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Where should I go for medical school?

niinuma007niinuma007 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
Hello
I am Japanese (currently a junior in high school) but I've lived in Pakistan practically my whole life. Because of this, I can't read or write Japanese. I want to become a surgeon but I won't be able to attend a Japanese medical school since Japanese schools require applicants to take a test that is all in Japanese. In order to study in Japan, I would have to attend 2 or 3 years of Japanese language school and then apply to a medical school. Since this is risky and would take quite a lot of time, I can't study in Japan. Neither do I want to study in Pakistan. I wanted to study in America but I've been hearing that U.S medical schools are quite expensive and barely accept international students. As I have been looking at medical schools in other countries, it seems like no medical countries in any country accept international students. What is the best place for me to go to for med school? There must be some country that accepts international students.

P.s. I would like to become a surgeon in the same country where I attend med school

Replies to: Where should I go for medical school?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,856 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    The best place to go to medical is in the country in which you want to eventually practice. Most countries place multiple roadblocks in the licensing process for anyone who is not a citizen of that country or hasn't trained in that country.

    It's true that US medical schools are very expensive for internationals (in the $250K-$350K range, with the funds placed in escrow before matriculation) and only 100-150 positions are offered each year to internationals. Most of those seats go to Canadians since some US med school give special admission consideration to Canadian applicants and Canadian government offers loans to its citizens who attend med school in the US.

    Matriculants to U.S. Medical Schools by State of Legal Residence

    There are a number of medical schools in the Caribbean, Ireland, and Eastern Europe that accept internationals. In fact, they're basically set up for US, UK and EU students who couldn't get accepted to med school in their home countries. These programs are taught in English and generally follow EU & US medical curriculums. There are also medical schools in the Middle East and China that accept internationals.

    There is website and forum for international medical schools here: ValueMD

    The problem with all of these schools is that it's extremely difficult find a residency position once med school is finished. You cannot practice medicine without completing residency training. Most countries require a high level of language fluency in the locally spoken language and passing a series of standardized exams dealing with medical knowledge. Each country has its own set of standardized exams and you cannot test for one country and have it accepted in a different country. Even if you meet these criteria, strong preference is still given to native citizens/permanent residents and those who have attended med school/trained in-country.

  • niinuma007niinuma007 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    @WayOutWestMom Thanks a lot for your detailed response. I understand that even if I go through med school, it will be hard getting a residency position. How many chances are there for internationals getting these positions? Is it really rare or are there some chances that I might get in? I don't want to finish med school and then end up not getting a residency position...
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,856 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    It's impossible for me to say exactly how difficult it'll be because no one knows what the situation will be like in 8-10 years from now when you are looking for residency positions.

    In what countries/country do you ultimately want to practice medicine?

    I would say your chances of getting a residency/practicing in the US, Canada, Australia or UK are remote.
  • niinuma007niinuma007 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    @WayOutWestMom Is it possible to attend a foreign med school and then apply for residency positions in the U.S?

    For now, I was thinking of applying to UK med schools but since you've said that it'll be hard getting residency positions there then I might go to New Zealand.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,856 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Is it possible to attend a foreign med school and then apply for residency positions in the U.S?

    Possible? Yes. Likely? Impossible to say since the data are too scanty.

    The ECFMG and the NRMP produced a document that shows how many FMG matched into residencies in the US in 2014

    Charting the Outcomes in the Match--International Medical Graduates
    On p. 22, you'll see there were not enough non-US citizen med grads from UK to generate any results. So fewer than 50 applicants from all UK med schools combined.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 32,006 Senior Member
    Which language (s ) do you speak ?
  • niinuma007niinuma007 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    @WayOutWestMom I've heard that students who attend Carribean schools such as St. George's have a high chance of getting residency positions. Will it be better for me to attend a med school whose students usually do get residency positions in the U.S. or should I just go to a med school in the country where I would be fine with doing my residency?

    @MYOS1634 English
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 8,856 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    students who attend Carribean schools such as St. George's have a high chance of getting residency positions.

    Um. I don't know where you heard that, but it's not true.

    US citizens who graduate from one of the Big Four Caribbean med schools currently have around a 40% chance of landing a US residency--assuming they make to graduation. The Big Fours are all for-profits schools that ruthlessly cull their students at the end of every semester so that a starting class of about 3000 yields about 800 graduates.

    The ECFMG reported that in 2012 only about 200-215 internationals who graduated from the Big Four matched into US residencies.

    However, the residency situation is rapidly evolving. Over the past 5 years and in the next 3 years, at least 8 new osteopathic (DO) and 17 allopathic (MD) med schools have open or will open in the US. Additionally all med schools either have already increased their class sizes or in the process of doing so. It's estimated that by 2020, the number of domestic US medical grads will equal or exceed the number of residency slots available. Caribbean grads-- even US citizen grads-- are getting squeezed out.

    Residency Training and International Medical Graduates: Coming to America No More
    should I just go to a med school in the country where I would be fine with doing my residency?

    This is your best option.


  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Registered User Posts: 7,837 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Um. I don't know where you heard that, but it's not true.
    He probably heard it from the Caribbean med schools' marketing departments.
This discussion has been closed.