MEDICINE (MBBS Abroad) – has always been an intriguing field that has attracted and inspired people for as long as we can remember. The noble art of healing was and remains the most sought after career option for millions of young students all around the world and India is no exception.
For an Indian student, there are 3 ways to become a doctor
1. Get into a Government Medical College (GMC)
This is the best and the most sought after option. Minimum fees, good quality education, and abundant patient flow GMC’s are a win-win all the way. But that’s where the good part ends. There are only Government seats in India. So in this neck-breaking competition, only a few lucky ones get in.
2. Get into a Private College (Government affiliated or Deemed University)
This is the next option most students think about. But since these are private institutions the fee structure ranges between 30 lac to crores. And this just the undergrad fees. So only the students who are financially sound go down this road.
Statistically speaking one million students wrote the NEET-UG exam in 2019 to occupy fifty thousand MBBS Abroad seats. This shocking gap between the number of seats available in India and the number of students applying for it makes students take the third option and that is to study abroad
3. Do MBBS Abroad
Now, this is an unconventional way to go down and not many students are aware of it. So let me just weigh the pros and cons for all the aspiring doctors and then you can choose for yourself.
Now when it comes to going abroad to study medicine the countries that are most preferred for Indian students are Russia, China, Ukraine/ Europe, Philippines, Nepal, etc.
These countries have MCI approved medical colleges and relatively low fees structure than Indians deemed universities. But there are a lot of other benefits too.
Top 6 reasons: why going abroad could seem like a good idea
1. NO ENTRANCE EXAMS
Colleges in most of the countries mentioned above admit students based on their 12th exam results. And a minimum score is required in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
These subjects are usually a part of the 12th syllabus for every medical aspirant in India. So a minimum score in these mandatory subject is all you need to get in colleges abroad. No hassles of applying and studying for additional entrance exams.
2. REASONABLE FEES
One of the most common reasons why students opt for going abroad to study medicine is financial constraints. The fee structures in the best medical schools in these countries range from 10 lacs to 30 lacs.
Plus most of these colleges do not ask for any capitation or donation like most of the private or deemed colleges in India do in addition to the tuition fees. The mandatory yearly fees are all they ask for. So overall colleges abroad are quite economical when compared to colleges in India.
3. STATE OF THE ART INFRASTRUCTURE
Colleges in the above-mentioned countries have a very high acceptance rate for foreign students and so these colleges have to have state of the art infrastructure to accept students from abroad. Most of these colleges have approval form USMLE (US), PLEP, WHO, FAIMER So the students can be assured of the world-class learning experience
4. INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE
As these colleges have a large number of foreign students, it will be an added experience to interact and learn and bond with the students from all over the world. You get to learn about their cultures and their beliefs and practices. Learning a foreign language is a pleasure in itself!
It could be a life-changing experience, one which the students who study in the Indian colleges might not get. Also due to their state of the art facilities, the students in these colleges will get to see and treat a lot of foreign patients and get to know about the exotic diseases and different medical practices from all around the world.
5. NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Most of these colleges have approval from the major medical boards from around the world. So these colleges are well aware of all the exams and certifications that an MBBS graduate might have to pass to practice in their respective countries.
They start training for students for all these exams well in advance so that they have a head start. So an Indian student studying abroad is most likely to be trained for USMLE and other certification exams in addition to the Indian certification exam. This opens doors for an Indian student to practice and settle in countries other than India.
6. LIFE EXPERIENCE
It’s a new country! Everything right from their food, fashion language, culture, and people are going to be completely different. It might sound scary at first but then what doesn’t break you makes you stronger, right? It will be an enriching experience to learn about the people and their values, culture, and traditions.
Drawbacks of studying abroad
While all these options may seem too convincing and one might feel that to study abroad is like an exciting option we must also remember that there are two sides to every coin. It’s a new country and possibly a new continent altogether. As adventurous as it may sound it also have its pitfalls and drawbacks, a few of which I am mentioning below.
1. MCI SCREENING EXAM
As if the 5 to 6 years of grueling exams and practicals weren’t enough you have to pass a compulsory exam to be eligible to be practicing medicine in India. And let me tell you the pass percentage of this MCI exam is less than 14% per year. So you probably have to give multiple attempts for this exam which even sounds frustrating.
2. LANGUAGE BARRIER
You are training to treat sick people who are in pain. So they are most comfortable talking and telling about their pain in their native language. This can seem challenging and therefore would prompt foreign students to learn the native language of that particular country to learn better. This can seem like an additional burden adding up to the mountain of medical studies.
3. CONTRASTING CLIMATES
Most of the colleges that Indian students opt for are either in the European countries or they have a European climate. So the climate can reach to a freezing -20 degrees in winters. That is a climatic shock for Indian students who are used to living in a tropical climate. This might seem difficult for an Indian student to acclimatize to such harsh weather.
4. INTERNSHIP FOR FOREIGN STUDENT
Yes, you heard that right. An additional year of internship!! As if you didn’t have enough already. As of 2002, MCI has made it mandatory for all foreign graduates to undergo an additional one year of internship in India even after getting all the necessary credits and passing all the exams.
So in all, it might take longer to start practicing in India if you studied MBBS Abroad than if you studied in India. All these additional avoidable years can feel frustrating and tiresome to some students.
5. TRAVELING EXPENSES AND VISA ISSUES
Since it is in a different country or on a different continent in some cases it is sure to involve a good amount of air travel. Which is going to add up to the expenses, not to mention the expense of living in a foreign land.
Also, the visa guidelines differ from country to country and they keep changing with times. So it becomes necessary to keep yourself updated regarding these changes. This also can be avoided if you study in India itself.
This may feel like a sentimental and dramatic but is very real and valid indeed. Living in a new country and looking at all the unknown faces every single day might take little getting used to.
You tend to miss the familiarity of your home and your surroundings and it’s not as convenient for you to just drop by to your home if everything is overwhelming, which you can do if you study in any part of the country.
All this being said and done I want you to know that one size doesn’t fit all in this case. The choice of doing MBBS Abroad or opting for an alternative career option completely depends and differs for every individual student. As noble as it may sound medicine is also a career option that juggles with real lives daily.
Therefore it offers absolutely no leeway for error. It requires enormous amounts of dedication, patience, sacrifice and unfortunately finances to become a doctor today. To be or not be is the question and you only you can answer that for yourself. So choose wisely. Doing MBBS Abroad might be a wise choice.