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Studying medicine in Europe

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Are you at uni? Can you help prospective students with their questions? We're looking for uni forum assistants 19-11-2014
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    (Original post by medic_armadillo7)
    This is such a rubbish argument. You cannot find a list entitled "UK medical schools - full list of quality assurance reports" and expect to find a non-UK medical school there, and then conclude that GMC doesn't offer accreditation to non-UK medical schools. I don't possess a comprehensive list of medical schools, which undergo quality assurance checks by the GMC, but I can certainly find examples and documentation to support this.

    http://www.gmc-uk.org/5___QA_of_UK_M...f_42598568.pdf

    University of Newcastle, Malaysia - http://www.gmc-uk.org/8___Quality_As...f_29618162.pdf

    I'm pretty sure a few of the private European institutions like Charles University undergo/have undergone this as well.
    The second link you posted has this statement on the second page: "The GMC oversees the delivery of undergraduate medical education leading to a
    United Kingdom primary medical qualification (UK PMQ)".

    The GMC has not gone to Charles University, or if they have, they have definitely kept awfully silent about it. There's also the added issue that Charles University would have to pay them for the visit - your first link explains that the GMC expects to be reimbursed for their services if these are outside the UK.

    The link I gave you is indeed a list of UK assurance reports, but that doesn't mean that another link exists for non-UK institutions. http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/medi...ol_reports.asp Their alphabetical list of reports only lists UK institutions.


    Also, if the GMC awards licenture to a graduate from a non-UK uni that is subject to the quality assurance checks of another national board of medical practice in another EU country, I would say that although the GMC has set foot in that uni/medical school, they have given it a sort of by-proxy accreditation. In short, it won't make any difference to that doctor becoming registered in the UK.
    Accreditation is a highly-complex subject, but fortunately the eligibility of a non-UK medical graduate to work here isn't solely ratified by yourself, but by people who (I'd like to think) know what they are doing.
    It absolutely will not make any difference and it is absolutely correct that graduates of EU institutions will not have problems registering with the GMC. However, the root reason for that fact is an EU directive and not the GMC suddenly deciding by themselves that EU graduates don't have to sit the PLAB. Everyone has different opinions of EU policy, I personally broadly agree with what they have done here.

    I fail to understand the purpose of your argument other than dissuade eligible hopefuls from applying, when the prospective applicants reading this are and rightly should be aware of quackery from discredited institutions here and abroad, which has been said and reiterated by several people including myself, and it is quite evident that despite competition for training posts, there are medical jobs available (including staff grades, LAT/LAS, short-term locums and part-time contracts, associate specialists, clinical fellowships and other roles in medical education, etc, etc). Part of what I said in previous comments, was about how medicine is not a race or a competition, though some make it out to be, and that people should take their time in their aspiration to become a consultant as many of our experienced senior doctors have, therefore the notion of medicine being "competitive" is only true, when those vying for training posts at reputable hospitals in reputable specialties act competitively despite there being alternative career pathways.

    P.S. Just to put things into perspective for you about the need for doctors from here and abroad, 37% of the entire working cohort of doctors obtained their degrees abroad (2009 - 3 years ago) - http://www.gmc-uk.org/Illing___The_e...f_30868612.pdf, this is across board at F1/F2, SHO, registrar and consultancy level.
    I am merely trying to establish the facts and I can assure you I do not want to dissuade anyone, but I do think that they should have all the facts when they decide to study medicine, say, in Romania or Bulgaria. I think a lot of people on TSR give the false impression that medical education in those countries is just like it is in the UK, when it clearly must be vastly different given the difference in national resources and national standards - the UK has a GDP per capita of 40k USD, while Romania's GDP p.c. is 8k USD.

    Graduates of those medical schools should have no problem getting onto the UKFPO and if they would like to stick it out in another country to get there, they have my utmost respect - but it is not an easy/easier path to take. As for later training post competition it's impossible to say at this point whether they will be disadvantaged, but they may well be.
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    Okaaayyy...this thread is starting to make me question my decision to quit on the British system and apply for medicine outside of England. Just to be extra clear, are you disadvantaged in terms of FY1, FY2 placements and speciality training posts coming into the NHS as an EU graduate???

