International applications to study medicine in the UK

There are many students each year who are hoping to come to the UK to study medicine from abroad. We have taught such students in our own practice as medical students, and also at a postgraduate level when they become junior doctors. We find that there are usually no unusual concerns meeting the academic requirements.

Make sure you are aware of current hot topics, especially those facing the NHS. Current hot topics include 7 day working, the right of doctors to strike, brexit, recruitment crisis, antibiotic resistance etc. The NHS may have very different challenges to the healthcare system where you are currently studying. 

We have significant problems with communication skills with some international candidates. This is especially acute when faced with MMI stations with real actors and conflict, challenge or the need to show empathy. You may come from a culture where no one challenges doctors and different ethical standards and boundaries. 

Medical schools in some countries apply a very traditional method of learning with very little problem based learning unlike several UK medical schools. You will be expected to work well in a group as well as on your own. They can test some of the necessary skills for this in a group exercise. You may be familiar with all your assessments being written and now have to start getting accustomed to oral examinations with actors and simulated patients. 

Work experience in a caring or medical environment abroad should not be a problem. Remember you need to relate what you observed and did, to the qualities of a doctor and show the admissions tutor that you have some of these qualities or the potential to develop them. 

ou will need a good command of the English language. Your accent and dialect etc. will not matter. If you have a disability, for example a speech impediment, start you answers by very briefly apologising and explaining your issues to the examiner. 

Several cultures expect a prospective medical student to be a ‘bookworm’. Some medical schools may place a significant emphasis on activities outside academia as well as personal hobbies and interests.

Good luck in your application!

Have a look at our medical school interview courses - If you cannot make it to a UK course, we can teach you internationally over Skype. Click here for details.