dggopal

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I got a pm from a parent asking what were the factors involved in coming to India.... or if it was a good Idea... wrote them a long reply which i thought could be usefull to others as well... here is is... if you have something to add... please do... hope this gets the ball rolling...

ok well deciding to come to India is a very big decision and it has a lot of factors involved... I can not say if its a good idea or not for your son particulary as I do not know him and have not spoken to him personally but I will outline a few points of interest that are crucial to making the decision to come to india the right decision.

1) you should first and foremost ask your son what HE wants to do. If he says he wants to stay in america and finish his schooling you should at not cost force him to come to India... this will save you a lot of money as well as time... as if he doesn't adjust well here you will lose your whole donation amount as well as the time and effort taken to set up in india. However should he be willing to listen to the benefits of coming to India you can tell him the following:

- you will be garunteed a seat in a medical college and you will be able to skip undergraduate studies in america.... so in essence you are sure that you are getting into a med school whereas in the states you have to compete and you are not garunteed acceptance into a medical college as competion is very tough...

2) regarding time and money
People always say you save time and money... this is not always true... The course in itself is 5.5 years... afterwhich you have to finish your USMLE's with good scores so studying for these exams takes a while and completing them usually takes a year... after which u apply to residency... so in total you will spend about 6.5 years if you finish everything without flunking, ie in the first attempt. The thing is that most NRI's, me included, rarely pass the first year exam on their first attempt... the teaching style as well as the examination style are very different... not to mention the culture shock that the student has to get used to... in reality NRI's usually take about 7 to 7.5 years to finish up the course and complete the USMLE's. so time is not really a factor as there are 7 year programs in the US too... but thesea re verrry very competitive... but they are there...
Next comes money. True the US system of education is very expensive... you will be paying around 300 grand for undergraduate studies alone if your son chooses to go to a UC school... if he chooses to go to a private school then even more... In india the donation amount is close to 90-100 lakhs so that comes out to roughly 250k dollars... and that is a one time lump sum fee... non refundable... true you will save money in the end... but what happens if your son decides he can't do it.... or he doesnt adjust here in india... or he cant adapt to the teaching style? then your 250 k is gone... I am not saying this discourage you or your son... I am giving you a heads up... that you should be careful about this... this is the reason you should ask your son first if he REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to be a doctor? Next if HE wants to come to India to study? if either of these answers especially the first one is a no or an im not sure... then i suggest you keep your son at home... but if he is sure he wants to be a doctor.. and if he is willing to come to india... i think maybe you can send him here to india to stay for a while... let him see how life is here on a daily basis.. alone...staying with relatives or so is ok i suppose but he should be in the mindset of living in india... because when we come on vacation we dont notice a lot of things or we tend to overlook it as we are in the mindset that we will be going home in few days... so what im saying is that he should come and stay here for a while in the mindset of staying here not a vacation... and after that if he is ok with coming to india and studying then it is safe bet... but he should be sure he wants to be a doctor... at the end of the day he shouldnt change his mind in the middle...

3) teaching style, adjustments, studying
Generally NRI's coming to india have to self study mostly... we dont really understand the teaching style in india and most teachers here are great at their field and they will help you... but they have no teaching background and do not know how to teach... they are very knowledgable and they will help you if you ask them to... but you will have to study yourself... and at such a higher level study i think it is the same in the US too... self study. never the less i must mention it to you... next is the adjustment... you have to be able to adjust to indian lifestyle... if your son knows the local language it is a big big plus... as he needs this to communicate with patients and it will help him in daily activities... but he should be fine with eating indian food everyday and he should be open to the adjustment... I can't tell you what the adjustment is exactly because it is different for everyone but it is a big change... and i have seen people unable to adjust... and they go back after a year... to avoid this letting ur son stay here for some time before taking admissions is advisable as stated above...

On another note... In my personal experience... I was sure i wanted to be a doctor... I was not that great of a student... I mean i got all A's but I did the bare minimum... I was not one of those students that will study and work hard for hours which is what it takes in america to get into a medical college... So India was good for me because I was sure... And I didnt want to go through the Undergraduate program in america and at the end of the day not get into medical college... in india I was garunteed to be a doctor at the end... So if your son sounds more like this picture then you might consider following the above steps to see if he will be ok with coming to india....
But if he your son is a studious person and you think that he can and will get into a medical college in the US... and if he is very american and he doesnt want to come to india... then You should keep him at home... and if he does not make it to a college at the end then you can send him to india as a last resort... because if he stays in the US he has a lot of benefits.... number one he is a US graduate so getting residency is a lot easier... and he can go for specialties like surgery which are virtually offlimits for foreign grads.. i say virtually because it is verrrrry verrrrry difficult to get these residencies normally and as Foreign grads its even harder... but it is not immposible... you have to be a very high scorer but its not immposible... also he has american clinical experience so he wont have to get that after his coursework like foreign grads... next benefit is that you can pay the amounts in installments not up front so its easier and safer should your son change his mind...but it will cost more in the US that is there...
 

silverlion

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Guaranteed!! Not garunteed!! ...
Sorry...It was just bugging me too much...:p

Anyway...I think this guy is right on....Most of the stuff he is saying is right...

I only disagree with one point....Donation may not be 90-100 lakhs...It could be way lesser that that ?( by which I mean it would be around 50 lakhs)...so you might end up saving more money...:)

Everything else is very true...

I think two things that have already been said by the OP cannot be stressed enough...MAKE SURE THE KID WANTS TO BE A DOCTOR...and MAKE SURE THAT HE IS ABLE TO ADJUST...

Adjustment may not come naturally and therefore it may require some help on a persons part so as to ensure that the son/daughter makes it to the end...

I really liked the advice of the kid staying in India for a while...just experiencing the place so that he/she could get the real picture and decide for themselves...
 

Confusedesi nri

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I am an nri who wants to go to india for med school. I am considering schools in karanataka especially davanegere and belgaum. I plan on visiting India this year. I have winter break from December 20 till january 3rd. I was wondering , are the schools going to be open for touring the campus and stuff. My parents also want to talk with the principle and staff and check out the dorms and stuff so if anyone knows this information please reply asap ! thanks!
 