    Also, where can I find information which tells me whether or not a chosen EU medical school is accredited by the GMC?
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    (Original post by b-beauty)
    Okaaayyy...this thread is starting to make me question my decision to quit on the British system and apply for medicine outside of England. Just to be extra clear, are you disadvantaged in terms of FY1, FY2 placements and speciality training posts coming into the NHS as an EU graduate???

    Also, where can I find information which tells me whether or not a chosen EU medical school is accredited by the GMC?
    Look at the Avicenna Directory http://avicenna.ku.dk/database/medicine/ and browse by country or whatever you like. If the (EU) medical school is listed on there, then the GMC accepts the medical degree awarded from there. You can see when the school is due to be reinspected by the relevant authority too, so if it's very soon and it's a potentially 'dodgy' school in terms of resources due to being in a poorer country, you might want to avoid it in case it stops being accredited partway through your degree. I think that's how it would work, anyway.

    As for problems coming back, at least some EU degrees qualify you to the point of F2 entry so you would be thrown in on the F2 year instead of starting out as a newbie with the British grads. You may have done a decent clinical placement year to get to that point in the other country but the way of doing things might be quite different and the skill levels expected might be different too. Ie. you might look like a bit of an idiot for a while if you can't cannulate or whatever at anywhere near the ease of the other F2s and you might have to get used to different drugs being used for some things. This is just me taking educated guesses by the way, so I might be a bit off on some things. I've just done some research into this myself, what with planning on studying abroad and wanting to know that there is the possibility of returning (and the transition being OK) if I decide to move back at some point.
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    (Original post by Ronove)
    Look at the Avicenna Directory http://avicenna.ku.dk/database/medicine/ and browse by country or whatever you like. If the (EU) medical school is listed on there, then the GMC accepts the medical degree awarded from there. You can see when the school is due to be reinspected by the relevant authority too, so if it's very soon and it's a potentially 'dodgy' school in terms of resources due to being in a poorer country, you might want to avoid it in case it stops being accredited partway through your degree. I think that's how it would work, anyway.

    As for problems coming back, at least some EU degrees qualify you to the point of F2 entry so you would be thrown in on the F2 year instead of starting out as a newbie with the British grads. You may have done a decent clinical placement year to get to that point in the other country but the way of doing things might be quite different and the skill levels expected might be different too. Ie. you might look like a bit of an idiot for a while if you can't cannulate or whatever at anywhere near the ease of the other F2s and you might have to get used to different drugs being used for some things. This is just me taking educated guesses by the way, so I might be a bit off on some things. I've just done some research into this myself, what with planning on studying abroad and wanting to know that there is the possibility of returning (and the transition being OK) if I decide to move back at some point.
    Ah, thank you soo much for this info. I really hope that this transition is indeed smooth and British graduates and EU graduates are assessed equally for training posts especially if the candidate is British anyway.
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    The second link you posted has this statement on the second page: "The GMC oversees the delivery of undergraduate medical education leading to a
    United Kingdom primary medical qualification (UK PMQ)".

    The GMC has not gone to Charles University, or if they have, they have definitely kept awfully silent about it. There's also the added issue that Charles University would have to pay them for the visit - your first link explains that the GMC expects to be reimbursed for their services if these are outside the UK......
    Sorry, for the late reply I've been away for a few days and just got back. I can't be asked to argue with you anymore, because this is absurd. Bottom line is, if the GMC deems you competent, another medical body within the EU deems you competent or you achieve competency through the PLAB examinations and further work shadowing, thereby granting you permission to register with the GMC in this country, and apply for a job, with then the likelihood is you are competent to practice in the UK. End of story. If there is any discrepancy, then this is likely to lie in unfamiliarity of UK hospital management protocols or cultural differences and less so in a lacking of medical skills, thus rendering incoming non-UK doctors unsafe. What was originally a thread about advice to students studying at European medical schools, has somehow become a justification of why UK doctors are somehow pre-eminent in their practice and why non-UK doctors are not, which frankly I think is quite a poor attitude to have.

