King Chulalongkorn founded Thailand’s first medical school in 1889 – the School of Medical Practitioners at Siriraj Hospital, now operating under the name of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.
Since then, Thailand has developed 23 institutions offering various courses of study in the medical field, most public universities. You can study for an MD degree here or go on to conduct research and qualify for higher education programs.
Studying medicine in Thailand also offers you access to a great part of the world to travel in, from the country’s own spectacular heritage and amazing beaches to the rest of Asia.
Below are the best medical schools in Thailand.
- Top Universities in Thailand
- How to Study in Thailand for Free
- How to Study in Thailand for International Students
- National University of Singapore Scholarships
- Nanyang Technological University Scholarships
- Tsinghua University Scholarships
Is it expensive to study medicine in Thailand?
Within public universities, tuition costs are very low, even for medical studies. For example, one credit costs c. $58 at Mahidol University.
You will need to budget for registration fees and thesis fees, however, the cost can be as low as $1,000 per year. Coupled with affordable living costs, studying in Thailand can therefore be quite cheap.
How can you get admission to medical school in Thailand?
Getting into medical school in Thailand can be very competitive. Some universities, such as Mahidol Ramathibodi, uses the BMAT test as part of the admission process (a biomedical aptitude test popular in a number of countries). The success rate for admission into university can be very low.
It is worth noting that most schools will not accept international students for a full-time undergraduate medical degree. Instead, you can enroll in a number of exchange programs – in fact, international partnerships are very important and all top medical universities have them. But only Thai citizens can complete the full-time MD degree in Thailand.
How long does medical school take in Thailand?
The clinical medicine program in Thailand starts at undergraduate level and lasts for 6 years, after which you obtain an MD degree. Many options are available thereafter for a Master’s or PhD program and some universities offer joint MD/PhD or MD/M.Eng. degrees.
Top Medical Schools in Thailand
1. Mahidol University – Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital
Mahidol University is Thailand’s most prestigious medical school, opened in 1969, shortly after the older Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital. The university has adopted an American style of education thanks to funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. They place emphasis on research, as well as on developing English-language skills for doctors.
During the first year of medical school, courses are taught in the Salaya Campus, and from the second year, students join the Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute – a center for medical excellence in Asia which offers a range of medical services to the public and allow students to study closely the methods of medicine.
Since 2020, there is also a new MD-M.Eng. program taught in conjunction with the Faculty of Engineering within Mahidol University.
2. Chulalongkorn University – Faculty of Medicine
Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine is the second oldest medical school in Thailand, established in 1947 with the aim of increasing the number of doctors that could be educated in the country. It was originally located in the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. The university places great importance on developing doctors for rural areas, so it initiated the Medical Education for Students in Rural Area Project in 1978 to support this.
There is no quota for international students within the Faculty of Medicine, which means that only Thai students will be admitted.
The university has many partnership programs around the world to foster exchanges and research partnerships. These include the World Health Organization, the University of Liverpool, and the Anderson Cancer Institutes.
3. Chiang Mai University – Faculty of Medicine
Located in Mueang Chiang Mai, this is the first medical school in Thailand to be set up outside Bangkok and the third oldest medical school in the country. It was established to respond to the ever growing need for qualified doctors in Thailand and with support from the United States Overseas Mission for funding, equipment, and technology.
Chiang Mai University focuses on servicing the needs of the population in Northern Thailand, particularly in rural areas. It offers the general MD degree, alongside 11 Master’s degrees and 13 PhD programs.
4. Khon Kaen University – Faculty of Medicine
The Khon Kaen University is located in Mueang Khon Kaen District and its Faculty of Medicine was established in 1982. The government of New Zealand assisted with the construction of the university hospital.
The university benefits from the presence of five teaching hospitals, and has a broad academic focus in multiple departments. Students can choose to continue their education from the MD degree, into Master’s and PhD programs of study as well. The school also has 120 partnerships in place with international universities, in order to facilitate the inclusion for foreign exchange students in the university.
5. Prince of Songkla University – Faculty of Medicine
Next in our list of top medical schools in Thailand is Faculty of Medicine at the Prince of Songkla University. This school was designed to support the development of doctors to meet demand in Southern Thailand. The school’s vision is to strive to stay at the forefront of both regional and international medical education and practice.
In 1976, the foundation was laid for the university hospital, Songklanagarind Hospital, which has been in operation since 1979. Its principal objective is to offer special medical treatment and laboratory services to the region, to other hospitals, and of course – to enable medical students, nursing students and medical personnel to carry out clinical practice and develop their skills and knowledge during their studies.
The university also has some highly respected Centers of Excellence: the Naradhiwas Rajanagarind Cardiovascular Disease Center, the NKC Institute of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a Cancer Center, an Emergency and Trauma Center, an Information Technology Center, and a Palliative Care Unit. These offer specialized research opportunities, especially after the MD program.
Like most Thai universities, international students can come to study at Prince of Songkla University only as part of an exchange program. The full-time MD program is reserved to citizens of Thailand only.
I hope that this article on the top medical schools in Thailand was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Medical School Category!