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dggopal

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yeah silverlion may be right... I just heard from the recent first year students that the figure for KIMS and Ramiah were around 90 to 100 ( this might have been due to a seat reduction for KIMS though) but I got into KIMS in 03 for around 30 so yeah... prices elsewhere may be a lot cheaper... and possibly in banglore as well.

anyways... to confused NRI:

As I have already stressed in a lot of my other posts... YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A BIG CITY!!!!!!!!! The reasons for doing so are outlined crystal clear and to death in my other posts... you can look em up.

college tours and such are pretty easy to come by.... just go to the college and the admissions staff will direct you on the tours... the best way to do this though is to catch hold of some students studying there... possibly outside the dorms or in the college campuses themselves and ask em how the college is... they can really tell you the nitty gritty... generally the staff will try and paint the best picture possible ya know... for example they may show you a class room with brand new desks and a digital projector ect ect... but who knows if this class room is used for undergraduates, postgraduates, or if its even used at all... ya know... the students will not lie to you or mislead you in that respect.... and then will know the downsides of the college best.

Also.... remember when you come to India on ur vacation... try and remember to look at everything from a non vacation point of view...

Another point to remember... well its a word of caution... You should always proceed with your admissions process directly with the college in question and their particular addmissions staff... Agents should be avoided... people may guide you and introduce you to the addmissions staff and that is all good and fine... but be cautious of agents saying they will do everything for you for x amount of money... u should do your own admissions work as it will get you introduced to the college staff... its cheaper cuz there is no agents fee( which can be anywhere for 1 to 5 lakhs or more) and you are sure no one is running away with your money.... so yeah... there that
 

silverlion

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As I have already stressed in a lot of my other posts... YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A BIG CITY!!!!!!!!! The reasons for doing so are outlined crystal clear and to death in my other posts... you can look em up.
LOL...YEAH....If you're an NRI ...I doubt that you'd survive in a small city...Maybe a university town like Manipal would work and that would be the only exception...otherwise look at Bangalore or Mangalore....or some city where you can get a few avenues that you would consider normal in a materialistic society.. :p
 

Confusedesi nri

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Thank You And i am considering a big city but it is more expensive in bigger cities than in smaller towns, but i understand what your trying to say. Thanks for the advice, but my dad's got some connections with the deans in both davangere and mysore so i will prolly be going there rather than belgaum but i wasn't planning on using an agent any way. my parnets don't like the idea of going to bangalore since the crime rate is high and there are too many distractions, typical desi parents i know but truly speaking i think untill i see the place my self with my own two eyes and get a feel of the place i don't think i can make my decision. By the way do you have internet in the dorms or are you allowed to set up an internet connection there?
 

mfremont

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I want to become a doctor but my SAT score is 1600. Also I want to do it in India. Being an average student can I get through indian medical school and USMLE?

thanks.
 

dggopal

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ummm... if I remember correctly 1600 is a perfect score... but you say you are an avg. student... clarify.... anyways... the SAT score in my honest opinion has no bearing on how well you will do here... read my previous posts in this thread and others to get a better idea of how it is here. I can tell you that I came here despite being a pretty ok student because I was a guy who didnt really like taking classes that were imo pointless like art class and I was sure i wanted to be a doctor... i also didnt wanna spend the time and energy not to mention money on performing really well in undergrad with the possibility of not getting in to a med school. bottom line if you wanna be a doc and you think you have a shot at getting into a med school in america dont come here... but if you dont think you can make it there but you are still a very dedicated student and you wont give up here... then consider it... if i was in ur shoes though i would look into schools in england and then consider the carribean before i consider India... hope this helps...
 

Special R

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I want to become a doctor but my SAT score is 1600. Also I want to do it in India. Being an average student can I get through indian medical school and USMLE?

thanks.


Don't do it. Stay in States, you are better off there. I wrote a whole personal essay on my experience, and was just about to post.. and it said 'Sorry you are not logged in.' LOL!

Anyways, I strongly suggest you to look for schools outside of India.. perhaps Ireland? England? Australia? All of them award MBBS, even with better scope of getting into residency in States. I'm not going to sit here and trash Indian education, but the reality is if you can't adjust with surroundings and academic standards of India.. you are screwed! Literally.

May be tommorow morning I'll re write what I wrote this afternoon.. :p
 

dggopal

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I hate when that happens!!!!!! lol you sit there and write up the whole post and that takes you like 5 days to do cuz you are working up from the lazyness and then when you finally get around to doing it... somehow... the post gets gobbled up and lost... in this case u weren't logged in... lol has happened to me tooo many times... sooo irritating
 

jmcappleby

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ummm... if I remember correctly 1600 is a perfect score... but you say you are an avg. student... clarify....
1600 used to be a perfect score on the SAT. However, since 2006, the SAT was changed to a 2400 scale, so 1600 on the new scale is probably between 1050 and 1100 on the old scale.
 

Special R

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Here is my story.

I am a MBBS student born and raised outside of India, in the North American continent. Just like the others, I was thrilled about the idea going to India, doing my medschool to cut down on time and money. I finished highschool with a decent average, got into a well-established university and did one year of undergrad. I wasn't too thrilled about my first year performance, and I figured that getting into medschool would be a challenge despite of straining myself day and night.

If anyone has done studies in NA, you would know that an average student's life revolves around tutorials, lectures, work, 3 hrs of sleep, commuting for hours (if the uni isn't close), work, tutorials and then an exam~! Though, in comparison to India, you don't pass or fail just based on your finals cause most of the work is accumulative. Though finals do count for much.. still there is hope.

So anyways, after literally wasting 10 grand on one year of uni, I decided to move out of the country and do medschool overseas. I landed in India and there I joined a private/govt medical college. This is one college that I had no clue about, my first mistake. I had never visited this remote place. I had no idea, about anything. All I know was based on what my uncle and aunt had said. Even they themselves didn't know much about the college. So when I finally got here..

