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Study medicine abroad, directly after Class 12th

Study medicine abroad, directly after Class 12th

When students ask about studying medicine outside India, my first piece of advice is always to proceed with caution. No matter where you are in the world, the best course of action is to study medicine in the country where you intend to practice. The field of medicine is highly regulated by governments and medical education is often subsidized, which limits the numbers of seats available for non-citizens.

 With these caveats in place, many students, nonetheless, decide to pursue medical education outside India. Many countries, including the USA and Canada, only offer medicine as a postgraduate course, so there is no option to study medicine in these countries directly after 12th standard. Below are some courses that are available for students who have completed 12th.


The UK is a popular destination for medicine, but the minimum entry requirements tend to be high for medical courses. Chemistry is an entry requirement in every course and other colleges require specific variations and score cutoffs in biology and math. You will need to weigh your completed courses against the requirements to see if you are eligible to apply to a particular course. In addition, the majority of UK medical courses require you to take an entrance exam – either the BMAT or the UKCAT – and achieve a minimum score to be eligible to apply. Some exceptions to the entrance test requirement include Bristol, Central Lancashire and Buckingham, but these have higher interview and in-person evaluation criteria.


Most medical courses in the UK are 5 years, however there are some exceptions. For example St. George’s University offers its A900 international medicine course for non-EU citizen students. This course is six years – 4 in the UK and 2 in the US and approximately 35 students are accepted into this program (in comparison to 15 international students admitted into St. George’s regular 5 year medical course).


For many students the UK entry requirements for medicine are too stringent. In this case you could opt for a course that allows you to apply to medicine after a few years of related studies. Again, St. George’s offers biomedical sciences course which, after 3 years of successful academic progress, allows you to apply to medicine at St. Georges for an additional 3 years.


St. George’s University Medical School in Grenada (affiliated with the UK college) offers a premedical and a doctor of medicine degree for which Indian students are eligible. Your entry point will depend on the curriculum in which you completed 12th standard, e.g. IB students enter into the 3rdyear of the premedical course and then continue in the doctor of medicine course for a total of a 5 year course.  Students are required to have studied chemistry, biology and math. The online application requires a personal statement and an interview on medical–related topics. No UKCAT or other entrance test is required. After completing medical studies in Grenada students have the option to pursue residency in the US or the UK.


Another great option if you’re interested in medicine is college in Ireland, where 5 to 6 universities offer international admissions with a range of academic entry requirements. Students can apply thru an agent or directly to the universities and you must prepare a personal statement and appear for an interview. Ireland’s medical entrance test, the HPAT, is not required for international students.


Newcastle University Medicine has a campus in Malaysia offers an MBBS for international students. There is no UKCAT exam required but students must apply directly with a personal statement and appear for an interview. Note that upon completion of the MBBS, international students (i.e. Non-Malaysian students) are unlikely to be able to complete their pre-registration internship in Malaysia and may need to return to India to complete this GMC requirement.


There are a handful of colleges in Australia where international students can enter a medical course directly.  The requirements and timelines for different courses vary. All courses require the ISAT medical entrance test. A few, including Monash Univeristy and the University of New South Wales, offer direct entry into a 5 year medical course, while others, such as The University of Sydney require application into a 7 year course which includes a bachelor’s degree in economic medicine and then entry into a 4 year medical course.


In Singapore, two universities offer medical studies to international students and both are very competitive. Nanyang University requires the BMAT exam. While NUS requires a personal statement and an intensive interview and situational judgment evaluation.


These are just a few options for medical studies around the world. You can also consider medical schools in China, Russia, and other locales. If you research your options well, you are sure to find the right choice for you. 

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