Friday, April 26, 2019
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN STUDYING MEDICINE ABORAD

In spite of countless attempts to make progress in different avenues of education in Sri Lanka, there aren’t many reliable sources to educate ourselves on a subject as potential and demanding as international medical placements.
When it comes to selecting a medical career, there are many questions a prospective student will have from selecting the ideal university to his or her career after medical university. Dr. Harry Prasad is the Assistant General Manager for ANC Future Center- Medical Placements, one of the very few institutions in Sri Lanka to take up the tedious task of availing overseas placement opportunities to the local student body. Below are the excerpts from the interview with Dr. Harry Prasad with regards to what you need know when choosing a medical career.
HOW DOES ONE JUDGE THE QUALITY OF THE EDUCATION IN A MEDICAL UNIVERSITY?
There is no such thing as the more you pay, the more you experience the quality of education. Cost and quality are two different entities when it comes to medicine.
As students are not able to evaluate procedure for foreign universities, clarify information with the present students and with passed out doctors who followed the same course. You can visit the website of the university and check their facilities, curriculum, assignment procedure, reputation of the lecturers, research publications, laboratories and library facilities and hospital facilities for clinical education.
All state universities and some of the private universities allow the students to do the clinical training (Practice) in state hospitals. Therefore, students can get better clinical studies.
https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings-articles/university-subject-rankings/top-medical-schools-2015
https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2018/medicine
DOES THE LOCATION PLAY A MAJOR ROLE WHEN YOU DECIDE TO STUDY ABROAD?
It’s not about where you study, it’s about how you study!
Location of the university in terms of the country has a big impact in the years to come. Asian parents who prefer a close watch on their sons and daughters prefer a university which is between 4-5 Hours of Air Travel. Lastly, depending on the country the clinical exposure could be entirely different. For Example: Students in Malaysia lack cadavers for clinical dissections which has a hefty impact on the clinical skills as they practice on mannequins.
Depending on the country, the diseases, illnesses and various conditions unique to a certain region could be displaced. For Example: Tropical diseases would not be present in European countries. However, the ERPM/ACT 16 Exams would contain a major proportion from Tropical Diseases.
WHY IS IT IMLORTANT TO STUDY IN A MEDICAL UNIVERSITY THAT IS RECODNIZED BY MEDICAL BODIES?
When you are selecting a university you should always check the recognition of local and foreign medical boards such as SLMC (Sri Lanka Medical Council), WHO (World Health Organization), GMC (General Medical Council), AMC (Australian Medical Council). Attending one of the listed universities would make the student a world recognized medical doctor. Also, upon completion, the student will be eligible to sit for the entrance exam and fulfill the requirement and practice in that particular country.
General Medical Council
The General Medical Council (GMC) is a public body that maintains the official register of medical practitioners within the United Kingdom.
PLAB (Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board)
The PLAB test is the main route by which International Medical Graduates (IMGs) demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to practice medicine in the UK.
PLAB: Part 1 (200 questions in 3 hours)
Part 1 of the test is a computer-marked written examination consisting of single best answer (SBA) questions. The paper contains 200 questions and may include images, electrocardiograms (ECGs) and x-rays. The examination lasts three hours.
PLAB: Part 2
Consists of an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). This Part of the test is conducted only in the city of Manchester, United Kingdom. It consists of 14 clinical stations, a pilot station and a rest station. The pilot station is usually unannounced and mixed with the clinical stations. The marks scored in the pilot station does not form a part of the final scoring of the test. All the stations are given a time duration of 5 minutes each to be completed.
The level of difficulty of the clinical part of the PLAB exam is set so as to be satisfactory for the level of a senior house officer (SHO) in a first appointment in a UK hospital. Clinical examination, practical skills, communication skills, and history taking are the type of skills which are assessed in this test.
https://www.examrace.com/PLAB/PLAB-Exam-Preparation/Skills-Syllabus-PLAB-Part-II.html
Australian Medical Council (AMC)
The Australian Medical Council is an independent national standards and assessment body for medical education and training.
AMC Examination
Standard Pathway:
The AMC examinations are set at the level of attainment of medical knowledge, clinical skills and attitudes required of newly qualified graduates of Australian medical schools who are about to begin intern training. They consist of a computer adaptive test (CAT) multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination and a clinical examination:
The AMC CAT MCQ Examination tests knowledge of the principles and practice of medicine in the fields of general practice, internal medicine, paediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, and obstetrics and gynaecology. It focuses on essential medical knowledge involving understanding of the disease process; clinical examination and diagnosis; and investigation, therapy and management.
The AMC Clinical Examination assesses clinical skills in medicine, surgery, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics and psychiatry. It also assesses ability to communicate with patients, their families and other health workers.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States and is sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical (ECFMG)
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), through its program of certification, assesses whether international medical graduates are ready to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

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