Do you wish to study in USA or Canada to become a doctor? Are you yet to figure out how to study MBBS abroad in USA or Canada?
Or have you already begun your preparations? Whichever it is, this post welcomes you to take a ride across. See you on the other side!
This curated guide shall take you through the many depths that you definitely need to be familiar with, before you start gearing up for your next fight towards pursuing a medical degree outside of India, maybe MBBS in Canada or MBBS in USA. Well, the names of the medical degrees will vary with location.
“Life is so short, the craft so long to learn”– Hippocrates
MBBS Abroad: Introduction
Firstly, you must know that, as per the verdict of the Medical Council of India (MCI),NEET exam is mandatory for students wishing to study in medicine in foreign Universities. This notification was released mid-2018 and was made effective from the academic year of 2019.
MCI has made this a mandatebecause, earlier most candidates who wanted admission in foreign institutes found it very arduous, after theiradmission, to even complete the primary medical course and weremostly unable to qualify the screening test for obtaining registration to practice medicine in that country.
Therefore, the system of NEET shall be regulating entry of candidates into the field of medical education so that only suitable candidates who are competent & capable can obtain admission to educational institutions at the undergraduate level across the world.
Additionally, your NEET result will be valid for 3 years only from its date of declaration. MCI has also made it compulsory for every student, wishing to pursue medicine abroad, to obtain an essentiality certificate from the MCIfor admission to any medical college abroad.
MBBS Abroad: Issue of MCI Eligibility certificate
Every year, around 7,000 students go abroad to study medicine. Most of them go to China and Russia.
There are 500 MCI approved international institutions& destinations, the list of which you can check here.
Some of the approved nations are China, USA, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Russian Federation, Poland, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Nepal, Latvia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Georgia etc. There are multiple colleges in a single country totaling up to 500 colleges.
In any case, if you are desirous of joining an undergraduate medical course in any foreign medical institution, you will have to approach the Medical Council of India for issue an Eligibility Certificate for that purpose.
The form of application for issue of Eligibility Certificate may be obtained from the Council office and the application should be submitted with a demand draft for Rs.500/- in favor of Secretary, Medical Council of India, New Delhi. Copy of the application form is also available on the website.
Ready to dig in further?
MBBS Abroad: First 5 baby Steps
Ask yourself a question – do you really love Biology? Marks in examinations are one aspect but do you really love studying about how different organs work and understanding the functions of cells and tissues? Do you think Biology is super interesting?
Find out whether you really have what it takes – find out objectively and scientifically. Have a look through this. Take help of expert counselors. Do you really have the aptitudes, skills, interests, and personality traits suitable for a career in Medicine?Career assessment tests are important and effective.
Take Science and Mathematics courses in School – in the middle (class 6-8) and high school (9-12). If you are in India, then in upper primary (class 6-8) and secondary (class 9-10). Don’t like Mathematics or Physics? Not fond of Chemistry? Well, that’s trouble! In school, you must do well in all. These are basics for a future career in medicine. Just Biology simply won’t do. At this early nascent stage, you may like professional help to figure out more.
Choose Science Stream Subjects in Class 11-12 accordingly –of course this doesn’t need a mention. Just an important input: You will have to keep Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Class 11-12. These are must-haves! Additional subjects must be chosen wisely to minimize load. For example, secondary language subjects are optional in some schools, so you can skip such subjects.Here’s a fun study guide for your boards?
Appear for ‘NEET’ after Class 12th boards – If you want to study medicine abroad, it is necessary to appear for and crack NEET! National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is the only national level entrance exam which is compulsory to pursue medical degrees abroad.
Check this detailed post out to know what you need for NEET. Also, you may want to particularly understand all about the exam NEET. You must check the bulletin for NEET 2020 released by National Testing Agency or NTA which is the conducting body(link given at the bottom of this page).
MBBS Abroad: MBBS in USA
When you reach the US, clearing MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)is compulsory and an eligibility criterion for you. Before leaving India, you will have to clear NEET mandatorily after Class 12th.
as an outgoing student from India, your NEET score will be your eligibility certificate to leave this country.
as an incoming medical aspirant in the US, after you arrive, your MCAT score will be your eligibility certificate.
But, it will be too difficult to get through MCAT right after Class 12th and NEET.
