The final article in the Medicine Outside the UK series will focus on the option of pursuing medical education in Eastern Europe (e.g. countries like the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Poland). This is becoming increasingly popular as there is less competition for entry compared to the UK and the cost of medical education is lower.
The prospect of being immersed in a completely different culture has an adventurous allure to it too, so if you are an adaptable person who enjoys novel surroundings, this may be a suitable option for you. It encourages independence, with the experience likely to be an enriching one in which you become more self-aware.
Here, we provide general information on applying to medical schools in Eastern Europe. For further details (e.g. specific admission requirements and fees), you need to get in touch directly with the university you are interested in or receive advice from a consultancy company (more on this at the end of this article).
Medical schools in Eastern Europe usually offer a six-year course, consisting of two years of pre-clinical education, three years of clinical education, and a year of internship.
While a six-year course is a bit longer than most UK medical degrees, the internship year is recognised by the GMC as FY1 in the UK, meaning that you can apply for FY2 jobs upon graduating from a medical school in Eastern Europe.
Entry to medical school in Eastern Europe mainly depends on how well you perform in the entrance exam, rather than your A-levels. Every university has its own entrance exam, for which they provide a syllabus and practice papers. You are not required to sit the UCAT, BMAT or GAMSAT.
Many medical schools require a personal interview.
The academic requirements for Eastern European medical schools are lower than in the UK. Some universities have a minimum requirement (usually C-grades), whereas some don’t have any grade requirements but require you to do biology and chemistry A-levels.
All courses are taught in English. However, you will be learning the language of the country you will be studying in, so that you will able to speak with locals during your clinical years.
The majority of the courses start in September and finish in July. Application deadlines vary between universities so you should get in touch with the university you are interested in or a consultancy company for specific information.
The tuition fees are around £6,000 per year, which is lower than in the UK. Living costs are fairly inexpensive compared to the UK too. However, it is important to remember that your study has to be self-funded.
European medical qualifications are recognised in the UK. You can find further information on the GMC website. Upon graduation, you will become eligible to apply for registration with the GMC, then work in the NHS. Please note that finding a position is not guaranteed upon registration.
There are several online consultancy companies which allow you to research your options, organise admissions exams and submit your applications to universities abroad. It is well worth researching these companies carefully to compare the quality of their services and the price at which they are offered.
One trusted and reputable consultancy is Medlink Students, which provides ongoing support for 6 years for everything you need from the pre-application process to post-acceptance care. We have teamed up with Medlink Students so that if you apply to a university through them (via Medify's exclusive deal), you can look forward to £200/AU$400 cashback from us.
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