The experience abroad is always aggregating for the professional path, and this is no different in medicine. Contacting another culture with different teaching and career realities provides a unique and distinct learning experience, broadening the personal and professional vision and completing the curriculum.
For Brazilians, taking the undergraduate course in medicine abroad implies later having to validate the diploma in the country through Revalida. So, to avoid this obstacle and at the same time take advantage of the opportunities that the international environment offers, what many recent graduates are doing is seeking specialization abroad.
Best Medical Universities
In 2016, the English consultancy QS released a ranking with the best universities to study according to the area of activity. For medicine, the top ten placed six are in the United States. The list looks like this: 1st Harvard University, 2nd the University of Oxford, 3rd University of Cambridge, 4th Stanford University, 5th Johns Hopkins University, 6th University of California – Los Angeles UCLA, 7th the University of California – San Francisco, 8th Yale University, 9th University College London and 10th Karolinska Institutet.
In Latin America, among the ten best medical universities, four are in Brazil and the others in Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. The QS survey recognized institutions for their service, publications, patent applications, adequate facilities, and excellent teaching.
Best countries to specialize
When considering taking a specialization course outside Brazil, it is, of course, important to observe aspects directly related to your professional interest, such as the concept of the University and the course, the infrastructure, the ease of obtaining vacancies, and the number of publications by the institution. However, other aspects more indirectly linked to training are as important as the previous ones, such as the countries that invest the most in this area, language knowledge, the cost of living, and the amount paid to residents.
In this sense, Germany has been an attractive destination for newly graduated doctors seeking specialization, especially from other European Union countries. Due to the aging population and low birth rate, the country needs health professionals, and there is a lot of vacancy in the most diverse areas. In addition, it invests in technology, offers a good health system and the resident’s salary is above 4 thousand euros. To compete, it is necessary to validate the diploma – and the information is available on the page of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
One of the countries most sought after by Brazilians has been the United States, where the best universities are located and where the process of revalidating a diploma – necessary to get into a specialization – is very competitive. In addition to reviewing documents and proficiency in English, the physician must pass three tests (known as 3 Steps) with good standing, which every American medical student takes during their training. The detail is that, in the United States, the medical course is already a graduate program. To take it, the student must graduate in any area that includes some required disciplines and apply for medical schools.
In Canada, a country that has an excellent immigration policy due to the shortage of professionals in almost all areas, Brazilian physicians need to validate their diploma, and one of the best ways to enter a specialization is through clinical or research Fellowship programs (the clinic offers remuneration and authorizes medical care while the research clinic does not).
Despite the facility with the language, Portugal offers few places for recent medical graduates, and the Portuguese themselves have sought specializations in other countries. On the other hand, neighboring Spain is a country with a language close to Portuguese and a cost of living that is among the lowest in the European bloc.
However, to apply for postgraduate or residency positions, it is necessary to prove advanced knowledge in Spanish and approve the diploma – which is a bureaucratic process. Depending on the equivalences obtained with the undergraduate course, you may or may not be asked to take additional training.
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