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Medical Education in the USA

  1. COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION
  2. Education
  3. Education and Training
  4. ENGLISH AND ITS ROLE FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
  5. FOR MEDICAL STUDENTS
  6. General secondary education
  7. Higher education

Dr. Frank Nelson and his colleagues from Johns Hopkins University, school of medicine, had been for some time guests of the Moscow Sechenov Medical Academy. They had a meeting with the teachers and students.This is what Dr. Nelson told them.

To begin with, primary school education generally takes the pupil from the age of 6 to the age of 14 years, and secondary school - to the age of 18. After finishing his secondary studies the candidate for medical school must complete at least three years of higher education in a college or university.

This period of college or university studies is called "the premedical phase".

The students who are taking this course of studies preparing them for a medical school are called "premeds". A student applies for admission to a medical school when he has completed premedical studies. The application costs approximately $ 50.

Academic achievement is the most important factor in the selection of students. In most medical schools candidates 'arc required to take admission test. This is a national multiple choice test. The test lasts about eight hours over a one day period and includes questions in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and English. Then, special admission committees have personal interviews with the candidate in order to assess the candidate's general qualities, his character and his ability to study medicine.

I must tell you that the competition is very difficult and only about half of the students who apply to a medical school are accepted and begin their medical education which is, like the practice of medicine, both an art and a science. By the way, what we call "medical school" is "medical institute" in your country.

The curriculum of medical schools in the USA does not greatly differ from the curriculum in Russia.

The basic medical sciences are presented largely during the first two years of medical studies. For instance, in the first year at Johns Hopkins students study anatomy, biophysics, biochemistry, physiology, bacteriology, histology and other subjects. In the second year they study microbiology, pathology, physical diagnosis, pharmacology and laboratory diagnosis.

During the final two years the curriculum consists of clinical subjects. Medical students have practical work at teaching hospitals affiliated to the medical school. Students in small groups meet their teachers in the wards and in the out-patient departments where they participate in the treatment of patients.

At the end of four years all students receive the Degree of Doctor of Medicine that is M.D. Then they must work for one year as interns. This course of work at the hospital or clinic is called internship. After the internship young doctors must have a period of residency at the clinic. The period of residency is obligatory for all medical graduates. This period varies, depending on the specialty of the doctor. Generally, the period of residency is three or four years. For instance, residency in surgery and neurosurgery in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine lasts for four years. Residency in internal medicine, preventive medicine and radiology lasts for three years. After the residency the graduate is granted a license to practice and he may work either in government service or private practice. As for the cost of medical education in America, well, medical schools are gradually increasing tuition fee in all the universities of the USA. Only a small part of students receive scholarships. The majority of the students have to work to pay for their studies. The government-financed universities charge less while the tuition of the private colleges and universities is extremely high. For instance, tuition for the full course in medicine for one academic year at the Cornell University Medical College New York, which is privately endowed, is:

Tuition - 9.100 dollars; books, instruments, etc. - 60 dollars; food - 1.800 dollars; lodging and utilities - 1.400 dollars; health service fee - 200 dollars; hospital insurance - 143 dollars; personal - 1.200. All in all it amounts to 14.443 dollars. By the way the admission fee is 50 dollars. These figures represent typical budget for an academic year (3540).



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