Medicine in Abroad


Top rank is must for securing medical seat in our state and it is almost the same case with other prestigious medical institutes in the country. The gap between supply and demand in medical education is quite high and lakhs of interested students are not able to get the opportunity due to availability of limited number of medical seats.

Medical education abroad is one of the solutions for this problem. The demand for medical education abroad is slowly gaining momentum and Indian students have started applying for medical schools in countries such as Russia, China, Ukraine, Colombia, Philippines, Kirghizstan, Georgia, Romania, Belarus and few other Central American countries.

Students are flocking to these countries thanks to the availability of low-cost medical education. Basic eligibility for medical admission in these countries is – pass of Intermediate with BiPC group. This article looks into various aspects of medical education abroad.

In India, medical degree starts after 10+2 and is called MBBS. The undergraduate medical degree is referred with the same name in Nepal, China and Bangladesh. However, in other countries this degree is called MD (Physician). Hence, the MBBS and MD (Physician) degrees obtained in abroad are equal to MBBS in India.

MCI CertificationThose who have completed their medical degrees abroad must earn the certification of Medical Council of India. The amendment of Medical Council of India Act, 1956 in 2002 opened doors for Indian students to study medicine in foreign countries. However, they have to obtain certification of MCI after completion of their degrees to practice in India.

The basic eligibility to study medicine in abroad is pass in Intermediate with BiPC group with minimum of 50% marks. And students must have studied English as a compulsory subject in their Intermediate. The minimum age limit is 17 years old. The MCI will issue no-objection certificate to students to study medicine in abroad only after fulfillment of these requirements.

After completion of medical degree in abroad, the students must clear the “Foreign Medical Graduate Test” conducted by the MCI through National Board of Examinations twice a year in March and September months. This exam consists of two papers with 300 marks. All the questions are of multiple-choice form and there are no negative marks.

Out of 300 marks, at least 150 marks shall be obtained to clear the test. A candidate can sit for this exam any number of times until he/she clears it. Only upon of successful clearance of the test, they will be eligible to practice in India.

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Six years…Five Years
Duration of the medical degree varies according to the country. In countries like Russia and Ukraine the course duration is 6+1 years, in which 1 year is Internship. In China, duration is 5+1 years. In Russia, Ukraine and China, the medium of instruction is English. However, students need to invest some time in their day to learn the local language, as they will have to interact with local patients from their third year onwards. In China, Indian students are taught in separate rooms. But, in Russia and Ukraine all students are taught in common class rooms.

Academic Year
Russia, China, Ukraine…in almost all the foreign countries, the academic year generally starts in September/October months and ends in June. Two vacations would be given in a year. The first 10-day vacation comes in the winter and the second vacation, which is of 2 months duration, comes in July and August.

In all the countries, accommodation would be given in hostels affiliated to medical colleges. Modern lab and library facilities are available. The security problems, which Indian students had faced, are not being reported any more. They are being protected by special protection systems.

Course and InternshipAs to the internship, the Indian government has been implementing certain regulations quite strictly. Those who have studied in Russia, Ukraine and some other specified countries must do House Surgencyship in India irrespective of their studies in foreign country. Because the climatic conditions of those countries completely differ with India and the health problems of those countries vary to a great extent. China is exempted from this rule due climatic similarities between India and China. Students can do internship in either country.

In our state, Intermediate results are generally declared in April and May months. Academic session starts in September in abroad. Students shall keep these details in mind and plan accordingly. MCI Certificate and Visa would be granted very quickly. However, passport takes much of the time. Hence, the preparation shall be started as early as possible.

Regulatory Cautions
Students must learn about the regulatory regime of different countries that are offering the medical degrees. Likewise, they must be aware of Indian government regulations as to the respective foreign medical colleges and the host countries. They shall also have complete knowledge about the medical schools they are applying for.

Students can easily get information about the countries and colleges by visiting different website and blogs. Consultancies are also assisting the students in information gathering about different colleges and countries. Quite a few consultancies have MoUs with foreign medical colleges, which make the former the admission agent to the latter. However, students must take the decision only after gathering complete information of the colleges that they are applying for. They shall also be aware of counterfeit consultancies.

