Studying medicine abroad

Something which crosses everyone’s mind in those who are thinking of applying to medicine is the possibility of failing to get into university here in the UK and/or applying for the course in a different country.

Here are some answers to a couple of questions I had when considering this possibility four years ago:

  1. Will the foreign medical degree be considered valid in the UK?  It’s very important to double check that the degree you get in a different country is valid for practicing medicine in the UK. There would be nothing worse than doing a degree in another country to find out that you can’t practice medicine in the UK! It is worth making sure and checking with the GMC whether the university you apply to is approved by them.
  2. What grades will I need? The entry requirements vary greatly depending on which university you apply to. A lot of universities in Europe may require you to do an entrance exam and they may accept you solely based on the results of this exam. Some also have lower A-level requirements like AAB.
  3. Is it easy to find a job once you’re back in the UK? It is becoming increasingly difficult to get onto a foundation programme once you’re back in the UK. It’s recommended that you remain abroad and practice medicine until fully qualified in order to increase the chances of finding a job in the UK.

Some of the disadvantages of studying medicine abroad include:

  • The cost: Living in a different country can incur more costs than going to a university within the UK. Some private universities can be very expensive and adding that on top of flight charges can rake up the cost of higher education
  • Language: It’s important to identify whether the course will be delivered in English or not. In some universities, you have to learn the native language alongside medicine and this can add to the stresses of being on the course.

And the advantages:

  • You get to live your dream of studying medicine regardless of where it is you learn to do it!
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