MBBS in USA: Durations, Scholarship, Eligibility
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Studying MBBS in the USA is a dream come true for many aspiring students. The education system, though challenging, is known for both theoretical and practical hands-on training. When it comes to studying MBBS in the USA after 12th, the first question that comes to a student’s mind is “How”. Finding reliable and accurate information is very crucial in the decision making process.
Unlike in India, MBBS in the USA is not a bachelor’s degree; it is a postgraduate program. The curriculum and the education journey to complete MBBS in the U.S. is so extensive that it is considered equivalent to Doctor of Medicine (MD.) If you are planning to apply for MBBS in the United States, you must be aware of certain basic eligibility criteria.
Indian students who have completed 12th grade with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology as their specialization subjects are eligible to apply for MBBS in the USA. Qualifying for the NEET examination is mandatory for all Indian residents.
International students must complete a pre-med program, which may take 1-2 years to complete from a US university to start a degree in medicine in the country. The student will then be required to complete a 4.5-year degree after the pre-med to be awarded an MD degree under AUAMED.
The next step is to apply for a 3-5 year Residency Match Program, equivalent to an MD from India. Upon successful completion of the residency program, one can practice medicine. The overall time required to complete MBBS in the USA after 12th ranges between 7 to 10 years. The fees of MBBS courses in the USA can range between $200,000 to $300,000.
Why Study MBBS in the USA?
One of the most significant advantages of pursuing MBBS in the USA is that students don’t need to take another entrance examination to practice in India if they wish to do so.
When a student completes an MBBS in the USA, he/she does not have to appear for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) to be a doctor in India. The Medical Council of India recognises and approves an MD degree earned from an accredited and reputed U.S college or university. Some of the other reasons why you must consider doing MBBS in the United States are:
- The United States of America offers a premium quality education system.
- As mentioned earlier, a U.S MBBS degree is valued worldwide without having to appear for any other examination.
- MBBS degrees from the USA are approved by the WHO, ECFMG, and MCC.
- There are generous scholarships available for students applying for MBBS in the USA.
- Job growth in the U.S for physicians is expected to increase exponentially. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicted a shortage of 54,200 to 139,000 physicians in the U.S by 2032.
- They also predicted that family physicians would be short by 21,400 to 55,200 by 2032.
- The shortage of non-primary care specialists will be between 33,700 to 86,700 by 2023. Though the numbers are intimidating, this is a great employment opportunity.
- Accordingly to the AAMC physicians short report, apart from family and emergency physicians, some of the physicians that will be in demand for another decade or so include psychiatrists, Obstetricians and gynaecologists, Neurologist, Radiologists, Anesthesiologists, Pediatricians, and Cardiologists.
Course Structure for MBBS in USA
To apply for an MD degree in the USA, the student must have a Bachelors of Science (BS) degree in physics, chemistry, biology, or any other specialization in medicine. A bachelor’s degree earned in India is considered a pre-medical course in the U.S.
BSC to MD Program
If an Indian student does not have a bachelor’s degree and is applying for MBBS in the USA after 12th, he/she has to enrol and complete a pre-med course, which is a foundation course that teaches the basics of medicine and science in the American University of Antigua College of Medicine.
Students from the U.S start the pre-med course after 10th grade. Therefore, the duration of the pre-med course for domestic students is four years. However, since Indian students apply for MBBS after 12th grade (10+2), they will have to study only four semesters, and the duration is reduced to 1 to 2 years.
Students after 12th applying for MBBS would be enrolled in the American International College of Arts and Science (AICASA) or International Centre for Health Sciences under MAHE. After the two-year course, the student will get a ‘Meeting Eligible Criteria of medicine in AUA’ certificate, allowing them to start the pre-clinical science course under AUA. This option was made available only in 2017 to help many students become doctors. Clearing the NEET examination in India is mandatory for all Indian students.
Pre-Med to MD Program
After completing the pre-med course, you can apply for an MD degree in the American University of Antigua College of Medicine, equivalent to the MBBS degree earned in India. The program involves both theoretical and practical stages.
The first stage is focused on educating the student to gain theoretical knowledge in pre-clinical sciences. The duration of this stage is 1 to 4 semesters. This stage covers the primary clinical science categories such as anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, medical ethics, etc.
After completing four semesters of pre-clinical sciences training, the student has to complete an additional semester called Basic Science Integration Course or BSIC (which is ten weeks long) before taking the USMLE Exam 1 (the United States Medical Licensing Examination) to qualify to go to the next stage to earn the MD degree.
Qualifying students who clear USMLE 1 will then move to Clinical Sciences Rotations. Renowned physicians teach the basics of operating, managing and treating patients during the clinical rotations. This stage consists of 84 weeks divided into core and elective rotations. At the end of this stage, the student must appear for USMLE Exam 2. The overall MBBS duration in the USA to earn a degree is six and a half years. Once the course is completed, the student will be awarded the degree by the American University of Antigua College of Medicine.
