the EU and US. I do not believe they have US Federal Loan eligibility but they are reasonably priced.

The Eastern Europe advantage? Low tuition, degrees recognized throughout the entire European Union, some degrees recognized throughout the United States. In short, the Eastern European schools are what the Caribbean schools used to be before they started charging a king's ransom. Somewhere like Jagiellonian is in a vibrant city, Krakow, and tuition is $15,000/year. They post a good residency match rate and ultimately offer good value for your money. Stigma? Yes, but a smaller one than the Caribbean. If you have ethnic ties to one of those countries you can actually make a case for wanting to study there in a residency interview. Heck, you can probably make a case for wanting to study in Prague, Budapest, or Krakow without ancestral ties.

Australasia & Oceania

Australia - There are several great options in Australia and this is often overlooked by students from the United States. Admissions standards can be a bit lower than in the US at some schools, and higher than average at others. For example you can get into UQ with a 2.7 GPA and 24 MCAT.

You'll live in Australia which has a standard of living equal to that of the United States and Canada, if not better. The universities are old, well-respected, and provide a great opportunity for American students. The tuition fees are high, equal or greater than what you would expect to pay at a private US school, and the cost of living is high. However, the vast majority of the schools are eligible for US Federal Loans.

GPA is not a major factor and often a hurdle at 2.7 (meaning anything higher than 2.7 is viewed equally, e.g. 2.85 = 3.95). MCAT is important as can be the interview.

There is also a hybrid program at the University of Queensland which follows a Caribbean-style model with 2 years in Brisbane and 2 years in New Orleans at Ochsner. And I would, without question, attend this program before going to any Caribbean school.

I really would like to steer some American applicants away from the Caribbean and towards Australia. In general, if you can get yourself a spot in one of the 'Big 4' or 'Big 5' Caribbean schools you should be able to find yourself a spot in Australia. Going to the Caribbean you will spend 2 years in a developing nation (or, and I hate this term, a "third world country"), that is not the case with Australia. Furthermore, there won't be a stigma attached to the Australian degree as the schools there aren't viewed as "diploma mills" like the Caribbean schools. You will have a lot easier time explaining in a residency interview why you chose to study in Australia than you will with the Caribbean. Although they are a minority some students who go to Australia actually choose to study there over North America, Caribbean students go to the Carib because they couldn't get into a school in America, period, and everyone knows it.

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I will add to this in coming days, and I welcome additions and criticisms in an effort to improve it.

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In short, if you cannot get into medical school in the United States I highly recommend that you explore the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Australian schools have the most liberal admissions requirements of the group. If you have no luck there look to the English-language programs in Eastern Europe before going Caribbean. I feel like the better Caribbean schools have inflated their prices to the point where they're not worth it, there is a stigma attached because they're viewed as diploma mills, and while there may be a similar stigma attached to an English-language program in Eastern Europe at least you didn't pay $280,000 for the latter, in fact most Eastern European degrees will cost you about $60,000. Also, the standard of living is way higher in Eastern Europe than it is on any of the Caribbean islands.
 
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Medstart108

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    I would probably add the graduate entry medicine programs that are 4 years in length to the UK section. They are very competitive though.
     

    Tyrone Slothrop

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    Recent Prague graduate. Haven't taken my steps yet. Will apply to next years match. Around June I'll be able to tell you all how I did.

    There are a few Charles faculties of medicine in and around Prague. Tuition is about 15k usd at all of them. You can apply for student loans through FAFSA.

    Here is the quick breakdown. These schools primarily exist to produce Czech doctors. The English parallels are tiny compared to the Czech programs. We aren't an important revenue stream for them either. We're taught in English, and most of the instructors speak English quite well. The doctors in Prague are the best doctors in the country, and the medical faculties are also the best in the country. The Czech students are literally their best and brightest. The foreign students are mostly those who couldn't get accepted in their own countries, and ones who come from countries with inferior education systems. I know a Polish girl who declined a free spot in Poland, because her parents felt the education was better in Prague. We're held to the same standards as the Czechs, and the standard is very high.

    Expect to be treated very harshly, and receive no support or accommodation for the first three years. As you enter your clinical years you're treated a little better, and by the final year you're treated as a fellow physician.

    My incoming class was 90 students. By second year we were less than 30. At graduation there were less than 20 of us left. The Czechs don't fail quite as much as we do, but their attrition rate is also well over 50%. If you don't have the goods, you're out. All examinations are oral, you'll be given a list of questions beforehand. You pick a few at random and are then orally examined by one or more doctors for 10 minutes to an hour or so. You have three attempts over the course of the year, if you fail all three you're out. Even our best students fail exams from time to time. I've been on my third attempt twice, it is incredibly stressful. I've seen several people expelled in their fifth year.

    You'll receive an incredibly sound theoretical education. I feel perfectly comfortable talking with UK, American, and German graduates. In particular I find we're sharper than the UK graduates. I feel that we're a lot more emotionally resilient too, it's an environment that toughens you up very quickly.

