The path of becoming a doctor is a very long marathon. The very first step of which is choosing a medical school.
Your choice of medical school will have a long-term impact on your life. Therefore it’s critical to select the right university for you. The most typical path is to apply directly after graduation to a 5- or 6-year medicine course. Because of the high competition rates, many future students consider other options. Some of them are:
- Starting a relevant course and applying to transfer to medicine. Transferring from biomedicine to medicine is considerably more difficult, particularly in UK universities. Only a few medical schools allow an early internal transfer. However, it is extremely competitive, with just 10 to 20 spots available for transfer students.
- After completing a relevant course, such as biomedical science, you can apply for graduate entry medicine. Again this option is almost impossible in the UK, but you can apply to an unlimited number of universities for graduate entry medicine in Europe.
Regardless of your way to pursue an MD degree there are a few key points that you should pay attention to when choosing a medical school. Read the article and be prepared to make an informed decision about your future as a doctor.
What you should compare
School comparison tools exist, but they are often inaccurate or prejudiced. However, while comparing medical schools, there are a few key factors to consider.
Due to rising tuition costs and intense competition for available spots at medical universities in the UK and USA, students are increasingly opting to study abroad.
Several countries in Europe offer medicine and/or dentistry in English, such as Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland.
If you choose to study medicine or dentistry abroad, you have to make sure the medical school is recognised by Medical Councils worldwide. Otherwise, you could be forced to practice medicine in only two or three countries that aren’t on your dream list.
To check if a specific university is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), you can go to WDOMS (World Directory of Medical Schools). There you can search by country, medical school name, and city.
Usually, the curriculum for years 1 to 3 (premedical years) is almost the same regardless of which medical school you study. However, there might be a significant difference in years 3 to 6 when most of the studies are practical training.
Deep science knowledge is vital for a successful doctor, but so is knowing how to apply it!
For some students, the location may not appear to be a barrier to overcome. But this might not be your case.
Because many courses last up to six years, it’s vital to think about whether you’ll be happy living away from home for that long.Therefore it’s essential to concentrate on which medical universities would best fit your needs.
You can create a list with your personal preferences and evaluate each city based on your notes.
Each university has its way of rating. Some medical institutions only accept A-levels or GCSE marks on your high school diploma. On the other hand, others need an entrance exam in science disciplines such as biology and chemistry.
Check to see whether you fulfil the admission requirements of your dream medical school.
What you shouldn’t consider while choosing a school
A medical school’s rating does not necessarily reflect its quality. Rankings are not always published by recognised institutions, and they might range significantly from one organisation to another.
If you evaluate medical schools based on rankings, be sure your source is trustworthy.
It will be best if you research the activities that the university is involved in. Are their students participating in contests, and how are they performing?
Don’t take everything you hear as the absolute truth
We’ve all met that one individual who knows all there is to know about something. When making a life-changing decision, double-check everything you see and hear. Trust people who are speaking from actual experience, not on what they have read.
There’s also the potential of encountering people who are eager to chat about anything, even if they don’t know anything about it, simply to gain some additional attention. They will say as much as they can about something they don’t understand.
Be aware of false comments
There are a plethora of student forums where you may read ideas that are opposed. There is nothing wrong with conducting such a study. However, keep in mind that no one can verify that the author is or was a student.
Furthermore, some students who participated in online forums may have been too lazy and were expelled as a result. Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, they would place blame on others, particularly the institution.
Which statistics are important
Simply defined, the acceptance rate of an institution is the percentage of candidates that are admitted. It’s determined by dividing the total number of applications by the number of admitted students.
While an admission rate can tell you how many students are fighting for a spot at a specific medical university, it can’t tell you much about the quality of education you’ll receive once you’re there.
A graduation rate is a measurement of how many students in the same cohort will complete their degrees.
This rate reflects how many students complete their degrees within a reasonable amount of time after enrolling.
It may also assist prospective students in assessing a school’s quality since greater graduation rates may suggest that students’ money, time, and effort in a program at a specific institution would be well spent.
It’s not a surprise that many students get stuck in the application process.
Getting into medical school is perhaps the most challenging part of your road to becoming a doctor. Just keep in mind that you’re not alone. There are tens of thousands of students in your shoes.
Start researching medical universities as soon as possible to maximise your chances of acceptance!