    And I find it distasteful that because they employ different approaches to teaching medicines and based on anecdotes, European medical teaching is judged to be not as good as UK medical teaching or that it is "variable" as AnonymousPenguin put it, when teaching within the UK is variable.

    The University of Southampton and King's College medical schools largely use problem-based learning as a mode of teaching, and so their students get earlier exposure to patients than at other traditional medical schools. Does this make them better doctors than others in the UK?

    The University of Bristol at the end of written finals and OSCEs, have a further assessment, which is renown for its difficulty called the Long Case, where they clerk, examine patients in front of 2 senior examiners before presenting the case back to them and request specific diagnostic tests before being quizzed on trials, background physiology and medical sociology. They are either the only uni that still uses this old, but tried and tested means of assessment or one of two or three. Does this make them better doctors than others in the UK?

    Some unis use negative marking in their final assessment whereas others still ask for short answers questions and some use extended matching questions. Does the use of any one of these exam methods make them better doctors than others in the UK?

    Rather than propagating the notion that our European counterparts don't know what they are doing, is it at all possible to return to focus of this thread which was to offer positive advice to those applying to European schools, or is that in some way not possible for people to do? :-|
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    Does anyone know how does Masaryk Uni in Brno compare to 1st Fac? Obv its not as prestigious but i mean at the end of the day is there a vast difference in the quality of teaching?
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    I am merely trying to establish the facts and I can assure you I do not want to dissuade anyone, but I do think that they should have all the facts when they decide to study medicine, say, in Romania or Bulgaria. I think a lot of people on TSR give the false impression that medical education in those countries is just like it is in the UK, when it clearly must be vastly different given the difference in national resources and national standards - the UK has a GDP per capita of 40k USD, while Romania's GDP p.c. is 8k USD.
    These are misguided conclusions. GDP was never an indicator of quality of education in Eastern European countries. First, communist governments, while limiting consumption, spent vastly on education. This continued in post-communist times while the countries were improving their economies. Last but not the least, there are many well established universities there, with long tradition of excellent teaching.
    Graduates from Eastern Europe are passing USMLE and MCEE in US and Canada with flying colors, and make careers there despite all the hurdles for IMGs. In Europe,they work in UK, Ireland, Spain , Italy and are yet to be found less competent.
    Medical education at established, accredited universities in Eastern Europe is no less worthy than in UK. However, it is not for everyone - the issues related to language barrier, cultural differences and being away are serious and require careful consideration.
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    Graduates from Eastern Europe are passing USMLE and MCEE in US and Canada with flying colors, and make careers there despite all the hurdles for IMGs. In Europe,they work in UK, Ireland, Spain , Italy and are yet to be found less competent.
    I'm not going to continue adding to this thread, I just wanted to say you have completely mis-represented what I said here. I did not at any point claim that eastern european universities do not produce some exceptional graduates. There are truly some amazingly driven people in Eastern Europe who go on to be amazing doctors and I would personally never think that an eastern european graduate is in any way a worse doctor.

    However, the fact that there are some amazing graduates does not mean that the teaching is without flaws. Current students from those unis are discussing their experience on other forums and some extensive googling is probably going to provide the most complete picture.

    (Original post by Iz08)
    These are misguided conclusions. GDP was never an indicator of quality of education in Eastern European countries. First, communist governments, while limiting consumption, spent vastly on education. This continued in post-communist times while the countries were improving their economies. Last but not the least, there are many well established universities there, with long tradition of excellent teaching.
    Communist governments loved spending on students, but at least in Yugoslavia that translated into a number of dubious benefits, like discounted food and the ability to stay at uni indefinitely. Spending per student in terms of teaching and research was never that amazing. After communism collapsed most of these countries went through a recession and spending collapsed, causing many of the top experts to leave. It's probably impossible to finely determine the current quality of these institutions, but the international rankings have not been kind.
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    wow... very heated debate....
    Just asking, during application in europe, we normally need to provide a certified copy of exam certificates...
    Has anyone done this and if so where did you go? I'm looking around but it seems solicitors or notararies charge LOTS of money!!!
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    Right guys, I have been rejected from all my Medicine options now. This was my second attempt, there is no longer an option for another gap year. Problem is I really want to study Medicine. I have been on Google and found Carol Davila university which has a Medicine course. I know that it would be as good as a UK medical degree but I honestly have no option left. Other than GEM which I know it's ideal anyway!
    However, I really want to know what is actually bad about studying there? It's not terribly expensive from what I see. Quite similar to how much a UK degree will cost me tbh.