- For clearing MCAT, you need to have preliminary medical, organic chemistry and life science/ general biology/ zoology knowledge. In the US, ‘pre-medicine’ degrees (called ‘pre-med’) have to be pursued before American students attempt MCAT. That’s not for nothing!
- Some students in India, clear SAT/ACT exams after class 12th in
- India, apply to ‘pre-med’ schools in the US with their SAT/ ACT scores, finish ‘pre-med’ degree, clear MCAT while in the US and then study medicine for 4 years in a US medical school.
- For Indian students,it is always advisable to get admitted to a medical course in India first (after NEET) and then prepare for and clear MCAT. After MCAT, you can study in a medical school in the US. (most students do this)
- Also, after you complete medical degrees either in India or US, if you want to obtain a practice license in US, you will have to clear USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination)exams.
- After a MBBS medical degree from India, almost no one succeeds in USMLE directly as the healthcare framework in the US is very different.
- To clear USMLE,it is better to study medicine in the US first, & gain in-depth knowledge about the American health system that medical courses in India will not be able to give you.
- Most students prepare for & clear MCAT while studying medicine in India (1st/ 2nd/ 3rd year), they do not complete MBBS here.
MBBS abroad: MBBS in USA – NEET vs MCAT
The North American Counterpart of NEET is MCAT and both are comparable only considering that both are administered at the undergraduate level to screen candidates for med schools. Also, Biology and Chemistry are same more or less with a greater focus on Zoology portion as compared to Botany.
Otherwise, there are crucial differences:
- Applications of Physics are much easier in MCAT than NEET.
- MCAT has a frequency of around 10-15 times/year so if you happen to botch your score in your first attempt you can retake the test.
- NEET never questions from subjects like Psychology or Sociology, nor does it ever evaluate your Critical and Analytical Skills, but MCAT does.
- MCAT gives you more than 1.5 minutes for each question but NEET gives you less than 1 minute.
- MCAT has passages for you to find your answers from but in NEET you have to remember everything.
The following pathways will elaborate things to you:
MBBS abroad – MBBS IN USA: Pathway 1
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Complete 5 year MBBS in India – Clear USMLE
This pathway is for direct practice license in the US, after completing graduation with medicine in India (for MBBS doctors).
**Too difficult without American education. Very few students opt for this pathway, even fewer succeed.
**You will be eligible to sit for USMLE Step 1 exam after your 2nd-year MBBS, so if you can clear that and finally USMLE Step 2 (CK & CS) after 5th MBBS, you can enter USA to practise as an FMG (Foreign Medical Graduate) with an H-1 B visa for 6 years directly
However, with a complete MBBS here, even USMLE good scores can offer you a seat in only the not-so-sought after residencies.
Preferences are always biased towards American medical students rather than foreign medical graduates.
MBBS abroad – MBBS in USA: Pathway 2
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear SAT/ ACT exams – Study a Pre-med degree in US – Clear MCAT while in US – 4 year MD in US
The courses that are required to be taken to meet the pre-medical eligibilities from the AAMC are of 3 years, with 1 year being in Chemistry, 1 year of Biology, and 1 year of Physics.
What are the popular pre-med majors? (These are majors. You will have electives/ minors as well)
- Human Biology **Top Choice**
- Chemistry/ Biochemistry
- Philosophy **Not a common choice, but you’ll learn how to think critically and about ethics, both of which are important for the medical field. This is a good choice if you want medical schooling but also get liberal arts education**
Check the SAT/ ACT cut-off scores for University of South Florida on the link given at the bottom of this page (‘Useful Links’)
**This is the simplest pathway of all (in terms of academic load), but the most unpopular.
However, maximum medical aspirants from India, clear NEET first and then follow any of the below pathways.
MBBS abroad – MBBS in USA: Pathway 3
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Self-study & prepare for MCAT while doing B Sc in any Life Science subject in India – Clear MCAT – 4 year MD in US
**very few aspirants go for this pathway of self-study, most of them get admitted to a medical course in India after NEET and then continue preparing for MCAT (as in Pathway 4 below)
MBBS abroad – MBBS in USA: Pathway 4
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam –Get admitted to MBBS in India – After your 2nd MB exam, clear “MCAT” – 4 year MD in US
**most aspirants pursue this pathway.
This pathway is to first get admitted to an MBBS course in India, clear MCAT while you’re doing your MBBS (this should be easy), get admitted to a medical school in the US for 4 years and then get a practice license for US.