I was in for a surprise. This college has nothing. No facilities. No internet. Hostels are literally filthy, we have cats running around here and there. Unclean water (its literally yellow), and there are snakes in the outyard.. fun stuff!

Now, I'm not that fluent in the local language. I can't read nor write, so commuting is difficult. Extremely difficult. The buses aren't hybrid and smooth like we get over here. It's bumpy and rough rides.. so if you ever get into a local bus, just make you hold on tightly! LOL

Anyways, so I joined my first year course. I paid a huge amount to get in nonetheless, less than what I would pay here. Yet, if you add up all additional costs, its about the same or more. So if you think it's cheaper, well think again!

You're roughly paying 100-150 grand USD in NRI Quota. That is the common number in ALL medical colleges across the nation, I believe. So, it's not that much of a diff compared to how much you would be paying in States. Besides, you could even work a part-time job to pay some off in States, here that's not possible.

So.. I paid a lump sum because this was what I really wanted to do and I didn't want to wait four years to find out I didn't make into medschool. So I chose the EASY PATH..

Now, my second mistake. Something NO FRESHMAN, is EVER supposed to do especially an NRI! It is to slack off. I had this notion that I could 'pull it off' in the end like I have been doing all my life. WRONG! Indian education is VERY much different than anywhere. It's rigid. It's pure memorization. If you can 'mug it up' not 'pull it off' .. you'll pass! You have to have the stamina to sit there and memorize the whole bloody Chaurasia/Greys Anatomy, or AK Jain/Ganong. Byhearting is the way to go! I never did it. I had an idea about every topic, but those medical terms wouldn't click as fast. I struggled throughout the year, sessionals were horrible for me, and I thought Uni exam would come through for me...

Honestly, in one year I went through some major changes in my life. I struggled with the language. I had trouble interacting with the locals, classmates, teachers and just about anyone =P Academics weren't all that great.. I was in some serious depression. I cried days after days, night after nights. I just couldn't take it. Everyone was so narrowminded. People had trouble understanding my accent. I didn't even know about 'ragging', when I joined. I was dragged into it for first few months. To be honest, I think I saw hell for the first time.. =P

I foresaw most of it, and I truly believed I could handle it. But time and circumstances turned the tables around, and I was in a state where I was ready to fly back home.

I might be an odd case, or a common amongst those NRI kids nonetheless, bottom line is I was betrayed by desire and instincts. The need to become something valued by society was at the peak of my mind, never did I ask once.. Am I making the right decision?

Time is now, 4:05 am EST and I'm writing this because two hours ago I found out I failed my 1st Year MBBS Examination. I'm in the 'repeaters' batch, which means additional 6 months to finish my course. I have to pay extra fees. After all, I'm Indian, I now welcome the mental trauma of humiliation from family and friends.

So I ask..

Where is the saving of time? Money?


Best wishes
 

Emmet2301

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Special R, Thanks for telling your story. I know it might have been difficult, but it will really help others that are choosing about where to study. I hope the best for you.
 
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Muackz

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@ Special R


Aww....so sad that you didnt make it...but I am sure this time you will be fine:) because you realized where you are making mistakes....so just keep on going buddy!

Actually I am about to undertake a similar path to yours. I will be coming down to India next year for med...and the only thing I am going by is my Uncle's word. According to him this college is all that it could be and is registered and renowned internationally and everything. But one good thing is that I can read and write hindi and can speak 3 different indian languages fluently. So hopefully I won't have so much trouble. But I am really worried about the ragging bit. Is it really harsh? even with girls? Well my cousins from engineering schools tell me that they were made to do various tasks which were not exactly pleasant. :scared:
 

Squiggy

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Hmmm... here's one thing that I don't understand. Why would Indians who are US citizens go to an Indian med school without even trying to go the US path. It seems that Indians schools don't teach to the USLMEs and lots have to self-teach and end up failing or doing poorly.

With lower scores than other USIMGs from the Caribbean and Commonwealth countries, these same students would be scrapping the very bottom of residencies in the United States and are likely to be amongst the 50% of USIMGs who don't match.

I mean... where's the draw? Is it possible to stay as a doctor in India as a fall-back option or something. Could you even pay off the six-digit debt of your "donation" on an Indian doctor's salary? Why would someone risk financial ruin in order for a shot at the scut positions in medicine? If you can't land a residency in America (and it's getting constantly harder for USIMGs and will get even harder as American schools keep increasing enrollment to close up this backdoor) you pretty much can't use your Indian MD in this country and you won't even have an undergrad degree to fall back on. It's seems like downright horrible decision financially and career-wise.

Anyone want to comment or correct me?
 
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dggopal

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ok... after reading special R's post... I must say I am sorry to hear you didn't clear your exams. However I do hope you get out of that whole humilitation mindset of things. I realise it is a traumatic experience as it was for me when I failed first year. And here I'm not just speaking to special but everyone else be it current students that are waiting for their results or future ones thinking of coming here... yes we do come here to save time and more importantly money.... but most of the times the time part does not happen. I still believe though that we end up saving money. anyways thats not the point of my post. I have a problem with special R's perspective that "hey I lost 6 months, now im in the repeater batch.... and its humiliating."

yes i agree that it isn't something we look forward to, but like I have said in previous posts it is something to expect seeing that we have to adapt after coming here. That said even if a person feels that its still unacceptable... come 5 or 6 years down the lane when I, a repeater student, someone who failed the first time, become a doctor, my patients will not ask me if I failed the first time I took exams... they wont even know... I will be on the same level as all my fellow doctors making the same money...

The only way failing your first year exams makes any difference is IF YOU GIVE UP AFTER THAT FIRST FAILURE!!!

I came to India looking to save time and that first failure hurt a lot... but as I got passed it and continued on my education I realized for myself at least... studying and the whole educational process is just as much about learning the stuff at school as it is about learning about yourself and the whole journey and the experience of the whole process as you go through it...

SO I hope you will really let that time and humiliation thing go... cuz its seriously not worth it... Just learn from mistakes and move forward...
 

