Medical Education for International students

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Can International Students Attend Medical School in the USA? The Harsh Realities:

The national data is fairly grim for international students wishing to attend a US medical school even if they have graduated from a US college or university. In 2010, there were 42, 742 applicants to US medical schools. Only 1300 (3%) were not US residents or citizens (foreign students). Of the 42, 742 applicants, 18, 665 (44%) were accepted and matriculated. However, only 171 of these 18, 665 were non-residents or non-citizens. Thus, less than one half of one percent (.004) of the international students who applied to medical school were accepted and enrolled.

Even when an international student is accepted they face the daunting task of financing the cost of medical school. Non-US residents/citizens are not eligible for federal or state loan programs, which are used by most US medical students to finance medical school. To be able to get a loan from a US bank or other non-government program, the international student generally must have a co-signer who is a US resident and has assets sufficient to cover the loans if the student should default on the loan. Before most US medical schools will accept an international student, they will try to ensure that the student has the ability to pay for all four years of medical school. This often means that the student will need to have the funds for all four years of medical school placed in an escrow account in the US. Full scholarships for international students at most US medical schools are extremely rare.

International students who come to the US for their undergraduate education are also at a disadvantage if they want to attend medical school in most European, African or Asian countries. Formal medical training generally starts earlier in these countries than it does in the US. Most of these countries follow the European model for medical school training where students start in a medical curriculum as an undergraduate (freshman) and spend a total of six years in combined undergraduate and medical education.

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