Has anyone gone from a US highschool to a non-US medical school? or do you know anyone who has? Is it even possible? if so, what are the pros/cons? how hard is it to get in? I appreciate any info on this topic.
Jordie (cute user name - same as my grandmother's dog!):
I do not know of anyone who has done this but I'm sure it has been done before. IMHO, there are more drawbacks than advantages:
1)you will be extremely limited in the programs which will accept you, many of which have citizenship requirements, etc.
2)to be licensed in most US states to practice as a Physician, you must have been awarded an undergraduate degree. This is not a requirement of most European countries. Thus, you must ascertain whether or not you would be awarded a BA/BS or its equivalent during your 6 year medical school program.
3)all the disadvantages of being an IMG and being 24 years old when you finish
4) missing out on the full college experience is a mistake in my book.
At any rate, I'm sure others will weigh in and with more detailed thoughts than I can manage at this point. Hope this has helped somewhat.
That is not neccesarily typical of the rest of the world, it is in a few places, and it is certainly not typical of the rest of Central America, nor Mexico. This is the first I have ever heard of a Mexcian med school having anywhere NEAR this sort of retension/fail rate.
ALLOW ME TO CLARIFY . FIRST OF ALL MY EXAMPLE IS BASED ON A MED SCHOOL IN SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA .............. NOT IN MEXICO .
I UNDERSTAND THAT MEXICO HAS A BAD " DEGREE ON SALE " PROBLEM . OF COURSE I AM NOT GENERALIZING .
THE CASE HERE IN COSTA RICA IS THE VERY VERY HIGH FALIURE RATE . FOR SOME ODD BALL REASON , THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY HAS COME TO RELATE FALIURE WITH HAVING AN EXCELLENT MEDICAL PROGRAM . THE MORE YOU FAIL , MEANS THAT THE COURSE IS HARD , AND IF IT IS HARD THEN IT IS GOOD .............RIGHT ? WRONG .
CASE IN POINT , IN MY SCHOOL ONLY 5 PEOPLE GRADUATED IN 2000-2001 , THE UNIVERSITY HAS COME TO SEE THAT THEY COULD NOT COVER THE GRADUATION COSTS FROM 5 ALONE . SO THEY ARE WAITING FOR THE 2001-2002 CLASS TO SEE IF AT LEAST 7 COME OUT OF THERE .
NOW TYPICAL CLASS SIZE IS FROM 28-50 STUDENTS .
I READ AN ARTICLE IN HOW2.COM THAT IN THE U.S. , THE HARD PART IS GETTING INTO A MEDICAL TRAINING PROGRAM , BUT AFTER YOU ARE THERE ..........IT HAS A 90 % GRADUATION RATE ( OUT OF 100 , 90 GRADUATE ) .
HERE IT IS THE OTHER WAY AROUND ..............IT IS EASY TO GET IN . BUT THAT IS WHERE IT ENDS ....GETTING IN IS EASY . FROM THERE ...............93 % PERCENT FAIL , DROP OUT , ETC............... PROFESSORS ARE ALMOST MILITARY IN ATTITUDE............SINCE THEY ARE DOCTORS ( BEING THIRD WORLD AND ALL THEY HAVE LIKE god complexes ....now i am not putting all in that catagory ) For years only the elite had the money to attend medical school . Now the some of the poor are , but they tend to forget that they were poor once ( who would want to remember ? )
BUT JUST TO KEEP THE RECORD STRAIGHT ..............THERE IS LAX ATTITUD about obtaining CADAVERS ( SINCE SO MANY ARE NOT CLAMED ) SO WE HAVE EXCELLENT ACSESS TO MATERIALS , HAVING AN AVERAGE OF 3 FRESH CEREBRUMS TO USE IN LAB. EACH WEEK . TWICE A WEEK . AND THE GOVERMENT IS HAPPY AS CAN BE . BECAUSE THE UNIVERSITY HAS TO PAY THE FUNERAL .