MBBS abroad – MBBS in USA: Pathway 5
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Complete 5 year MBBS in India – Clear “MCAT” – 4 year MD in US
This pathway is to first complete an MBBS course in India, clear MCAT, then again study medicine in the US for 4 years and then get a practice license for US.
This pathway is uncommon as most students take the MCAT while doing MBBS and not after it because with an MBBS degree you’ll really have to do a good job trying to convince the med schools in USA why they should retrain you.
Otherwise, you can use the degree you have here (because you’ve completed MBBS) and end up in India itself, that too in primary care most likely
get an MCAT score to study again in the US.
MBBS abroad – MBBS in USA: Pathway 6 (Alternative Route)
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Apply directly and take admission in Med schools in Caribbean Islands (Barbados, Guyana, Antigua, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, West Indies) and study for 3.5 years in Caribbean Is. till BS level (Bachelor/ PreMed) – Appear for USMLE Step 1 exam – Finish rest of MD studies in USA (20 months, 5 trimesters) – USMLE Step 2 (SK & CS) – Residency – Practice in USA
**MCAT scores are not required for securing admission at Caribbean Islands.
3.5 years in Caribbean Is. = 3 Terms of Pre Med courses + 5 terms Basic Sc Courses
Then clear USMLE Step 1, after which you’ll be travelling to mainland USA and finishing the rest of your degree (leading to an MD) there
MBBS Abroad – MBBS in USA: Basic Roadmap
MBBS Abroad – List of 43 MCI recognized Top Medical Colleges in USA
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery,USA
- American Board of Emergency Medicine
- American Board of Family Medicine
- American Board of Hospic and Palliative Medicine
- American Board of Otolaryngology
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- American board of Thoracic Surgery
- American University Of Saint Vincent, Kingstown
- American University of the Caribben, School of Medicine
- Case Western Reserve University
- Emory University, Atlanta
- Harvard University, Boston
- Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia of Thomas Jefferson University
- Massachusetts Harvard Medical School
- Mayo Medical School, Rochester
- New York Medical College
- New York University
- NorthWestern University, East Chicago
- State University of New York, Brooklyn
- Temple University, School of Medicine, Philadelphia
- The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery
- The American Board of Internal Medicine
- The American Board of Ophthalmolgy
- The American Board of Pediatrics
- The American Board of Surgery
- The Johns Hopkins University
- The University of Alabama, Birmingham
- The University of Illinois at Chicago
- The University of North Carolina
- The University of the State of New York
- Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
- University of California
- University of Colorado School of Medicine
- University of Florida
- University of Massachusetts Medical School
- University of Medicine and Denistry of New Jersey
- University of Minnesota
- University of Southern California
- University of Tennessee Health Science Centre
- University of Texas South Western Medical Centre
- Virginia Commonwealth University
- Washington University
- Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
MBBS Abroad – List of 22 MCI recognized top medical colleges in Caribbean Islands
MBBS Abroad – 15 in West Indies (including Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica, Saint Lucia)
- All American Institute of Medical Sciences (AAIMS), Jamaica
- American International Medical University, Saint Lucia
- American University of Antigua College of Medicine, Antigua & Barbuda
- Bridgetown International University, Barbados
- International American University College of Medicine, St.Lucia
- International University of Health Sciences, Saint Kitts
- Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica, West Indies
- Spartan Health Sciences University,St. Lucia,West Indies
- St. Georges University, Grenada
- St. James School of Medicine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- The American University of Barbados
- The University of West Indies
- Trinity School of Medicine of saint Vincent and Grenadines
- Victoria University of Barbados, Barbados
- Windsor University of Medical Sciences
MBBS Abroad – 7 in Guyana
- Alexander American University, School of Medicine, Gerorgetown
- American International School of Medicine,Georgetown
- Greenheart Medical University, Georgetown
- Lincoln American University, Guyana
- Rajiv Gandhi University Science and Technology
- Texila American University
- Windsor University School of Medicine
MBBS Abroad: MBBS in Canada
There are altogether 17 medical schools, spread throughout Canada. All these schools grant the MD, or Doctor of Medicine, degree over the course of a 3- or 4-year focal curriculum (excluding variable months of preparatory modules), with MCAT score being a mandatory selection criterion for most.
