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Where to study? (Hungary, Italy, USA, Canada)

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Hkn19

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Hey,
So I'm a junior in high school and I want to study med. My counsellor told me that it's practically impossible to pass the MCAT in USA and Canada as a foreign student if you're not some kind of a genius. They told me that Hungary was beneath my level and Italy would take some hard work but was completely possible. My dream was to study in North America but right now I'm confused any suggestions from any med students or graduates?
 

FlyMissMD93

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Don't let your counselor deter your dreams. If I listened to all the advisors and personnel at my undergrad who said I wouldn't get into medical school based off of my grades, I wouldn't have applied this cycle. Know what you want and go for it, and make connections with people who were international and made it happen with matriculating into the USA or Canada.
 

wolfnscale

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Where are you from? Depending on your citizenship, you might have many options.

I'm not an expert, but I will chime in my advice.

Medical education in Canada and the USA is a different pathway than other countries. I can't speak too much for Canada (all I know is that their competition is fierce), but I can speak for a bit on the USA. Here, all (with few exceptions*) students have to obtain an undergraduate degree in any subject, with pre-med prerequisite courses in addition to taking the MCAT to be eligible to apply to medical school. You will also need letters of recommendation, volunteer hours (clinical and non), and shadowing hours. You counselor is probably trying to communicate that the MCAT is not designed for high school students to pass. It is for students who have a 4 year college education.

In other educational systems, you can be accepted into medical school out of high school. These programs are typically 5-6 years long, in general, to get your degree (or suite of degrees) and then further training. If you are looking to go abroad for education, you should do a little Google search on what universities are out there and what requirements you can meet. You may have to take other tests, such as BMAT or UKCAT, for example, such as in Australia or the UK. A lot of Eastern Europea school require you sit for an entrance exam in the sciences. Other schools, like Irish medical schools, do not always require testing.

Just to jumpstart your searching, you might consider looking into:
1. UK (https://www.medschools.ac.uk/media/2032/msc-entry-requirements-for-uk-medical-schools.pdf)
2. Ireland (Try looking up Atlantic Bridge Program; it is aimed at North Americans, but it has good information for you to start with.)
3. Australia (OzTrekk is for Canadians. But, like ABP, it is a good website to start researching what Aussie medical schools exist. OzTREKK | Your Canadian Connection to Study in Australia)
4. Czech (Medical Universities in Europe with English Programs - Medical Doctor International Studies)
5. Israel
7. Italy
8. Poland

From what I understand, these countries have good "reputations" in terms of medical education. Sorry to have thrown a list of countries your way, lol, but they all have multiple medical schools, so research is your friend. Also, I believe those all have fully or mostly (pre-clinical) English speaking programs, which as you speak English, may be of appeal to you.

If your dream is to study in North America, you can try to come to the USA to study. But, you will have to come first for an undergraduate degree and then, again for medical school. There's a lot to think about with living expenses, education expenses (the cost of our education is ridiculously high; tbh our own citizens can barely afford it, most of us are in debt), visas, etc. *We have some combined programs that combine undergrad + medical school; so you can get an undergrad degree in an accelerated 3 years and then be assured entrance into medical school, if you maintain your grades. These are competitive programs. You may need to take the SAT or ACT, plus SAT IIs in subjects like Biology, Chem, Physics to apply to them. I'm unsure. In rare cases, students without a degree can apply to medical school by only completing the necessary pre-reqs (these pre-reqs change per school, but in general include college level: 1 year biology w/ lab, 1 year general chem w/ lab, 1 year physics w/ lab, 1 year organic chem w/ lab, mathematics/stats, upper level biology courses such as biochem, immunology, histology, genetics, etc). But, that is usually an exceptional case.

You could also go to medical school anywhere and try to take clinical electives in North America when the time comes. If you'd like to practice in the USA, for example, you can take steps to do so (USMLE, residency). Stats are not great for IMGs, though. It will take resilience. It can be done though, my father is an IMG who studied in Mexico.

Don't let your counselor discourage you. They really only offer part of the picture. You are quite young and in a good position to discover all of the options available to you. My best advice is to do research on your own and when you have specific questions, come to SDN. I have a running document of all med school (national and international) that I will be applying to; neat with all of the requirements needed written down. You might do the same as it could be helpful in organizing your thoughts.

Also SDN has many "international" forums where you can browse through chatter on medical schools. You'll find out reputations of schools among students easily.
 
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720606

Hey,
So I'm a junior in high school and I want to study med. My counsellor told me that it's practically impossible to pass the MCAT in USA and Canada as a foreign student if you're not some kind of a genius. They told me that Hungary was beneath my level and Italy would take some hard work but was completely possible. My dream was to study in North America but right now I'm confused any suggestions from any med students or graduates?
I don't think that's true. I know many international students who came here and attended awesome universities with great majors that prepared them well for the MCAT (e.g. biochemistry) and did very well on the MCAT.
 
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Get into a us medical school or you’ll be struggling later to find a job as a doctor in the US. You’ll have to be 3x as good as the us medical student to even get half of the opportunities they get.

If you want to practice abroad then do your thing but if you want to practice in the US then you gotta make it happen rock the Mcat and that’s your ticket. Best wishes!


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