I WOULD BE BOLD ENOUGH TO SAY THAT ON AN EDUCATIONAL LEVEL , REAL MED SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD ARE ALMOST THE SAME , PLEASE BEFORE I GET WHIPPED LET ME CLARIFY . WHAT REALLY DIFFERS IS THE LACK OF MONEY , WHICH REVERTS TO LACK OF LATEST TECNOLOGY .
BUT MOST EVERYBODY ( HERE IN COSTA RICA ) GOES AND DOES SOME POST-DOCTORAL WORK IN THE US.....OR EUROPE ANYWAY . AND THAT IS WHERE IT COUNTS . OF COURSE STRONG SCIENTIFIC BASES ARE IMPORTANT .......AND ALL STUDENTS ARE REQUIERED TO HAVE A B.S. IN SCIENCE BEFORE APPLYING TO MED SCHOOL . THE DIFFERENCE IS , THAT IN THE 9TH GRADE ( IN HIGH SCHOOL ) YOU HAVE TO DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO TAKE SCIENCE , ARTS , COMMERENCE .............AS THE MAJOR IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA . FROM THEN ON OUT , TILL 12TH GRADE YOU ARE BOMBARDED WITH ONLY THE SUBJECTS THAT PERTAIN TO YOUR SPECIFIC AREA .
2 ) ALL U.S. TEXT BOOKS ARE USED IN EVERYDAY CLASS ...........WITH TRANSLATIONS FALLING ONE EDITION BEHIND ( i.e. , if there is an 15th edition of harpers biochemistry in english...then the spanish version is 14th ) So most all prof.s encourge students to buy the english version .
And as far as I can tell , we live and die by the same text books as students from us/european/carribean universities .
I forgot that there is a Universidad Hispanoamerica in CR as well as in Mexico--an obviously popular name .
Are you sure this situation is Costa Rican-wide, and not just pocketed in your, and perhaps other, private med schools there? I do not understand it to be nearly so severe as you describe. One might investigate this here: http://cariari.ucr.ac.cr/~medicina/page7.html
Too, there are many quite good med schools in Mexico, some are excellent.
Tambi?n otra vez, est? la mayor?a de su instrucci?n en espa?ol?
WELL I CAN SAY WITH ALMOST A 85 % DEGREE OF CERTAINTY THAT IS A VERY COMMEN PROBLEM . I STARTED MED-SCHOOL IN JAN 2000 , IN DAVID , CHIRIQUI PANAMA .........AT THE COLUMBUS UNIVERSITY FACULTAD DE MEDICINA Y CIRUJIA GENERAL .
WHY DID I TRANSFER ? WELL , THEY CLAMIED TO BE AFFILIATED WITH A COLUMBUS UNIVERSITY BASED OUT OF NEW YORK CITY......U.S.A. .
I AM A BIG RESEARCH BUFF SO I DID A LITTLE SNOOPING AROUND ON MY OWN , AND THANKS TO THE INTERNET ......................I COULD NOT FIND SUCH A SCHOOL .
SO MY REASONING IS/WAS , IF THEY LIED .............ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT MAY HAPPEN DOWN THE LINE . SURE AS SAID , SOME OF THE ONES THAT SWEAR THAT ONLY THE STATE RUN UNIVERSITY CAN GRADUATE DOCTORS , CASE IN POINT HERE ( LA UNIVERSIDAD DE PANAMA ) .........NOW I AM REFERING TO THE U.P. ( UNIVERSIDAD DE PANAMA ) IN THE CAPITAL CITY ..............NOT THE COLUMBUS UNIVERSITY , DAVID CITY CAMPUS . IN DAVID , CHIRIQUI .
DAVID being the city . CHIRIQUI being the province . ( note : chiriqui is the province in panama that borders with costa rica ) . now according to this group of doctors , it was an outrage that there was a operational university in another province ..............that was NOT the university of panama .