    Has anyone else considered the EU as an option? I am seriously considering it and so though maybe some of you know more than me .


    Please do let me know what you know!
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    Right guys, I have been rejected from all my Medicine options now. This was my second attempt, there is no longer an option for another gap year. Problem is I really want to study Medicine. I have been on Google and found Carol Davila university which has a Medicine course. I know that it would be as good as a UK medical degree but I honestly have no option left. Other than GEM which I know it's ideal anyway!
    However, I really want to know what is actually bad about studying there? It's not terribly expensive from what I see. Quite similar to how much a UK degree will cost me tbh.


    Has anyone else considered the EU as an option? I am seriously considering it and so though maybe some of you know more than me .


    Please do let me know what you know!
    Hey, welcome to this thread! I'm same as you now tbh. I've not heard of that uni before, but have heard that Charles uni and others in Hungary are popular with UK students.
    I really want to apply this year to avoid another gap year and doing a pharmacy degree - the language barrier is however worrying me. You have to learn a language and have exams in it so you can communicate with patients/ doctors when taking history etc. I'm worried not being fluent might make us miss something important a patient says, if that makes sense?
    Let me know how you get on...
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    Right guys, I have been rejected from all my Medicine options now. This was my second attempt, there is no longer an option for another gap year. Problem is I really want to study Medicine. I have been on Google and found Carol Davila university which has a Medicine course. I know that it would be as good as a UK medical degree but I honestly have no option left. Other than GEM which I know it's ideal anyway!
    However, I really want to know what is actually bad about studying there? It's not terribly expensive from what I see. Quite similar to how much a UK degree will cost me tbh.


    Has anyone else considered the EU as an option? I am seriously considering it and so though maybe some of you know more than me .


    Please do let me know what you know!
    Carol Davila university might seems to offer medicine, but in Romanian (I may be wrong and they might offer it in English, but this is unlikely as it's a state run university, it would be like St. George's medical school teaching medicine in French). I'm not saying that you can't learn medicine in another language, but you if you wanted to do that you need to spend a year at least learning the language, if that is your intention. Also, with medical schools on the continent there tends to be the caveat of passing their own entrance examinations. I don't know about their admissions process, but just be careful, because you are obviously doing you're A-levels and you might not have the time to commit to both assessments. I think the main barrier to entry to studying, I think, at this moment, are your grades, you need to make sure in any case that you get at least AABb, because it makes it difficult to be considered for selection into medical school.

    To be honest, I think you're options at this moment are to either pass your A-levels well, and get good grades and then apply to medical schools in the UK, Ireland (via the CAO - their equivalent of UCAS) and Malta and maybe other medical schools in Europe (if you are prepared to pay €9000+ if it's taught in English, or prepared to spend a year learning another language) or go onto to study Pharmacy and then (providing you get a 1st or 2:1 in your MPharm degree) re-apply to study medicine.

    I don't say this to discourage but I say it so that you can put things into perspective. It is possible to apply a million times and be rejected a million times, because all the groundwork hasn't been done, once it is done, it is then just a matter of time and perseverance. If you want to study Medicine, you will get there, but you need to make sure "your groundwork" is done. i.e. you've got the grades, (the personality), the work experience and the motivation to do it. Unfortunately, although it's not what you wanna hear, I don't think it'll be this year, but it could be next year or if you do well at your first degree, in 4 years time.

    Message me if you want any further advice.
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    (Original post by medic_armadillo7)
    Carol Davila university might seems to offer medicine, but in Romanian (I may be wrong and they might offer it in English, but this is unlikely as it's a state run university, it would be like St. George's medical school teaching medicine in French). I'm not saying that you can't learn medicine in another language, but you if you wanted to do that you need to spend a year at least learning the language, if that is your intention. Also, with medical schools on the continent there tends to be the caveat of passing their own entrance examinations. I don't know about their admissions process, but just be careful, because you are obviously doing you're A-levels and you might not have the time to commit to both assessments. I think the main barrier to entry to studying, I think, at this moment, are your grades, you need to make sure in any case that you get at least AABb, because it makes it difficult to be considered for selection into medical school.

