Embarking on the journey to become a doctor is a pursuit that demands dedication, commitment, and years of rigorous study. At the heart of this adventure lies the MBBS program, a symbol of transformation from a medical enthusiast to a fully-fledged healthcare professional. They say, “You don’t become a doctor overnight,” indeed, the path to medical expertise is comprehensive and challenging.
The MBBS degree, recognized worldwide for its prestige and rigour, typically spans 5 to 6 years, including a mandatory internship lasting from six months to a year. In India alone, more than 50,000 students don the mantle of MBBS graduates annually, a testament to this esteemed program’s enduring appeal. Yet, many aspirants, ranging from 20,000 to 25,000, opt to go on foreign soil to study medicine.
When seeking foreign shores for medical education, a few destinations stand out as preferred choices among keen learners. Foremost among them is the United Kingdom (UK), renowned for its illustrious history in medical education and practice. The United States of America, Canada, and Australia follow closely, each offering unique opportunities and experiences for aspiring doctors.
In this article, we will delve into the entry and cost aspects of studying medicine in the UK and the USA to help those who aspire to wear the white coat of a healer.
Studying MBBS in UK:
UK houses four of the top ten universities globally. Medical universities in UK have also gained prizes for explaining why UK is among the most preferred locations to study medicine. In UK, MBBS is also called MBChB and is a 5-6 year course accompanied by six months to one year of medical practice as an intern.
To secure admission in UK, universities conduct different exams such as UCAT/ UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test), BMAT (BioMedical Admission Test), and GAMSAT (Graduate Medical School Admissions Test).
Among these tests, GAMSAT is the common test conducted by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER). The test is mandatory for all aspirants wishing to study in the UK since 12 out of 13 medicine institutes of the UK accept GAMSAT as admission criteria.
UCAT is a graduate-level entry test. The test is comparatively easier with a limited syllabus than the GAMSAT exam. The test is considered to be three times less lengthy than GAMSAT.
BMAT is an international medical exam acceptable in UK, Spain, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Croatia.
Apart from these tests, a student also needs to clear IELTS test with a band of 7.0 or higher. It is an English language proficiency test for admission in English-speaking nations.
Cost of Studying MBBS in UK:
To Study MBBS in UK, the average tuition fee is around $25,000 USD annually. On top of that, the cost of living is estimated to be around an additional $15,000 USD, bringing the annual expenditure to around $40,000 USD/year or INR 30-35 Lakhs a year.
Top Medical Universities of UK:
Name of University
|QS score||Tuition fees (USD)|
MD Course duration
|University of Oxford||95.4||£33,050 and £48,620||6 years|
University of Cambridge
|91.4||£ 51438||6 years|
|Imperial College London||89.4||£ 41546||6 years|
|King’s College London||87.7||£ 39568||5 years|
These UK medical universities are also known for their world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and contributions to healthcare and medical research on a global scale.
Studying MBBS in USA:
The MBBS degree completed in USA is globally recognized, including WHO (World Health Organization), ECFMG (The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates), and MCC (Medical Counseling Committee of India).
In addition, USA houses several QS-ranked Medicine-based universities, making it the hub of quality medical education.
Students can pursue MBBS after completing their secondary education in India. To gain admission to MBBS, aspirants must appear for the MCAT exam (Medical College Admission Test). Students must aim for a score above 508 points to consider studying in USA. After this, a student must complete 1-1.5 years of pre-medical studies in the US. After this, students can pursue MD program, which lasts 4.5 years. This degree is equivalent to a post-graduate degree in medicine in India.
The duration and the type of degree offered by the country vary from University to university. For instance, Harvard University has MD program of 5 years, whereas Stanford University has a course duration of 4 years for the same MD program.
Cost of studying MBBS in USA:
As per the research, the average tuition fees to study medicine in the USA are around $20,000- 80,000 USD annually. In addition, the cost of living is $140,000- 240,000 USD, or INR 11- 20 Lakh annually.
Top Medical Universities of USA:
Name of University
|QS Score||Tuition fees for MBBS (USD)|
MD Course duration (Years)
|Harvard University||99.1||40,000 – 52,000||5years|
|Stanford University||92.6||84,996||4 years|
Johns Hopkins University
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
|88.8||43,843||7 years (MD+ PhD)|
|University of California, San Francisco||88.5||12,264||4 years|