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Posted at: Aug 10, 2016, 12:47 AM; last updated: Aug 10, 2016, 12:47 AM (IST)

Rooting for a degree in medicine from abroad


  • MBBS in Russia for Indian students is cost effective. Teachers are well aware of the MCI regulations and the syllabus and pattern of these exams. In most of the universities, you would be simultaneously coached for the MCI screening test. The students are also coached for the USMLE preparation the entrance exam to study or practice in the USA. The Russian government has subsidised education where a student pays about Rs 2.5 -5 lakh annually for fees and accommodation. The degree is internationally recognised and accredited by the Medical Council of India and WHO making you eligible to practice in any country.
  • Some of the well-known medical institutions and universities are: Kursk State Medical University, Kazan State Medical University, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU), Peoples' Friendship University (PFU), Russian State Medical University, etc.
Rooting for a  degree in medicine from abroad

Gauri Chhabra

The combined result for Phase 1 and 2 of the NEET will be declared in a few days, as per the Supreme Court’s order. As the candidates keep their fingers crossed and wait with abated breath for their results, the harsh reality is that there are a very few seats in the top notch institutes and a huge number of aspirants are going to be disappointed.

So, the question is whether there are other options available for  candidates who are not able to make it to the top medical colleges? One such option is to opt for foreign universities. While countries like the US /UK/Australia can be very expensive, the most popular destinations in the recent years have been Russia, Philippines and Caribbean islands and Central America. These destinations provide flexibility in what the students choose to do besides being cost effective.

Pre requisites

The pre requisites vary from country to country and college to college. Some universities organise medical English test or even entry test in biology and chemistry besides a sound academic record. Students would also require letters of recommendation; letter of motivation; academic achievements; hobbies and personal interests; relevant to health care paid or voluntary work experience e.g.;work as a hospital auxiliary, in nursing or residential care, etc.; computer literacy; communication skills; teamwork etc. 

It is imperative that the University which you are considering as an option for studying medicine is recognised as a good study abroad destination by the WHO, IMED, European Union, MCI and other international medical boards. 

MCI regulations

The regulations for studying medicine outside India are governed by the Medical Council of India (MCI). According to the latest MCI notification, all Indian citizens who want to acquire primary medical qualification from any foreign country on or after  May 15, 2013, do not require eligibility certificate from MCI- India. Instead, you need to fill the eligibility criteria as per the Graduate Medical Education Regulation Act 1997.On completion of MBBS course, you would have to appear for the Screening Test conducted by the National Board of Examinations in New Delhi, and on passing the same, you will be awarded the provisional registration certificate by the MCI.

The Medical Council of India Screening Test, Foreign Medical Graduate Screening (FMGE) is a license test hosted by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in India. The exam is one of the compulsory necessities for an Indian citizen having a degree in medicine from a college/institute outside India to practice medicine in the country. 

The FMGE examination is conducted twice a year in June and December·The applicant must be an Indian citizen and hold primary medical educational qualifications that are recognised by the Government of the country offering that degree and the holder of that qualification is liberty for practice in that country. He must have obtained Eligibility Certificate from the MCI (Medical Council of India). This requirement will not be essential in manner of Indian citizens or overseas citizens of India who have acquired enrollment in foreign medical Institute before March  15, 2002. The cut-off date for receiving the Primary Medical Qualification will be before the date of exam. It is compulsory to give ID proof/documentary proof in support of the candidate having passed final qualification for such a primary medical education on /before the cut-off date. 



For Indian students, completing their senior secondary examination with 50 per cent marks is the only eligibility criteria. In Philippines, MBBS is called the MD Programme (Doctor of medicine). 

Indian students who want to pursue MBBS course have to get admission for a pre-medical course first (duration of this course is 14 months), and on completion of the same, they can enroll in the medical degree. The total duration of this MBBS course is 5 years to 5 ½ year for students who have cleared  Class XII with physics, chemistry, biology. The first 12 to 16 months is called the Bachelor of Science programme and focuses on building foundation for a strong medical education. This course mainly covers biology, medicinal technology, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, and psychology.

After the completion of this course, students can enroll in University in the Philippines.The next 4 years is the core medicine and clinical rotation. There are no entrance exams to join medical universities in the Philippines. But a few universities require students to pass National Medical Admission Test (NMAT), which consists of two parts. Part -I  covers Verbal, Reasoning, Quantitative and Part-II covers Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

One of the best universities for MBBS admission in Philippines is Our Lady Fatima University which is listed in WHO, ECFSMG and MCI. You can also practice in India after registration.


Studying for an English medium MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) programme in China has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Medical schools with English medium MBBS are recognised by the Medical Council of China and recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the "Directory of World Medical Schools". Also the bachelor of medical degree is also globally recognised.As compared with some universities or colleges in the US, UK, Europe, even India and Pakistan, it is easy to get admission in a top rank China university to study MBBS. 

Furthermore, the entrance requirements for bachelor’s medicine study in China are also much lower than those in other countries. The Overseas Medical Admission Test (OMAT) is ideal for students across India, Bangladesh and Nepal who wish to study medicine abroad. Conducted by Saraswati Online, the OMAT test would enable students to enroll in Universities in foreign countries based on their scores. 

Some of the well-known medical institutions in China are Huazhong University, China Medical University, Guangxi Medical University, Ningxia Medical University, China Three Gorges University etc.


Ukraine is one of the hot destinations for excellent education at affordable and competitive pricing. International students find Ukraine more to their liking to Study MBBS in Ukraine. MBBS in Ukraine provides students with many benefits ranging from help in availing loans and scholarships. For admission to the Ukrainian universities, Indian students need to clear their Senior Secondary education from a recognised school. It is mandatory to have biology in Class XII. Students can even work during their study period and get some financial support. 

Some top universities are: Lugansk State Medical University which is known for variety of specialties which it offers. The modern, well equipped college boasts of six departments. 

Crimea State Medical University is also reputed for medical programmes. 

Donetsk National Medical University helps the students to specialise in general medicine.

The duration of the MBBS course in each college is 6 years. 

A pinch of salt

The students who pursue their medical education abroad are supposed to pass the Screening Test conducted by the MCI before they can start medical practice. However, between 2012 and 2015, only 19 per cent of those who appeared for the test actually cleared it. One of the reasons for this can be that the country that you choose as a destination may not provide similar standards of education as India. 

Therefore, while choosing your destination, zero in on an institution that maintains the standards and prepares you for the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), a prerequisite to start medical practice in India.

— The writer is a Punjab-based career counsellor


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