Why Choose Turkey for Medical Studies?

There are several reasons for me choosing Medical Studies in Turkey. At first, I can say that my decision was partly influenced by my parents, who were both being born there. They both had spent an important part of their lives there. I learned to speak Turkish from my parents and acquired a good knowledge of the country’s history, its people, and current lifestyle. Although I know much about this country or thought I know, there are still many different things I have experienced there.

Why Choose Turkey for Medical Studies?
Why Choose Turkey for Medical Studies?

My Personal Preferences

Someone may think that my parents or my cultural background were the significant reasons for my decision back then, however, different criteria influenced my decision. An important aspect for me to be concerned about has been the recognition of medical study in a particular potential country. Studying in any European country would have been the easiest way for the approval of my medical graduation.

It would be easier for me to start explaining by presenting my background and opportunities back then, which is a helpful and self-explaining method for someone thinking about studying abroad. You have to consider several factors such as the recognition of the received degree in your home country or the country you plan to work in, language barriers existing on your side as well as the ones existing on the other side, and last but not least your financial situation, which should not be faded out for logical reasons.

Starting with the recognition of the received degree you should consider the level of education and the international publicity of the potential country. As an example, I would like to introduce the recipient of a medical degree in any European country, which drastically simplifies the approbation procedure provided before starting to work as a doctor in any European country or elsewhere. Due to the high demand for the medical degree program and the much lesser amount of study places available people in Germany try to find alternative universities inside the European borders like Bulgaria, the Netherlands, or Lithuania. A medical degree in these countries is very helpful regarding the obstacles occurring during the approbation procedure after they have finished university.

Which countries are commonly selected for medical studies?

I have met a German family with 3 children studying medicine in Bulgaria. They have chosen this country because it has been the most reasonable choice for them regarding the alternatives found in other Balkan countries. They have also applied for the medical degree program of Austria, which is known for its quite difficult exams included in the application procedure. Some applied in Hungary. According to the internet, the fees vary between 15000 and 20000 Euro per year. In Bulgaria, as I heard from the German family are around 5000 Euro.

Which countries are commonly selected for medical studies?
Which countries are commonly selected for medical studies?

At that point, I want to mention that additional costs such as housing, living expenses, and several other costs should be included too, which for sure increases the costs per year unexpectedly. Although Turkey is a very famous holiday destination in Europe and throughout the world, it is still little known for its education system and perspectives. As a person, who was born and had to spend his whole educational background including primary school and high school in Germany, I can say that the Turkish education level is comparable to European standards and surpasses some European countries found in South-East Europe.

So why do many people still not see Turkey as a potential country for studying?

The answer is as simple as complicated😊. They do not know it. It is not 100 percent true. There are many people from North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central Asia studying diverse subjects such as law, engineering, and other sciences in Turkey. Some of the ones I have talked with, value the economic status of Turkey compared to their home country whereas others plan to start their career in their home countries after gaining the reputation of Turkish education. Many foreign students similar to the native students aim to start their working life in Europe mainly Germany and France, the United Kingdom, or North America. As I noticed through the years many foreign people coming from less developed countries view Turkish education as a gate to Europe, America, or Canada.

What are the considerations for pursuing medical studies in Turkey?

People in Europe are skeptical about the recognition of the medical study degree achieved in Turkey and logically do not want to risk their six years for an „uncertain“ degree. I am not concerned about this issue. Let me tell you my reasons. The recognition procedure for a degree in any field is something seen all over the world and is not something special seen for Turkish degrees in Europe. On the other side, a European degree has to undergo the procedure of recognition in Turkey as well.

What are the considerations for pursuing medical studies in Turkey?
What are the considerations for pursuing medical studies in Turkey?

This is not some method introduced to prevent foreign people from working in another country. Instead, it should prove, whether the degree achieved in a foreign country is equal to the native one and covers the qualification profile specific for the profession. Of course, it can be regarded as an obstacle, which you would not have worried about if you had studied in the same country you aim to work in. This should not put you down since you have learned to overcome these types of challenges and will get more experienced when similar obstacles meet you in the future.

Points Worth Mentioning

Maybe you want to travel somewhere else and begin to work there, where your former experiences will show much use, enabling you to be a step ahead of the ones not having had this experience before.
Another reason why I am not worried about the recognition of my degree is that there are many Turkish doctors in Germany having completed their medical studies in Turkey and have been working here, in Germany, for many years. Our family doctor for example had studied in Turkey and has been working in Germany in his clinic for more than 15 years.

Aziz Sancar
Aziz Sancar

There are more examples of Turkish doctors having studied in Turkey many years ago and are now practicing in their clinics for many years. There is a quite famous Turkish molecular biologist, who studied at the Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul University and moved to the United States after he graduated, where he has been researching DNA repair, the cell cycle checkpoints, and the circadian clock. His name is Aziz Sancar. In the year 2015, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for mechanistic studies of DNA repair. Therefore the future of someone depends on his or her achievements rather than the reputation of the university he or she is from.


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