Dr Worldwide: Best countries for medical education 

We look at some of the best countries for medical education across the world – and examine what they have to offer Indian students, as well as their admission requirements 
Here's a list of best countries to pursue medical education | (Pic: EdexLive)
Here's a list of best countries to pursue medical education | (Pic: EdexLive)

An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 students from India go abroad to pursue medicine every year. It is a known fact that getting into medical college is tough – and even more so in India. More than eight lakh students appear for the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) every year, in competition for just over one lakh seats. 

Given the high demand and ruthless competition for medical education in India, many aspirants have thus set their sights set overseas to study medicine. 

Here are some of the best countries for Indian students to pursue MBBS:

Already a popular overseas education destination among Indian students, the USA is also renowned for its medical education and research. The country boasts top-class medical education pedagogy and state-of-the-art technology and equipment to complement it. 

To top it off, medical programmes in the USA are seen as the world standard, and carry a lot of global recognition. The country’s campuses are enriched by a lively, academic-oriented and multicultural environment, which would greatly benefit Indian students. 

Top colleges:

- Massachusetts Institute of Technology

- Harvard Medical School 

- Johns Hopkins University 

- Stanford University

- Columbia University

Admission and course details

- Medical education in the USA lasts for 11 years. 

- To be eligible for MBBS, students need first to do a pre-medical course, that is, a four-year Bachelor of Science degree with a pre-med track. Good marks intermediate marks, the required SAT or ACT score, and strong Statements of Purpose (SoPs) are important for undergraduate admission. 

- In the third or fourth year of their undergrad, they need to clear the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Students with a score of 510 and above have better chances of admission. 

- While pursuing MBBS, students must appear for the United States Medical Licencing Exam (USMLE), which takes place in three stages. Upon completing MBBS and clearing the USMLE, the students can pursue three-five years of residency. 

The Philippines have emerged as one of the most popular destinations for medical education among Indian students. The country offers US-based medical education, with the perfect blend of theory and practical knowledge. 

Medical degrees in The Philippines are also recognised internationally, by organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), and even India’s National Medical Commission (NMC). 

To top it off, the cost of studying MBBS in The Philippines is much more affordable than in the USA, UK, or China – making it even more attractive for Indian students. Also, Indian medical graduates from The Philippines have a high pass percentage in the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE). 

Top Colleges:

- University of Perpetual Help

- AMA School of Medicine 

- Our Lady of Fatima University 

- Emilio Aguinaldo College of Medicine

- Lyceum Northwestern University

Admission and course details:

- Medical education in The Philippines lasts for six years, with one year in the course focusing on medical rotation. 

- To get into an MBBS programme in the country, English language proficiency tests like IELTS or TOEFL are not required. 

- Indian general category candidates need to score 50% above in their 10+2, and 40% if they are from the SC/ST/OBC categories. They should also be 17 years on December 31 in the admission year. In addition, the candidates should also clear the NEET exam. 

- The MBBS in The Philippines is a combination of a Bachelor of Surgery (BS), which is taught for the first 16 months of the course, and a Doctor of Medicine (MD), which is taught for the next four years. 

- As mentioned earlier, one year in the course entirely focuses on clinical rotations. 

Located between Europe and Asia, Georgia boasts a world-famous research infrastructure and good quality education, as evident by the country’s high literacy rate. Offering the best of European education, the country is famous for medical education, especially among Indian students. 

Medical degrees in Georgia are recognised by the World Health Organization and the Medical Council of India – and are even compliant with the National Medical Commission (NMC) guidelines. They are also comparatively affordable for international students. In addition, students in the course get a hands-on, practical education from the first semester onwards. 

In addition, the country has well-connected public transportation and low crime rates, making it safe for foreign students. 

Top colleges:

- Tbilisi Medical Academy

- Georgian National University

- Caucasus's International University

- David Tvildiani Medical University

- East European University 

Admission and course details:
An MBBS degree in Georgia lasts up to six years, with five years of study and one year of internship. 

Similar to the Philippines, Indian general category candidates need to score 50% above in their 10+2 from a recognised board, and 40% if they are from the SC/ST/OBC categories, to be eligible to study in Georgia. They should also be a minimum of 17 years on December 31 in the admission year. In addition, the candidates should also clear the NEET exam, as not doing so would render them ineligible. 

Some universities in the country also ask for an English proficiency qualification like IELTS or TOEFL, but it is not common. 

Closer to home, Bangladesh is one of the best countries for Indian medical aspirants. 

Thousands of students from India go to Bangladesh every year to pursue MBBS, primarily because of their budget-friendly, WHO and NMC-recognised MBBS programmes, technologically advanced infrastructure, highly qualified teachers, practical-oriented pedagogy, global affiliations and comfortable living experiences.  

Top medical colleges in the country also have up to 20% reservations for Indian students, which incentivises them to pursue MBBS from Bangladesh. Moreover, the pass percentage of FMGE from Bangladesh is slightly higher than in the Philippines. 

Top colleges:

- The University of Dhaka 

- Rajshahi University

- Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

- University of Chittagong

- Gono Bishwabidyalay

Admission and course details
- The MBBS course in Bangladesh is six years long, including one year of internship. 

- Aspirants to Bangladesh’s medical programmes must have scored an overall GPA of 7.0 in their Intermediate examination from a recognised board, along with a GPA of 4.0 in Biology. The candidate must be 17 years old by December 31 of the year of admission and must have cleared the NEET exam. 

A lot has already been said about Germany’s education system and its near-zero tuition fees. What a lot of students do not realise is that Germany has more benefits than low education costs and cheap travel – especially if they want to study medicine. 

Medical institutes in Germany are among the top in the world and renowned for their education standards, state-of-the-art equipment, and vibrant campus atmosphere. The universities are recognised by WHO, UN, and NMC. 

Moreover, a German education opens up prospects not only in Germany but also across the European Union. A German MBBS degree is valid across the EU, and graduates can work across EU countries without restrictions.

Top colleges:

- Heidelberg University 

- Free University of Berlin

- RWTH Aachen University 

- University of Hamburg

- Technical University of Munich 

Admission and course details:
- In Germany, the duration of the MBBS course is six years. This includes two years of pre-medical studies, three years of clinical studies, and one year of practical placement. 

- To be eligible for the MBBS course, candidates need to complete their 10+2 from a recognised board, with an overall percentage of 50% and above – and have English as a compulsory subject. In addition, students are also expected to clear the NEET exam and produce an Eligibility Certificate from the NMC. 

- For courses taught in English, IELTS or TOEFL scores are mandatory. Proof of German Language Proficiency can also act as a bonus. 

With some of the most affordable MBBS programmes in the world, Kyrgyzstan is slowly gaining traction among medical aspirants from India.

The simple admission processes, world-class amenities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, healthy mix of education and co-curricular activities, and affordable living costs bring thousands of Indian students to the medical universities of Kyrgyzstan every year. 

Moreover, the country’s MBBS programmes are recognised around the world by organisations like NMC, FAIMER, and others. 

Top colleges: 

- Asian Medical Institute

- Osh State University

- Kyrgyz State Medical Academy

- International School of Medicine

- Naryn State University

Admission and course details
- The MBBS course in Kyrgyzstan is six years long. The first five years comprise theoretical and practical medical education, and the final year is dedicated to clinical training in the country’s hospitals. 

- Candidates need to have completed their 10+2 from a recognised board, with a minimum overall percentage of 50%. They must also have passed the NEET-UG examination, and be 17 years old by December 31 in the year of their admission. Since English is not widely spoken in Kyrgyzstan, IELTS or TOEFL marks are not required. 

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