    You also get to live in Prague. It's really an amazing city. You'll make friends from all over the world. We have an incredible sense of camaraderie, medical students in the city really stick together. After graduation we go out of our way to help each other too. I know graduates working all over europe, and some in the states. I highly recommend studying in Prague, as long as you know what you're getting into.
     

    kiakaraji

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    Does anyone have information on Italian schools like Sapienza?
     
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    awildfandango

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    I have a couple of questions; Say that my mind is completely set on becoming a psychiatrist would anyone consider it to advantageous to say go to a 4 year Ireland MD school versus a DO school in the states? Since a field like psychiatry is relatively speaking easy to match into and there is a great need for more psychiatrists would I really be even taking much of a gamble by attending an International accredited intuition?
     

    Medstart108

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    You'll receive an incredibly sound theoretical education. I feel perfectly comfortable talking with UK, American, and German graduates. In particular I find we're sharper than the UK graduates. I feel that we're a lot more emotionally resilient too, it's an environment that toughens you up very quickly.

    I don't want to knock on you, but UK students who can't get into the UK after multiple tries go to Prague... Prague is not the first choice for anyone except for that one Polish girl and honestly, Prague may be better than Poland, but come on its Poland.

    Also, saying that you are more emotionally resilient? Come on, is that what your instructors feed you? I think doctors need more empathy rather than emotional resilience, its pretty easy to be emotionally resilient, i'd almost say it comes naturally to most.

    Of course you will be comfortable talking to UK, American and German graduates. That doesn't mean you are receiving the same type of training. I agree with much of what you say, and the weeding out does make me have more trust in the program, but I wouldn't go around saying you are "sharper" especially when most people who study in Prague are the same ones who would love to have a chance to do speciality training in the UK or US.

    Not gonna lie after seeing this ad... it seriously does not tell you half of what you need to know especially about obtaining residency and don't get me started on him recruiting his girlfriend to a 5 year program half way across the world with no mention of residency.
     
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    Tyrone Slothrop

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    I don't want to knock on you, but UK students who can't get into the UK after multiple tries go to Prague... Prague is not the first choice for anyone except for that one Polish girl and honestly, Prague may be better than Poland, but come on its Poland.

    Also, saying that you are more emotionally resilient? Come on, is that what your instructors feed you? I think doctors need more empathy rather than emotional resilience, its pretty easy to be emotionally resilient, i'd almost say it comes naturally to most.

    Of course you will be comfortable talking to UK, American and German graduates. That doesn't mean you are receiving the same type of training. I agree with much of what you say, and the weeding out does make me have more trust in the program, but I wouldn't go around saying you are "sharper" especially when most people who study in Prague are the same ones who would love to have a chance to do speciality training in the UK or US.

    Not gonna lie after seeing this ad... it seriously does not tell you half of what you need to know especially about obtaining residency and don't get me started on him recruiting his girlfriend to a 5 year program half way across the world with no mention of residency.

    Hahaha, I didn't know 3rd faculty had an ad. I have plenty of friends who studied there, it's not too different from the other faculties. The ad is just that, it's an ad. It's not an accurate portrayal of the experience.

    Prague is definitely not a first choice for most people, that much is obvious. The students it gets are of a lesser quality than the ones studying in their native countries. As far as being sharper goes, I can only go on my experience and the experience of my classmates now working in the UK and elsewhere. The UK system simply doesn't teach as much with as much depth, there also isn't as much pressure. I have no doubt that the average UK student is a better candidate than the average foreign student in Prague. The difference is that in the UK they don't have to work as hard because there is far less risk of failure and expulsion. In Prague they're only going to retain the top 15% percent or so, everyone else is going to fail out and go home. This of course is just one man's theory, and means very little in real life.
     

    bambi

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    I'm UK trained and know 2 people that studied in Prague. One left after about a year as he got a place in medical school in the UK. I knew him before I was a medic but he seemed bright and knew what to me at the time seemed reasonable. He described the exams as above. The second person I know that went to medical school in Prague was in my foundation class (PGY1 and 2). She was awful, so bad that official complaints were made, meetings were had and for a while she was taken off the on call rota because she was unsafe. She was technically more senior than the rest of us too. Clinically she just couldn't do anything. She had a pretty poor work ethic too, would hide, not answer bleeps and insist on dedicated breaks. I never really got to see how good her knowledge was though I still assume it was better than the UK grads. It wont apply to most people here but if you want to practice in the UK don't study in Prague, as juniors we do a lot of practical things, much more than almost anywhere else in the world, what we have to do is actually pretty crap but it's the way it is. It would be easier to adjust to the American system coming from Prague but still probably pretty tough.
     

    Medstart108

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    I'm UK trained and know 2 people that studied in Prague. One left after about a year as he got a place in medical school in the UK. I knew him before I was a medic but he seemed bright and knew what to me at the time seemed reasonable. He described the exams as above. The second person I know that went to medical school in Prague was in my foundation class (PGY1 and 2). She was awful, so bad that official complaints were made, meetings were had and for a while she was taken off the on call rota because she was unsafe. She was technically more senior than the rest of us too. Clinically she just couldn't do anything. She had a pretty poor work ethic too, would hide, not answer bleeps and insist on dedicated breaks. I never really got to see how good her knowledge was though I still assume it was better than the UK grads. It wont apply to most people here but if you want to practice in the UK don't study in Prague, as juniors we do a lot of practical things, much more than almost anywhere else in the world, what we have to do is actually pretty crap but it's the way it is. It would be easier to adjust to the American system coming from Prague but still probably pretty tough.