OneoftheGuptas

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Special R,

I'm so sorry to hear about your results! Hopefully this will help, though...And this isn't just for Special R, but also for anyone else who may have failed and is worried about being in a repeater's batch:

As for being in a repeater's batch, it's actually a blessing.. and you should consider yourself lucky! I lost 2 years, trying to get past first year. I have average intelligence, and I studied.. but things happen, and you gotta move on. I learnt from my mistakes, and I kept at it..and that's what mattered!

I'm in a repeater's batch now, and believe me, I couldn't be happier!!! I have 18 kids in my class, and I get personalized attention from my teachers. It's wonderful! I couldn't get teaching like that, even if I was back at home in a med school in California. I don't have to feel intimidated during class to ask a question, and I follow along much better than I did when there were 150 students in my first year.

Do you remember your dissection classes? There's like 30 kids to a table, and you have to crowd in to see what's happening. I go to the hospital, and theres 5 to 10 of us to a patient. It's amazing. Your normal batches will have 30 to a patient, and everyone has to push and crowd around for a glimpse. With a smaller batch, I even have more opportunities to do things in the hospital, and get to see a lot more. Because I have a smaller batch, I'm also allowed in on a lot more operations and procedures. What more could I ask for??

2 years ago, I was crying my eyeballs out over failing. Now, I know it was probably the best thing that could have happened. I've ended up with a great group of students, each class has 1 teacher to 18 kids (of which 5 or 6 don't show up, making it about a dozen kids), and I learn so much more.

Things really did turn out for the best!! And they will for you, too! Hang in there, study, and get past this hurdle.
 

dggopal

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Ok... so coming back to the tittle of this thread.... lol...... I was recently looking at sdn and I realised how many view this thread has... its pretty popular thanx to its contributors... so in respect of that I have decided to go and find all my previous posts elsewhere and compile them here... hopefully adding more insight into the whole coming to india decision....

When we think of coming to India... we think about a lot of things but one thing that we dont think of.... well at least I didnt think of it... is bathrooms....
1)Bathrooms
As I have come to realise since I came here, bathrooms can be of a different nature in India. I came here and it was like... ok squatting and pooing is not what I had in mind.... lol... not to mention the whole washing instead of wiping... Now all jokes aside... the times have changed since when I came here and these days it has gotten a whole lot better.... western toilets can be found at most places and usually they are clean and well maintained.... this is however not true of most college hostels... my college hostel doesn't have western toilets nor is it clean by any standards....unless they are private hostels don't expect too much from them... this is another reason why I reccomend staying in your own flat if you are an NRI. We as NRI's require our privacy and space and if you have ur own place you can do whatever you want.. ie call people over party drink bla bla bla... but the point is if you have ur own place you will keep ur bathroom clean and u can find many places with western style bathrooms... all the malls and restaurants have western bathrooms... IN bangalore at least... and I think all over india these days! coming to toilet paper... toilet paper is a commonly sold commodity... however it is not uncommon to find a western toilet in place but no tp... so my recommendation is that you always keep tp with you... I take my backpack with me everywhere usually so its not a prob... It helps to have a car...

2) weather
Yes india is hot.... but IN bangalore it is a balmy breazy weather reminiscent of LA. I am not joking... the weather in Bangalore is really nice... one of the major things that mad me choose to come here to do medicince as opposed to punjab or manipal. Electricity goes out from time to time but rarely does it happen for long in blr... maybe an hour or 2... and it usually happens no more than a few times a month... not bad at all... u can get pwer back ups or generators to avoid this inconvenience too....

3) culture shock
Coming from america we are bound to have a bit of shell sock when we come here.... BUT I cannot stress that much of this can bel LESSENED by WHERE we choose to come to. I remember so many conversations with Indian parents regarding distractions and such... I dont understand why people dont realise that outlets to blow off steam and relax are necessary to do well accademically... Indian parents need to realise that students don't study 24 hours a day and they dont need to to do well... That said... coming back to the where... I would strongly discourage going to med school in a small town vs. a big city.... There are many reasons for this:

big citys have a broader patient base alond with better hospitals in terms of specialists and facilities. This translates into a larger variety of cases you get to see in bigger city hospitals. Hospitals in rural areas will refer their more complex cases or High risk cases to larger hospitals in the cities so if you go to college in the city you can get better exposure to these cases too and not just your normal every day run of the mill... Furthermore no qualified doctor will choose to go to a rural area by choice... put yourself in their place... if you are a qualified doctor you will want to practice in the city where there is a life... not in some village... this potentially means that the staff and thus your teachers will be better at what they do in the city...

Coming to the social problems for NRI's... Again this is very dependent on where you are: a big city or a small town. social problems are more evident when you go to a smaller rural area... all of a sudden there are problems with getting western bathrooms outside of your home... there is nothing to do besides study.... the food is not as varied.... you wont be able to find subways and mc donalds out in the farms ya know... only in the city will you feel less of a culture shock and in my opinion survive.... I would say that you should not even consider colleges in the rurals... and to convince your parents you should prolly visit this forum with them and show them the many posts advising against it.... Students... especially ones from the states need entertainment to be successful here... we need positive outlets to relieve stress and then study hard... if these positve outlets aren't available I have seen plenty of people.. some my friends... turn to negative outlets like drugs and such to "escape." this is not what you want. Furthermore in rural india you will find more prejudice against foreigners and also more traditional schools of thought where all fo a sudden it isn't ok for you to go out with girls and party... and where you can't ask girls out and call them when you want and chill out with them like friends... ya know... its the rurals and its again INDIA....but you go over to say... delhi or bangalore... and it changes.... you see everyone chilling and girls goin out and having fun and everything is vey cosmopolitan. Since i came to bangalore... which was in 2003 I have been partying with female colleagues in clubs discs and pubs... and there is no problem for women to go to clubs here... in fact men have the problem as stag entry is really difficult... many of my lady friends go out here alone and they are fine and happy... there are plenty of clubs, restaurants, and malls as well as theaters... at least in Bangalore... this does not detract from the adjustment nor should you expect it to be just like home... it will dissapoint you... but there are outlets!... for men and women alike!

racism: true NRI's are discriminated against... both in college and out... but this isnt because you are American or a girl... its because in college teachers think you are a slacker that came to india to party... so if you are studious and work hard that image will not last... and outside you dont know how to carry yourself so auto drivers and vendors will charge u extra... for your ignorance... all this will pass as you get accustomed to living here... as for walking alone at night... I think its safe for girls to go anywhere... we have plenty of female workers at call centers in Bangalore and they all are fine coming home at wee hours of the morning... but it is necessary to be careful and dont be stupid about things... if you are going somehwere let people know and if you go to a club go with other people.... ya know.. just common sense stuff....