IMPORTANT NOTE : IN CENTRAL AMERICA IT IS PRESTIGOUS TO STUDY IN THE STATE RUN UNIVERSITIES ............................PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES ARE CONSIDERED A LOWER CATAGORY .........SO IN THOERY THE UNIVERSIDAD DE PANAMA WOULD BE SUPERIOR TO A HARVARD UNIVERSITY . IN THE U.S. IT IS THE OTHER WAY AROUND .............STATE COLLEGES ARE LOWER IN CATAGORY THAN PRIVATE ONES .
ANYWAY , THE SAME GROUP OF DOCTORS THAT TRIED TO HAVE THE COLUMBUS UNIVERSITY SHUT DOWN , HAD A NATIONAL TELEVISED ....CREDENTIAL COMPARASON .................... THE PFOFS. FROM THE UNIVERSIDAD DE PANAMA vs. his or her counter parts from the columbus university . The ones that teach in columbus ( david campus , since I know nothing about the main campus in the capital city ) had better credentials .
So they are still operating . It looks like a mom-n-pop school . Nothing fancy .
They have the same pass/fail percentage rate as the ones in costa rica .
COSTA RICA .......................
SAME ODD BALL MENTALITY ........as in panama if you study in the U.C.R. ( UNIVERSIDAD DE COSTA RICA ........THE STAE RUN UNIVERSITY ) your degree is 24kt GOLD . If you study at any other then ............................you are looked down at . Now the $1,000,000 question is ...........could it be that the education is really better either at UNIVERSIDAD DE PANAMA ( IN PANAMA ) OR THE U.C.R. IN COSTA RICA ?
well..............here is the answer . We are taught by the same profesors . YES , THE SAME ONES !
MOST PROFESORS TEACH IN AS MANY PLACES THAT THEY CAN ( MORE CHECKS TO CASH ) . SO if the same people teach..............I don?t think that people down here should make such a big fuss over the fact that the U.C.R/ U.P. confers a star studded degree . But the fact is , there is not really a match system per say , here . EACH YEAR THE GRADUATES OF THE U.C.R. OR THE U.P. ( in there respective countries ) fill all slots , and what ever is left over goes to the private universities .
How is this done ? Well easy , the C.S.S. ( CAJA DE SEGURO SOCIAL ) the social security administration in other words ...........is the big employer . So it is a chain reation effect .
To get your med. licensce , you have to do your internship ( give a free year of service ) to the GOVERMENT , which runs the C.S.S. . NO intership , no med. license . No med. license ..........no local training , no training .......NO POSSIBILITY of obtaing a specialty ( oby-gen-ent , cardiology , etc............. ) .
And you gussed it , the U.C.R IS GOVERMENT ALSO , so if the local employer is goverment and the school is goverment ........then the bias is there .
So the C.S.S. AND THE U.C.R ....................are like brother and sister . And in costa rica private health care is out of the question ........The goverment holds a monoply on insurance , most health care , through the I.N.S . ( INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE SEGUROS ) , AND YOU GUESSED THAT RIGHT TOO HAPPY CAMPERS IT IS GOVERMENT ALSO .
Now having bored you with all these details ................. the real question is " AM I SURE THAT THE METHODOLOGY OF TEACHING MEDICINE ( I MENTION ONLY MEDICINE , BECAUSE I HAVE NOT STUDIED ANYTHING ELSE ) IS BASED ON THE PRACTICE OF THROWING ROCKS IN YOUR PATH ? " ( THROWING ROCKS IN YOUR PATH , IS TRANSLATED FROM SPANISH " TIRARTE PIEDRAS EN EL CAMINO " )
FOR THE LAST 17 MONTHS , I MUST SAY THAT ...........YES IT IS . MY GIRLFRIEND SAYS .........YES , SHE HAS BEEN AT THIS FOR 32 MONTHS .
IN FACT I AM REALLY THINKING ABOUT DOING MY THESIS ON THIS PARTICULAR SUBJECT . THE HIGHEST FAILURE RATE IN PERCENTAGE , OF ANY MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD .
AND JUST TO SET THE FACTS STRAIGHT AGAIN ...........YOU SEE PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD HERE ....... AUSTRIA , CHINA , JAPAN , U.S. , CARRIBEAN , ETC........... I AM NOT SURE IF IT IS THE COST OR WHAT . IT MUST BE , BECAUSE I CAN SEE NO OTHER REASON .
