CMU or Indian Medical School?

I’m an international student from India, and as of now, I plan to attend Carnegie Mellon University. The problem is, a national exam that is conducted in India for admission to medical schools (here we do that right after HS) has not yet been conducted. Classes start on the 31st, and over the past months my excitement for CMU has grown, whereas I lost a significant amount of interest in studying here. Finance-wise it’s definitely cheaper here, but I am getting a good enough amount of aid from CMU as well. My parents don’t want to me to fully commit to CMU yet cause of the pending exam. And honestly I’m done studying anymore for this exam. Thoughts on the situation?

I have two questions.

Is your end goal to be a physician? If yes, it will be very difficult to do that in the US as an international student even if you go to undergrad here. You’re better off staying in your home country especially if you are able to start medical school now.

What do you mean that you haven’t fully committed yet to CMU? Doesn’t school start in a few weeks?

For the first question, I am not completely sure about that, and that’s one of the reasons I want to go to CMU cause I don’t have to decide if that path is for me right away. And I shouldn’t have mentioned international, rather I am a US national living abroad at the moment.

Secondly, by not fully committing they mean I should continue with classes and pay for the first semester, but be open to pulling out if somehow I decide to stay here.

CMU move in for freshmen begins a week from today…when is the medical school exam you are talking about? Were you given a CMU campus housing assignment for Fall? They are only providing housing for one semester this year unless you were given special accommodation for being international. And the cancellation fee is only waived until tomorrow for those given Fall assignments. Also, there is a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all students not from SW Pennsylvania, so if you are not living on campus you will need to make arrangements to complete the quarantine before you can attend any classes or activities on campus. Seems late to be thinking about this.

I am remote for the fall semester and plan to be on campus for the spring.
As for the exam here, it’s supposed to be held next month but there are chances it could be further postponed. My only question is - is it worth it to still have that option open (although I will be going ahead with classes at cmu)?

Start your classes at CMU. Take the medical admission exam. When you have the results of that exam you can decide what to do.

You may find that you don’t like your CMU classes, or you may find that you can’t get a visa if/when the US student visa process starts up again. So keep your options open for as long as you can.

CMU has been absolutely amazing for our son, so I would say definitely start at CMU. It sounds like the medical school exam situation is fluid, and I don’t see any harm in keeping that option open so you can make a decision if and when the test time comes or you have a score in hand. By then you may have a better feel for whether CMU is a good fit. Good luck to you!!

In post 2 OP says they’re a US citizen. Why would they need a visa?

@austinmshauri - Thanks for catching that! I had missed it in post #2.

@janu2481 - If it is you intent to make your career in the US, then getting here and getting started on that sooner rather than later is what you probably want to do. If you know for dead certain that you want a medical career, then re-weigh that option after you know if you have been accepted to medical school in India.

@happymomof1 @mbinacan44 @momofsenior1
Thought I’d update you guys on my situation right now. Firstly, thank you for all your advice! So I wrote the medical entrance exam on the 13th of September, results are out, and I’m sure of getting some of the best medical colleges in my own state. CMU classes have been alright so far. I’m as of now leaning towards staying here, as it would cost me FAR less (I’m talking exponentially less) and is a straightforward way to becoming a doctor. Any thoughts?

If your goal is to become a physician, seems like going to the low cost medical school in India is the more obvious path.

If you do want to do residency in the US as a prelude to medical practice in the US, you may want to ask on the pre-med / medical school forum section here and on medical school forums about how difficult it is for a US citizen graduating from a medical school in India to get a US residency.

Something to take in consideration however is that a medical degree from an indian medical school (unless AIIMS) is worthless here. Contrary however a medical degree from the US (assuming a decent one) is respected around the world.

Based on the profiles of physicians at a large medical practice in the US, some graduates of various medical schools in India (not AIIMS) have gotten into US residencies and gone on to practice medicine in the US. However, how difficult it is to get into a US residency after completing medical school in India is something the OP should look into.

Medical school in the US far from a sure thing, since it involves four years of (expensive) undergraduate earning a high GPA and MCAT score (most frosh pre-meds do not apply to medical school, probably after realizing that their GPA or MCAT is too low, or after being told that they have no realistic chance by their university’s pre-med advising), an expensive stressful application process where only about 40% get into any medical school, and then hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt if one’s family is not very wealthy and generous.

1 Like

@ucbalumnus @VishG28 So I decided to stay here and attend Madras Medical College (one of the best and oldest medical colleges) in the country. I did get into AIIMS Bhopal (New Delhi was out of reach for my score) but decided not to go there for several reasons. I’m aware of how difficult it will be to get into a good residency program in the US, but I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get into one after completing my MBBS degree here. Thanks for your advice!

1 Like

Thanks for the update. We rarely get to hear the results of advice given.

Good luck with med school.

1 Like