MBBS abroad, watch out for benefits and risks

With increased options and decreasing cost, doing MBBS has never been as easier a career option. However, with ease come challenges too.

Haroon Shah
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jul 9 2017 11:22PM | Updated Date: Jul 10 2017 2:33PM
MBBS abroad, watch out for benefits and risksRepresentational Pic

Despite number of career opportunities for students, MBBS still retains one of the top slots. It continues to be called as the cream of our society. Being a doctor meets every criteria set out by parents for a successful life.

Couple of decades back getting admission in MBBS was limited to two categories- rich and highly intelligent. But now as the standard of living has increased and new avenues have come up, becoming a doctor has become much easier. There are thousands of medical colleges all over the world that are competing with each other to attract students from countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and other countries. The colleges range from the ones with education of highest standard to the pure money driven colleges. So a student and his parents need to carefully choose the institute and do not fall into any trap.

One of the most sought after countries for doing MBBS in Jammu and Kashmir and other states is Bangladesh, but there are other options too. There are both advantages and disadvantages to these colleges and one can choose their best pick according to their requirements.

 

Bangladesh

The small country with high population density has made remarkable progress in medical education field (in number of colleges and not in research). There are total 83 recognised medical colleges in Bangladesh, 29 of which are public and 54 private. It is these 54 private colleges that are become heaven for students from the state. 

There are many advantages of getting aN MBBS degree. The colleges there have same syllabus, books and duration of degree as that of India. So after the completion of the degree, there is no problem in getting adjusted back in the state. Secondly, a bigger advantage is the similar culture and language. In Bangladesh besides Bangla one can navigate the country easily by knowing Urdu, Hindi and English. For Kashmiris an added advantage is that the people there follow Islam and there is no problem in finding halal food or place to worship.

The country is also a dry country meaning there is no chance of getting alcohol or drugs. Students at this age are prone to deviate from their focus of life and living in such a country helps to remain on track. Being a Muslim country also means that there are no late night parties.

Now coming to disadvantages, there are some colleges that are extremely poor in educational standards. Secondly the overall standard too is not that high and in no way matches the western quality. One gets to become just a plain doctor and nothing else.

Earlier this year some 400 Indian students at a university in Chittagong protested for days as they faced an uncertain future since they were not registered by the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC). The college had done registrations after the admissions were closed thus creating problems.

And always beware of so called educational consultants better known as agents who have a history of admitting students in non-existent or minting more money than what they had earlier promised.

The budget of doing MBBS in Bangladesh comes to around Rs 25 lakh.

 

China

MBBS in China is literally a hard nut to crack. The biggest problem is the language barrier and one has to learn Mandarin come what may. Even if a college says it is an English medium but to survive better in the country one has to learn its tongue twisting language. The Medical Colleges in China can be divided into A, B and C categories. If one has to go to China, always choose A-category Medical College as its students have the highest chances of clearing MCI exam and their education standard is also quite high.

In other colleges, no doubt there is the infrastructure but standard of teaching is very poor. Some have faculty from India and Nepal who completed their MBBS from china itself. In various colleges foreign students are not allowed to touch patients and they are asked to work on dummies.

Cuisine also is a major issue in China. Given their peculiar food habits it is often difficult for student from outside to adopt. If you are a pure vegetarian or Halal foodie, then survival is limited to home cooked rice and lentils. One cannot take the risk of taking food outside. The budget is around Rs 30 for A Grade universities and around Rs 20 lakh for B Grade universities.

 

Philippines

The medical education for outsiders in Philippines in plagued with problems. One has to be extremely lucky to bag a genuine MBBS seat here. It is most prone to cheating due to the reason that there is no direct MBBS admission happening here. If an agent tells you that he will admit your ward in MBBS in Philippines, he is lying. In Philippines no one is enrolled directly in MBBS and a students first has to get admission in a 18 month long pre-medical course. After that the student will have to appear in National Medical Test (NMAT) and clear it with a score of 50 percentile. Usually only 40 percent of students pass the examination. Most of the colleges will give you two years to pass the exam and then send you back.

Another problem with Philippines is that colleges usually admit hundreds of students even if they don’t have such an infrastructure. A class can have upto 200 students and practicals get limited to few lucky students. Some colleges don’t have even attached hospitals.  

While taking admission in Philippines, select among  36 colleges/universities recognised for MBBS (called as MD in Philippines) mentioned on Indian embassy website.

Though language is not a problem here and food is also easily available but other concerns remain. For the first three semesters, there is literally no work for a students and there is a chance of a student going astray.

The budget can be as cheap as Rs 12 lakh for MBBS in Philippines.

 

Kyrgyzstan

Off late Kyrgyzstan has emerged as a good destination for undertaking MBBS. It has some good colleges with good standard of education and has become hub of medical education in Central Asia. The medical universities of Kyrgyzstan are recognized by the world’s major organizations including WHO, UNESCO and the Medical Councils of many other countries. It has English medium of education, meaning no problem for the students. 

It is a low cost country where decent standard of living can be maintained at a minimal cost. After completion of MBBS, the students can sit for the screening test conducted by the MCI or they can also apply for the European Union and United States of America for jobs. Security and safety of a student in ensured in the campus. During the last years of he course the students are given the opportunity to work in the clinics run by the universities. The budget for doing MBBS in the country is around Rs 15 lakh.

 

Georgia

The country is perhaps one of the best places to get education in Medicine at an affordable rate. Its standard of education is comparable to western countries. The country has six year MBBS program and some universities allow internship in Germany and USA too. But there are also some dubious colleges in Georgia which should be avoided at all costs. According to Indian embassy advisory MBBS in Georgia should be done only from Tbilisi State Medical University and Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University. Both are government run universities and offer recognised degrees by MCI. Some agents try to portray Georgia as part of EU which is wrong and the candidate too should not expect Shengen Visa (European visa) while studying in Georgia. The budget of doing MBBS in Georgia is around Rs 20 lakh.

 

Germany

Bagging an admission in MBBS in Germany is guarantee to a successful life. It has all the advantages with little or no disadvantages. The level of medical education at German medical universities is very high, as per the global standards. The state-of-the-art infrastructure in the universities can be compared with the best institutes in the world. The experienced and dedicated staffs ensures that the students imbibe accurate clinical skills and medical knowledge. Many of the medical universities in the country are as old as 200 years. Public universities in Germany offer free education which has greatly brought down the cost of doing MBBS in Germany. A student has to pay for his living expenses, language learning fee, accommodation etc. The entire budget comes around Rs 15 lakh. Plus from second year onwards the students are allowed to work for 20 Hours a week with an average wage of EUR 8 per hour (INR 550). Despite all the advantages very few candidates make it to Germany due to their rigorous process and requirement of complete knowledge of German language. Also most people do not know about the free education in Germany, so they miss the chance.

There are other options like USA, Poland, Iran, Russia, Ukraine etc and all have their advantages and negatives. One needs to delve deeper into the finer print to get the best out of options. Remember you have to put six years of your life and a fortune into a career and it should be done with utmost care.

(The author has an interest in career counseling)

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