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- January 6th, 2007, 02:06 AM #1
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Need advice from Med Students / Doctors
Well, over the last week, I've managed to thoroughly confuse myself about where to go to medical school. I'm not talking about specific schools, I'm talking about what country/region I should go to for school. My main problem is that I have questions about what happens in the future once I'm either in medical school or have gotten my degree, and I need advice from people who are there.
Before I get to my specific questions, here's a little bit about me. I'm a Pakistani citizen, 20 years old, and I'm in the 3rd year of a 4 year Bachelor's degree in the US. I realize now that I should have just gone straight to medical school in Pakistan after high school (which I also did in the US), but alas, hindsight is always 20/20. I messed up, and now I'm trying to figure out the best way to go forward. I will take the MCAT's this may, and I have a GPA of 3.6 which isn't bad, but also not the greatest.
Anyway, I'm currently thinking about schools everywhere. Caribbean, US, Ireland, Czech, Lebanon, and Pakistan. My main problem is that I have no idea where I want to practice when I get out of medical school. I thought that most other people were the same, but after reading this forum, valuemd and others extensively, I'm realizing that this is not the case. So If I don't know where I want to practice and eventually settle down, where is the best place to go to school? I am leaning towards the Caribbean, but while it's good if wanting to go to the US, what if I want to practice in Dubai or Kuwait or KSA or Pakistan afterwards. Will I run into problems? I'm only talking about the main schools in the caribbean, not the sketchy ones. Any Pakistani students at med school in the caribbean or the US?????
Also, if I apply to Shifa or AKU after finishing my bachelors next year, it'll be 5 years to finish as opposed to 4 at the other schools I'm considering. I'd be 22 at the time I'm starting, 27 when I get out as opposed to 23 if I went straight after high school. Does that 1 year make a difference? And once students graduate from shifa or AKU, do they seek residencies in the US or UK, or do most of them stay in Pakistan?
Ahh i wanted to make sure this post was organized but I think i failed...haha. Anyway, if you guys could please help me sort out my thoughts, I'd really appreciate it. Basically, I have no clue where I'm going to practice when I am a doctor. I just don't want to have problems like if I go to the Caribbean, then I can't practice in Dubai. To avoid these problems, and given my age/education, what do you guys think would be the best thing for me????January 6th, 2007, 10:41 AM #2
Your bachelors degree won't mean anything to most med schools in Pakistan. I don't know about other schools though, it will of course mean something in the US and Caribbean, so you may have an easier time getting admission there, though you'd be competing with other people who also have a degree.
If you don't know where you want to practice then there's not a whole lot we can tell you. If you're sure that you're not going to practice in the same country that you get your medical degree in, then you're going to run into the same roadblock everywhere else you go, namely taking their board exams. If you graduate from a Pakistani medical school, and then you want to practice in the US, you're gonna take the USMLE, and if you go to Dubai, you have to take their version of a similar test meant for the same licensing reason.
It'll be in your best interest to figure out first where you want to practice and live, and then go for a med school there. If you can't do that, then just pick a med school wherever and eventually when you do figure it out, you can move around and take the licensing exam.
I don't think it really matters whether or not you pick a 4 or 5 year program now, since you're not right out of high school anymore. You're going to be at least 25 when you finish, a year or two won't really make a difference. The only thing working in your favor in terms of shortening the five year program is that you don't need to finish the bachelor's degree to get in, meaning you can apply earlier than you can for american/caribbean schools which require the bachelors degree.
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