    About the practical part, i've heard much about how little UK clinical medical students get to do in terms of practical stuff. Generally they take bloods, insert cannulas, take histories and do exams but thats about it. I was told in Canada/US they are given the responsibilities of managing patients from start to finish. What do you think about the amount of clinical skills and procedural tasks you get to do as a clinical medical student in the UK?
     

    Medstart108

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    Hahaha, I didn't know 3rd faculty had an ad. I have plenty of friends who studied there, it's not too different from the other faculties. The ad is just that, it's an ad. It's not an accurate portrayal of the experience.

    Prague is definitely not a first choice for most people, that much is obvious. The students it gets are of a lesser quality than the ones studying in their native countries. As far as being sharper goes, I can only go on my experience and the experience of my classmates now working in the UK and elsewhere. The UK system simply doesn't teach as much with as much depth, there also isn't as much pressure. I have no doubt that the average UK student is a better candidate than the average foreign student in Prague. The difference is that in the UK they don't have to work as hard because there is far less risk of failure and expulsion. In Prague they're only going to retain the top 15% percent or so, everyone else is going to fail out and go home. This of course is just one man's theory, and means very little in real life.

    I found this study which assessed performance of UK grads, EU grads and International grads on the MRCP pt 1. http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2621 You need to scroll down to Figure 3 and MRCP pt 2 is on Figure 4.

    In summary, the average EEA grad scored on average worse than all the UK medical schools. While this doesn't mean just Prague, this includes all EU schools, we have to remember that it is only a select group of EU grads who make it into the UK system and even out of these, they still don't do as well as the worst UK school on their MRCP.

    The article was mostly about the PLAB, but from their analysis the average PLAB grad does 1.25 standard deviations worse than the average UK (includes EU) grad. It recommended raising the pass rate of the PLAB as the figure 3 and 4 show the top scoring PLAB takers did just as well on the MRCP as UK med schools.
     

    bambi

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    About the practical part, i've heard much about how little UK clinical medical students get to do in terms of practical stuff. Generally they take bloods, insert cannulas, take histories and do exams but thats about it. I was told in Canada/US they are given the responsibilities of managing patients from start to finish. What do you think about the amount of clinical skills and procedural tasks you get to do as a clinical medical student in the UK?

    In theatre (the O.R.) US students are allowed to do a lot more than UK students. Good history taking and examination skills are a huge part of being a doctor! If you aren't being taught how to do that well, you aren't being trained properly. The US students I have seen are poor in comparison to UK students in terms of history and exam skills, I think part of that is that they get to do so much more of the "fun" stuff and there is obviously only so much time available. Also we have 3 clinical years, not 2, and clinical skills assessment in the US is absolutely minimal compared to in the UK so we have to be better just to get through school. In the US students seem to be allowed to order tests and get them counter signed, in the UK you generally wouldn't actually order them but you would be asked what was needed etc. So basically our students are protected from the paperwork but are still expected to know what to do. In the UK you are taught to do the crappy stuff like bloods etc as that will be a large part of your day as a very junior doctor, in the US a lot of that stuff is thankfully done by other people. A first day FY1 would be much better equipped to handle a patient crashing on the ward than a first day US intern but the intern would probably have better operative skills, you could easily get through med school in the UK without ever even suturing anything.

    A US student would struggle massively to be an F1 in terms of practical skills, a UK student would more likely struggle with things like politics in the US. I always say it's better to go to school in the country you plan to work in, yes you can pick up things like this but it will be so much harder for you and people will judge you. In most countries people have no idea what it's like to train anywhere else in the world so if you can't do exactly what the home grads can do people think you are stupid, I have seen it a lot and it's sad as it's very rarely the persons fault.
     

    bambi

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    I found this study which assessed performance of UK grads, EU grads and International grads on the MRCP pt 1. http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2621 You need to scroll down to Figure 3 and MRCP pt 2 is on Figure 4.

    In summary, the average EEA grad scored on average worse than all the UK medical schools. While this doesn't mean just Prague, this includes all EU schools, we have to remember that it is only a select group of EU grads who make it into the UK system and even out of these, they still don't do as well as the worst UK school on their MRCP.

    The article was mostly about the PLAB, but from their analysis the average PLAB grad does 1.25 standard deviations worse than the average UK (includes EU) grad. It recommended raising the pass rate of the PLAB as the figure 3 and 4 show the top scoring PLAB takers did just as well on the MRCP as UK med schools.

    The PLAB is ridiculous! I have seen so many people that have passed and are outright dangerous!
     

    econ2med

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    This thread is nice and all. But given the growing shortage in residency spots, aren't US citizens going to EU medical schools a 'thing of the past'???

    I mean sure, Ireland sounds like a nice place to go to medical school. I would consider Ireland but given the residency crisis, wouldn't it be a risk to attend medical school outside the US? I hope someone answers this bc I am really concerned about the topic.
     
