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Ways Medical School Varies by Country
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara discusses different ways medical school varies by country and how to find the best school for you.
Medical school is an ambitious undertaking, requiring a large investment of time and money. Especially because US medical schools are notoriously difficult to get into, many students choose to study medicine abroad, which is a well-respected and viable option. Where you choose to study will greatly impact your medical school experience, because medical education is different in different places. Here, we look at the ways medical school varies by country.
•    Where you matriculate affects the length of time it will take you to graduate. The length of time required to successfully complete medical school varies dramatically between countries. For instance, while Canada requires only a three-to-five-year course of study to achieve the title of MD, medical degrees in India take a total of six years to obtain. 

•    Admission into medical school has different requirements, depending on the country in which you apply. In the United States and Canada, a student who wishes to study medicine must first attend a four-year college or university and obtain a bachelor’s degree. In many other countries, however, including Pakistan, India, and China, a college degree is not required. Students wishing to attend medical school may apply for a spot immediately after graduating from high school. 

•    In many places, you will need to speak the local language if you wish to attend medical school. Many European universities charge little or no tuition, which makes them a very appealing option. However, because medicine is taught in the local language, like German, French, Dutch, or Italian, this can present an insurmountable hurdle for many foreign students wishing to enter medical school in Europe.

•    Your nationality may get in the way of your studying abroad. For example, medical schools in Canada to not admit students unless they are Canadian citizens or have been residents of Canada for at least the last three years. In the United States, international students may be allowed to study at certain universities, but it often comes at a cost. International students are typically charged a heavy fee, so that they may much more for medical school than US nationals would pay.  

•    Your medical degree title will vary, depending on where you attend medical school. Different countries have different titles for medical degrees. For instance, a medical degree in India or Pakistan is referred to as an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science), while in the United States and Canada, a medical degree is an MD (Doctor of Medicine.) To further complicate things, some medical schools in the United States confer the title of DO (Doctor of Osteopathy.) In China, a medical student will graduate with an MB (Bachelor of Medicine), while in South Africa, the designation is MBCHB (Medicinae Baccalaureus, Baccalaureus Chirurgiae.)

•    The local culture and traditions are likely to have an impact on a medical school in another country. Especially if you are planning to study medicine in a culturally rich country like China, you can expect the culture to affect your studies. To earn a typical medical degree in China involves not only the study of Western medicine, but also of traditional medical techniques like acupuncture and cupping. If you choose to study in India, you are likely to learn a mix of modern medicine and Ayurveda.

Ultimately, while all of these factors will influence your decision about where to attend medical school, what matters most is the school’s credentials. No matter where you study, you will want to find a medical school that will train you to be an effective doctor and give you the qualifications you need to match with a residency program and, later, become a licensed physician. Whatever your reasons may be for studying abroad, and no matter which other factors come into play, making sure the school you choose is reputable and well-equipped to provide you with the appropriate education should be your first consideration.

When you’re looking for a medical school with a deep-rooted tradition of quality, look into Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. The first medical school in Latin America to offer a US-style curriculum, we are committed to cultivating future physicians who have the skills and abilities necessary to meet the challenges of personal and community health. With the best facilities in Guadalajara, state-of-the-art laboratories, and a close working relationship with many of the hospitals in the city, we are able to provide an excellent educational experience for our students both on campus and in the field. With the goal of preparing graduates for careers as physicians where they can provide individuals, families, and communities with outstanding preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic services, our medical school offers a curriculum of excellence. We prepare our students to heal and serve their community, and we encourage them to strive for innovation, academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to society. For more information about our college of medicine, call 833-220-7645 or contact us through our website.


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