As studying medicine in India gets tougher due to limited seats and high capitation fee, a number of medical aspirants check out the options abroad to become qualified doctors. Although taking the overseas route in the healthcare industry has been in prevalence for quite some time, over the past few years there has been an average increase of about 10-15 per cent increase in the number of students going abroad for studying medicine.
While choosing the institutes abroad for medical studies — at undergraduate or post graduate level — there are several factors that a student needs to keep in perspective to enable him/her to choose the option most suitable for them.
Selecting the right destination: It is imperative that the country which the student is exploring for studying medicine, is recognised as a good study abroad destination by the WHO, IMED, European Union, MCI and other international medical boards. This is to ensure that any future employment opportunity is not impaired due to non-recognisation. Secondly, the country should have vast scope for healthcare industry in terms of innovation, technological advancement in hospitals, patient-care management, exposure to different diseases to treat and prevent, etc. so that the student is able to imbibe immense learning from the external environment as well.
In general students would want to pursue medical studies in first world countries like USA, UK, Australia and Canada. However, what many are unaware of is that most of these countries have a highly restricted environment for allowing international students to study medicine. Secondly, if one is able to clear all requisite formalities the education cost easily lies in the bracket of Rs7 crore to Rs10 crore for an undergraduate course. Hence, these options are not feasible mostly for undergraduate (MBBS) studies. For postgraduate studies, there are country-level medical licensure exams to be cleared (in certain countries even state-level exams need to be taken), post which the student can pursue their postgraduate studies.
Thus, the most popular and good study abroad destinations for undergraduate medical studies are Philippines, Ukraine, Caribbean, UAE, Nepal and China.
Finances associated with studying abroad: Before zeroing in on any option, a financial plan must be prepared by the student and the sponsor to understand the financial burden that studying abroad would entail. Students need to understand that after MBBS, they are required to do go for an MD and pursue a super specialty if they want to be successful and earn well in the future. As the healthcare industry is undergoing tremendous reforms and technological changes are redefining it, specialisations are becoming a norm and an area where doctors are getting paid well. Thus, students need to make sure they are not making heavy investments in MBBS. Student should prepare his budget in such a way that PG and higher education in medicine is possible.