4) Language Barrier:
local language is realllly important.... most of your patients will be illiterate... to get a proper history from them you need to be able to converse with them... however... you have 2 years to pick up the language if you dont know it... and if you still havent learned it... local students will help you out as much as possible... but come exams you will definitely fair better if you know the language... even though they will give you translators... conversing with your patient one on one is better... translators take too long... and ur final year exams are timed. but yeah if you dont know the language dont sweat it... necessity is the biggest incentive to learn something... so when you get here you pick up what you need to survive pretty quickly... language also helps you with the vendors and the auto ricksaw people too... you get made a fool less... people cant take advantage of you that much.... also helps remove the stigma of being an NRI in class... both with the students and the teachers... so yeah

while we are on the subject Try and get to know some locals in ur class.... they won't get ur jokes and u won't get theres... but if you try and mix with them they can be a really big help when it comes to studying techniques and they help a lot when it comes to knowing whats important and whats not for exams and which books to use and all sorts of other stuff that I can't think of off the top of my head... and it helps remove that NRI label that is tatooed on our foreheads... so yea....

5) USMLE's
I know most reading this are still deciding whether to come to India or not but this may be a concern for you too... I havent taken any yet so I can't say much about this but... I honestly believe that you should finish your coursework here and then study and take it cuz in india the teaching is theory based and the USMLE is clinically based so to do well we really need to know medicince( final year subject) well... it helps tie in all the theory of 1st and second year... so yeah... but thats my opinion... people have been advocating taking it after 2nd year to save time... that also has its pros... if you do well... i just dont think we are ready after 2nd year so... its up to you... studying here is a lot of memorization and you really do need to remember the headings in the textbook and write your answers in that same format under those headings... but not word for word per say.... but still under those same headings because those headings are what the teachers will be looking for when they grade ur papr... its all they have time to see... they spend like 5 mins grading a paper... as you get to the clinical part of your education here though... you will realise that there are some pretty incredible doctors in india and they will be teaching you the old school way of diagnosing a patient... with your hands... not with fancy tests like the MRI... so you get to learn that and then when you go home you learn to diagnose with all the technology and combined you will have a very strong set of tools as a doctor... its awesome how much these doctors know... clinical teaching in india is pretty good.

6)Clerkship (i.e internship)
One of this biggest things people are concerned about is getting a residency when coming back to america after studying in India. Now seeing that I am a US citizen I am still better off... as first american graduates are considered.... then american citizens who studied abroad are considered and finally forein citizens are considered.... But the major plus point on any foreign graduate be they a US citizen or not is American clinical experience. This is a must if one wants to get a good residency and it gives a candidate an edge over all those "other" foreign applicants.... Now To get american experience the best way is to kill two birds with one stone... finish off your internship which is required by your Indian college in america... In america what we want to apply for is a clerkship( not an observership). To do this you have to pass ur USMLE step 1 and also you have to be a student.. You should try and get ur postings at different, perferablly learning hospitals in america. Now depending on where you go to school in India you can get a list of hospitals that are more accomodating to foreign grads but I know that Rajiv ghandi University of Health Sciences has a list that you can get from their office. Or if you don't have a list or can't get it I'm sure there are list online.... so once you know the colleges you have to start contacting their admissions staff or their heads of dept. Knowing any staff personally trhough family friends or any sort of connections always helps but yeah get the ball rolling on emails to the staff asking about requirments and such and they can guide you from there.... but always advertise yourself as still studying and not a graduate because once you graduate it is verrrrry difficult to get a clerkship.... Now I recently came upon a site which gives out clerkships and really gives you the whole package... It is <AmeriClerkship.com> and with this program you do NOT have to complete the USMLE step one...

7)Coming to ragging
It is virtually non existent these days as there is a ban on it.... and if you take my advice and get your own flat or reside outside of the hostels you will rarely if ever face any such incident...

8)Donation
All interactions regarding getting a seat and the donation amount should be done personally and with the college itself through their admission staff.... middle men and agents should strictly be avoided. Get to know your admissions staff and the general office staff... you will be studying in the college... it doesn't hurt to get to know the administration staff... they may be able to help you out in the future.... i refrain from giving figures as they keep changing but if you pm me I can find out the current rate...

Hope to keep adding stuff as it comes to me... hope this helps for now...
 

OneoftheGuptas

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first off, id like to say "thank you" to dggopal for his wonderful post.. he compiled everything together and gave a really good perspective on all those small things that can actually be a big deal for someone coming to india to study...!

i have a few things id like to add, though, from a girls perspective:

1. bathrooms:
yes, it is possible to find western toilets in most areas here, such as restaurants, theaters, and malls... but id like it to be known, that this isnt in reference to your local theater, or local eatery...!! the places with the nice, clean bathrooms are places that expect you to come and spend some money. granted, your average dosa place may have a western toilet, but its not gonna be clean. as a girl, i think i tend to be pickier about a toilet than a guy would, for obvious reasons.. also, if youre thinking that you can just put a toilet seat cover onto the toilet and do your thing, you should be warned that toilet seat covers dont exist over here! and about the toilet paper, i always keep some on hand, just in case.
the bathrooms in our college are absolutely horrible, and i dont drink anything all day long, in order to avoid having to use them...
in the hostel, i had my own bathroom, so it wasnt all that bad.. but things in the hostel are not all that clean in general. for a germophobe like me, my first 6 months here were absolutely horrific, in the case of public restrooms.

