9 Best Medical Schools in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the more affordable destinations for students. Even as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the cost of living in the country is relatively cheap. It’s also home to a colorful culture, practiced by its very hospitable citizens. As Vietnam plays a host to a bevy of good medical schools, it is a good choice for making your dreams of becoming a doctor come true. In this article, we will be looking at top medical schools in Vietnam for international students.

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How long is medical education in Vietnam?

There are 2 options for studying medicine in Vietnam. The first option is for high school students to enter a 6-year medicine course after graduating. Another is undergoing a 3-year physician assistant program called “y si”. After working a few years, the student can go ahead and enroll in a 4-year graduate-entry medical program.

What are the requirements for applying to Vietnamese medical schools?

The basic requirement for undergraduate entrants is a high school diploma. Due to the competitive nature of admission, some universities may require an entrance exam as well.

Top Medical Schools in Vietnam

1. Hanoi Medical University

Established in 1902, Hanoi Medical University serves as the oldest institution for higher learning in Vietnam. Founded as the Indochina Medical College, it is considered the most famous medical school in Vietnam. As such, admission to the university is very competitive.

Apart from providing a 6-year Doctor of General Medicine, the university also offers courses in Traditional and Preventive Medicine. Internships are done at the HMU hospital, a 350-bed institution that plays home to 5,500 surgical cases a year.

With its long history of medical education, the university has established ties with many global institutions. It hosts a handful of international training programs, joint research, and faculty/student exchanges with institutes in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

2. University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City – Faculty of Medicine

The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City was founded in 1947. Based in Vietnam’s largest city, it is recognized as one of the top medical schools in the country.

The university was founded as the medical school of the University of Saigon. It was divided into 3 schools a few years after before they were reorganized to form the current institution.

Up until 1966, its students were taught in the Pasteur Institute, Saigon Hospital, and the Human Body Institute. The school is now housed in the Medicine Learning Center, which houses state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities for teaching. Internships are done at the HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital, which was only opened in the year 2000.

3. Vietnam Military Medical University

Originally the School of Military Medicine, the university was opened in 1949 to cater to military medical officers. It underwent several name changes, including that of Military Officer Medical School, Institute of Military Medicine, and Military Medical College, before it was granted its current name.

Based in Hanoi, this medical school in Vietnam offers training for long-term military doctors and general practice medical doctors. These are module-based programs that facilitate fast learning and skill accumulation. Lectures are held by highly-qualified professors, 87% of which have further postgraduate degrees.

For the military course, the university has specific requirements for height, weight, and vision. This program only accepts 210 applicants, while the general practice track admits about 400 students yearly.

4. Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Established in 1957, the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Hue UMP) is a public institution based in Central Vietnam. Formerly the Hue Medical College, it received its current name 50 years after its founding.

The university is governed by both the Hue University and the Ministry of Education and Training. Although this is the case, it has remained independent in developing its curriculum. This has helped the university produce thousands of doctors, as well as pharmacists and other health specialists.

After the students’ academic training in the university, these future doctors are deployed to the modern university hospital. Established in 2002, the 700-bed medical center caters to about 250,000 patients yearly. Here, they are mentored by 41 professors, including 48 physicians and 96 doctors undertaking further studies.

5. Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy – Faculty of Medicine

The Faculty of Medicine precedes the establishment of the Can Tho University University of Medicine and Pharmacy (CTUMP) itself. It was founded in 1979 to fulfill the need for medical education in the Mekong Delta region.

Its initial lecturers were graduates of Ho Chi Minh University and Hanoi Medical University, up until 1985 when local doctors were recruited to the force. In 2002, it was incorporated into its mother school, Can Tho University.

The Faculty is known for its undergraduate medical course, as well as its post-graduate programs (residency, clinical specialist, and masters). Such curriculums are taught by the school’s 219 professors, with 70% having specialist post-graduate degrees.

6. Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy

The next on our list of top medical schools in Vietnam is Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy, a public educational institution based on the northern coast of Vietnam. It was founded in 1979 as Hanoi Medical University’s (HMU) second facility in the area. Seven years later, it was developed as Hai Phong Medical University, which remained under the governance of HMU. In 2013, the university was given its current name.

Its General Medicine curriculum, as with other degrees in the university, starts with the primary medicine course. This covers industry and branch knowledge and serves as the foundation for further studies.

The second phase is the clinical curriculum, where students are deployed to hospitals for actual practice. The university’s teaching hospitals correspond to a bed capacity of 5,000, with locations in Hai Phong, Hai Duong, and Quang Ninh.

7. Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine – Vietnam-Germany Faculty of Medicine

Formerly the Center for Training and Education of Healthcare Staff, the Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine is one of a handful of medical schools based in Ho Chi Minh. Founded in 1989, it was officially made a university in 2008.

Up until 2016, only Ho Chi Minh families with hukous (household registers) were accepted. Presently, the university admits students from all across Vietnam.

As the training center for medical professionals in Ho Chi Minh, the university offers a General Health course for aspiring doctors. This program aims to develop physicians who serve and collaborate at the community level.

Clinical rotations are done at 24 general and specialized hospitals.

The university has collaborative and cooperative agreements with the Francophonie University Association, Belgian Non-Governmental Organization for International Solidarity, the University of Liege – Belgium, and the University of Mainz – Germany.

8. Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Based in the coastal province of Vietnam, the Thai Binh University of Medicine and Pharmacy is one of the few medical schools in Vietnam. Established in 1968 as the Thai Binh Medical University, it adopted its current name in 2013.

The university offers 2 medical courses, namely the Doctor of Preventive Medicine and Doctor of Traditional Medicine. Both programs run for 6 years, while the latter has a shorter 4-year “Contact” program.

Lectures and practical demonstrations are held at the university’s laboratory and pre-skills training center. Clinical immersions, on the other hand, are done at hospitals in Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Hai Duong, Ninh Binh, and Ha Nam.

Apart from training local students, the school also services applicants from neighboring Cambodia, Laos, and Mozambique.

9. Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy

The final candidate in our list of best medical schools in Vietnam is Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy. The school was founded in 1968 as the Bac Thai Medical University. Following the integration law of 1994, the institution was integrated into Thai Nguyen University. Despite its many changes, it has retained its strong tradition of providing medical education to the students of northern Vietnam.

The university keeps true to its mission of generating well-qualified health practitioners through its General and Preventive Medicine degrees. Throughout the years, the university has produced more than 15,000 physicians, alongside 400 pharmacists and 300 nurses.

To date, the university has 12 bilateral agreements with several foreign universities, including those from China, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Netherlands. It is also very active in research, with the university encouraging scientific dissertations from its students and faculty members alike.


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