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    type12

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    This thread is nice and all. But given the growing shortage in residency spots, aren't US citizens going to EU medical schools a 'thing of the past'???

    I mean sure, Ireland sounds like a nice place to go to medical school. I would consider Ireland but given the residency crisis, wouldn't it be a risk to attend medical school outside the US? I hope someone answers this bc I am really concerned about the topic.
    So, I used to have a job where we would profile doctors, statistical the most powerful/successful ones (aka Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs), and then sell that information over to big pharma. Whenever the search was an international one, UK would DOMINATE the hell out of our list. NHS has a real monopoly going with research and breakthroughs. And it's not just the NHS, but other sciences as well.

    So, while I agree that there's no sense to go anywhere else except a US school, the caliber of the education and experience you have in the UK is nothing short of exemplary. Again, I doubt it's going to make it easy to get a residency, but when the US closes its doors, I think it's one of the best options still open.
     

    econ2med

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    So, I used to have a job where we would profile doctors, statistical the most powerful/successful ones (aka Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs), and then sell that information over to big pharma. Whenever the search was an international one, UK would DOMINATE the hell out of our list. NHS has a real monopoly going with research and breakthroughs. And it's not just the NHS, but other sciences as well.

    So, while I agree that there's no sense to go anywhere else except a US school, the caliber of the education and experience you have in the UK is nothing short of exemplary. Again, I doubt it's going to make it easy to get a residency, but when the US closes its doors, I think it's one of the best options still open.

    I agree. European medical school is a backup, nonetheless an amazing backup option. Thank you for you reply. What is NHS?

    For me its fun to think about traveling abroad and attending an EU school. I REALLY want this to be an option. The reality is that there is an upcoming shortage in residency spots and IMG get last/second-to-last pick.

    Sigh, I had known what I know now, I would have joined a 6-year european BS/MD program straight out of high school.
     
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    Medstart108

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    I agree. European medical school is a backup, nonetheless an amazing backup option. Thank you for you reply. What is NHS?

    For me its fun to think about traveling abroad and attending an EU school. I REALLY want this to be an option. The reality is that there is an upcoming shortage in residency spots and IMG get last/second-to-last pick.

    Sigh, I had known what I know now, I would have joined a 6-year european BS/MD program straight out of high school.

    Yeah. UK isn't usually a backup. If you can get into a UK school you can get into a US school. Ireland in some cases is a backup, the only difference is that the UK has quotas on internationals and british schools are popular with people from a lot of other countries, making them more competitive.

    The quality of education is definitely the same as the US, a good number of your medical discoveries have happened in the british isles and even today. The pace of learning is generally slower, and you probably will have to supplement your studying if you want to do well on the USMLE. Unless you have a seriously strong desire to go to the UK/Ireland and you are willing to sacrifice your residency chances for that its not really worth it. You will realistically need to be better than a US grad in order to get the same spot.

    Will you face discrimination? Yes you will for sure, but it will be much less than someone who went abroad to the Caribbean because they couldn't get into med school in the US. Some PDs may be interested in you even as there really aren't many UK grads in the US residency system (only about 80 a year apply).

    NHS stands for the National Health Service, which is the healthcare system for the UK. It pretty much runs the public healthcare system including the hospitals and it employs the professionals.
     
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    type12

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    Some PDs may be interested in you even as there really aren't many UK grads in the US residency system (only about 80 a year apply).
    Just a caveat with this, I suspect the reason is many people do not leave the UK, and the health system makes a physician's life a lot easier.
     

    puppylatte

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    How might one pay back US loans to the tune of 250k if they stayed in Europe? Their salaries are much lower but Australian locums still pay well for EU trained registrars. Is it feasible? Anyone done this?
     
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    Medstart108

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    How might one pay back US loans to the tune of 250k if they stayed in Europe? Their salaries are much lower but Australian locums still pay well for EU trained registrars. Is it feasible? Anyone done this?

    You will just be forced to live less luxuriously.
     

    iluvmedicine2

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    Thanks for the insightful information.

    I am about halfway through my third cycle of applying to U.S. medical schools and I feel like I am not getting anywhere. And that's in spite of research experience, post-bacc experience, shadowing experience, and a decent MCAT score.

    Can anyone speak on their experience of attending medical school in Australia? I'm really considering applying.
     

    bebijoon

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    Thanks for the insightful information.

    I am about halfway through my third cycle of applying to U.S. medical schools and I feel like I am not getting anywhere. And that's in spite of research experience, post-bacc experience, shadowing experience, and a decent MCAT score.

    Can anyone speak on their experience of attending medical school in Australia? I'm really considering applying.

    I'm in a similar situation. No luck with US schools after multiple tries. I was accepted in Ireland, but unfortunately had to decline due to lack of FAFSA aid for that particular school. I think I'm going to apply to the University of Queensland Ochsner program for this upcoming Feb. I have an acceptance to the Caribbean as well, but I feel like Australia is a better choice perhaps based on what I've been hearing.
     

    iluvmedicine2

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    I'm in a similar situation. No luck with US schools after multiple tries. I was accepted in Ireland, but unfortunately had to decline due to lack of FAFSA aid for that particular school. I think I'm going to apply to the University of Queensland Ochsner program for this upcoming Feb. I have an acceptance to the Caribbean as well, but I feel like Australia is a better choice perhaps based on what I've been hearing.