    To be honest, I think you're options at this moment are to either pass your A-levels well, and get good grades and then apply to medical schools in the UK, Ireland (via the CAO - their equivalent of UCAS) and Malta and maybe other medical schools in Europe (if you are prepared to pay €9000+ if it's taught in English, or prepared to spend a year learning another language) or go onto to study Pharmacy and then (providing you get a 1st or 2:1 in your MPharm degree) re-apply to study medicine.

    I don't say this to discourage but I say it so that you can put things into perspective. It is possible to apply a million times and be rejected a million times, because all the groundwork hasn't been done, once it is done, it is then just a matter of time and perseverance. If you want to study Medicine, you will get there, but you need to make sure "your groundwork" is done. i.e. you've got the grades, (the personality), the work experience and the motivation to do it. Unfortunately, although it's not what you wanna hear, I don't think it'll be this year, but it could be next year or if you do well at your first degree, in 4 years time.

    Message me if you want any further advice.
    From what I have read andI even had a word with current 5th year student from plusmed the course Is taught in English! Of course during clinicals I will have to learn a bit which isn't too bad I guess as you only get paitent contact during 3/4/5 year. People from that company told me that you just need to pass an english exam and have passes at alevel and you're in.

    I agree completely with the Alevels bit! Really do need a minimum of AAB just to ensure I do have options open!

    Thanks for the help anyway

    (Original post by Aysha92)
    Hey, welcome to this thread! I'm same as you now tbh. I've not heard of that uni before, but have heard that Charles uni and others in Hungary are popular with UK students.
    I really want to apply this year to avoid another gap year and doing a pharmacy degree - the language barrier is however worrying me. You have to learn a language and have exams in it so you can communicate with patients/ doctors when taking history etc. I'm worried not being fluent might make us miss something important a patient says, if that makes sense?
    Let me know how you get on...
    The course itself is taught in english so it isnt too bad. UCAS sent me an email regarding the Carol Davil uni So i assume Its popular with UK students.

    LOL I like how were in exactly the same situation .
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    (Original post by Aysha92)
    I'm only looking at unis that offer the course in English and there seems to be quite a few. I have been told I'll need to learn the native language but that is taught at uni during the first few years.
    the problem is, when you reach the clinical years of medicine, you need to be able to speak the language, because you'll be communicating with patients in hospitals and GP surgeries. You will fail if you can't speak to patients there. That's why drop-out rates are so high.

    Perhaps malta is an option (english speaking country), but I hear they want a language at AS level. Search around.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    the problem is, when you reach the clinical years of medicine, you need to be able to speak the language, because you'll be communicating with patients in hospitals and GP surgeries. You will fail if you can't speak to patients there. That's why drop-out rates are so high.

    Perhaps malta is an option (english speaking country), but I hear they want a language at AS level. Search around.
    Yh but by 3 years any sane person would have picked up enough by learning it themselves( there are classes at uni) and making effort to practice it in day to day situations by speaking to locals. Its a matter of interest and hard work. If we can learn french in secondary school for 5 years, Im sure we could converse in french. Same thing with Czech or Hungarian.. etc
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    (Original post by sachinisgod)
    Yh but by 3 years any sane person would have picked up enough by learning it themselves( there are classes at uni) and making effort to practice it in day to day situations by speaking to locals. Its a matter of interest and hard work. If we can learn french in secondary school for 5 years, Im sure we could converse in french. Same thing with Czech or Hungarian.. etc
    of course it's possible. it's not easy though.

    and let's not compare gcse languages in the UK, those were pants you've got to admit.
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    (Original post by Doctor.)
    From what I have read andI even had a word with current 5th year student from plusmed the course Is taught in English! Of course during clinicals I will have to learn a bit which isn't too bad I guess as you only get paitent contact during 3/4/5 year. People from that company told me that you just need to pass an english exam and have passes at alevel and you're in.

    I agree completely with the Alevels bit! Really do need a minimum of AAB just to ensure I do have options open!

