What is Medical School?
Medical school refers to any institution which teaches medicine and grants a degree in medicine for doctors and physicians known as an M.D. degree (Medical Doctor). In addition to this degree many medical schools offer additional degrees such as Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB, MBBS, BMBS) Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).
There are many differences in regard to requirements, tuition and medical studies program length between different medical schools inside the US and around the world. Whereas in the United States most students are required to hold a bachelor's degree (with relevant course work in biology, chemistry, physics and anatomy), in Europe most medical school programs are open for any student who holds a high-school diploma and has scored well on the medical entrance exams. Many medical schools in Europe offer a degree in medicine which is taught in English and are open to international students.
Medical studies in the US are between 4 to 6 years, depending on the under-graduate degree which in actuality means that the gaining a degree in medicine can take between 8 to 10 years. As an undergraduate degree in Europe is not necessarily reacquired, medical school programs offer a 6 year curriculum (some medical schools in Europe now offer a 4 year medical degree program for international students who hold an under-grad degree).
Med School Entrance Exams
Almost all medical schools administer some sort of standardized testing for acceptance. In the US the most common entrance requirements include high GPA in under-graduate studies, often referred to as "Pre-Med" studies, and a high MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) test score. In Europe, most medical schools administer an entrance exam which tests student's knowledge of the sciences but do not require an undergraduate degree and/or an external exam such as the MCATs. Pre med courses for European entrance exams are often similar to MCAT preparation courses but this varies from course to course.
Obtaining a medical degree from a credible medical school does not automatically provide a doctor with the a medical practice license, and every country has different standards and exams required from Doctors of Medicine in order to be allowed to practice medicine in the perspective country. These exams are detached from the medical school in that it does not matter where one has studied, only what ones knows in regard to medicine. In this way, doctors who studied in Europe can practice in the US if they pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination and doctors who studies in the US can practice in Europe if they pass the exams administered by the EU and/or each European country.
Medical Schools Vs. Veterinary & Dental Schools
Medical schools should not be confused with veterinary schools and dental schools which often offer courses from medical school but offer different degrees. Vets (veterinary doctors) are granted a doctorate degree in Veterinary medicine (most commonly referred to as DVM degree but can also appear as BVS , VMD, BVS, BVSc, BVMS, BVM). Dentists are offered a doctorate degree in Dental Surgery known as DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine).
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