4 Best Medical Schools in Cambodia

Cambodia, a southeast Asian country, is widely popular for its historic temples. The district of Siem Reap is home to the majestic sights of the Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Preah Khan temples, to name a few.

Similar to its architectural jewels, Cambodian education has captivated the imagination of many. This is especially the case for aspiring doctors, as Cambodian medical schools offer good education at an affordable price.

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How long is Cambodian medical education?

It takes 6 years to finish medical school in Cambodia. This includes 1 foundation year, on top of the 5-year medical proper. To become a General Practitioner, students need to undergo an additional 2 years of internship.

What are the requirements to study medicine in Cambodia?

Applicants need to possess a certificate of secondary education to apply. They are also required to undergo the National Entrance Exam to be admitted to their school of choice.

Top Medical Schools in Cambodia

1. University of Health Sciences

The University of Health Sciences is a state-owned university based in Phnom Penh. This medical school in Cambodia follows a long tradition of medical education, having been established as the School for Medical Officers in 1946. It eventually became the Cambodian Royal School of Medicine before it took its current name in 1997.

Its Faculty of Medicine awards the Bachelor of Medical Science course, which can be completed after 6 years of rigorous study. To become qualified physicians, students have the option to take the General Practitioner course. This comes with a 2-year internship in general medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and gynecology. After completion, the student will be awarded the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.

Another option is residency training, which comes with a selective entrance exam. After 3-4 years of training, the student will be given the Diplôme d’Etudes Spécialisées. Following the successful defense of his/her thesis, the university will award him/her with a Degree of Specialized Doctor (MD-with specialization).

2. International University

International University, also known as IU, is one of Cambodia’s younger institutions. Established in 2002, it is based in the capital of Phnom Penh. It is recognized by the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia, and the Cambodian Ministry of Education.

Its Faculty of Medicine and Pediatrics is considered one of the best medical schools in Cambodia, largely because of its international accreditations. It is recognized by IMED, FAIMER, and ECFMG, which makes its students eligible to take the 3-step USMLE.

IU is also affiliated with several international institutions, including the People’s Friendship University Russia, National University Malaysia, National University Laos, and Chulalongkorn University Thailand, to name a few.

Under the leadership of Dean Em Samney, the faculty continues to provide advanced training to physicians and other healthcare professionals. As with most schools, it has a bilingual curriculum, which much of its instruction being delivered in both Khmer and English.

3. Norton University Faculty of Health Sciences

Norton University is a private educational institution founded in 1996. Under the leadership of Chancellor Chan Sok Khieng, it became the first private university in Cambodia. Based in Phnom Penh, it is one of the few universities to have a Faculty of Health Sciences. As such, it has become a top choice for those wishing to pursue Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and of course, Medicine.

Its Doctor of Medicine degree focuses on the treatment of sick individuals, as well as the prevention and control of other illnesses. With an emphasis on health education and monitoring, the school aims to mold physicians who are competent as they are compassionate.

As with most schools, medical students need to finish a 1-year foundation course that is followed by another 5 years of schooling.

Norton University works in conjunction with many foreign universities, including Bangkok University Thailand, Monash University Australia, University of Northumbria UK, and Malaya University Malaysia, to name a few.

4. University of Puthisastra Faculty of Medicine

The final candidate in our list of top medical schools in Cambodia is the University of Puthisastra, a private educational institution based in Phnom Penh. Founded in 2007, it focuses on educating the next-generation health professionals of Cambodia.

Its Faculty of Medicine, under Dean Sandro Vento, is one of the recognized medical schools in the country. It offers an 8-year Doctor of Medicine degree, which includes a 2-year internship on top of the 6-year general curriculum.

The University of Puthisastra MD degree is all about honing the students’ passion, skills, and knowledge in Khmer and/or English language. To achieve its goal of improving the general health of Cambodia, the faculty delivers its comprehensive medical education through lectures, research, and laboratory practice.

During the 2-year internship period, Puthisastra medical students are given the chance to rotate in public, private, and NGO hospitals.

Apart from completing the above-mentioned requirements, students also need to submit research and pass the national exit test. These are vital deliverables for students who wish to be conferred the MD title.


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