Medicine Schools and Programs in Spain
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Medicine Studies in SpainThe study of medicine is a noble pursuit, but gaining a degree in this competitive field can be a long and difficult process, one that in many cases can take up to seven years or more to complete depending on the specific program. To break up this process a bit, many students are now opting to pursue a portion of their degree in a foreign country such as Spain, studying and living for a semester or academic year as a member of a study abroad program of some type.
Spain, or officially, the Kingdom of Spain, is a sovereign state and a member state of the European Union. The country is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula, and its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. Other borders in Spain include those that it shares with the Bay of Biscay, France and Andorra to the north and northeast; and with Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and northwest. Spain is one of only three countries (Morocco and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and the border it shares with Portugal, measuring some 754 miles (1,214 km), is the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union.
Spain is a modern and highly developed nation with the 13th-largest economy in the world. Much of its success can be attributed to its excellent system of education, including its higher education system, made up of both public and private universities that collectively offer degrees in a countless number of academic and professional fields.
Medical Education in Spain
Medical education in Spain is offered by medical schools with affiliations to some of Spain’s most highest-performing universities. Admission into one of Spain’s medical schools is very competitive and selective. To qualify for admission, students must first earn a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree in a science-related field, such as Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry or Chemistry, just to name a few. Students must also take and earn a passing score on Spain’s national medical school entrance examination prior to being considered for admission.
Once accepted into one of Spain’s medical schools, students will typically spend four to five years studying a mixture of theoretical and practical laboratory courses. Some of the classroom-based courses include anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, medical terminology, biochemistry, medical ethics, and medical law. Practical courses may include titles such as clinical medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry and surgery.
Following the initial four to five years of study, students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree, however before they can practice medicine in Spain they must first complete an internship or residency, during which they will work in a hospital setting, treating patients while being supervised by a licensed medical practitioner. Following this internship or residency, students must take and pass a national licensing examination, a passing score on which qualifies them to seek employment in the specific branch of medicine in which they earned their degree. To maintain this license, doctors will need to participate in continuing education courses that will keep them up to date with the various new medical technologies and procedures.
Why Study Abroad in Spain
Studying in Spain as part of a study abroad program allows students to gain a fresh academic perspective while making friends and contacts with students and faculty from Spain and around the world. It also helps them become more familiar with the Spanish culture, its customs, traditions, religions, and cuisine, and gives them the opportunity to gain valuable language skills that will later benefit them in their professional careers. Spain also offers a countless number of interesting and entertaining sites and attractions—things to do and see that include:
Originally founded by the Romans, the city of Cordoba features a variety of treasures including a mosque-cathedral, the Calahorra Fort, and the Jewish Synagogue, which is now a museum. You should also check out the medieval quarter of La Juderia, a preserved section of town where most of Spain’s Jewish population once lived before they were expelled.
Running of the Bulls
The Running of the Bulls, held in Pamplona Spain each year in early July, is an annual event and an once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the most famous festivals in Spain, the Running of the Bulls has been glorified in art, music and literature, perhaps most famously by the American writer Ernest Hemingway in his novel “The Sun Also Rises.” While the “running of the bulls” is a tradition carried out in many small towns and villages throughout Spain and Portugal, the most famous of these is the one conducted in Pamplona each year from July 6-14, part of a seven-day festival known as Sanfermines, held in honor of St. Fermin. Of course, it is not recommended that you actually run with the bulls yourself, but if you happen to be in the area during the summer months it’s a spectacle and a seven-day party you won’t want to pass up.
Las Ramblas is a type of outdoor pedestrian mall located in Barcelona, Spain—the second-largest city in the country. The area features outdoor markets, trendy shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, where guests can sample some great Spanish cuisine served as “tapas”—Spanish for “little plates” or ‘small portions.” Las Ramblas is popular among locals and tourists alike and offers a full day of fun for people of all ages.