Residency Match Program
The students who successfully clear the USMLE Exam 2, holding a degree from the American University of Antigua College of Medicine, are eligible to apply for a residency program in the USA, equivalent to an Indian MD or MS with any specialization.
During residency, students get paid. Therefore, clearing the USMLE Exam 1 & 2 is not only important to pursue the residency program, but it is also mandatory for a clerkship (clinical rotations) and getting a medical licence to practice medicine.
Admission Process for MBBS in USA
AUA College of Medicine accepts MBBS applications for the fall and spring semesters. An MCAT score and completion of pre-med courses are mandatory to apply for MD.
Basic Eligibility to Apply for MBBS in USA
- Applicants must have completed 10th and 12th grade.
- Applicants should have completed 12th grade in science specializations such as Biology, Physics, Chemistry, etc.
- A good MCAT score. Though as a guideline, most universities in the USA do not specify a minimum MCAT score. However, scores above 510 are usually considered good. MCAT score should not be more than four years old.
- As the curriculum is in English, the student must take an English proficiency test. The two test scores considered for this purpose are IELTS (Score: 6.5 to 7.0) and TOEFL (Score: 90 to 100).
Eligibility Criteria for Courses in AUA
- Students should have completed 12th grade with the subjects Physics, Chemistry and Biology. An exception is given to international or IB schools (such as Cambridge) students as the board does not permit three science subjects for 12th grade. They should have, however, studied the subjects in 10th or 11th grade.
- Qualifying for the NEET examination is mandatory for all applicants. To register for the NEET examination, it is mandatory to have all three science subjects.
- Individuals that have not completed their 12th boards can apply for the course but must qualify for the NEET examination.
- Non-Indian citizens studying in India with a curriculum that does not have one science subject can be considered. Math or English subjects are considered alternatives in cases where students did not have all three science courses. However, for Indian citizens, having all three subjects is mandatory.
Eligibility for NRI Students
If an NRI student does not hold an Indian passport, he/she can get admission without having to qualify for the NEET exam. If they want to apply to either of the programs, NEET is not a requirement. However, if there are students who have Indian citizenship and hold an Indian passport, they have to qualify for the Indian NEET exams to be eligible for either of the programs.
Basic Documents Required for MBBS Admission in the USA
- Original certificates of 10th and 12th grade
- Original degree certificate, if applicable
- Official transcripts from all secondary and post-secondary schools attended
- Passport-size photo
- Personal statement
- Non-refundable application fee
- TOEFL or IELTS test score (if requested)
- NEET scorecard
Specific Documentation Required at AUA
Apart from the basic documents required to process an MBBS admission, AUA requires the below documentation in specific cases:
- Students who apply for the pre-med to MD program need to get two letters of recommendation from their faculty members and the institution’s principal, where they completed their 11th and 12th grade. However, if he/she is applying for the BSc to MD program, those letters of recommendation are not required.
- Another additional document is a personal statement collected from a student applying for pre-med to MD (this is not required for the B.Sc to MD program). The student will also have to give an interview which will be a Zoom or Skype interview. There are preliminary Zoom interviews for B.Sc, and the selection is purely based on their merit and grades.
Scholarships for MBBS in USA
Several universities and colleges offer generous scholarships for MBBS students. External agencies and companies offer scholarships too to help students study without any financial obstacles. Many foreign students are studying MBBS in the USA with scholarships. Some of the most common scholarships are:
- Provost Scholarship
- Dean’s Achievement Scholarship
- High Achievers Scholarship
Career Opportunities After MBBS in USA
Once you earn an MD degree in the U.S., you can work in private and government medical centres and hospitals. The average salary of family physicians and general surgeons in the U.S is approximately $200,000 per annum. Some of the specializations in high demand are:
Family and General Physicians:
Treat everyday health issues such as flu, fractures, infections, etc.
Performs non-surgical treatments for any illness that affects the liver, kidney, and stomach.
Diagnoses and treats mental illness through various techniques and meditation.
Performs surgeries to treat injuries, birth abnormalities, and illness.
Obstetricians and gynaecologists:
Treats and helps manage female reproductive systems such as pregnancy and childbirth.
Specialises in treating and managing disorders related to the nervous system and the brain.
Specialists who help detect and diagnose internal injuries and diseases using medical imaging, X-rays, CT and MRI scans, ultrasound, etc.
Administers pain relief drugs to patients during surgeries.
Treats, diagnoses, and manages health issues for just borns, toddlers and children.
Detects and treats cardiovascular conditions (related to the heart and blood vessels).
Physicians are well-respected across the globe. If you are aspiring to become one, it is a great career choice. Though the admission process and getting selected in a prestigious USA university may be challenging, this dream can be achieved with the right assistance and proper guidance. Get in touch with the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and let us help make your dream come true.