Ten things to consider when choosing a Foreign Medical degree Program

Courses, study abroad, Universities 11 15312

Eight Sri Lankan Universities have medical faculties:  Colombo, Sri Jayawardanepura, Jaffna, Galle, Peradeniya, Kelaniya, Batticaloa and Rajarata. The output of all medical schools is around 1200 and they receive the degree MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) . The training period is around five years plus a residency period (Internship) of one year for full registration as a doctor in Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC).

However, since the intake into government free medical faculties are very limited, a large number of students go abroad to get a Medical Degree from a foreign university.   Sri Lankan students study medicine at countries such as Russia, India, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Latvia. Some also follow medicine in developed countries such as USA, England, Australia and New Zealand where the tuition fees are relatively high.

Choosing which medical school to apply requires information on cost, quality, facilities and acceptance in Sri Lanka as a doctor. The key parameters to look at are:

1. SLMC registration

A list of recognized foreign medical schools is maintained by Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). Check SLMC  we b site to find whether the University and course you are applying is recognized by them.

Read and find details from SLMC (SRI LANKA MEDICAL COUNCIL) website

ERPM details from SLMC website: http://www.srilankamedicalcouncil.org/erpm.php

List of Foreign Medical Universities from SLMC Website: http://www.srilankamedicalcouncil.org/foreignuniversity.php


Please note that Malabe SAITM Mecial School does not have SLMC recognition. Read recent (2016) view by Sri Lanka Medical Council on Private Medical Schools.-

2. Cost of the course

What is the current tuition and fees? Is this expected to increase yearly? If so, at what rate? You don’t want to apply to schools that are financially out of reach for you.

Cost varies with country of education. According to the information provided to us by parents and students, the total cost for entire course in Bangladesh would be around 1-2 million rupees, in China around 5-6 million rupees, in India around 8 – 10 million rupees and in USA/  UK around 40 million. There are rough estimates only.
Foreign medical degree

3. Quality of the education

Amila and other Sri Lankan student at Xian Jiaotong Medical University, ChinaAs there is no quality evaluation procedure for foreign universities, clarify information with the present students and with passed out doctors who followed the same course. You can go to the web site 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.
Visit web sites of the various medical schools, and earmark a school that is suitable for you.  List of medical schools (or universities with a medical school), sorted by region and country can be found here.

4. Location

Select the country of education based on the cost and the quality of the education.  Also look for living standards of the location, cost of living and the personal safety of international students, as this has been a serious issue in some places (eg. some Russian cities). Check whether the clinical sites are in a different location, how to travel, cost for traveling etc.
Manipal Medical University

5. Facilities

Apart for academic facilities, look for extracurricular facilities (i.e., housing and athletic/ recreational facilities, internet accessibility). Is designated study space available? Are students required to have a laptop?

6. Duration of the course.

How many years to complete? Does this involve additional year to learn a new language. Do you have to do internship in that country? Remember that now all foreign graduates have to do one year internship in Sri Lanka after passing ERPM (Act 16) examination conducted by SLMC.

7. Medium of Instruction

It would be better to go to a course conducted in English medium, which would be useful to pass EPRM (ACT 16) examination here.

8. Local agent

There are various local agents who source students for foreign universities. We are not in a position to recommend anyone. Select an agent carefully. Do not believe in the marketing talk of the agent who is sending the students, but clarify information with other students and parents who have selected the particular medical college. Before paying check the other information with the agent.

You may wish to consult relevant embassy or education support institute in the country (such as British council, Russian cultural center) and apply directly.

9. ERPM (Act 16) examination conducted by SLMC

Although the principles of medical practice remain the same, clinical teaching and the relative emphasis on various aspects of training differ from country to country, depending on the pattern of disease prevalence and the facilities and resources available for treating them. Hence after you obtain MBBS  or an equivalent degree from a recognized foreign unveristy, you have to pass Examination for Registration to Practice Medicine (ERPM) in Sri Lanka (earlier it was called Act 16) conducted by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). You can download the details of this examination from SLMC web site.

10. Do you really want to do medicine?

Students study very hard in Sri Lankan to become a doctor, as it is a prestigious job. However if your Z score is not sufficient to enter government free education, then your parents have to spend lots of money and you have to study hard and spend about 5-6 years time in studying this subject.

Some of you may want to consider another career by following various other higher education courses as given in following posts:

Select Universities and Courses in Sri Lankan Universities
Careers in Medical Sector

Higher Education Opportunities in the Field of Biological Sciences

Courses you can do after Advanced Level
Higher Education Choices for 18+ (after GCE AL) in Sri Lanka and aborad

Related Posts:

Sri Lanka Medical Council on Private Medical Schools: on SAITM?
Local vs foreign education
Select courses
Online degrees in Sri Lanka
External degrees in Sri Lanka
Careers in Medical Sector



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  1. nirov April 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm -  Reply

    yes I wish to study and work in abroad especially uk as a doctor .could you please say some tips or needed acts for this

    • Hiran April 18, 2017 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

      Get MBBS degree from a good university first.

  2. Madusha Senarath February 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    In the website of SLMC recognized foreign uni.s, under the qualifications, Guangxi Medical Uni. in China has MD.
    Bt I want to do MBBS. So will it b a problem .
    Cn anyone tell me.

  3. michel joseph February 14, 2017 at 12:59 am -  Reply

    I am doing medicine in China but i could not register in Sri Lankan medical council as my A l results are one C and Two simple passes i am doing my digree well and I am sure that i can get a good results in my medical degree.
    I really want to serve my country once i finished my digree in china .please let me know whether any way to fill this results gap to get the S L M C registration.
    And also let me know whether i can get the S L MC Registration if i show required A L results after completion of my medical digree because i have planed to do A L again after my medical digree
    please answer coz it is my dream to come and serve people in srilanka

  4. Achievers January 8, 2017 at 9:05 am -  Reply

    Study MBBS in China ,Latvia,Belarus ,Georgia and Russia –
    Low Fee with Scholarships ..
    Medical Admissions Dep – Gov Gov Partner
    Free Counselling – 0779568350
    Colombo – Office ,

  5. Katnip January 5, 2017 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Can we do the Erpm and not do the internship in Sri Lanka if we prefer? What would happen in that case? Need some answers on this.

    • Hiran January 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm -  Reply

      Please ask this from Sri Lanka Medical Council, or read their website on what are the requirements to become a Doctor in Sri Lanka.

  6. Buwandaka September 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm -  Reply

    Im second year student in yerevan state medical university.it is good university for studying medicine.language is English.beautiful country.if someone finding good university for medicine just contact.buwandakapushpalal85net@gmail.com.

    • Hiran October 2, 2016 at 9:47 pm -  Reply

      This is in which country?

      • Buwandaka October 3, 2016 at 1:24 am - 

        Armenia.yerevan state medical university.

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