Of the 17 medical schools in Canada, the 5 schools that do not require MCAT results are:
- The University of Ottawa
- Université de Montréal
- Université Laval
- Université de Sherbrooke
- Northern Ontario School of Medicine
2 other exceptions are:
- McGillUniversity – Acceptance rate for McGill is highly inflated because McGill loves accepting international students!
[MCAT is optional hereonly if you’ve obtained abasis-of-admission (pre-med) degree from a Canadian university]
- McMaster University (selection committee uses only 4th section of the MCAT exam for admission) – however, all applicants are required to writeMCAT prior to the application deadline
Check out the Canadian medical school profiles.
So, summing up, “without MCAT” should not be a choice for you as international students are mostly judged through MCAT scores in Canada with the exception of few as mentioned, of which most schools are either francophone (French speaking) or bilingual.
Finally, to work in Canada as a Doctor:
After you graduate from a Canadian medical school
or while expecting to complete your degree (within 12 months of the date of the exam), you have to take both the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Qualifying Examinations (MCCQE) Part I and Part II, in order to qualify and become a Licentiate of MCC(LMCC) and get a full license to practice medicine in Canada.
- MCCQE Part I is a qualifying factor for Part II.
- For appearing for MCCQE Part II, you must have passed your PGT or 12 months of Postgraduate Clinical Medical Training.
After graduating from any non-Canadian institute
listed in the “World Directory of Medical Schools”, you have to take the National Assessment Collaboration (NAC) Examination if you want to practice in Canada but only after completing a residency program there.
The NAC exam is a one-day exam to enter a Canadian residency program for entrance into postgraduate training in Canada.
It includes questions for:
- Preventive Medicine and Public Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
The following pathways will elaborate things to you:
MBBS abroad – MBBS in Canada: Pathway 1
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Complete 5 year MBBS in India – Clear NAC Examination – complete Residency program in Canada – MCCQE Part I – MCCQE Part II– Get a Full Canadian License
MBBS abroad – MBBS in Canada: Pathway 2
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Self-study & prepare for MCAT while doing B Sc in any Life Science subject in India – Clear MCAT– 4 year MD in Canada- MCCQE Part I – PGT – MCCQE Part II– Get a Full Canadian License
MBBS abroad – MBBS in Canada: Pathway 3
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Get admitted to MBBS in India – After your 2nd MB exam (in the 4th/5th year), clear “MCAT” – 4 year MD in Canada – MCCQE Part I – PGT – MCCQE Part II– Get a Full Canadian License
MBBS abroad – MBBS in Canada: Pathway 4
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear NEET Exam – Complete 5 year MBBS in India – Clear “MCAT” – 4 year MD in Canada – MCCQE Part I – PGT – MCCQE Part II– Get a Full Canadian License
MBBS abroad – MBBS in Canada: Pathway 5
Class 10 with Science and Mathematics – Class 11-12 with Physics, Chemistry and Biology – Clear SAT/ ACT exams – Study a 3 year Basis-of-admission (pre-med) degree in Canada – Clear MCAT while in Canada – 4 year MD in Canada – MCCQE Part I – PGT – MCCQE Part II– Get a Full Canadian License
MBBS Abroad – List of 3 MCI recognized Top Medical Colleges in Canada
- Jimma University
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
- St Matthews University School of Medicine
MCAT Exam Pattern and Application Info
In today’s competitive academic climate, your winning applicationis the difference that makes you stand prominent among the manystudents applying to medical schools in US and Canada.
You need a comprehensive understanding of all areas of the application and admissions process such as how to write persuasive personal statements, how to present your past and present academic record, which extra-curricular activities you should highlight, how admissions committees operate, how to carefully choose your references, medical schools to which you should apply, and how to avoid common traps and mistakes that first-time applicants fall prey to.
- How to write persuasive personal statements?
- How to present your past academic grades?
- What is each medical-school-admissions-committee really looking for?
- What is the importance of your MCAT score?
- How to avoid the traps & mistakes of other first-time applicants?
- How to carefully choose your references?
- How to highlight your extra-curricular activities?
- What are the nuances of the entire interview process?
- Which medical schools you should apply to?
- What are the unique application strategies for each medical school?
