Georgia has become a popular study destination for prospective medical students who aspire to become doctors. Up to 55% of India’s 55,000 doctors graduate every year from private colleges, many of which charge illegal donations, or “capitation fees”. In Tamil Nadu, the cost of admission to medical college is Rs 2 crore for an MBBS seat. As an alternative to such practices, without compromising on the quality of education, Georgia has emerged as the hub for MBBS hopefuls.

While Russia and Ukraine too offer equally good medical education, it is worth noting that Georgian medical universities enjoy a higher ranking than the ones in these countries. Georgia is home to three reputed universities, which offer medical degrees such as MBBS (Bachelors of Medicine) and Masters in Medicine (M.D) programs. They are the David Tvildiani Medical University (AIETI Medical School), Akaki Tsereteli State University, University Geomedi, Tsiblisi State Medical University and University of Georgia. Given their popularity with international students from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Nigeria etc., these universities have limited seats for their English medium MBBS and MD programs. Moreover, the admission process can be taxing given the competition for the seats. Furthermore, the greatest advantage of a degree from Georgia is the equivalence and acceptance of its validity across the EU, thereby giving it a greater value.

The yearly fee for the Tsiblisi University is $3500 at present, which can be paid as two semesters from the second year onward. The university follows the European Union syllabus, which makes it simpler for the transfer students. The overall duration in case of the MD [Diploma In Medicine course is 6 years, which is divided into 2 years of basic, 1 year of pre-clinical and 3 years of clinical courses. At AIETI, the duration of the educational process lasts for 6 years. It consists of three stages: Basic Medical Science (2.5 years), Clinical Science (2.5 years), Pre-diploma Specialization (Clinical Clerkship – one year). AIETI is included into the WHO AVICENNA Directory for medicine as well as a member of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE) and Organization for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System (ORPHEUS). The medical degrees offered in Georgia are recognised world-wide and students preferring to work in the U.S or Europe undertake USMLE, PLAB, MCI or other board certification exams to become licensed.

For Indian students, the admission requires a 50 % score in the 12th standard with a major in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Even better is that there is no IELTS/TOEFL requirement for those who have studied in an English medium program. Additionally, the tuition fee for the undergraduate medical program ranges from $5000-$7000 USD per annum with separate exam fees being charged. Furthermore, the admission intake is in February and September with the specific dates being released by the university. Look up the university website for more details. For a student visa, one must apply at the nearest Georgian embassy within the country and it takes 20 days to process the same. The ordinary visa is issued for 360 days with multiple entry permits or for 90 days with single or multiple entry permits. A foreigner working on Georgian territory should apply for a residence permit after his/her ordinary visa has expired.

While Georgia is sought after for its medical schools, the fact remains that most students choose to return to their native country or head to the U.S, Canada, UK after completing their medical degrees. With the limited scope for employment for medical graduates, given their professional degree, there is every possibility of setting up practice and practicing independently after course completion. Even so, once the degree is awarded, a lucrative career awaits the student in his/her home country or preferred destination, for which, he needs to appear for licensing exams. Given the ease and quality of training offered at Georgian universities, it is hardly surprising that each year the number of students seeking admission to their world class program has risen exponentially, when compared to the seats on offer. If you wish to embark on a career in medicine, this would be an avenue for you to achieve your dreams.