A Primer on Opportunities in Medical Studies Abroad for Indians

Nowadays, Indian students have started to study medicine abroad as there are limited seats in India. But there are certain issues with medical studies abroad for which the students hesitate to choose this path. First of all it is about the living expenses in countries like UK and Canada and secondly finding a recognized university is quite difficult. Many students fail to find opportunities because bearing degrees from unrecognized or lesser known universities may back fire in the long run.

What Are The Rules And Regulations Of Medical Council of India?

Students interested in studying medicine abroad must approach the MCI first for issuing an Eligibility Certificate. After completing the MBBS course, the student has to appear for the Screening Test conducted by National Board of Examination. This test will determine whether the student is eligible to practice medicine in India or not. If the student passes the exam, then MCI will produce his/her provisional registration certificate. Then with this certificate, the student has to undergo a one-year internship at any recognized medical hospitals in India and after this a registration number will be issued to them for practicing medicine in India. But if one does choose to study abroad, there are few factors that need to be kept in mind.

The Right Destination for Your Medical Study:

It is really important that the institution chosen for studying medicine abroad be recognized as an accredited destination by international medical organization, whether it is WHO, World Directory of Medical Schools or, if applicable, the MCI. If the medical school is not included in these accreditation lists, then the degree might not be worth the paper it is printed on.

One of the advantages of going abroad to study is the cultural exposure and learning that one imbibes from being in another nation. The student must choose a setting which offers optimum learning experience. There should be an adequate scope for learning about new diseases, exploring new technologies and keeping up with medical advancements. The student should not only learn from books, but also from the environment itself, and have enough clinical exposure to provide him with the confidence needed to crack the eligibility tests of the NBE and become an independent practitioner.

Usually, students prefer first world countries like USA, Canada, UK and Australia, but unfortunately for international medical students, the number of seats or openings are very limited and the competition is fierce; additionally, associated costs may be a limiting factor. In the case that one does get into a reputed medical school, one has to bear in mind the humongous expenses in graduating, which gets amplified several times over thanks to the currency conversion rates for which the INR is at a major disadvantage. Therefore, not everyone can consider spending such huge amounts to study medicine abroad. Following graduate medical education, if you want to pursue post-graduate course, you might have to appear for country-level exams for a medical license (like the USMLE in the US of A) and after clearing the exam you will be able to start your studies.

Medical Studies in UK:

UK is one of best and most coveted places to study medicine. But unfortunately the seats are limited for international students and expenses are huge.

For studying medical in UK, you must do the medical foundation course. After that, you have to complete a 6 years medical course. After completing the primary medical study, you will have to pass through Foundation program, specialty, GP and training.

Study Medicine in Canada:

You can study Medicine, dentistry, Pharmacy and nursing in Canada but getting admission here is quite tough due to the competition. The program takes 3-5 years.  It is considered one of the best destinations in the world for Medical studies. Some top colleges are- University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, McGill University to name a few.

The Right Financial Plan:

Well, it doesn’t end with choosing the right place to study medicine abroad; you must also focus on the financial plan. Studying and staying in another country from India is undoubtedly expensive. This is why the student must decide his or her course of education.

It is not advisable to put a lot of money into the bachelor degree only and not focus on a pathway to a post graduate degree. To ensure future employment, one must specialize in an area of interest. For example if someone has interest in heart, that student must pursue cardiology and must plan his budget accordingly to pursue further studies.

So, where to?

The decision to study medicine abroad should be taken with a lot of caution; the institution should be investigated and vetted. Profiles of recent graduates should be checked out. Professional choices after obtaining the graduate medical degree should be clearly understood. In fact, before one does commit to this expensive, and life-altering decision to enter into medicine, that too in a foreign country, it is advisable to do a lot of soul searching to understand where one wants to head in life.


One thought on “A Primer on Opportunities in Medical Studies Abroad for Indians

  1. In my experience- Most people who do their undergrad study in medicine in a first world country like the USofA, UK, Australia, Canada don’t return to India.
    People who do come back to India to practice here or to pursue higher specializations have done their MBBS from Russia/ China/ Kazakhstan/ Nepal. Many a times, the knowledge/ training that these schools impart is below normal standards and theoretical, and it seems that these countries are only cashing in on the desire that a lot of Indians have to get the initials of a doctor. Obviously, there are exceptions. I have come across both brilliant and dull doctors who have passed out of these ‘foreign’ medical graduates. In my opinion, the MCI should also be testing clinical knowledge to give a license to practice (or kill)!


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