Intro & Disclaimer
Path to Medicine
Allopathic (MD) schools
Osteopathic (DO) schools
Podiatry (DPM) schools
Selecting a school
Med School Statistics
Med School Diaries
Money and Finances
Taste of Med School
International medical schools
Approach international schools
with caution. Even if they are WHO listed, otherwise accredited and you receive your MD degree, graduates
are sometimes not allowed to enter residency or practice in certain (or all) US states.
Not all schools are reputable. So, if you decide on this path, you MUST do your homework very
well. You do not want to be stuck with a worthless degree, unable to practice medicine.
The only notable exception among international schools is Canada. Canadian medical schools are, for all intents and purposes, considered equal to
US medical schools and you have, as a graduate, all the same rights, privileges and residency opportunities. Both US and
Canadian schools are accredited by the same institutions and graduates are equally qualified and trained.
Check out the list of International Medical Schools.
When evaluating international schools, it is also important to check what language the courses are taught in. Most are taught in the
native language of the country the school resides in. Some schools use US or British medical text books
and courses are taught in English. Many countries have English as their native language, anyway.
Graduates who come to the US are usually referred to as IMGs (international medical graduates) or FMGs (foreign medical graduates).
They are represented in all specialties in the US. However, most of IMGs practice in primary care or other non-surgical fields.
Some international schools do not have MCAT requirements. However, many schools have their own unique entrance
exams or specific requirements since they naturally cater to their own country's citizens. In fact, in
most countries, medical schools have citizen requirements which completely prevent foreigners from attending their
It is also important to check into accreditation
and the credentials of the school.
Many European schools and others
around the world are very reputable (especially Western Europe), but quality of teaching and usefulness of the degree
earned may really depend on the country the school is located in and even
the school itself.
Also, there are some licensing issues and limitations on your ability to practice medicine in the United States unless
you take the USMLE board exams and complete US residency training (more on this below).
Most international schools do not require a Bachelor's degree prior to entering medical school,
but rather offer 6-year programs (length of training varies somewhat) leading to MD or MD-equivalent degrees right after
high school. For this reason, admission requirements for most international medical schools are also vastly different
from those of the US medical schools.
Also note that once you are in medical school in the United States, you have very good chances for completing medical
school. Only about 3% of medical students drop-out of medical school in the United States. This is completely different
at international medical schools, which may have drop-out rates as high as 70%.
For all the other info that is important in this context, especially returning to the United States, obtaining a US residency spot, physician licensing and accreditation,
please check out the page for Caribbean medical schools, (read that page from the top again) as all the same
information equally applies to all other international medical schools. Reprinting this information here would be redundant.