Aspiring doctors in India have had an important week, as the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam was conducted on 17 July. For those seeking admission to undergraduate medical and allied programmes in medical colleges, this exam is the first step to making their dreams of becoming doctors a reality.
The NEET exam is extremely competitive, and the number of students taking this exam has seen a significant rise over the past few years. Lakhs of aspirants apply every year, out of which only a few thousand get a medical seat. Over 18 lakh students registered for NEET UG and 95 percent attendance was recorded on July 17*.
The National Medical Council states there are over 600 medical colleges in India, with a total enrolment of around 90,000 students annually. For these 90,000 seats available, the acceptance rate comes to just 5 percent.
The remaining students may think about retaking the test next year, applying for another course, or studying abroad to earn a medical degree.
The number of students choosing to go abroad has been rising steadily, especially since they have options like St. George’s University (SGU). Not only does St. George’s University accept students who do not get a NEET allotted seat in medical school, but they also accept students that have never taken the NEET.
St. George’s University is a Caribbean Medical School in Grenada, West Indies, which has contributed over 19,000 physicians to the global physician workforce, with students, graduates, and faculty from over 150 countries. SGU is truly an international institution, with a uniquely global perspective, poised to help educate students in this rapidly changing world. SGU is the largest source of doctors for the entire US workforce, according to FSMB physician licensure data, 2021.
In India, SGU is associated with the Ramaiah Group of Institutions to offer high school graduates (10+2) the opportunity to obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree via a 5-Year Medical Degree Pathway without writing NEET. Both institutions have medical schools that were established over 40 years ago with a long history of educating medical students.
The first year of the pathway is offered at Ramaiah International Medical School, Bengaluru, India, while the second year can be completed in either the UK at the Northumbria University campus in Newcastle or at St. George’s University’s main campus in Grenada. The third year is spent at SGU’s main campus in Grenada, and the last two years are spent doing clinical rotations either in the US or UK.
With the limited medical seats available in India many students can explore an international path to medical education, without taking the NEET exam. Applications are open to start SGU’s 5-Year Medical Degree Pathway in India in September 2022. Interested students can find more details here.