American medical schools are notoriously hard to get into, but for international students, it’s nearly impossible. In 2011, only 174 non-US students entered US medical schools. But all hope is not lost! It is possible to get into medical school and US News has offered a few tips to help you get on your way to a M.D.
The key to getting accepted into an American medical program is to start early. Starting early can determine everything from your financial aid situation to if you get into the school at all.
First things first, determine where you want to get your undergraduate degree. If you decide to get it in your home country, it may be easier to get in, but it will make getting into medical school harder down the road.
If you do decide to get your undergraduate degree in the US, it will be easier getting into medical school, but the financial aid you receive may not be enough to help you or allow you to attend.
There are other benefits to studying in the US, namely that many medical schools require you to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in the US or to have at least completed one semester of coursework at an US university. Not only does this prove to schools that you are able to keep up with the workload, but it also gives you a chance to see if US universities are a good fit for you.
Finally, consider a MD/PH.D. program.
These specialized programs are designed to create physician scientists that work in the fields of academia, industry, or government to help research new medical technologies. The requirements for these are usually a solid research background and commitment to being a research physician.
However, the benefit of these programs is that most of them are fully funded by the US government, therefore financial aid wouldn’t be an issue.
The reason programs want you to be sure that you want to be a research physician is because they routinely cost more than $350,000 to train you.
Honestly, getting into medical school as an international student is based very heavily on financial aid and whether you can afford it. But more and more schools, such as Yale, are coming out with specialized loan programs to help international students pay their way through school.
Overall, do your research, work hard in school, and keep your eye on your goal and you should be a strong applicant for US medical schools.