THATS WHY I AM HERE .
IF I COULD HAVE AFFORED A US MED SCHOOL , WITHOUT STUDENT LOANS ............... COOL . I WOULD NEVER HAVE DREAMED OF STUDYING ANY WHERE ELSE .
IF NOT LOOK ELSE WHERE . HERE I HAVE NO STUDENT LOANS , NOW IN THE END I REALIZE 2 THINGS .
TO CROSS OVER ( BACK TO U.S. ) IT IS GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF PRAYING AND STUDYING HARD . BUT MY VIEW IS , IF YOU KNOW THAT ARE STUDYING AND ALL , THEN WHAT IS THERE TO FEAR ?
I MEAN , THE USMLE .....THEY CANT MAKE UP THINGS THAT DONT EXSIST . SO NO FEAR THERE , WITH GOOD STUDY GUIDES AND EXCELLENT STUDY HABITS ........ALL SHOULD GO WELL .
PLUS I AM COUNTING ON ONE LITTLE HURDLE , THAT I WONT HAVE TO CROSS , I DONT NEED A J-1 , OR THE H-B VISA ( I THINK THATS WHAT ITS CALLED ) CAUSE I AM A US CITIZEN . NOW THAT REALLY MEANS NOTHING , BUT HEY..............EVERY LITTLE THING COUNTS .
AND THE HISPANOAMERICANA IN SAN JOSE , COSTA RICA HAS AN EXCHANGE PROGRAM WITH JACKSON MEMORIAL IN MIAMI FLORIDA . PLUS ANOTHER WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST SYSTEMS . SUPPOSEDLY IT WORKS LIKE THIS , AFTER YOU GRADUATE , YOU CAN OPT TO GO DO YOUR INTERNSHIP IN THE US. NOW I AM PRAYING THAT THIS WILL HELP ME ALONG MY WAY TO OBTAINING MY LICENSE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE . OF COURSE I HAVE ALONG WAYS TO GO...............SO I AM NOT COUNTING MY CHICKENS BEFORE THEY HATCH . JUST KEEPING THE GATE WAY OF OPTIMISIM , OPEN !
NOW THAT IS WHAT THEY ADVERTISE . HOPEFULLY ANYONE WITH A LITTLE EXTRA TIME , CAN HELP TO SEE IF I CAN VERIFY THIS TO BE TRUE .
ANYWAY...............WHERE ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO SCHOOL ?
TE ASEGURO QUE LAS COSAS AQUI ESTAN SUPER DIFICL , CLARO MEDICNA ES ASI . PERO NO HAY QUE COMPLICARLSO MAS !
Getting into a non-us medical school is not as easy as before. Take for example St. George's University on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean, to be admitted you have to do everything like an American Medical school, and sometimes even more. MCAT is required and the student at St. George's do better than many students in American medical schools. There is no way St. George's, Ross, AUC, or for that matter any medical school will accept you or anyone coming from high school without going through some type of program etc. I encourage you to research this for yourself.
If you want to practice medicine in the US, you do live in the US and you still haven't began undergrad, then I don't recommend you jump straight into a foreign med school without any strong justifying reasons. If you really want medicine, and how sure can you be considering you're just finishing high school, bust ass in college and try to get into a med school close to home. It's very risky jumping straight into anatomy and physiology, away from home in a foriegn country, busting ass just like a US med student would or even more, and then be denied, solely on the basis of assumption, the acknowledgement of your hard work when you're labeled as an FMG/IMG. Several friends of mine have tried it here in Jordan, six of them to be exact, and all six flunked out. All were honor students in high school. Two of them now are doing dentistry at a highly esteemed dental school.
My final advice: do undergrad, do a non-science major and do it well, and then when the 4 years are over hopefully you'll have the choice to study in a US med school.