    I am sorry to hear about your misfortune, but congratulations on your acceptance to the Caribbean school. Is that Ross by any chance?

    What made you decide on that particular Australian med school? I've looked into them and the application process seems a little overwhelming. Do you apply to the school directly or elsewhere?
     

    bebijoon

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    I am sorry to hear about your misfortune, but congratulations on your acceptance to the Caribbean school. Is that Ross by any chance?

    What made you decide on that particular Australian med school? I've looked into them and the application process seems a little overwhelming. Do you apply to the school directly or elsewhere?

    Thanks. It is AUC actually.

    I chose UQ Ochsner because it is two years (pre-clinical years) in Australia and two years (clinical years) in New Orleans at Ochsner. You apply to their program located in New York. Or if you are interested in the same program that does clinical years in Australia as well, you can apply to that through UQ's own website I believe. This website will have everything you need to know. http://www.mededpath.org/about.html

    The nice thing about this school is that you can get FAFSA government loans and you can use your MCAT scores.

    Have you decided what you're going to do by any chance?
     

    iluvmedicine2

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    Very nice! I've heard good things about AUC, but I understand how important finances are for everything lol.

    Thanks so much for that information. I will check it out. And I wish you the best of luck.

    I haven't decided yet, as I've been wait listed at one U.S. school and could receive an acceptance anytime between now and August smh. Nevertheless, I am planning to reapply early this next cycle to allopathic, osteopathic, and international schools.
     

    bebijoon

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    Very nice! I've heard good things about AUC, but I understand how important finances are for everything lol.

    Thanks so much for that information. I will check it out. And I wish you the best of luck.

    I haven't decided yet, as I've been wait listed at one U.S. school and could receive an acceptance anytime between now and August smh. Nevertheless, I am planning to reapply early this next cycle to allopathic, osteopathic, and international schools.

    Best of luck!! I hope you get accepted at your waitlisted school!
     

    mikeg1991

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    Does anyone know what the application process is for apply to the UK? Do they accept the MCAT and what are the average MCAT scores they accept? Thanks.
     

    Medstart108

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    Does anyone know what the application process is for apply to the UK? Do they accept the MCAT and what are the average MCAT scores they accept? Thanks.

    They mainly accept the UKCAT. Edinburgh Medical School is the only one I know of that accepts the MCAT.

    If you want to apply to UK schools you pretty much have to take the UKCAT.
     

    Medstart108

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    Random question for anyone who happens by:

    For these English-speaking medical programs in countries that don't speak English primarily, how do you see patients during clinical years? Are you required to speak the local language as well, or do you just wave your hands a lot and talk louder like we do in the U.S. when patients don't speak English?

    You are usually required to take intensive local language courses so that you can speak that language to your patients by clinical years.
     
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    Undergrad313

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    Australasia & Oceania


    I am wondering what your thoughts are in terms of gaining a rural-based family medicine residency in the US after receiving am MD from UQ? Lets say one did well on the usmle.
     

    Medstart108

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    Australasia & Oceania


    I am wondering what your thoughts are in terms of gaining a rural-based family medicine residency in the US after receiving am MD from UQ? Lets say one did well on the usmle.

    Oh you are almost guaranteed something.
     

    MissGlassSir

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    Oh you are almost guaranteed something.

    ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL

    Sackler (in Tel-Aviv) is nearly as competitive as US MD, and you will get an awesome residency. MSIH (i.e., at Ben-Gurion) takes a more "holistic" approach but is competitive and awesome and attract bright students drawn to international medicine, and you do your fourth year in the US (at Columbia) and/or in the developing world. Technion (in Haifa) is easier to get into, I believe. MSIH - which I strongly considered - has an Israeli language requirement for your first two years which is a total bummer, IMHO (who needs an extra course, right). But their admin is awesome and their residencies leave little to be desired, and it's cheap. Sackler and MSIH (and I thiiiink Technion) have Title IV funding, so loans aren't an issue.