    Thanks for the help anyway



    The course itself is taught in english so it isnt too bad. UCAS sent me an email regarding the Carol Davil uni So i assume Its popular with UK students.

    LOL I like how were in exactly the same situation .
    Oh really? I never got anything from UCAS? Yeah I know! lol


    (Original post by Pride)
    the problem is, when you reach the clinical years of medicine, you need to be able to speak the language, because you'll be communicating with patients in hospitals and GP surgeries. You will fail if you can't speak to patients there. That's why drop-out rates are so high.

    Perhaps malta is an option (english speaking country), but I hear they want a language at AS level. Search around.

    (Original post by sachinisgod)
    Yh but by 3 years any sane person would have picked up enough by learning it themselves( there are classes at uni) and making effort to practice it in day to day situations by speaking to locals. Its a matter of interest and hard work. If we can learn french in secondary school for 5 years, Im sure we could converse in french. Same thing with Czech or Hungarian.. etc

    My worry is that there will still be a barrier in terms of scientific/ medical terminology. Also, just image a difficult patient in the UK that you need to take a history from - it'll be hard to have a good conversation in order for them to trust you to open up to you if you don't know the 'common phrases' used in the country. I don't have a problem with doing a language but I wouldn't want to risk patient's health if I can't talk to them fluently - there will still be some things they say that I wouldn't understand even after learning the language for 3 years and putting a lot of work in.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    of course it's possible. it's not easy though.

    and let's not compare gcse languages in the UK, those were pants you've got to admit.
    The idea that anyone can 'converse' in French with just a GCSE would make me laugh if it weren't for the sad fact that so many people genuinely do think they're halfway to fluency with an A* at GCSE. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    Seriously though, two or three years of living in the country and getting six hours of language tuition a week (I heard was the case at one of these places, maybe one of the ones in Romania) and at least some effort to keep up/get ahead on the student's part will mean there are few if any problems getting by when it gets to patient contact time.

    (Original post by Doctor.)
    Right guys, I have been rejected from all my Medicine options now. This was my second attempt, there is no longer an option for another gap year. Problem is I really want to study Medicine. I have been on Google and found Carol Davila university which has a Medicine course. I know that it would be as good as a UK medical degree but I honestly have no option left. Other than GEM which I know it's ideal anyway!
    However, I really want to know what is actually bad about studying there? It's not terribly expensive from what I see. Quite similar to how much a UK degree will cost me tbh.


    Has anyone else considered the EU as an option? I am seriously considering it and so though maybe some of you know more than me .


    Please do let me know what you know!
    I'm planning on applying to Copenhagen University next March, providing I pass the required Danish exam in November. Not sure I have anything helpful to add, though!
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    (Original post by Aysha92)
    Oh really? I never got anything from UCAS? Yeah I know! lol








    My worry is that there will still be a barrier in terms of scientific/ medical terminology. Also, just image a difficult patient in the UK that you need to take a history from - it'll be hard to have a good conversation in order for them to trust you to open up to you if you don't know the 'common phrases' used in the country. I don't have a problem with doing a language but I wouldn't want to risk patient's health if I can't talk to them fluently - there will still be some things they say that I wouldn't understand even after learning the language for 3 years and putting a lot of work in.
    Yh but its not like you are left alone with patients without anyone being there. I think the proffessors are there with you and for some reason u cant understand a particular word or sentence, they'll translate it for you.
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    (Original post by Aysha92)
    My worry is that there will still be a barrier in terms of scientific/ medical terminology. Also, just image a difficult patient in the UK that you need to take a history from - it'll be hard to have a good conversation in order for them to trust you to open up to you if you don't know the 'common phrases' used in the country. I don't have a problem with doing a language but I wouldn't want to risk patient's health if I can't talk to them fluently - there will still be some things they say that I wouldn't understand even after learning the language for 3 years and putting a lot of work in.
    That's some pretty odd and far-fetched conjecture you've got going on there. Do you not think the Med School would make sure medical terminology is included in what you learn in your language classes at some point? And why would you not have picked up colloquial phrases after three years?! All you need to do to pick up colloquial stuff is watch films with subtitles and read fiction.

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