If you are definitely sure you want to go into medicine, then by all means - look into programs straight from high school. There are 6 year programs in the US, as well as most universities abroad because in Europe (and Australia), kids start specializing straight after high school. There are many merits of doing this - i.e. no wasting time with unnecessary classes, but drawbacks as well - no typical "US College experience," and lack of variety, no chance to explore. You have to weigh the pros and cons very carefully.
However, having spent the last year abroad in Ireland, I've seen kids enter the Trinity college medical proram straight after high school. Not so many Americans, but quite a few Canadians who would have the same precollege experience that we do - and then some from Australia and New Zealand. They loved it, no regrets at having not waited. But they KNEW what they wanted to do. It all depends on what kind of setting you want to learn in and the experiences that you've had. Personality choices, pretty much. There's a danger of going overseas and then finding out that you really don't like it and don't want to be a med. You should have to be fairly confident before making a leap like that.
Pros - exciting new place & wild adventure, could be cheaper, if you pick the right place could be on-par with US education, experience of a lifetime, fairly often more clinical training than US schools provide = better practical prep for the boards. It still IS college, so I don't really think missing out on the college experience is really a factor.
Cons - getting back in the US could pose problems. HOWEVER, if you do well on boards and get experience in the US or Canada through electives/internships/etc., this shouldn't be too much of a problem. also being away from home for an extended period of time, airfare, culture shock (but you get used to it), in some cases a lower standard of living...
I know someone posted a link to the Irish thread - haven't checked it out yet. But if you are seriously considering this, then DO check out Trinity and the other Irish colleges, because they have excellent reputations in the US, their graduates do not have too much trouble finding US residencies, and it's just a wonderful place . Do what you want to do, and although there are risks, don't let the negative aspects scare you if this is what you're really destined for. Best of luck!
It's damned difficult for one to know for sure that he wants to do be a doctor after high school. We're talking about something that you're gonna do for the rest of your life, and it's a very unforgiving life choice.
I do not doubt the quality of education given at many med schools abroad. I truly think that my med school is superior, not in equipement or facilities, in education to many if not most medschools in the US. Unfortunately residency directors don't think the same. They generally think that USFMGs couldn't take the heat in the US medical education system. Unfair it is, but that's how it works. Quite a shock after busting ass at rigorous foreign programs. If you bust an equal amount of ass in the US you would quite certainly get accepted into a very nice med school, in your home country, without the post graduate fuss of trying to find residency and putting up with sometimes blatant discrimination against your FMG status. Sure, many of these foreign schools are in exciting places. Mine sure is. But you could sure as travel as student and see them, you don't have to live there for 7 years to see a beautiful place.
A slightly post-puberty youngun should NOT be advised to leave his country for 6-7 years to study a subject that is offered in abundance in his home country, possibly down the damn street.
Oh yes, and the med school experience is definitely NOT equivalent to the college experience. There is no comparison. Most universities in the US, people goof off for 4 years and graduated with a degree. Those who put in a little effort with a little direction with a little desire for medicine get into a med school. All others I think never REALLY tried. But the majority of undergrad is play, totally unlike medschool where there's very little room for play.
Good luck in all you do. I just say give it a go at home first.
Yeah, that is the SAFE option of course. Times are changing, however...given good performances and good scores, plus US experience, and possibly depending what school you choose to attend, FMGs aren't facing as much discrimination as before, if any in some places, imho. Now, some programs even WANT FMGs for diversity reasons and for a refreshing change - for whatever reason.
I don't think Jordan should be discouraged from considering 6-year international programs, provided that he/she really thinks through what he/she wants to achieve and why going abroad could help realize goals, and makes the committment to do what's necessary to getting whatever residency he/she wants in the US. Honestly, had I even thought about doing what Jordan's thinking of now, I would have gone for it. Because although I've had fun in my undergrad years, I consider a lot of it just a waste of unnecessary time. I could have had great fun elsewhere as well, plus received the same-level medical education.
Hey, if all the european/australian/foreign students have no problem entering med. school straight after their leaving cert. (hs), there's absolutely no reason why a US student who's taken advanced courses like APs or IBs and is used to working hard would not be able to hack it in a foreign program.