Medical schools outside of the United States offer several advantages for specific types of students. European medical schools, for example, take students straight out of high school for a 6-year medical doctorate program. Caribbean medical schools, on the other hand, cater to post-baccalaureate students, and offer a 4-year medical education.

Many foreign medical schools do not require the MCAT for admissions.

However, there are important issues to consider when looking at foreign medical schools. First, how is the medical school licensed? A diploma from some schools is treated as though it came from a US school, others require that you get certified by the ECFMG. Still others are not certified at all – which means you will never be allowed to practice in the US based on that particular diploma. Be very careful in researching the ECFMG certification status of the foreign medical school in which you are interested.

Another caveat is that competition for residency positions may be more difficult. Many residency programs don’t accept international medical graduates, meaning the pool of available residency slots is smaller than that available to graduates of US medical schools.

Regardless of where you do your medical training, to practice in the US you will need to pass the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 and USMLE step 3 exams. It use to be that only foreign medical graduates had to take the clinical skills portion of USMLE step 2, but starting in the spring of 2005 everyone taking step 2 must take both the clinical skills and clinical knowledge portions of step 2.

Foreign Medical Schools

UAG School of Medicine (Mexico)

Licensure Abroad

MRCP Revision Guide – A guide to Membership of the Royal College of Physicians.

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