Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Biohedonist

International medical schools

Recommended Posts

Hi! 
Grade 12 here! I was just wondering if the following international schools are good for medicine. I have researched these schools but I would like HONEST opinions on all of them. 
Thank you!! 
1. University College Dublin 
2. National University of Ireland, Galway 
3. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 
4. Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain 

5. St. George medical university (Caribbean) 

6. Saba medical university (Caribbean) 

7. University of Nicosia (Cyprus) 

8. Hope medical Institute (Poland) 

I am applying for the 6-7 year programs at these schools so please let me know if they’re good options tysm :) <3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what your goal is.

Are you completely excluding applying to Canadian schools? Do you care about which discipline of medicine you want to do? Are you wanting to come back to Canada afterwards?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, pnpclear said:

It depends on what your goal is.

Are you completely excluding applying to Canadian schools? Do you care about which discipline of medicine you want to do? Are you wanting to come back to Canada afterwards?

 

 

I would like to come back to Canada but it doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to be able to work and practice medicine/surgery. I don’t really have a preference about where I work 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Butterfly_ said:

What is your reason for going international?

My parents are pretty sick and they’ve always had the dream of me becoming a doctor so I’m doing this for them. It takes so long in Canada and there’s a chance I won’t even get in bc of Of the Mcat and my gpa. But these schools take high school students so I can become a doctor a little bit faster 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with other posters, wouldnt recommend doing this for numerous reasons. Many of my friends are fighting very hard to come back to Canada after going abroad. 

Super high expenses going abroad (tuition, living), numerous exams that require high scores to get back. More loops and hurdles and still less odds you get to practice as the type of doctor you want to be.

Just go to university, enjoy your life and work hard. Life isnt just about getting into medical school and becoming a doctor. You have to enjoy the path to becoming one. This will in turn probably make you a better doctor anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear about your parents. I'm not sure if going the international route would make it faster for you to become a doctor. Matching into residency as an international student is not easy. Since your parents are sick, I'd assume you want to be near them and take care of them? Do your parents live in Canada? If so, going international and trying to match back to Canada may take even longer. You'd also likely not match back to Canada--you'd have higher chances matching the US. Therefore, you might not be able to live close to your parents in the future.  Furthermore, the reason why the matching process is so important is because your medical degree would be useless without a residency position. You cannot become an independent practicing doctor without it. 

Your GPA from high school wont matter. It's your university grades that you need to use to apply to medical school. Also, I wouldn't be so quick to say that you won't get a good MCAT score. I think you should try taking the exam first. 

Furthermore, going international would place a huge financial burden on you and your family. Have you thought about how you would finance your international education? Living expenses, moving costs, tuition--It's hundreds of thousands of dollars -->all of this is many times more expensive than Canada. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Biohedonist said:

Why not? 

Studying abroad is very expensive, and getting loans/LOR for it can be difficult. You'll be paying a lot as an international student as well. 

Coming back to Canada is complicated. You seem to care a lot about your family. Are you ready for the possibility of not being able to work in Canada and living abroad without them?

There are a couple interesting threads on this forum that may cause you to reconsider. I'd suggest you check out this subforum: http://forums.premed101.com/forum/40-applying-to-international-schools/ 

I think you may be counting your eggs before they've hatched. You don't have an undergrad GPA yet, or an MCAT score. Why are you thinking that you'll do poorly? 

I see you were also asking about good undergrad programs in another post. I would honestly recommend starting by doing an undergrad in anything you are passionate about. Forget the "premed" undergrads or the ones people say will best prepare you for the MCAT. Putting all of your eggs in the same basket (a lot of egg metaphors here), and defining everything you do on the basis of "this will get me into med school" will not put you in a healthy mindset. You are young and you do have time. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Biohedonist said:

Why not? 

1) It will be exceptionally difficult for you to match into a competitive residency program (e.g. surgery or radiology) in Canada after completing your medical training abroad. It is more doable with family medicine but not exactly easy either. Many IMGs (international medical graduates) wishing to practice family medicine in Canada first have to work in rural locales through return of service agreements.