2. culture shock:
i completely agree that a city is better over a rural district any day!! every so often, we feel the pinch of being in india and miss home.. but it would be a hundred times worse away from the city. here, we can find almost everything that we need, provided we put the energy into finding it, and have the money to shell out (in case its imported). as far as population goes, its common to see people from all over the world here, and that helps you feel a bit better about things.

in bangalore city, i have never felt like i was discriminated against for being an nri... in my college, though, my first year here was really incredibly tough, and i had a lot to deal with. the "nri" title, has a lot of stereotype and stigma attached to it. in the city, though, there are nris and expats all over the place, and i blend in just fine. it does help to speak the local language. i speak hindi, though, which is fine (for the most part).

remember, it doesnt help to ACT like your typical nri, and you do want to blend in wherever you can..."when in rome..."...speak hindi, pick up on the local accent, dress appropriately, and follow the local culture and mannerisms.. itll help!!

as for being a female:
women are discriminated against! ok.. dont freak out.. its not that bad, but theres a definite difference between how men and women are treated.
auto drivers are always taking advantage of women, and they do overcharge. in college, female students are not taken as seriously when dealing with office staff, so its better to have a male or local guardian with you. i would not feel safe coming home alone late at night, but i suppose i feel safer in the city than i would in rural areas.
all in all, though, if you have confidence in yourself and pick up on street smarts, you should be just fine. use your common sense and dont take unnecessary risks.

3. ragging:
though ragging is not as common as it used to be, it still happens. its worse for boys than it is for girls, but either way it is not pleasant. it is illegal now, and the students conducting the ragging can be suspended, provided that someone files a complaint.

i agree with pretty much everything else that dggopal has pointed out... and the points that he has touched on may seem small, but are actually very important in regards to your quality of life here..

ill add more, if and when things occur to me..
 

Confusedesi nri

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Jul 24, 2008
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I am thinking of coming to India for mbbs. However the school says that I am eligible for th nri quota because i do not have physics chemistry and biology in 11 and 12 grades. That is the system there but that is impossible for me to do that in the american system as we are required to take biology in 9h chemistry in 10 and physics in 11. Even if I had taken AP classes I still wouldnt be able to havee all three subject in both years. My question is did any of you experience this. If so how do you go about it. I even had my counselor right a letter saying it is not possible to take these classes in both years. I really hope that this is sufficient butwhat I want to know is that there are so many nris going to india and under the us system you cant have all three subjects in both years. Thank you so much and please do respond.
 

dggopal

Fluffy McFlufferson
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had the same deal.... i had ap bio in my senior year though... thats the only difference... really doesnt matter... as far as I know it shouldn't be a big deal under the Rajiv ghandi university of health sciences scheme... it just takes some money thas all... basically if you throw money at a problem here doors from heaven open up and the impossible becomes very very possible... catch my drift?
 

Confusedesi nri

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Thanks for responding, but I also want to know was it hard for you to learn in class because u didnt have bio chem and physics in 11 and 12th grades? I know that education is different there but would i be affected by not have those three classes in my senior year?
 

dggopal

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I think the only class you will have a tough time in is Biochemistry if you are coming straight out of high school. That is because we haven't taken organic chemistry yet as it is a college class.... the hardest college class for premed students, or so I have heard. But even that isn't too big a deal. We have to memorise most of the stuff anyways for exams so comprehension isn't really necessary to pass exams... but yeah you will get the big picture even in biochem it will just be a bit tough for you thats all...
 
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Confusedesi nri

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thanks, you have been really helpful. DO you think it would help if I started to get tutoring here in biochem before coming to india? What about after college starts? Can you find tutors there that will cater to nri needs in biochem and other subjects?
 

dggopal

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honestly man... i like to study on my own... as long as there is a good text book out there that is well layed out and written in a simple way I will perfer just to read on my own... that being said... there are plenty of biochemistry books here and they are all pretty well written. The problem for us is that we are not schooled in the prerequisites to understand biochemistry. so getting tutoring in biochem wont help much. Instead I would suggest if you really want to actually try and understand the concepts in detail.... you go out and buy an organic chemistry book and start reading that. that will help you out a lot I think.
 

OneoftheGuptas

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thanks, you have been really helpful. DO you think it would help if I started to get tutoring here in biochem before coming to india? What about after college starts? Can you find tutors there that will cater to nri needs in biochem and other subjects?
confusedesi, when i was resitting biochem, i tried to study from a usa college level biochem book - and it was a bad idea!! the whole approach to the subject is different, and it may end up confusing you more. still, as dggopal said, it may not hurt to pick up an o-chem book, and get the gist and understanding of the subject. the better your basics and background, the better youll do once you get here.

once you get here, tutors are available if you know where to look and who to talk to. tutions work for some and not for others. get over here, and then judge for yourself... good luck!
 

megs90

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Mar 1, 2009
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hey
i am a canadian student in my first year at university of toronto. i was planning on going to india last year for medicine but i cancelled the entire plan coz i was scared of the fact as to will i be able to setltle down in india...but this year a couple of my frnds are actually planning on going to KIMS in bangalore and they said that i should look into indian medical colleges once again...and hence i decided to look into these forums ..ive read the posts by dggopal and they have been really helpful..
what i am really confused about is the lifestyle and adjusting to it...i was born and broguht in dubai...was there for 15 years and then came to canada...its been 4 years almost since i am here... and i am looking at a college in ambala, haryana..and it is definetly not that big of a place as compared to cities like delhi bombay and stuff...so i was wondering if any of you actually heard about this university(maharishi markandeshwar university ) and what the lifestyle is like...i am also looking at rajindra medical college in patiala... and ive been to these places on vacation...but what the regular lifestyle is like is what i am unaware of...coz on vacations i have my cousins with me who never let me go out by myself..and living in ambala (have no family there..the closest are at atleast 2 hours drive) .. and ive never actually even seen the place ambala... and living there by myself is what im finding really hard...besides ..the lifestyle of nri's is so different here in canada...so i was still debating about whether i shhould plunge into this and take the step of coming to india or not...i was also looking at medical colleges in europe and the carribean...i was wondering if any one of u who is from the states knows if carribean/europe is recognized more than india or not!!!

