November 13, 2014

The Best (Non-Caribbean) International Medical Schools

For most pre-meds the thought of attending international medical schools focuses on the Caribbean, with the most reputable and popular programs being St. George’s, Ross, AUC and Saba.  There are other international programs, however, that will lead to residencies in the U.S.  Today, I want to take a world tour (we’re talking Mexico, Australia, Israel, and Singapore) to explore some of these interesting international schools and what they have to offer.  In addition to curriculum's catering to U.S. students, all four schools have U.S. backed financial aid loan programs through FAFSA.  


  • Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Language: English
  • A bit out about it: Sackler is a New York/American medical school program for American and Canadian citizens that has been around since 1976. Students are prepared for the USMLE and residencies in the U.S. This is a New York chartered school in Israel.
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average MCAT: 28
  • Time spent in the U.S.: 4th Year students take 16 weeks of electives in U.S. hospitals.
  • Residency Match: Sackler doesn’t publish the residency match rate, but does share the residency positions and hospitals of each graduating class. By my count there were 52 matches and 63 students per class, which would put the match rate at about 83%.


  • Location: Brisbane, Australia and New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Language: English
  • A bit out about it: This program is aimed at U.S. students who want a global education. The program was designed by faculty at Case Western School of Medicine to train doctors with a global perspective who want to work with the underserved. The program ends in Louisiana working in the Ochsner Health System, with a goal of practicing in the U.S.
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average MCAT: 27
  • Time spent in the U.S.: The second two years are located in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • Residency Match: The first graduating class had a 100% residency match. The 2013 class had a 96% match rate.


  • Location: Singapore
  • Language: English
  • A bit about it: Duke-NUS is a collaboration between Duke University in North Carolina and the National University of Singapore, which was founded in 2005. The school provides an American style curriculum in Singapore. Students are expected to stick around, though. International students owe the Singapore government five years of work in a Singapore public hospital after graduation. This program is best for students who would consider living in Singapore permanently.
  • Average GPA: 3.5 (approximately)
  • Average MCAT: 33
  • Time spent in the U.S.: None. This is a Singapore-sponsored program to get more medical practitioners in Singapore. A few outstanding students may be granted permission to complete their residency in the U.S., but they have to return for their five years of service.
  • Residency Match: Most Duke‐NUS graduates will continue their training as medical doctors in a structured residency program created by SingHealth and the National Healthcare Group, in consultation with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), an American body responsible for the accreditation of post‐M.D. medical training programs within the U.S.


  • Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Language: English and Spanish
  • A bit about it: Guadalajara’s School of Medicine does welcome international students, but only the first two years are taught in English or bilingual. Years three and four are only taught in Spanish. Preparation for the USMLE is incorporated into the curriculum.
  • Average GPA: (min. 3.0)
  • Average MCAT: 29
  • Time spent in the U.S.: None. All four years are spent in Mexico.
  • Residency Match: Over 85% of students matched ended up in primary care. The percentage of students matched to U.S. residencies is hard to tell because many students stay in Mexico or Puerto Rico.


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