2) Irish and Caribbean schools are notoriously expensive. For example, the annual cost of tuition at the Royal College of Surgeons was 63,000 in 2010 and it is likely much higher now. The top funding source for 95% of students was family savings. Check out this document and look at Figures 27 and 28 for more. 

3) You will be considered an IMG for life, and an international MD is simply not equivalent to a Canadian one. 

I understand that it is very tempting to go straight into medical school after high school and become an MD within six years. But it is a huge gamble. Imagine you graduate from an international medical school with hundreds of thousands of debt, unable to match anywhere in North America. Of course there are students who match and do well but that does not happen for everybody.

Do your undergrad in Canada. By the time you finish you may even find another career to pursue. Yes it may take you several attempts to get into a Canadian medical school but it will be worth it in the end. And the time spent applying and (re)applying is by no means a waste of time; you can work/travel/pursue your hobbies and in general do the things you won't have the time for in med school or residency. I would really encourage you to not make any hasty decisions on doing MD abroad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, dopamania said:

3) You will be considered an IMG for life, and an international MD is simply not equivalent to a Canadian one. 

Practically speaking, the average patient is not going to care about this, especially if their doctor completed a Canadian residency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Intrepid86 said:

Practically speaking, the average patient is not going to care about this, especially if their doctor completed a Canadian residency.

Completely agree. Some of my best preceptors have come from Caribbean Medical schools. With this said, I'm sure these same preceptors would have been able to enter a Canadian Medical School without a doubt. However, their life circumstances inevitably forced them to pursue the more difficult international route.  They also told me they had a really rough time coming back to Canada. 

If you have a choice, stay in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Intrepid86 said:

Practically speaking, the average patient is not going to care about this, especially if their doctor completed a Canadian residency.

I meant that in the eyes of residency programs it will matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dopamania said:

I meant that in the eyes of residency programs it will matter.

so not for life then?

The matching struggles for IMG is certain, I'm not sure if it goes beyond that to a significant extent after the match. Other factors will matter much more than your UG Med School when it comes to fellowship and employment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear about your parents. I'd also think about doing something YOU want to do, rather than what your parents want. You can make them proud in so many other ways. Doing any career for the sake of someone else is usually a bad idea, as you might never be happy. But if YOU truly want medicine and its something YOU can see yourself pursuing, I'd follow the advice of the above posters: go to school here and try your shot at canada or USA MD schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I should mention is that isn't just hard to come back to Canada - you also cannot practise where you did your training (just because you go to medical school in Ireland doesn't mean you can practice medicine when you are done - you cannot here - there are other necessary training steps you are blocked from). So you are stuck where you cannot stay where you are, and there is very real and present risk you cannot get back to Canada or the US to do residency. Without residency you cannot practice anywhere (again you cannot do that in Ireland for instance - or most of the other places you could go). All this in the backdrop of high debit and higher debit also at a higher interest rate for most - assuming you can get the funding for it at all. Anyone that has been around this area for a while knows the extreme problems actually getting accepted into anything, how restrictive it can be in terms of choices, and how crippling the debit can be particular when it is so hard to access the higher paying specialities by going that route. You can do a lot of google searching on that to see many examples - and none of these people are anything less than very hard working, intelligent, motivated people that knew the risks. 

There is always going to be a bottleneck in the system - for Canadians it really is just getting into medical school. For the international route it is getting into residency (hard to quantify but I would say it is harder to get into residency going international than getting into a Canadian university for med school.). Plus if you go the international route you will be competing against other international students many of which did UG degrees prior to not getting into Canada and then going aboard - they will have obviously advantages (or at least one would hope as they have at least 4 years of more advanced training) over a high school student. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

For the international route it is getting into residency (hard to quantify but I would say it is harder to get into residency going international than getting into a Canadian university for med school.).

