There is a rising trend of students opting for medical colleges abroad to pursue their goal of becoming a doctor. China, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Philippines, Georgia and Nepal are some of the favorite destinations for Indian students who want to join a medical course abroad. According to a Central government data, every year, around 7,000 students go outside India to study medicine. The Hindu reported that in 2017-18, the Medical Council of India (MCI) received 18,383 applications from students to go abroad to study medicine, as against 10,555 applications the year before. Of this, the MCI, the national-level regulator of medical education in the country, issued 14,118 eligibility certificates in 2017-18, compared to 8,737 in 2016-17.
For most of them, it has become inevitable to pursue that road due to many reasons but there are many pitfalls which can put the future of students in jeopardy.
According to a student who returned to India after completing his medical education in a foreign institution, both students and guardians have to be aware of these medical colleges or universities which are providing medical education for foreign students in most cases they operate separately for local students.
"This is crucial because the students are taught by entirely different faculty whose main criteria for teaching is mere knowledge of English to communicate with students than actual medical qualification or knowledge," he said.
Exposure to the language
Keep in mind that most of these countries are not familiar with English as such and which further risks the possibility of any exposure in medicine field. This can be minimised only if we know the local language.
Quality of the institute
"As for most of foreign universities Indian students aspiring to enroll for medical education, admitting as much students is just a source of passive income. And they are very aware of the fact that: Rarely any student will stay back and work in those respective countries. So quality is most important in these cases," says another students who is doing MBBS course abroad.
"As a general rule, it's not the number of foreign students (or Indian students) are in your faculty that matters rather how many local citizens are in the same faculty or class as your are... which matters. This gives a fair idea how good a university or faculty you are going to join," she added.
"And again there are few good universities which are providing quality education par with elite institutes of India, but they are very few and they come with lot of tuition fee almost close to many private medical colleges in India," she said.
Beware of agencies
"Most students who went abroad for medical education defiantly had quality time but not quality education. Forget about what agencies say. It can be reflected by the results of FMGE exams results which were consistently low since it's start," says a student who cleared FMGE, the licensure examination conducted by the MCI.
An MCI official in last February told Press Trust of India that among those who go abroad to study medicine, around 12 to 15 per cent of the graduates manage to clear the FMGE.
"If they don't clear the FMGE, they don't get registered to practice in India. In such cases, they start quackery or practice illegally which can be dangerous. So the move is aimed at ensuring only competent students get to study medicine in foreign universities," the official said then.
At present, according to PTI, a student who wishes to take up a medical course has to obtain an essentiality certificate from the MCI for admission in any medical college outside India.
Not all universities are bad
"Not all universities are bad," said a student while adding "but, what matters in first to find out if you are really in to medicine. If we wish you work hard, spending hours in hospitals and endure the hardship, yes then, look for better universities".
"Read about those universities well, apart from what university or agencies are saying. Don't get overboard by listening to students who are currently studying there, but rather who passed out from there. Because only they will able to say if they were being fooled or they got good education enough to clear FMGE exams and able to handle NEET PG," he added.
"Thus, most important thing to keep in mind is that, most foreign universities are not worth it except a few. Try to find good one, as there will be good universities in every country which is proving quality education for their own nationals," he said.
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