Dear Mentor:

What must I do to study medical sciences in the US?

I am a medical student. I want to do basic part of medical sciences; that is, the teaching and research side like microbiology, immunology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, etc. I know that these programs don't need the USMLE [US Medical License Exam] and I have to pass the GRE [Graduate Record Exam] instead. But I don't know the proper procedure for the same. Please help me on how an MBBS student in India can apply for these programs in the US.

MBBS to US, India

Dear MBBS to US:

You are quite right in noting that you do not require the USMLE, since it is a step in the process of becoming a licensed physician in the US. You are also correct that you would have to take the GRE, a standardized entrance exam. We do wish to note at least some terminology, which may relate to your understanding. You do not have to "pass" the GRE. You have to take the GRE. The GRE is not a pass/fail exam; it is a standardized test which scores individual performance. The GRE score reflects your percentile performance relative to others on a statistical basis. The GRE score is a critical component of the admissions criteria and assessment.

The admissions criteria for graduate (Master's and Doctoral) studies require the candidates to have completed appropriate college education with degree(s) in relevant field(s). So long as you meet the academic qualifications and fulfill other criteria - such as the GRE - you follow the stated procedure. The fact that you have an MBBS degree and not a degree in biology is irrelevant so long as it is at the acceptable level and in a relevant field. No special procedure is designed to handle the MBBS graduates from India.

We have addressed a question in detail on planning for the admissions process, including preparing for the GRE, in a previous Dear Mentor: column. You may wish to visit: How early should I start planning for the GRE? Although our reply for this question addresses the situation for MS in Engineering, it is equally applicable to your situation.

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