It’s no surprise that the USA is arguably the best place in the world to study medicine. As a country, the progress USA has made in medical improvements is unparalleled. According to a 2020 study, it ranked #1 globally in terms of medical advances and scientific discoveries, in part due to the excellent research programs and diverse medicine courses on offer. With over 150 medical schools to choose from, if you want to study abroad for medicine, you’re probably not going to do better than a USA university.
If you’ve already looked at options to study abroad at a USA university, you must have had a tough time finding MBBS courses. Well, the reason is that in the USA, the medicinal courses offered are known as MD (Doctor of Medicine). Naturally, the question arises: how is MBBS different from being a doctor of medicine? The answer is simple: it’s not, well, at least in the USA. The only difference is that an MD degree is somewhat regarded as higher than MBBS, that too because medical universities in the USA are better than others. The quality of education you get is not based on what the degree is called, but rather on the basis of where you are studying.
The field of medicine is so vast and ever-expanding, that a lot of sub-fields are hidden from view. The diversity of medicine courses that USA has is pretty shocking. We won’t bore you with the common courses that you can study there, but there are some courses that will definitely pique your interest if you are planning to study abroad at a USA university:
This course encapsulates the sources, chemical properties, biological effects and therapeutic uses of drugs. It is further divided into two branches, one dealing with what a drug does to your body, and the other investigating what your body does to the drug. Pharmacology has helped develop nanotechnology in medicine, as well as regenerative bioengineering.
Clinical Translational Sciences
This can be seen as the entire spectrum of research, starting from observations and translating them to the laboratory. It investigates the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process. In simpler words, it is research about how to conduct research.
MPH (Master of Public Health)
MPH is slightly different from the traditional MD or MBBS, mainly because of the career prospects. With courses such as health policy and environmental health, you learn to make health decisions on a macro level, including helping revise and create new health policies, and work in industries, government, or non-profits as public health practitioners. People with MPH degrees typically work to help promote the best public health care practices.
This degree has caught some traction in recent times, and it is quite interesting because it is a highly specific interdisciplinary practice. The area of expertise is genetics (biology), but it involves heavy use of technology (computer science) and different techniques to create a database to analyze and interpret(statistics).
Originating from the USA, this course takes an “entire person” approach, with a focus on preventive health care. A doctor of Osteopathic Medicine is called a DO, as opposed to the traditional MD. A DO can be more effective in determining any underlying issues for a patient, as their work is based on a more holistic perspective.
Eligibility and Intake
While there may be some general criteria for getting admission into medicine courses in a USA university, such as having a STEM degree, a great GPA, and good English proficiency, institutes will also have their criteria to be fulfilled. Getting admission to any medicine course in a USA university is highly competitive, as the general acceptance rate of students is a mere 7-10%. Just for comparison, in 2021, over 62,000 applicants tried to get admission into medical school with almost 900,000 applications in total, and only 38% of students were accepted. Let it simmer for a bit and you’ll understand the absurdity of these statistics.
Below are the general criteria for students looking to study abroad for a master’s degree in medicine in USA:
- Graduation in Science degree with a GPA of 3.8 (90%),
- Intermediate certificate with at least 90% marks,
- Must have 500+ marks in MCAT (generally for MD program),
- Be prepared for the Casper test, which evaluates your personality traits,
- Must have English language proficiency certificate IELTS (7.0) and/or TOEFL (100)
With so many different universities, it’s difficult to choose the best out of the lot. Fortunately, the authorities to do this already exist, and they have been very generous to USA universities. These are the top 10 universities in USA for a medicine degree:
|University||QS Ranking by Subject||Times Higher Education Ranking||US News Ranking|
|Johns Hopkins University||3||9||9|
|University of California, SF||9||11|
|University of Pennsylvania||18||18||13|
We also took the liberty of listing down specific courses for some universities, their fees and broad requirements for medicine courses. Take a look for yourself:
|University of Pennsylvania
|Johns Hopkins University
|University of California Berkeley
Optional Practical Training (OPT):
OPT is an off-campus employment opportunity for F-1 students and these opportunities connect you with US organizations where you can gain hands-on experience in your major field of study.
The process for applying for OPT can be started 9 months after your enrollment. employment cannot begin until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) specifically from USCIS and have been enrolled for at least a year. Applying for EAD is not contingent on you receiving a job offer, and you can get employed anywhere in the USA once you get accepted.
The most important document is form I-765 (EAD) for employment authorization, which must be submitted along with your OPT application.
Before you apply for OPT, you need to maintain some typical OPT requirements:
- Your employment must be directly related to your major
- You must maintain lawful F-1 status
- You must apply for your OPT before completing your degree
- You may stay and work in the US for up to 12 months after completing your coursework
OPT post-graduation requirements:
- OPT work must be full-time (40-hour work week)
- All OPT must be completed within 14 months after completion of your degree
- Applications for post-completion OPT must be received by USCIS before the completion of your degree
F-1 Visa Requirements
There are several F-1 visa rules to keep in mind if you plan to apply for an F-1 student visa. You must meet these requirements for your application to be accepted:
- Institution Certification: The college or the university where you plan to study needs to be approved through SEVP (Student & Exchange Visitor Program).
- Full-time Enrollment: You must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution while your academic term is in session.
- English Language Proficiency: You must meet the required English language proficiency score of the institution you are attending or be enrolled in courses that will help you improve your English proficiency.
- Sufficient Funding: Provide proof of sufficient funds to finance your studies and living expenses in the USA.
- Valid Passport: Your passport should be valid for US travel for at least 6 months after your degree completion date.
- Home Country Residency: You are required to be a permanent resident of your country to return after the completion of your degree.