    I did a VERY brief stint at University of Queensland (after turning down MSIH) and was horrified... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. 600-or-so peeps in a class, crazy class schedule, hot/humid like you've (hopefully) never imagined, and the somewhat underqualified (and awesome unpersonable - no interview or recs required!) North Americans are supplementing top-performing Aussie students with their outrageous tuition checks. The admin in Australia was good but the admin in the US (in New York) knows nothinggg and they're
    like "Here's where you show up, here's when you show up - see ya then!" No help whatsoever. And while I'd certainly be more "proud" of a UQ degree than one from a stigmatized Caribbean school ('cause not all are anymore!), their residency placements have been atrocious, unless you wanna stay at Ochsner hospital in New Orleans. Two other points about UQ... (1) Because the Ochsner program is very new, the Australian Medical Counsel keeps changing the rules for just how many clinical hours Americans have to put in on Aussie soil... Initially promised lengthy holidays at home, by the time I got there the Council had made it so that my first two summers and winters would have to be spent in Australia in order to complete their requirements... Not UQ's fault in the slightest, but it was scary to know I wouldn't see my family (or have a break, really) for two years; (2) The outrageously high Step 1 scores they advertise are the result of this oneee guy getting an absolutely off-the-charts score (he has a website in which he outlines the 644795338 hours he spent studying, and, since he was only one of a few kids to sit for the exam, he majorly threw off the mean... And I've heard that, like most (all?) Caribbean schools, they only let students take Step 1 once they've passed a practice Step, so they don't let the underperformers take it and screw up their stats. Some things I will say in favor of UQ, however... Their clinical coaching is REALLY good (right off the bat) and their American (and maybe Canadian?) grads have a huuuge leg up for obtaining residencies at Ochsner, if you're cool with that; i.e., if you're willing to stay in NOLA you're more-or-less guaranteed a match.
     

    bashwell

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    ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL

    Sackler (in Tel-Aviv) is nearly as competitive as US MD, and you will get an awesome residency. MSIH (i.e., at Ben-Gurion) takes a more "holistic" approach but is competitive and awesome and attract bright students drawn to international medicine, and you do your fourth year in the US (at Columbia) and/or in the developing world. Technion (in Haifa) is easier to get into, I believe. MSIH - which I strongly considered - has an Israeli language requirement for your first two years which is a total bummer, IMHO (who needs an extra course, right). But their admin is awesome and their residencies leave little to be desired, and it's cheap. Sackler and MSIH (and I thiiiink Technion) have Title IV funding, so loans aren't an issue.
    I've heard great things about Sackler (and Israeli med schools in general) as well.
    I did a VERY brief stint at University of Queensland (after turning down MSIH) and was horrified... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. 600-or-so peeps in a class, crazy class schedule, hot/humid like you've (hopefully) never imagined, and the somewhat underqualified (and awesome unpersonable - no interview or recs required!) North Americans are supplementing top-performing Aussie students with their outrageous tuition checks. The admin in Australia was good but the admin in the US (in New York) knows nothinggg and they're
    like "Here's where you show up, here's when you show up - see ya then!" No help whatsoever. And while I'd certainly be more "proud" of a UQ degree than one from a stigmatized Caribbean school ('cause not all are anymore!), their residency placements have been atrocious, unless you wanna stay at Ochsner hospital in New Orleans. Two other points about UQ... (1) Because the Ochsner program is very new, the Australian Medical Counsel keeps changing the rules for just how many clinical hours Americans have to put in on Aussie soil... Initially promised lengthy holidays at home, by the time I got there the Council had made it so that my first two summers and winters would have to be spent in Australia in order to complete their requirements... Not UQ's fault in the slightest, but it was scary to know I wouldn't see my family (or have a break, really) for two years; (2) The outrageously high Step 1 scores they advertise are the result of this oneee guy getting an absolutely off-the-charts score (he has a website in which he outlines the 644795338 hours he spent studying, and, since he was only one of a few kids to sit for the exam, he majorly threw off the mean... And I've heard that, like most (all?) Caribbean schools, they only let students take Step 1 once they've passed a practice Step, so they don't let the underperformers take it and screw up their stats. Some things I will say in favor of UQ, however... Their clinical coaching is REALLY good (right off the bat) and their American (and maybe Canadian?) grads have a huuuge leg up for obtaining residencies at Ochsner, if you're cool with that; i.e., if you're willing to stay in NOLA you're more-or-less guaranteed a match.
    @Phloston?
     

    Medstart108

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    ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL

    Sackler (in Tel-Aviv) is nearly as competitive as US MD, and you will get an awesome residency. MSIH (i.e., at Ben-Gurion) takes a more "holistic" approach but is competitive and awesome and attract bright students drawn to international medicine, and you do your fourth year in the US (at Columbia) and/or in the developing world. Technion (in Haifa) is easier to get into, I believe. MSIH - which I strongly considered - has an Israeli language requirement for your first two years which is a total bummer, IMHO (who needs an extra course, right). But their admin is awesome and their residencies leave little to be desired, and it's cheap. Sackler and MSIH (and I thiiiink Technion) have Title IV funding, so loans aren't an issue.

