Introduction Given the current situation in the world it is quite evident that the medical profession in the most sought after profession. There is a huge dearth of doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, hospital staff, and volunteers all over the world and especially in countries abroad. In many countries like the USA or Canada, there is a long and rigorous process of becoming a medical professional, in fact, as long as 7 or 8 years. Therefore, if you are thinking of studying medicine in the USA then be prepared mentally for investing 6-7 years in studying and then becoming a professional. On the bright side, such rigorous training results in fabulous doctors like Sir Frederick Grant Banting, or Thomas Hunt Morgan, or Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins and many more from the USA or UK or Canada, who were Nobel Laureates. Therefore, studying in these countries, the USA or UK for instance, have a high chance of a great and successful career in medicine. Let us see a comparative study.
Number of CollegesIn USA there are more than 150 medical colleges or universities. In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, there are lesser than 40 medical colleges. Therefore, the choices are less and the competition, as a result, is quite steep. All the colleges in either USA or UK are accredited either under the Association of American Medical Colleges/ American Medical Association or General Medical Council. The cost of studying medical science in the USA can range from 50,000 USD to one million USD. In the United Kingdom, the costs range between 9000 pounds per year to 50,000 pounds per year.
Eligibility Criteria The eligibility criteria generally is subjective to the college or university you take admission in. In both the USA and UK, you need to have a valid score of any English language proficiency test. Always check the official website of the college to know the list of valid tests. In the USA, the cut off score for the qualifying examination is GPA 3.0. This might be lower or higher in some colleges. In addition to that, you need a good score in the MCATs or Medical College Admission Tests. In the UK, you have to clear the International Baccalaureate program with a minimum of 32 points. The students must specify that they want to take up medicine in their undergraduate joining application. As mostly, the UK students apply for medicine after high school, previous experience in medicine is not present. In the US, as mostly the courses are master's degrees, you need to have some experience in medical science to get a better chance at admission. In either case a strong personal statement for getting a better chance at admission. However, the impact of this personal statement comes right after you clear the eligibility requirements mentioned earlier. The personal statement should stress on the fact that why is it important for you to study this medical science course. If this statement is weak and not convincing, you will not get a chance to study both in the US and UK.
Length of courses Since in the US, the students must first become a graduate and then apply for the medicine course in their masters, it may take up to 8 years to finish the medicine course. This is because unlike in most universities or colleges of India, graduation is of 4 years in the US. On the other hand in the UK, the students study medicine as an undergraduate course. So this takes comparatively four years lesser than a medicine course studied by a student in the US to complete. However, spending longer in a course is better in the long run as it makes you better in the profession. You tend to learn more and come out as experts in your field. If you want to hone yourself properly and time is not a big deal for you, then the US is a good choice for you. On the other hand, studying for 8-9 years cost you a huge amount of US dollars. So, you should be able to afford it in order to study. You must have a substantial amount of scholarship other than the student loan to fund you.
Future job prospectsIn the future, in either countries you come out as doctors. You get a license to practice medicine and you can join any hospital after the course is over. Later on, you can think of studying higher degrees like Ph.D., etc. The amount of money earned differs due to the difference in currencies in both countries. However, the respect earned as a good doctor is the same and the popularity of your skills follows your hard work.
ConclusionIf you are a high school student and wish to pursue medicine right after high school, the UK might be a better choice for you. If you want to and have the tenacity to stay and learn for a bit longer than most of the other medical students in the world, the US is the destination for you. So weigh in all your options, before you make a final decision.