Becoming a doctor is a dream for millions of students in India. It is not just because it is a lucrative career option, but also because of the prestige and glory that is associated with the profession. However, securing an MBBS admission in India is not an easy task. There are approximately around 60,000 MBBS seats in various medical colleges in India and every year over 13 lakh students appear for medical entrance exam. Owing to the intense competition in India and the ever upward spiraling MBBS fees, a number of Indian students look for options to study MBBS abroad.
Many foreign countries present attractive options for Indian students to study MBBS abroad. For many years now, over 10,000 Indian students looking to study MBBS abroad migrate to countries like Russia, Ukraine, China, Philippines, Nepal and Bangladesh among others. Let us evaluate the options of studying medicine abroad and the advantages and disadvantages of studying MBBS abroad in these countries.
Here is an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the different options to study MBBS abroad for Indian students.
MBBS IN USA
- Recognition: Studying medicine in USA is one of the most attractive options for Indian students looking to study MBBS abroad. MBBS in USA adds prestige to the already hallowed profession of being a doctor. Moreover, the Medical Council of India (MCI) recognizes all the medical colleges in USA.
- World-class Infrastructure: Infrastructure in the medical colleges in US is comparable to some of the best in the world. Students studying undergraduate medical program have access to top hospitals and laboratories for their practical experience and also for medical research.
- Easier Route to Post Graduation in Medicine: Students who complete their UG medical program in the US will find it easier to get admission into post graduate medical programs in the medical universities in US.
- Easier to become a doctor in US: After graduating from a medical university in America, it will be easier for medical students to establish their medical practice in the US. Students will have to clear the USMLE exam to get license to become a doctor in US.
- Tough Entrance: Students who are seeking admission to MBBS in US have to clear the MCAT exam. MCAT is one of the most competitive exams in the US and there are scores of students, local as well as international who take part in this exam.
- Tough Visa Norms: It is increasingly becoming difficult for Indian students to obtain student visa to the US. Due to the strict immigration norms and procedures, many aspiring Indian medical students do not get visas to US.
- Long Duration of the Program: The undergraduate medical program in the US is one of the toughest programs and has a very long duration to complete. Students first have to undergo a premedical
- High Cost of Medical Education: Even for the meritorious students, the cost of undergraduate medical program in the US can be prohibitive. There are scholarship programs offered by various medical universities in the US, but these are reserved for the exceptionally meritorious students.
MBBS IN RUSSIA, UKRAINE AND KYRGYZSTAN
- Easy and Hassle Free Admissions: Admissions to MBBS in Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and many other eastern European countries are relative easier. Student need to have 50% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Biology to be eligible for admissions in these medical universities. Almost all eligible applicants are guaranteed to receive their admission notice or call letter.
- Good Infrastructure: The infrastructure in these colleges is reasonable and the medical universities maintain a good standard. Although the laboratories may not be equipped with the latest equipments, they will serve the purpose of providing students with hands-on practical experience.
- Economical Fee Structure: The MBBS fee in Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgysztan is very economical when compared to other options for Indian students looking to study MBBS abroad.
- Cheaper Cost of Living: The cost of living in these countries is cheaper as well. It is easy for students to find economical options for accommodation and food.
- Low Pass Percentage in MCI Screening Test: This should be the primary concern for any Indian student looking to study MBBS abroad. Especially students who study MBBS in Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, etc., find it extremely difficult to clear the MCI screening test to get the license to practice in India. Only between 19% and 20% of the MBBS graduates from these countries clear the MCI screening test.
- Limited scope to establish medical career abroad: Unlike in the Unites States of America, where there is a huge demand for doctors, these countries have very limited options for foreign medical graduates to establish their practice or even pursue a medical career abroad.
- Language Barrier: Although the medium of instruction is English, it will be heavily accented and hence Indian students might find it difficult to follow the instructions in the class. Also, during the internships, the students have to interact with the local patients who do not speak any language other than the local language.
- Extreme Weather: The weather, especially the winters could be very harsh. Indian students who are used to a more tropical and warm climate will find the chilly weather extremely difficult to cope up. This may lead to some health issues too.
MBBS IN CHINA
- Simple and Easy Admission Process: Admissions to MBBS in China is very simple and easy. Students need to have a minimum of 50% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Biology to be eligible for admission to MBBS.
- Average Quality Infrastructure: The infrastructure in medical colleges in China is average. Unlike in India, there is no strict monitoring and rating of Chinese institutes. Hence the quality of infrastructure and laboratory facilities can be questionable in some of the medical colleges in China.
- Cheaper Cost of Medical Education: China presents one of the cheapest options to study MBBS abroad. The total fee for MBBS in china can range between INR. 20-30 lakhs.
- Cheaper Cost of Living: The cost of living in china is cheaper. The food, commodities and daily use items can all be found at very cheap price.
- Questionable Quality of Medical Education: The perception of the Chinese education quality isn’t very good and this may be true in actuality as well. With the exception of some top Universities, rest of the Universities, at best, fall under the average category.
- Low Pass Percentage in MCI Screening Test: This is another major concern area for students looking to study MBBS in China. At 18.9%, students graduating from China have one of the lowest pass percentages of MCI screening test.
- Limited scope to establish medical career abroad: After graduating in MBBS from China, Indian students will not have any scope to set up practice in China. Also, students will find it difficult to start their medical career in any other countries like the US, UK or Australia owing to perception of poor quality of the doctors graduating from China.
- Language Barrier: International students have to mandatorily learn the Chinese language in the first six semesters. Teaching and class room instructions will also be heavily oriented towards Chinese language.
- Fragile Geo-political Situation: India has had a turbulent past with China and the geopolitical scenario between the two countries still seems a bit sensitive. Apart from the 1965 war with China, India has had the recent Dokhlam standoff with the country which threatened to escalate. Given such a scenario, if situations do escalate in the future, then the Indian students studying there could come under undue pressure.
MBBS IN NEPAL AND BANGLADESH
- Simple and Easy Admission Process: Admissions to MBBS in Nepal and Bangladesh is relatively easier when compared to MBBS admissions in India. Students need to have a minimum of 60% aggregate in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Admissions are usually done on a first-come-first-serve basis.
- Cost Effective: It is more cost effective to study in Nepal and Bangladesh when compared to private medical colleges in India. The MBBS fees in Nepal and Bangladesh will range between INR. 25-35 lakhs.
- Good Infrastructure: The infrastructure in medical colleges in Nepal and Bangladesh are fairly good. The colleges are also attached to government or private teaching hospitals where students get practical exposure.
- Closer in terms of Weather and Culture: In terms of the weather, food and culture, Nepal and Bangladesh is closer to India and hence Indian students looking to study MBBS abroad in these countries adapt to the local environment very easily.
- Low Pass Percentage in MCI Screening Test: Although slightly better when compared to China, Russia, Ukraine, etc., the pass percentage of the MCI screening test of graduates from Nepal and Bangladesh could still be a concern. Bangladesh has around 30% pass and Nepal has around 21%.
- Limited scope to establish medical career abroad: After graduating, there is no scope for students to set up medical practice in the host country and very limited options to pursue higher education. Hence students have to come back to India.