id really appreciate if i could get a reply soon from someone... i need to decide on this soon.!!! looking forward to a few replies... :)
 

Confusedesi nri

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confusedesi, when i was resitting biochem, i tried to study from a usa college level biochem book - and it was a bad idea!! the whole approach to the subject is different, and it may end up confusing you more. still, as dggopal said, it may not hurt to pick up an o-chem book, and get the gist and understanding of the subject. the better your basics and background, the better youll do once you get here.

once you get here, tutors are available if you know where to look and who to talk to. tutions work for some and not for others. get over here, and then judge for yourself... good luck!
Thanks, I think a tutor will help me. I am confused about one thing. What is the difference{ gradiing wise , academic wise ., any other thing} between internals and exteernals? I dont quit grasp how they are ment to be apporached and how they make up your grade?
 

dggopal

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well in terms of "more recognised" it depends on where you want to practice... see most people here I think, me included, are planning on going back to the US to practice after doing MBBS in India... so if you want to practice in America... Indian medical schools... not all but a lottt ( visit the ECFMG website to find out for your specific school) of schools are recognised..... BUT graduating from schools located in England and Australia is probably better in terms of getting a residency as these schools carry more prestige than Indian schools even though they are recognised.... this is only half the equation though... Ultimately if you get high USMLE scores you will definitely get a residency where ever you graduate from.

Now for Canada... I'm not tooo sure but I think you have to practice somewhere else like the US or Australia or something for a few years to get clinical experience before you can even go back to Canada to practice if you are a foreign graduate... So yeah England and Australia might be better options...

It all depends on where you want to practice at the end of the day. And what specialty you want to practice in... like Surgery and Dermatology are very competitive fields so foreign grads are unlikely to get such residency options... im not saying its impossible but its very difficult... so if thats what you want then you better stay in Canada or the US and get a degree from there...

Hope that helps...

But yeah if you are thinking of coming to India I would strongly urge you to work according to my advice earlier in this post... Ambala and to a lesser degree patiala are very small places...
first off its punjab so its pretty conservative... on top of that its a small place so its even worse... dunno how its gonna be for you... you should really consider places like Bangalore or Mumbai!
 

dggopal

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yeah about the internal exams and external exams... its a bit confusing... think of it in terms of midterms and finals.... like we have in the states.... so the internal exams ( we have 3 usually... of which the avg of the best 2 gets taken) contribute towards your final "grade." just like a midterm contributes towards a final grade in college... however the final exam, The External, is the most important exam... just like the finals back home they pretty much carry 80% of your total grade.... now viewing this in terms of indian system of pass/fail... you have to get a min of 50% in both theory and Practical to pass. so now if my external exam is worth 80 marks for the theory paper and 20 marks for practical. and my internal exam is worth 20 marks for theory and 10 marks for practicals.... if i score 15 in my theory internals and 7 in my practical internals i will have an easier time to make up 50% in my external exam as i have a 5 mark cushion for theory and a 2 mark cushion for practicals... as i only have to score 35 in my external theory to make an aggregate of 50% and in my practical i only have to score an 8 to make up 50 % in practicals... hope that makes sense and clears up ur questions....
 

vksk

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Feb 26, 2009
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First of all let me state that i'm an Indian not NRI so I may not have personally experienced these problems but I have close friends from the US who went throught this . (PSG med in Coimbatore). Its true the teaching is very much like how we've been taught all our lives-teacher talks we listen ,take notes, no questions, go back and read by yourself.So Indians get it but others find it tough. First of all since we skip undergrad we have advanced chem and biology in high school-really the latest books in our state had applied biology parts in it like thyroid disorders while learning about the thyroid, hernia while learning about abdominal muscles-in 12th Grade! So NRIs can't study last minute like some locals. you just cant cover it all. So,.....
1) study from the begining. And study all yr regularly.
2)Try find study buddies that speak good english so they can bring you upto speed easily.
Getting through first year finals is the toughest because first of all the written test is so long you'll stuggle to finish in time-even if you know the answers. See the tests are timed so that you could only finish if you knew ahead of time in your head what your going to write. So
3) make "notes" like a 5-10 point note on "important" topics you'll do better-or you have to write so fast that you keep up with your own thoughts. You'll get better at either method by final yr.
4) Learn the local language including "local english" accent- you need to be fast in your practicals. you can have translators(we have in our college) but the minute an external sees that or suspects you're an NRI he's waiting to fail you(70% of the time atleast).
5)Here is where it becomes important that by your continued hard work the entire yr your own proffessors were impressed with you. Because the internal examiner sitting with the external can change his mind. Since you dont know which of your professors will be there that means impressing everyone-I know totally unfair. You have to keep a straight face for all their retorts and bad jokes the whole yr while the locals get off with the worst behavior-welcome to India-welcome to Partiality!
6)Studying for usmle step 1 in your 3rd yr can be difficult because everyone else around you is layed back. ENT,opthal,SPM are easy so technically you have enough and more time. And i agree with an earlier post if you read for step 1 after final yr you'll do much better because the 3rd and 4th yr clinicals is when you integrate basic science with clinics in India and you need it for step1.
7)try squeeze in clerkships in 3rd yr instead-some colleges are now signing memorandums of agreement for student exchange with US med schools-atleast mine has. But the problem will be the college has to give you attendance credit for it. So again if your college recognises a month elsewhere do it or schedule it for the summer break which is usually atleast 15 days and you can still make up attendance of 15 days more.
so you have to plan all this and pull it off in 3 months right after your 2nd yr exam.
8) I have heard it mentioned here that some colleges allow you to do your internship yr in the US. They must be Deemed Universities because Indian Medical Council doesnt recognise it. SO if you go to a Govt affiliated or Govt college you cant do the yr in US.
9)Make sure your college supports you going back to the US -like making you med school transcripts, MSPE,LORs etc and dont drag paper work

I'm sorry for such a long post .I just wanted to give help. If anyone wants to know anything about coming to the US after MBBS in India you can message me.
Oh and everything about the bathrooms is true. And power outages. but if your hostel is on campus like ours it'll be connected to the hospital generators that kick in within a min(better than my own home!)
 

