The decision to pursue one’s education in the field of medicine is a noble, challenging, and rewarding career choice. Every year, countless international students who have their hearts set on becoming a practicing physician become interested in U.S. medical schools, many of which have gained international reputations as being leaders in medical research and advancement throughout the world. For those international students interested in U.S. medical schools, there is some background research that must be taken on in order to understand the somewhat complicated admissions process used by most of the over 100 M.D. programs available in the United States. In the United States, medical school is customarily a four-year ‘post-baccalaureate’ (which means after receiving a bachelor’s degree) program. Most medical schools in the United States are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and must be accredited by this body in order for its students to obtain government funding assistance for their education. Also, in order for the schools themselves to receive government funding for providing medical education, they must receive this formal accreditation.
The very first step an international student may want to take after becoming interested in U.S. medical schools is to make sure their schools of interest have appropriate accreditation. For example, an international student interested to studying in Alabama at an accredited medical school will only find two reputable university options to choose from: University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of South Alabama. While both programs have earned themselves impressive reputations, the lack of more accredited options for international students to study abroad at a medical school in Alabama may encourage them to look into different states or regions of the country with higher numbers of accredited medical programs. Regardless, determining if your medical school of interest is accredited is only the first step in the process of finding and applying to U.S. medical schools. To learn more about the process and materials required in applying to U.S. medical schools, medical school curriculum, grading standards, and associated costs of attendance, you can begin by checking out this wiki-article on medical schools in the United States.