8 Factors to be considered before selecting the best University for Studying medicine Abroad

Eight Factors to Consider while Choosing the Best University for an Overseas Medical Degree

A career in the medical sciences is one of the most prestigious professions of them all. This guide offers you helpful pointers on picking the right university overseas to pursue your dream profession.

Why Choose Overseas Universities for a Degree in Medical Sciences?

With increasing competition for the available medical seats in India, more and more students are opting for medical universities overseas. Apart from the stiff competition in the country, medical schools abroad offer a wide range of opportunities for students to work at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies, which aren’t yet available in India

As a result, Indian students are choosing medical schools in several countries like the USA, UK, Russia, China, Italy, Poland, Bangladesh, the Philippines, West Indies and others. On the flip side, this has led to the growth of cheap medical universities that fail to provide students with quality education.

So, it pays to be cautious while choosing an overseas medical university. Check out the top factors to consider while deciding on the right medical school for you.

  1. Type of University

    Generally, all higher education universities including medical schools can be divided into two major categories – public and private.Public universities receive funding from their respective governments, while private universities are not aided by the government. Generally, securing a seat in a public university is more challenging as they have several qualification criteria such as majority seat allocation to students of their own countries or states.On the other hand, private universities don’t have such restrictions and accept students from all over. Therefore, to maximize your chances of getting selected, make sure to check the eligibility criteria as well as the type of university.

  2. Medical School Rankings

    If you would like to know the general ranking of a particular university, you can check out university rankings published by trusted third-parties like the QS World University Rankings, the U.S. News & World Report, and others.This data gives you a general idea of how a particular university fares in comparison with others. With that said, while the university ranking plays a deciding factor, it shouldn’t be the sole criterion for your decision.

  3. Education Cost

    This is one of the most significant deciding factors, as medical education programs are generally expensive. Typically, public medical schools have lower tuition fees compared to private ones. However, the downside is that public universities have more stringent selection criteria.On the other hand, private schools generally offer a larger number of scholarships to candidates. So, while evaluating the costs of medical schools, make sure to consider the percentage of students who receive financial aid in an institution.Remember that tuition fees are just one among the various expenses you will have to pay. The other everyday expenditures include housing, food, transportation, books, and other living expenses.Most medical universities publish the average cost for a student to attend their school every year. This figure includes both tuition and other standard living expenses. Ensure that you use this number while comparing the costs of medical universities overseas.Additionally, remember to factor in the foreign currency exchange rates while calculating the overall costs of living and tuition fees.

  4. Curriculum

    While all medical schools have similar subjects broadly, what differentiates one school from another is the way the information is imparted. Over the last few years, several top medical universities have altered their teaching styles to suit students with different learning capabilities.Primarily, the three major styles of teaching in medical universities are:

    • Traditional – Here, there is a distinct separation between imparting knowledge on medical subjects and practical work at the wards. Traditional medical schools generally teach students different medical subjects like anatomy, pathology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, human reproduction, neuroscience, and microbiology for two to three years. This is followed by three (or more) years of hospital-based learning that involves clinical work on the wards.
      Full-body dissections, lectures, less self-directed learning, a clear distinction between preclinical and clinical subjects, patient contact only during later stages of the course – are the features of traditional medical universities.
    • Integrated – As the term implies, in an integrated curriculum, the clinical aspect of the course is carried right from the beginning. In such schools, students are introduced into the hospital setting right from their early years of medical school. Instead of teaching students different subjects like anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, students learn all these for a particular human system, say the cardiovascular or digestive system.
    • Problem-Based Learning (PBL) – A curriculum based on PBL has regular case-based discussions. Students work in groups on patient cases, and then they decide what they should do to solve the problems presented in each case. Each group is assigned a facilitator, who ensures that the students’ discussions are on the right track.

    Which is the Best Curriculum?

    There’s no single answer. It all depends on your individual learning style. For instance, some students prefer learning the basic sciences in depth before attempting clinical work. On the other hand, other students find it easier to grasp subjects when presented in a problem-based or case-based approach.

    So, make sure to consider these factors and choose a medical school with a curriculum that suits your individual aptitude and learning styles.

    Apart from the curriculum style, there are several other related factors to consider, such as the organization of the curriculum, subjects handled in a single year, electives (whether students can pursue an in-depth study of their specific area of interest), and so on.

  5. Class Size

    The class size in a medical school can vary from 50 to 300 students. Normally, most medical universities have around 150 students in every batch. One of the clearest benefits of a smaller class is that students enjoy better support and rapport.

    However, if you are someone who values your privacy, then the intimate atmosphere provided by smaller classes may not be the best fit for you. A larger group offers opportunities for more diversity and friendships.

  6. Location

    Apart from the country, the actual location of the university matters a great deal. As a medical student, you are likely to spend 4+ years in the area where your university is situated. So, make sure that you pick a school located in a place where you would be happy living for some time.

    Here are a few factors to consider while evaluating the location of the medical school:

    • Region – The climate, cuisine, demographics, local culture all impact your experience at a medical school. Read up on all these factors while evaluating medical schools. If possible, try to connect with the current students to know more about the lifestyle of the region and general student life.
    • Setting: Urban, rural or suburban – This is an essential criterion while evaluating medical schools since it not only affects your recreational activities outside of class hours but also determines the type of patients you will be interacting with. For instance, a medical school located in a rural area provides you opportunities to interact with patients from more deprived backgrounds and to know more about their health issues.
  7. Accommodations and Student Lifestyle

    As you will be staying in a new country, it’s essential that you inquire about accommodations and other facilities provided for students while evaluating medical schools. Check whether your preferred school offers on-campus accommodation for students, and, if yes, make sure to inquire about the cost. Some medical schools provide mixed housing, while others are gender segregated.

    If there are no accommodations available on campus, then find out whether there are any student-preferred localities nearby. And, don’t forget to know about the transport facilities from the hostel to the university.

    Check the food facilities too. Does the university provide a pocket-friendly mess for students, or should students cook on their own? And, what about other amenities for students like gymnasiums, fitness clubs, and recreation clubs?

    Will you be able to find Indian food on campus or near the campus? And, does the university have a healthy Indian student community?

    Make sure to research all these factors to get a clear idea of student life beyond the classrooms

  8. Infrastructure and Faculty

    This is another important criterion to consider. Does the medical school have state-of-the-art labs? Is it attached to an outpatient hospital? Does it receive sufficient patients for students to get extensive exposure to a variety of clinical work?

    Check the qualification of the faculty on campus; after all, they are the people who will be guiding you for the entire duration of the course.

Make an Informed Decision

Choosing the right medical university is a major task. Apart from shaping your future career, this is the place where you will be spending the next four (or more) years of your life and gaining priceless knowledge. So, take your time. Evaluate all these factors and choose the right university that suits you perfectly.

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Just For Education brings you the best information on Medical Studies for India and Abroad. Just For Education is a top medical education consultant. The best medical colleges and universities for medical studies are curated and presented to you by Just For Education.

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