Medical Education Abroad
Medicine is a versatile field that can be studied anywhere in the world. The high-level medical education and career prospects offered to students by many universities abroad have increased the demand for these institutions in America, Canada, and many European countries. Since the application criteria and education standards are exceptionally high, there are positive benefits to those who graduated from globally branded medical faculties. Hence, studying in these departments means having special knowledge and competencies. Especially in Europe, although many universities still provide medical education in the country’s mother tongue where you are located, there are highly respected universities providing medical education in English; It is a positive factor for international students from different cultures to expand their education goals abroad. Prospective doctors gain self-confidence, discipline, and maturity as part of the process of living in a foreign country. From this perspective, international students are also attracting more attention in the job market, thanks to their diverse backgrounds and skills.
Over the last 20 years, medicine in English has become increasingly popular in Europe for students wishing to study in this field. In general, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and similar English-speaking countries are the countries with the highest number of degrees and education in English in the field of Medicine. In addition, eastern European countries are preferred, especially in terms of more affordable education and living expenses, and therefore, teaching in English becomes an inevitable result for universities here. The Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Hungary are also among the countries that offer students the opportunity to receive medical education in English at acceptable international standards.
Universities Offering Medical Education in English Abroad
If the preliminary search for medical institutions is narrowed down to Europe, one can encounter many options considering the different teaching styles, cultures, and sometimes even entry requirements. The most famous universities offering medical education in English in Europe can be listed as follows:
- Charles University: The Faculty is recognized as the most prestigious medical school in the Czech Republic and one of the foremost in Europe.
- Palacky University: Palacky University in Olomouc was founded in 1573 as a public, academic institution and is one of the leading medical schools in the Czech Republic.
- Humanitas University: Humanitas University is Italy’s most prominent independent international School of Medicine, founded within the Humanitas Research Hospital, a center known throughout Europe for its excellent healthcare and advanced research.
- Lithuanian University of Health Sciences: The Lithuanian University of Health Sciences was established in Kaunas in 1922 as part of the local university. In 1998, the Faculty of Medicine acquired independent academic status, separated from the University of Kaunas. Today, it has become one of the top medical schools in Lithuania under the name “Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.”
- Vilnius University: Founded in 1579 in Lithuania, Vilnius University is one of the oldest universities in Central and Eastern Europe. Founded in 1781, the University’s Faculty of Medicine consists of more than 20 units and is considered one of the largest and most important medical schools.
- University of Latvia: The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Latvia was established on 28 September 1919 and was renovated on 29 December 1997. The faculty’s programs in medicine, nursing, and pharmacy are very contemporary, and their development is based on the latest scientific data.
- University of Zagreb: Founded in 1669, the University of Zagreb is the largest and oldest academic institution in Croatia and Southeast Europe. It currently consists of 30 faculties, and 3 art academies and is home to more than 70,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students.
- European University Cyprus: Modeled on EU Directives and other international health care standards, this institution has been awarded two prestigious international awards by Crestron International Awards in “Best Educational Facility” and “Best Medical Solution.”
- University of Nicosia: The university, which meticulously offers medical education in English by emphasizing the development of critical thinking and learning skills with its special studies, is also involved in European research projects.
- Poznan University: Poznan University of Medical Sciences was established in 1919 as part of the University of Poznan and was transformed into an independent academic institution in 1951. Poznan University of Medical Sciences is regularly ranked among the best medical schools in Poland and is currently recognized as the best medical school.
- University of Szeged: The legacy of the University of Szeged began in the 16th century when the Prince of Transylvania founded the academic institution. The Faculty of Medicine was established in 1775. The University of Szeged includes one of Hungary’s leading medical schools. The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry became an independent institution in 1951, and the Faculty of Pharmacology followed suit in 1957.
What are the Application and Admission Requirements for Studying Medicine in English in Europe?
European universities teaching Medicine in English are located in more than 40 countries. Each of these universities has its unique entry requirements. The only common admission criterion they all share is English language proficiency. Apart from this, student candidates may be required to take an exam in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Mathematics. Some exams are simple multiple-choice questions, while others may be open questions or both. However, some universities take high school science course grades into account. While entry requirements vary all the time, the most common expectations for medicine in Europe are:
- BTEC, GCSE or equivalent high school diploma,
- Good grades in Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, and Physics,
- English language proficiency,
- Biology, Chemistry, and English entrance exams (Online test options are also available),
- Online interview with the institution to learn the motivation for choosing a profession,
- Letter of recommendation or personal statement (optional),
- Passport presentation and
- Payment of entrance fees that can vary between 20 Euros and 200 Euros and above.
Recognition of Medical Degrees and Equivalence Conditions in Turkey
The concepts of recognition and equivalence related to foreign universities by the Council of Higher Education also include medical faculties. Accordingly, the Board recognizes many European universities that meet its criteria, and these can be accessed via e-government under the heading of ‘school recognition’ service. In addition, for students, if the university they graduated from is among the top 1000 universities in the world, YÖK equivalency is provided in the ordinary process. If the university graduated from is not included in this ranking, the graduate must take the Placement Exam (STS) and get the desired score. Equivalence can only be achieved in this way.
Candidates within the scope of STS can take the written exam, in which clinical knowledge is measured, or structured clinical exams by universities, where patient examination and similar practical knowledge are measured. Structured clinical exams are held in 8 different universities in Turkey. These are:
- Ankara University,
- Ataturk University,
- Cukurova University,
- Aegean University,
- Ondokuz Mayıs University,
- University of Health Sciences,
- Selcuk University and
- Van Yüzüncü Yıl University.
The OSYM Presidency administers only the written STS-Clinical Sciences, and the STS score is calculated based on the correct answers of only clinical sciences in the TUS exam entered by medical undergraduates. Candidates are required to score a minimum of 40 points. There is no limit to the number of applications. Candidates can enter any of the two exams they wish. Candidates who are successful in one of these exams must do “Clinical Practice” for adaptation to the Turkish Health System for at least six months in a medical faculty of their choice.
Getting Equivalency with International Exams
Some exams administered by different countries are also considered equivalent to the STS to become a ‘Medical Doctor.’ These can include:
- USMLE-Step 3,
- PLAN-Part 2,
- AMC-Clinical Examinations,
- MCCQE-Part2 and
- Arztliche Prüfungen (3 AP, Staats Examen).