What’s on the MCAT Exam?
The MCAT exam has 4 test sections:
- Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
- Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
- Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
- Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills
The first 3 sections relate to foundational concepts of the sciences including current research about effective ways for students to learn & use science, emphasizing deep knowledge, important scientific concepts, and many discrete scientific facts.
These sectionswill ask you to integrate and analyze information from different disciplines and combine your scientific knowledge from multiple disciplines with your scientific inquiry & reasoning skills.
Your answers to the first 3 sections will demonstrate 4 different scientific inquiry & reasoning skills:
- Your knowledge of scientific concepts and principles
- Your scientific reasoning & problem solving skills
- Your reasoning skills about the design & execution of research
- Your data-based & statistical reasoning skills
The 4th section is similar to many of the verbal reasoning tests of other competitive exams. It includes passages & questions that test your reading comprehension skills.
This section includes a wide range of disciplines like social sciences & humanities, including population health, ethics & philosophy, and cultural studies.
Each passage is followed by a series of questions. 4th section is unique because it is designed specifically to assess the analytical and reasoning skills you will need to be successful in medical school.
The structure of MCAT
Practice in India after MBBS abroad
You will find numerous doctors practicing in India (the pay here is far more lucrative) after studying medicine abroad.
The number of medical aspirants going abroad, mainly to China, is constantly increasing because government medical seats in India are limited and private colleges are extremely costly.
FMGE Examination: license to practice in India after MBBS abroad
After coming back to India as a foreign-trained medical graduate, you will have to clear Medical Council of India (MCI) Exam which is also known as “Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE)”. FMGE is a licensure examination for those Indian students who have pursued MBBS from abroad.FMGE is conducted twice a year and you will require 50% to pass.
MCI or FMGE Examination is compulsory till now and is conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE) in India.Foreign medical graduates are required to write the FMGE to become eligible to practice here.
The success rate of FMGE is extremely low and competition is very steep. Here we have mentioned some of the popular pathways to study as well as practice medicine in select countries. However, you can always come back to practice in India after being trained as a medic abroad but FMGE is a mandate before you start practicing here.
MBBS Abroad: Useful Links
While in India,
- World Directory of Medical Schools
- 420 MCI approved international institutions – country wise
- Copy of MCI eligibility certificate application form is available here.
- Gazette of India MCI Notification: NEET made mandatory
- Gazette of India Notification: Validity of NEET
- All MCI Gazette Notifications
- NTA (National Testing Agency) released bulletin for NEET 2020
- FMGE is a licensure examination for those Indian students who have pursued MBBS from abroad
- The success rate of FMGE is extremely low and competition is very steep
For US & Canada
- When to take MCAT and how? – A Johns Hopkins Study
- USMLE” United States Medical Licensing Examination
- “MCAT” – What’s on the Exam? (Detailed Syllabus)
- Canadian Medical School Profiles – Oxford Seminars
- Guide on Canadian medical licensing – University of Toronto
- MCAT Test Preparation (Canada)– Oxford Seminars
- Registering for MCAT
- USA: Check Entering Competencies for Entering Medical Students
- SAT/ ACT cut-off scores for University of South Florida: Pre- Health Majors
- NAC official portal
- MCCQE Part 1 official portal
- MCCQE Part 2 official portal
MBBS Abroad: Conclusions
After all of that mind-bender, you must be full with facts now. If you’ve been endlessly looking for extensive knowledge about MBBS abroad, MBBS in Canada or MBBS in USA as well as the top medical colleges, we’ve served you much, isn’t it? Now, to put all of those existing doubts at the back of your mind to rest, why not ask expert professionals? Call us to gear up now! Take action!
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Honours in Chemistry (Magna cum Laude), Master’s in Biophysics (Summa cum Laude), Dissertation from Institute of Nuclear Physics (India)
A specialist in actionable intelligence and knowledge delivery through research and analyses-centric presentations, with demonstrated skills in cross-disciplinary data interpretation/representation with a high degree of proficiency surrounding technical and scientific disciplines. A post-graduate in Biophysics & Biostatistics and a graduate in Chemistry, she has interned with the prestigious SINP Kolkata. She comes with proven experience in scholastic compositions through meta-analytic systemic investigations.
Currently associated with iDreamCareer (India) as an Educational Intelligence Analyst & Researcher