    I did a VERY brief stint at University of Queensland (after turning down MSIH) and was horrified... I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. 600-or-so peeps in a class, crazy class schedule, hot/humid like you've (hopefully) never imagined, and the somewhat underqualified (and awesome unpersonable - no interview or recs required!) North Americans are supplementing top-performing Aussie students with their outrageous tuition checks. The admin in Australia was good but the admin in the US (in New York) knows nothinggg and they're
    like "Here's where you show up, here's when you show up - see ya then!" No help whatsoever. And while I'd certainly be more "proud" of a UQ degree than one from a stigmatized Caribbean school ('cause not all are anymore!), their residency placements have been atrocious, unless you wanna stay at Ochsner hospital in New Orleans. Two other points about UQ... (1) Because the Ochsner program is very new, the Australian Medical Counsel keeps changing the rules for just how many clinical hours Americans have to put in on Aussie soil... Initially promised lengthy holidays at home, by the time I got there the Council had made it so that my first two summers and winters would have to be spent in Australia in order to complete their requirements... Not UQ's fault in the slightest, but it was scary to know I wouldn't see my family (or have a break, really) for two years; (2) The outrageously high Step 1 scores they advertise are the result of this oneee guy getting an absolutely off-the-charts score (he has a website in which he outlines the 644795338 hours he spent studying, and, since he was only one of a few kids to sit for the exam, he majorly threw off the mean... And I've heard that, like most (all?) Caribbean schools, they only let students take Step 1 once they've passed a practice Step, so they don't let the underperformers take it and screw up their stats. Some things I will say in favor of UQ, however... Their clinical coaching is REALLY good (right off the bat) and their American (and maybe Canadian?) grads have a huuuge leg up for obtaining residencies at Ochsner, if you're cool with that; i.e., if you're willing to stay in NOLA you're more-or-less guaranteed a match.

    Just from the way you write (almost like someone advertising), because you speak in such extremes (the truth is rarely in reality that way) I'm inclined to take what you've just said with a grain of salt.

    Also looking at your post history I saw that you did say in 2010 that you were matriculating at an Israeli school, you've mentioned a stint at UQ and now you are applying to Ireland. Why did you not continue with the Israeli and UQ schools?
     

    Phloston

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    Med school in Israel would be a fantastic option for anyone. And would be way more exciting and fulfilling than some mundane US med school. Yet again I have no intention of ever practicing in the US so my opinion might be skewed.
     
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    bashwell

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    Med school in Israel would be a fantastic option for anyone. And would be way more exciting and fulfilling than some mundane US med school. Yet again I have no intention of ever practicing in the US so my opinion might be skewed.
    That's cool, although a bit of a pity since you did so well on your USMLEs and could likely get into some great US residencies.

    Are you planning on staying Down Under with the rest of us schlubs then? :)
     
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    deleted718115

    Med school in Israel would be a fantastic option for anyone. And would be way more exciting and fulfilling than some mundane US med school. Yet again I have no intention of ever practicing in the US so my opinion might be skewed.
    May I ask why you decide not to practice in the US?
     

    Phloston

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    That's cool, although a bit of a pity since you did so well on your USMLEs and could likely get into some great US residencies.

    Are you planning on staying Down Under with the rest of us schlubs then? :)
    May I ask why you decide not to practice in the US?

    Too many guns in the US. No universal healthcare. Education is expensive. And Trump getting as far as he has politically tells you there are a lot of crazies around. I do admit the US is really good for sports, food and beer though. But yeah, my main reason not to go to the US is the guns. I don't want my kids and my family around that stuff.
     
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    bashwell

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    Too many guns in the US. No universal healthcare. Education is expensive. And Trump getting as far as he has politically tells you there are a lot of crazies around. I do admit the US is really good for sports, food and beer though. But yeah, my main reason not to go to the US is the guns. I don't want my kids and my family around that stuff.
    Unless you already have a family now, it could be good to go to the US for residency, then come back to Australia. Although it depends in part on which specialty you want, and if the Australian college will recognise it once you return.
     

    Phloston

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    Unless you already have a family now, it could be good to go to the US for residency, then come back to Australia. Although it depends in part on which specialty you want, and if the Australian college will recognise it once you return.
    I'm taking at least a couple years off then (if I return to med) would possibly do family med. As far as I'm aware I'd be priority 6 coming back to Aus! Not very friendly is it, but I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too.
     
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    deleted718115

    Too many guns in the US. No universal healthcare. Education is expensive. And Trump getting as far as he has politically tells you there are a lot of crazies around. I do admit the US is really good for sports, food and beer though. But yeah, my main reason not to go to the US is the guns. I don't want my kids and my family around that stuff.
    Very legit reasons. Australia is a great country (though with high cost of education, too). I'm disappointed that the US is still debating about things like gun laws, universal HC, free education, homeopathy, etc. Oh yea, and the fact that lots of Americans even support Trump blows my mind.

    Unless you already have a family now, it could be good to go to the US for residency, then come back to Australia. Although it depends in part on which specialty you want, and if the Australian college will recognise it once you return.
    Do you (or anyone?) know the process of going to practice in other countries (like the UK or Australia) AFTER finishing residency in the US? How hard is it to do so?
     

    bashwell

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    I'm taking at least a couple years off then (if I return to med) would possibly do family med. As far as I'm aware I'd be priority 6 coming back to Aus! Not very friendly is it, but I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too.
    Why not apply to an FM residency back home in the US now (or next year since the whole application season has pretty much already ended this cycle)? It'd be very easy for you get into because of your high Step scores, US citizenship, etc. Then you could come back to Australia as an attending/consultant GP. If you've done your intern year in Australia, then no need to go through all the AMC exams and OSCEs. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think you would have to worry about being priority 6 at the attending/consultant level. I would think you'd only have to work with the specialty college and Australian government and place of employment for visa issues (but recruiters seem to be able to get American FM/GPs to come without many problems so it's definitely not impossible). US trained GPs/FMs can currently go work almost anywhere in the world they want. You'll always be in demand. Lots of jobs around the world. It's a great career for someone who wants to be able to work almost anywhere including developing world. Anecdotally I have a couple of friends training in FM/GP and they are already getting great offers even in their first and second years of residency. And check out this extreme job offer in NZ.

