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Is studying abroad a viable option for medical students?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently stated that more number of Indian students are now opting to go abroad to pursue their higher education. In a recent data released by RBI, it was found that Indians spent 44 percent more from $1.9 billion in 2013-14 to $2.8 billion in 2017-18 while studying abroad. US, Canada, Australia and UK were some of the most preferred countries for higher education in 2019.

Lack of seats in government colleges and poor ROI in private medical colleges has made foreign medical education an option for the students. Furthermore, affordable fees, treatment trends and technological advancements have made studying medicine in countries like Russia, China, Guyana, Caribbean, Philippines and Ukraine feasible options for Indian students.

Some of these countries also offer postgraduate opportunities where students can continue pursuing their post-graduation if they wish to settle in those countries and with the opportunities which are available to them.

Students should look for these factors while selecting a foreign medical institute

1. Country

Even though studying abroad has its own benefits, many students often feel homesick and are not able to adapt to the new environment. Hence while deciding to study in an overseas medical institute factors like food, language and climate pattern should be considered by the students.

Furthermore, students are required to have an eye for the country’s disease pattern. This is the key factor as similar disease pattern offers more chances to the students to come back to India and practice medicine.

Countries like China, Russia and many other countries have a completely different set of disease pattern. Hence opt to study in a country where you would feel home away from home.

Guyana, a favorable medical education destination –

Guyana is turning out to be the favorite destination for medical students due to its moderate climate which is very similar to India. More than 40% of the people in the country are from India with English being the primary language. The disease pattern of the patients also matches with Indian and hence it increases the scope and possibility of becoming a doctor in India for one. It also, offers a gateway to practice medicine in the USA and settle there as you could opt to choose your syllabus track accordingly.

2. College

It could be more strenuous in finding the right college to pursue your dream career. As most of the students who pursue MBBS return to their home country, end up having MBBS degree that is received from colleges that are not approved by MCI. So it is mandatory to know if the university is approved by the Medical Council of India.

On top of all, it’s a shocking factor that only 14% of the students who have studied abroad have cleared FMGE from the last 6 years, an exit exam that is to be cleared to become a registered medical practitioner in India. Having said that, it is better if you keep in mind that colleges abroad should provide training for clearing FMGE.

3. Cost

While education is considered a one-time investment for a lifetime, it is extremely important that students make a wise decision to have a quality education at their own cost. Students generally have to shelve out a 64 lakh to 95 lakh rupees to study medicine in an overseas medical college. Hence, quality education at affordable cost becomes a necessary factor while choosing a foreign medical institute.


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