This piqued my interest so I checked the CaRMs data and it is easier, on a % basis, to get into a Canadian Medical school (~18% in 2018 Canada wide, ~14% in Ontario) than to get a Canadian residency as an IMG (9.88%), and the majority of those residencies are in FM/IM, so you're choice is severely cut down. Now, before I hear "but Australia", not all IMGs are treated the same (but then again, neither are applicants with IP bias), but it's still interesting. Buyer beware before going abroad!

You can check the math yourself using the 2020 R1 Match results, Tables 10, 18, and 54. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, MedicineLCS said:

This piqued my interest so I checked the CaRMs data and it is easier, on a % basis, to get into a Canadian Medical school (~18% in 2018 Canada wide, ~14% in Ontario) than to get a Canadian residency as an IMG (9.88%), and the majority of those residencies are in FM/IM, so you're choice is severely cut down. Now, before I hear "but Australia", not all IMGs are treated the same (but then again, neither are applicants with IP bias), but it's still interesting. Buyer beware before going abroad!

You can check the math yourself using the 2020 R1 Match results, Tables 10, 18, and 54. 

Most IMG position go to CSAs rather than immigrant IMGs.  It’s a 40-60% match rate for places like Aus/Ireland which is like matching into the most competitive specialties for CMGs. Better odds than getting into Canadian med school, but a much, much higher risk and lower expected reward compared to Canadian med schools (considering unmatched rate and discipline choice)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very true, I know of several CSAs who matched back from Australia.

At the same time, I would advise anyone reading this and thinking of going abroad to think past this year's results to 4-6 years into the future. CSAs are poorly studied (only a few reports, most of them dated) but the general trend is an increase over time, while the number of Canadian residency spots (especially for IMGs) are not increasing/increasing at the same rate. The rate may be decent now, but after 4-6 years abroad you have no guarantees that those %s will not have dropped precariously. You would also be vulnerable to Canadian policy changes. What happens if somehow a decision is made to solve the CMG unmatched issues by taking away IMG spots? Strange things happen (who would have predicted our present situation last year...) and to gamble $100,000s on having a Canadian spot years in the future is very high risk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I’m a cdn who went down under to Australia 8ish yrs ago and am now a full fledged GP looking to move to Canada (which is why I was on this forum). I just saw this and wanted to make sure you don’t make a mistake. I’m def biased but I remember a few years ago when I was applying abroad (Bach+masters in astrophysics so my grades were not competitive and I didn’t wanna do another undergrad for cdn schools) I saw that in Ireland they don’t have residency positions for non EU ppl.... Caribbean is bad cus if u by chance screw up you’re kicked out and you need to kill the STEPs. I went to Aus cus even though internship and residency is a lot longer here and not “guaranteed” Aus in recent yrs has had almost no international students from their med schools not get internship and eventually residency....contrary to what ppl say on this forum (there are gov’t reports available for this (search HETI)). 


But most of my friends that came here decided to stay cus they had the opportunity to do so didn’t have to write any exams for US/ Canada but some did go back most of them to FM (which in my yr was a 8/9 match rate back to Canada) 

 

Don’t go international unless you’re sure you can train there I believe Aus and maybe UK (not sure) are the only countries that have very good prospects for training post grad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, whatisgoingon said:

so not for life then?

The matching struggles for IMG is certain, I'm not sure if it goes beyond that to a significant extent after the match. Other factors will matter much more than your UG Med School when it comes to fellowship and employment.

YES for life. I believe that there may be long-term challenges that extend beyond the attainment of a North American residency.

This article for example speaks of workplace bias and discrimination, limitations in choice of geographic location, field of specialty or opportunities for advancement within their field (e.g. "being passed over for promotions due to IMG status").

I understand that the argument could be made that these challenges are specific to immigrant IMGs only. But that is not the case. This paper focuses on the "after the match" experience of both immigrant-IMGs and Canadian-born IMGs: "There was a very strong perception among all of our participants of being treated differently by their peers, faculty members, and the overall educational system as compared to their peers who graduated from Canadian medical schools." 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...