Poland’s affordable yet excellent medical education makes it one of the top destinations for physician-hopefuls. It has many schools offering English curriculums, both in 6-year and 4-year tracks.
With this wealth of choices, it comes as no surprise why about 7,000 foreigners opted to study in Poland. To date, there are about 700+ international students from Europe, North America, and Asia who are enrolled in various medical schools.
If you want to be part of this burgeoning global community, then here are some things that you need to know about studying medicine in Poland.
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1. What are the requirements to study medicine in Poland?
Entrance to 6-year MD programs generally requires a high school diploma. Completion of A+ level-subjects such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics is required as well. At the Medical University of Łódź (MUL), applicants also need to pass an entrance exam.
Certain universities such as MUL and Jagiellonian University also offer a 4-year Medical Program. This is designed for foreigners coming from North America or Taiwan who have already obtained an undergraduate degree wishing to study medicine in Poland. As such, the primary requirement for this is the completion of a B.Sc. degree.
Applicants also need to undergo an entrance exam, though MUL will waive this for those who have taken the following tests and met the following scores:
- MCAT – minimum of 504
- GAMSAT – minimum of 59
- UKCAT – minimum 2600
As for the Jagiellonian University, however, taking the MCAT or GAMSAT is required for all applicants of the 4-year course. The minimum scores required are lower at 498 and 56 respectively. These students need to undergo an interview (which can be done virtually) as well.
At the Pomeranian Medical University, no interview or admission test is required for applicants. Only the basic documentary requirements (stated above) are needed.
All schools that offer English medical curriculums require proficiency in the English language. This can be obtained through IELTS, TOEFL, CPE, or CAE tests. A minimum of B2 is required for admission.
2. Can you study in Polish medical schools as an international student?
Yes. 15 Medical schools offer English programs that are specially designed for foreigners. Slots vary according to university, with the Pomeranian Medical University having 100 and the Wroclaw Medical University having 150. You should know that polish medical schools make use of both the Polish and English languages. Although this is the case, many institutions solely use English for teaching international students.
3. How many medical schools are in Poland?
There are a total of 15 medical schools in Poland scattered across Warsaw, Lodz, Lublin, Krakow, Bialystok, Gdansk, Bydgoszcz, Silesia, and Szczecin. All of these offer MD courses in English.
4. How difficult is it to study medicine in Poland?
Polish medical education is just as difficult as those of other countries. As such, schools such as the Pomeranian Medical University have assigned tutors for every year level.
Another challenge to studying medicine in Poland is the communication barrier with the healthcare team. Because of this, you need to learn Polish as most of the hospital staff don’t know English.
To address this issue, schools such as the Medical University of Łódź offer a 6-month preparatory course before admission. This includes classes in Polish and Medical English. It also includes lectures/laboratories in Biology, Physics, Chemistry, and Basic Life Support.
5. What are the components of the medical curriculum in Poland?
Polish medical schools offer 2 curriculums: a 6-year MD program and a 4-year Advanced Medicine program.
The 6-year MD is open to high school graduates. At the Medical University of Łódź, the first 3 years consist of pre-clinical studies. These include subjects in Anatomy, Biophysics, Microbiology, and Pharmacology, to name a few.
The last 3 years cover clinical education, which includes the subjects of Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Surgery, and Pediatrics, among many others.
At the Jagiellonian University, the curriculum varies per year. The first year tackles the basic sciences, while the second year covers basic science with a focus on human pathology.
The third year of schooling focuses on clinical practice, while the fourth year emphasizes clinical training and bedside teaching. Clinical coursework and skill development are the milestones of the fifth year, while the sixth year builds on clinical experience.
The 4-year Medical program, on the other hand, is designed for students who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree. At the Medical University of Łódź, the first 2 years tackle pre-clinical studies including Biochemistry, Histology, and Pathomorphology. The last 2 years are for Clinical Medicine subjects such as Radiology, Obstetrics, and Psychiatry.
Jagiellonian University’s 4-year program, for example, covers basic science lectures and an introduction to clinical experience for the first year. Core scientific and clinical capacities are built during the second year, while the third year requires rotations in medical and surgical departments. The last year entails clinical internships. Here, the student has the opportunity to pursue elective courses in hospitals outside Poland.
6. What do you need to become a doctor in Poland?
After finishing the MD program, the student must undergo a 13-month internship. This authorization to practice as an intern is granted by the Regional Chamber of Physicians and Dentists after studying in Poland. It is only valid for 5 years.
Should the applicant wish to complete his/her internship in Poland, he/she must be able to speak Polish.
Attending an internship program outside Poland is possible too. After doing so, the applicant must have his/her rotation recognized by the Minister of Health. This is to certify that his/her experience is equivalent to that of the Polish internship program.
After completing these 2 requirements, the student will then be eligible to take the National Medical Exam (NME). This is solely reserved for international medical graduates. Students from the European Economic Area are exempted from taking this.
The NME includes 200 multiple-choice questions that tackle a variety of subjects, including medical knowledge, processes, diagnosis, and record analysis. Compared to licensure exams in other countries, this does not test oral skills.
Passing this will allow a foreigner to practice Medicine in Poland.
I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page.