Accreditatory Cautions
The danger of counterfeit universities and colleges are there every part of the globe. Hence, the students must be careful in selecting colleges. They shall look for the accreditation of colleges. For example, in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, Khirgizthan, Georgia, Belarus and Romania, only World Health Organisation (WHO) accredited universities and colleges must be selected. In China, students must join only in MCI-accredited colleges.

Education Loans
The banks are encouraging the students those who are venturing out for foreign medical education. Such availability of education loans is giving wings to the dreams of middle class students. Recognition of MCI to the college/university is a prerequisite for the education.

Students shall apply for loans at least one month ahead of leaving the country. Following certificates and documents shall be produced in the bank:
  • i20 or college admission offer letter,
  • Two passport size photographs,
  • Sale deed copy,
  • Link documents for minimum of thirty descending years,
  • Property tax receipt,
  • Municipal approval plan,
  • Lay out plan in case of lay out,
  • Residence certificate,
  • Electricity bill, and
  • Academic certificates.

Education loan will be granted within one week if all the aforestated documents are produced.

The foreign medical graduates can start their practice after clearing the MCI certification exam. Besides that, they shall also register their names with State and Central Councils and this will qualify them for jobs in PSUs, state and central government departments. They also can join PG, PG Diploma, MD and MS programmes.

Visa is Must
The aspirants of foreign medical degrees must obtain visa. The consulate officials would check the details of the students such as financial condition of the student, his/her academic qualifications and the course he/she is going to pursue. The students would be interviewed by the consulate officials for few minutes, which the students shall face with full confidence.

Of late Philippines is emerging as a favorite destination for Indian students due similarities in climatic conditions of both the countries, and English medium teaching. Philippines has 10+4+4 education system; hence those who have completed their +2 in India shall do an 18-month BS degree before enrolling for four-year MD programme. Thus, the total number of years of medical education becomes six years in Philippines.

Russia is emerging as a global destination for medical education. The country houses quite a few colleges that are highly ranked by the Unesco and World Health Organisation.

Minimum 60% marks in Intermediate are necessary for admission into Russian medical colleges. It is noteworthy that SCs and STs have 10% relaxation in Intermediate marks percentage.

Academic year starts in Russia in either September or October. The duration of the MD degree is six years and student must do one-year internship in Russia to complete the course. The fees are quite low in Russia; a student can complete his medical degree with Rs. 10 lakh fee.

Reputed Universities in Russia

  • Volgograd State Medical University
  • Russian State Medical University
  • Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia
  • Saratov State Medical University
  • St. Petersburg State Medical University

In Other Countries
The number of students opting for countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Romania and Georgia is also northbound. Besides MBBS and MD, PG programmes are also available in these countries. Those who have MBBS are eligible for these programmes.

Important things to note

  • Go abroad for medicine only if you are truly interested in medical profession. Please, do not think it as a short cut for success in life just because it is affordable.
  • Only certain foreign medical colleges and universities have MCI recognition. That information can be had from Students shall also look out for WHO recognition in the countries where MCI didn’t give take up any accreditation procedure.
  • Due care must be taken in selecting country and college.
  • If you are going abroad through a consultancy, you shall have through background check about the consultancy.
  • You must take the contact details of the students who had availed the service of the respective consultancy and presently doing their course in abroad.
  • You shall not confine talking only to the students referred by the consultancy; you shall talk to as many students as possible.
  • You shall also try talking to the alumni of the college you want to go and you shall talk to the present students.
  • Finally, your admission decision shall be a well-informed one.

The cost of medical education in different countries:

Country Tuition Fee Monthly Expenditure(in Rs) Course/Programme Course Duration (Including House Surgency)
China 7.7&10 6&7 MBBS 4 1/2 +1 Yrs
Ukraine 10&11 5&6 MD 6+1 Yrs
Kirghizstan 5&6 5&6 MD 6+1 Yrs
Russia 9&10 5&6 MD 6+1 Yrs
Philippines 11&13 8&9 MD 6+1 Yrs
Georgia 5&6 5&6 MD 6+1 Yrs
Romania 14&16 7&8 MD 5 1/2 +1 Yrs
Central America 14&15 10&11 MD 6+1 Yrs
Nepal 17&18 7&8 MBBS 6+1 Yrs
Cambodia 6&7 5&6 MD 4 +1 Yrs
Moldova 8&9 6&7 MD 6+1 Yrs
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