Postgraduate Medical Education in Egypt

Apr
25
2011

With all the recent news coverage about Egypt and their revolution it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are people just like you over there still managing to live their day-to-day life, which is exactly why I was so excited to find @RaghdaElkattan on Twitter. Raghda is a 21 year old medical student from Maadi, Cairo and she is in her 5th year of medical study. As I’ve said in the past I am incredibly impressed with the English & writing abilities of the med students and doctors who have helped me with this series, and Raghda is definitely no exception. Now, a quick peek into the Egyptian Medical Education system.

Getting In:

How old is one when they begin medical school?
Students join the medical school or “The Faculty of Medicine” -as we call it in Egypt- right after they are done with high school. The average age for a first year student is 17-18 years.
What exams does one have to take to get in?
The selection process totally depends on the scores of final exams in high school. Since joining the faculty of medicine is highly desired in Egyptian culture, those who get accepted are the top students around the state. Acceptance depends on final exams scores, SATs or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) system. The exam subjects include physical sciences (like chemistry and physics), biology, mathematics and languages.
Being In:
How long is it?
Six years
How are the years broken down?
Three years of basic science and three years of clinical training. In the first 2 years we study Physiology, Histology, Anatomy and Biochemistry. The third year subjects are Pathology, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Parasitology. In the last 3 years we start the clinical section and do rounds in Ophthalmology, ENT, Forensic medicine, Public health, Pediatrics, Gynaecology, General Surgery and Internal Medicine.
Describe your typical day.
In the first 3 years it’s all about lectures, practical classes and exams. In the last 3 years we do rounds in the hospital departments and have theoretical lectures and evaluation end round exams.
If you choose a specialty when do you have to decide by?
Students pick their specialty and apply for residency following their intern year, which would be the 7th year of study.
What are you called at this stage of training?
Medical Student
Getting Out:
What exams do you have to take?
We have to pass the end year exams every year until the sixth year, then we start an internship year in the college hospital doing clinical rotations in its departments for 2 months each and finally we graduate at the end of that year with a bachelor degree in medicine. We are officially called doctors, GPs “general practitioners, ” following this graduation.
Do most people graduate?
I think yes. If you happen to fail something you have to do repeats during Summer vacation or else you will have to spend another year to go through the exam again, but eventually most of students do graduate.

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