Emmet2301

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Sep 14, 2008
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What's the point of going back and doing your MBBS and then coming back to the US? It just seems like you're trying to surpass the system and become a doctor faster...Why not try in the US or study where you want to practice....
 

dggopal

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man I have seen you post that same question like twice before and I think people have already replied to you... but the point is...

the US system of education is very competitive and sometimes students irrespective of grades don't get into med programs back home so if they want to be a doc they have to find an alternate way or waste more time....

another more important feature of medical education in the US is cost. In America college is verrrry expensive! there is no if or but about it.... its really really expensive and for those who don't want to be paying off that debt for the majority of their adult life India is a viable option.

Another point is time. Now granted there are 7 year programs back home... but say a mediocre student wants to pursue medicine... he has to do 4 yrs of undergrad with the POSSIBILITY, that he might get into a med program. THEN if he DOESN'T, and he still wants to stay in the states he has to do something else to beef up his application like masters in bio or something and re apply next time.... if that happens it can take a hell of a lot longer than just coming to India right out of high school... where you are garunteed that by the end of it all you will be a doctor... ya know... and you dont have to take bs classes like history and language arts just to satisfy your college requirements... over here you take classes that are necessary and thats it! there is no fluff... I'm not saying that the education here is better than the states but I am saying that its to the point... another added benefit here is that we get clinical experience starting second year... us students start clinical rotations in their 3rd year... so thats a bonus too...



so yeah those are a few reasons for you
 
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toj

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Mar 16, 2009
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hey dggopal, you seem to have a lot of knowledge on questions from nri wanting to study medicine in india. But i was wondering do you have any knowledge of dental school, process in india for nri or maybe you know some nri doing dental in india. I am thinking of doing dentistry in india and i have read you advice which is mostly regarding medicine, and I am in the process of making my mind on whether or not to do dental in india. I know for sure I am not doing dental here in US.
 

dggopal

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umm... ya know I don't know too much about dental really in terms of the process after you complete your course in India and are coming back to the states... like for med students we have to take USMLE's and then apply for residency and such... so I know of the struggles in doing that... but for Dental I don't know... so I don't know if its a good idea or not... but I will say that dental schools here are pretty good... I feel they are a little better than Med schools... as the students are made to practice on real patients and do procedures on real patients I *think* not too sure but think starting second year! so thats a plus... Umm... yeah other than that I really don't know too much about them but I do know plenty of foreign students studying in dental colleges here... Mostly from the gulf countries... and also a lot from Malaysia... Ummm im sure there are some from the states too... my doc back home is an Indian guy that studied here and came to america later... so yeah... hope that helps...
 

dggopal

Fluffy McFlufferson
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btw all my other advice about hostels and all that jazz applies to dental and plausibly any other field of study too...
 

somchaip

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Mar 18, 2009
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dear sir
i saw your post it quite interesting . i am a thai nanational ,at present i studying at class 9 .i c.s .e school in india planning to go for medical school . i recived reply that a.i p.m.t only for indian citizen , if i want to go for good medical school( non privaye ) . is there any chacne Or information .
somchaip
 

dggopal

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umm not tooo sure about this but I think you are eligible to take the CET examination to get a seat in a college... but im not sure if that applies to govt. colleges or just private colleges... i would find out from a representative from the Medical council of India. I'm sure if you search the net you'll find a number you can call and speak to someone... hope that helps...
 

Rish

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Mar 22, 2009
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Hi guys,
My name is Risha and im actually from Canada
im gona be joinin KIMS this august and just wanted to know how the place is. and also, im gona be gettin in on NRI quota so i was just wondering if they're going to ask for my grd 12 marks from high school
 

dggopal

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umm asked a few friends in the dental college today and it seems to do dental in india and then go back to america it seems the process is a bit more tedious than I thought... basically after completing BDS here... you will have to take a equivalency test much like the USMLES and after that you apply to uni's in america and you would have to do 2 more years of studying in america to get a bachelours degree that is recognised in America... so its not like MBBS where you take USMLE's and then just apply to residency...

Regarding transcripts from high school... yeah they would like to see those but grades arent too important just that you should have bio physiology and chem in there somehwere... perferably in the last 2 years of ur high school... but its no big deal if they aren't...

Dunno really what you wanna know about life here... kinda explained what I thought was important earlier in this thread... if you have specific questions you can ask here or pm me...
 

docraj

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Mar 23, 2009
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Dont do it. Forget it. It is extremely difficult to get into residency. I went to Manipal. I havent gotten in since I graduated in 2003. It has become so competitve.
 

dggopal

Fluffy McFlufferson
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are you talking about dental or medical... cuz I hear Dental might be a little harder than medical....
 

Rish

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Mar 22, 2009
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kims is charging 50 or 60 lakhs for NRI quota.. its a lota money
 

Tipton

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Oct 9, 2007
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Academic Administration
KMCIC in Manipal might be a good option particularly if you are interested in fulfilling US licensing requirements in the curriculum rather than having to pass your exams after returning.

I work as the main contact person in Admissions. Please feel free to contact me.

Tipton Carlson
American University of Antigua College of Medicine
Kasturba Medical College International Center
[email protected]
www.auamed.org/kmcic
866-562-7708
 

desikuri

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Dec 12, 2008
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guysss...KIMS is krishna institute of medical sciences right??? or is it kamieni(dont know how to spell it) institute of medical sciences i am confusedd....:S
 

dggopal

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no its neither of those two... It is Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences... located in Bangalore.....
 

desikuri

10+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2008
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ohhh are you serious??? well it makes sense cause this one you tod me about comes in banglore and the ones i am talking about one being krishna institute of medical sciences comes in between sechandrabad and hyderabad...
 
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