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Studying Medicine Around the World

Getting into medical schools in the U.S. and U.K. becoming increasingly difficult. Not only does entry into these schools require very high grades and facing tough competition, but the tuition fees are often impossible to meet. Here are a couple of other countries whose medical schools you could consider instead.
BY Achala Upendran |   03-09-2014

Medical Education in the U.S. and U.K.

To get into medical school in the U.S., you require an undergraduate degree and must fulfill a list of pre-medical course requirements, including a certain number of courses in Chemistry and Biology. You’re also expected to take the MCAT, a medical entrance test.  Some schools require students to have completed an internship period in a hospital. Additionally, American universities often charge extremely high fees for their medical courses. Harvard’s program, for instance, charges $58,821 in a student’s first year (it is a four-year program), not including additional costs for housing and food and other expenses.

The U.K. offers undergraduate medical programs but again, the standards for admission are extremely high. Some universities require medical aptitude tests, like the UKCAT (United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test).

Medical Education Elsewhere

Medical degree programs that students can consider in other countries include those offered by China, countries in the Caribbean and the Gulf. Not only are these more cost-effective and less competitive to enter, but they also award degrees that are recognized across the world.


China Medical University (CMU) is among the top ten medical institutes in the country. It offers a six-year program in medicine (9 semesters of study and 1.5 years of an internship). Students graduate with an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree, and are eligible to take medical licensing examinations from different countries, including that set by the MCI (Medical Council of India). The internship can be carried out in China or in an international student’s home country. The course is conducted in English.

To apply for an MBBS degree in China, you require a high school leaving certificate, but no additional tests or qualifications.  If you apply through CUCAS, China’s University and College Admission System, you are eligible for an application fee waiver.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean Medical University School of Medicine (Wilemstad, Curacao) offers a three-semester pre-medical program. International students need a high school certificate as well as proof of English competency, demonstrated using the TOEFL or IELTS.

The pre-med program is designed to help students build a firm foundation in the subjects and disciplines required for them to successfully complete a medical degree. Students who complete the course with a GPA of at least 2.8 and pass the Premedical Science Post Examination (PSPE) are considered for advancement to the Medical Sciences program.

With a large number of partnerships with hospitals across the U.S., CMU offers students a number of placement options for a clinical internship. Students who graduate from the university are eligible to sit the United States Medical Licensing Examinations and qualify as medical practitioners in the U.S.

CMU makes available scholarship and financial aid opportunities to all applying students.

United Arab Emirates

Gulf Medical University (GMU) is located in the northern emirate of Ajman. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in medicine. Undergraduate applicants require a high school certificate, and must have done twelfth-grade courses in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Applicants must also submit proof of English proficiency, via the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic. In addition, students must sit a multiple-choice aptitude test, followed by an interview with the Admissions Committee.

The MBBS is a five year program, at the end of which successful candidates are placed in a one-year Compulsory Rotating Residential Internship (CRRI). This provides students work experience and training in various hospitals across the Gulf region. Students are awarded the degree on completion of the internship.



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30 May 2015

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