MBBS Abroad: Over 21,700 Indians Graduated From 143 Foreign Medical Colleges With No Hospital

Of the 470 foreign medical colleges whose India graduates wrote the Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) in 2022, 143 appear not to be connected to any hospital. CareersToday could not find any evidence online of these colleges having hospitals of their own or being affiliated or associated with other hospitals. As many as 21,788 Indians graduated from these 143 colleges and wrote the FMGE 2022. Just 4,907 – less than a quarter – passed.

Indian medical colleges must have functioning hospitals with them for practical training. Indian policy also favours “early clinical exposure” for undergraduate medical students. Plus, the National Medical Commission (NMC) mandates a year-long internship in an associated hospital of the same college the student attends.

However, in the case of foreign medical colleges, the picture is far from clear. Of the 470 medical colleges spread across the world, CareersToday could find only 137 that had hospitals of their own or claimed they were affiliated to hospitals where students could gain practical training. Another 189 seem to be variously attached to hospitals but there is no clarity on the nature of that attachment – whether the hospitals are owned and, therefore, a part of the medical college, or are independent institutions affiliated to the colleges through agreements or partnerships. Just 50 colleges – 10% of the total number – claimed to have their own hospitals but only 32 of them actually named the hospitals on their websites.

Indian medical graduates who have earned an MBBS-equivalent degree from a foreign medical college take the FMGE licensure exam to practise medicine in India.

As per the results of the latest exam, FMGE 2023, 77.8 percent of Indian medical graduates could not clear the exam. At the time this copy was published, exam clearance-rates by the college and country were available only for FMGE 2023.

As previous articles in this series have noted, the NMC does not advise students on which institutions to attend. It grants permission to practise or pursue further studies on the basis of the FMGE. Because all countries do not have mandatory internships and the NMC does not trust the quality of the internships even where they exist, it requires foreign medical graduates to complete another internship once they are back in India. But to be allowed to intern, they must clear the FMGE.

MBBS Abroad: No hospitals?

The 143 colleges, for which CareersToday’s online search could find no hospital, are spread across Asia and Eastern Europe. Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Romania each have eight such institutes; Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan have five each; Armenia, four; Nepal and Tajikistan, three each. Bulgaria, Iran, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan have two such institutes each.

Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cuba, Curacao, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Moldova, Netherlands, Oman, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, and Yemen have one such medical college each.

But the countries with the highest number of medical colleges with no hospital attached are given in the table below. 13,698 Indian graduates of these medical colleges wrote the FMGE 2022; just 3,092 cleared it.

MBBS Abroad: No hospitals found

CountryNumber Of InstitutesStudents Appeared in FMGE 2022Students Passed FMGE 2022
Russian Federation2937051067

In the absence of guidance from the NMC, prospective applicants are expected to check these details independently before deciding on studying medicine abroad.

MBBS Abroad: Owned or affiliated?

For 189 colleges, CareersToday found claims of some affiliation with hospitals but could not establish whether the hospitals were under the same managements as the medical colleges or independent institutions that were associated with the colleges through agreements.

Of these 189, only 43 had bothered to actually list the names of the hospitals associated with them. For the rest, there are no lists but just claims CareersToday could not independently verify.

Bangladesh, Russia and China have the most colleges that don’t even name hospitals. The number of Indian students from such institutes who wrote the FMGE 2022 and those who passed the exam is given below.

Of the 43 colleges that have furnished lists of hospitals, most were in China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and the Philippines. However, CareersToday could not determine whether their hospitals were owned – as in, part of the medical college – or affiliated to the college through an agreement or partnership. 7,576 Indian graduates of these colleges wrote the FMGE 2022 with just 1,556 passing.

The numbers of Indian students who appeared for FMGE 2022 from these institutes and the number of students who passed are given below.

MBBS Abroad: Medical colleges and affiliated hospitals

Another 84 medical colleges, separate from the 189 described above, have clearly stated on their websites that they are affiliated to hospitals that are not owned. Medical students from these institutes were sent to different hospitals for their internships. China has the highest number of such medical colleges (49), followed by Georgia (four); Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan have three each.

Of these 84 colleges, only 48 provided the names of the affiliated hospitals. 5,868 Indian medical graduates appeared for FMGE 2022 from these foreign medical institutes and 1,141 cleared. For some of the hospitals listed by these 48 colleges, CareersToday couldn't find dedicated hospital websites. For instance, Bayi Hospital, affiliated with Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, China, doesn't have its own website. However, in many countries, the websites and documents of regulators, accreditation agencies, and other relevant bodies may not be available in English, making them more challenging to find using English-dominant search engines.

Eight medical colleges in China do not mention the names of the affiliated hospitals but simply state the number of hospitals they are affiliated with instead. For example, Dali University School Of Medicine, China, claims it has 10 affiliated hospitals for its students to practise but the name of these hospitals are unknown. 1,755 Indian Medical graduates appeared for FMGE 2022 from these colleges and 239 cleared it.

University Of Adelaide Faculty Of Health Sciences, Australia, and Anna Medical College, Mauritius, despite being affiliated with hospitals, clearly mentioned that they do not have an internship programme for international students.

There were 67 students from Anna Medical College who wrote the FMGE 2022, only seven cleared it. Only one Indian student from the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide wrote the exam and cleared it.

China tops the list with 31 colleges with dozens of affiliated hospitals. The colleges have either listed the hospitals by name or given the number of ties they have. Out of these 31, seven had more than 200 students each writing the FMGE 2022, as the table below shows.

MBBS Abroad: FMGE success rate of Indian students from Chinese medical colleges with affiliated hospitals

InstituteAppeared for FMGE 2022Pass FMGE 2022
Weifang Medical University39644
Dali University School Of Medicine38457
Soochow University Medical College37642
Shandong First Medical University21627
Jinzhou Medical University29636
Kunming Medical University22327
Xiamen University School Of Medicine21338

A total of 2,104 Indian students appeared for FMGE 2022 and 271 students cleared it.

Third-party websites have claimed that Jinzhou Medical University and Kunming Medical University offer internships. However, their official websites don’t support this claim.

Medical College Hospitals: Owned and affiliated

CareersToday found three colleges that had both their own hospitals as well as affiliations.

Davao Medical School Foundation College of Medicine, in the Philippines had 2,540 Indian students appearing for FMGE 2022; of them, 750 cleared the exam. Ukraine had two medical colleges on this list. 694 Indian graduates of Bukovinian State Medical University wrote the exam with 221 clearing; Bogomolets National Medical University had 174 Indian graduates appearing and 65 clearing the FMGE 2022.

Colleges with own hospitals

Of the 470 medical colleges whose Indian graduates wrote the FMGE 2022, CareersToday could find just 50 that appeared to have their own hospitals; 32 of them had provided their names on their official websites. Nepal (10) and Bangladesh (four) have the highest number of institutes with their own hospitals with a name.

Of the 915 Indian graduates of Nepalese medical schools who wrote FMGE 2022, 209 students cleared; The number of Indian students who studied in Bangladesh was 331 with 124 passing the exam.

The remaining 18 colleges have said they have their own hospitals but have not named them. Bangladesh, with nine, has the most of these colleges. 602 Indians from these colleges appeared for FMGE 2022 and 278 cleared it.