    Or if you're really set on never returning to the US to work, then you could start to do your training in Australia too. For example, you could do your intern year in Australia, then apply to the GP college during your intern year (I think there are two GP colleges in Australia). I "think" in Australia you might even be able to do part time training. If so, you could go at your own pace rather than take time off. Taking time off in medicine seems to be a death knell, which is why I'm suggesting starting your training as soon as you can. That said I suppose Australia is a lot more understanding about time off than the US, to be fair.
     
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    bashwell

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    Do you (or anyone?) know the process of going to practice in other countries (like the UK or Australia) AFTER finishing residency in the US? How hard is it to do so?
    Check out this thread. @C.P. is a US trained anesthesiologist and all around great guy, he moved to Australia. I think he answers questions in that thread if you want to ask him specifics after reading how he did it. Hope that helps! :)
     
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    Phloston

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    Why not apply to an FM residency back home in the US now (or next year since the whole application season has pretty much already ended this cycle)? It'd be very easy for you get into because of your high Step scores, US citizenship, etc. Then you could come back to Australia as an attending/consultant GP. If you've done your intern year in Australia, then no need to go through all the AMC exams and OSCEs. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think you would have to worry about being priority 6 at the attending/consultant level. I would think you'd only have to work with the specialty college and Australian government and place of employment for visa issues (but recruiters seem to be able to get American FM/GPs to come without many problems so it's definitely not impossible). US trained GPs/FMs can currently go work almost anywhere in the world they want. You'll always be in demand. Lots of jobs around the world. It's a great career for someone who wants to be able to work almost anywhere including developing world. Anecdotally I have a couple of friends training in FM/GP and they are already getting great offers even in their first and second years of residency. And check out this extreme job offer in NZ.

    Or if you're really set on never returning to the US to work, then you could start to do your training in Australia too. For example, you could do your intern year in Australia, then apply to the GP college during your intern year (I think there are two GP colleges in Australia). I "think" in Australia you might even be able to do part time training. If so, you could go at your own pace rather than take time off. Taking time off in medicine seems to be a death knell, which is why I'm suggesting starting your training as soon as you can. That said I suppose Australia is a lot more understanding about time off than the US, to be fair.
    Thanks a lot for the input. I really appreciate you taking the time writing that out. At this point it's fairly final that I'm taking minimum two years off after med school. I've been accepted into a Japanese language school in Osaka and already have my non-refundable one-way ticket to move there in June. One of my life goals is to be fluent in Japanese so I refuse to pass this up. I'll continue doing Skype USMLE tutoring to support myself and maintain theory, then (as I said if I even stay in medicine) will probably apply FM to the US. Hawaii has a big Japanese population so I've been eyeballing those FM programs. I would be keen on Alaska too. Above poster is correct that any time taken away from medicine could potentially be deleterious to one's residency applications. Essentially I'm fortunate my USMLEs can offset the time I take off. I'm thankful my passion at this stage is family medicine because it's not at all competitive. I really lucked out with that. But yeah, I had a phenomenal family med rotation here in Australia and the GP I shadowed was a champion on every level. So I'm honoured to go into family if that ever eventuates.
     
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    bashwell

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    Thanks a lot for the input. I really appreciate you taking the time writing that out. At this point it's fairly final that I'm taking minimum two years off after med school. I've been accepted into a Japanese language school in Osaka and already have my non-refundable one-way ticket to move there in June. One of my life goals is to be fluent in Japanese so I refuse to pass this up. I'll continue doing Skype USMLE tutoring to support myself and maintain theory, then (as I said if I even stay in medicine) will probably apply FM to the US. Hawaii has a big Japanese population so I've been eyeballing those FM programs. I would be keen on Alaska too. Above poster is correct that any time taken away from medicine could potentially be deleterious to one's residency applications. Essentially I'm fortunate my USMLEs can offset the time I take off. I'm thankful my passion at this stage is family medicine because it's not at all competitive. I really lucked out with that. But yeah, I had a phenomenal family med rotation here in Australia and the GP I shadowed was a champion on every level. So I'm honoured to go into family if that ever eventuates.
    Cool, man, that sounds good. :) The Japan opportunity sounds awesome. I've only been to Japan once to visit a friend who was there teaching English (though in Tokyo, not Osaka, which I've heard is beautiful). Granted it was only for a couple of weeks, but just in that short amount of time I loved it, the culture, the people, the crazy food, pretty much everything. I know for a fact the University of Hawaii has taken Australian med school grads in the past (IM, peds) so I'm sure you'd be good especially with your exceptional scores. Obviously Hawaii would be such an amazing place to be. The only thing I'd say is I "think" USMLE scores expire within 7 years. Just something to keep in the back of your mind if you do decide to return to med, but you probably already know all this (sorry, not trying to sound like your mom or whatever, lol). Anyway, good luck with it all, wherever life takes you! :)
     
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