Cambodia Medical School


I am 37. Always wanted to go to Medical School. My parents are doctors. my grandfather was a doctor. my great-grandmother was the first female doctor in Russia (1912), prior to the Soviet Union.

Heh. I was groomed to be a doctor. But the internet craze of the 1990’s made me drop out of college and make easy money programming.

To make the long story… I am in Cambodia now. Married with a baby. I see a medical school, International University 2 miles from my house. Its accredited by USA. Decided to go inside for a lark. This was in December of 2008. Had interview with director who is welcoming foreign students and tells me that in 3 week a class is opening up with 20 Hindus, 2 Pakistanis, 1 Korean and 1 Thai. Classes would be 100% in English, and 6 years to get an M.D. that is recognized in USA (after USMLE of-course).

Finished 2 semesters. Weak education but strong Anatomy and Biochemistry.

At end of the 1st year, there is a ‘National Exam’ [Biology (more like cellular-biology), Embryology, Anatomy, Organic-Chemistry). 1500 people take the exam and only the top 500 people go into year 2 medical school program. (This is happening now, 3 weeks ago).

So. Every foreign student fails miserably even though during the semester the same students were ranked on top.

Director announces that next year all English language Medical School classes are canceled and the school will no longer accept foreign students.

This is my story. Moral is, don’t take shortcuts and don’t trust foreign accredited medical schools. I am just happy this happened now and not when I was in middle of year 3 or 4.

Now I am just upset, and looking forward to returning to USA and re-starting from scratch, since I know my brain still can remember and my will is strong.

This was my introduction.


Wow! That is awful! But you seem to have such a great attitude about it. Thanks so much for sharing this story. I’ve read a lot of posts with people pondering similar schools and programs, I hope they take your input to heart.

meishern, sorry to hear about the disruption of your medical study at the IU in PP.

This school is fairly new, its admission to the first-year class is very easy. I always wonder why students from other countries come to cambodia to pursue medical study. Maybe because they cannot get into the schools in their countries. If they come to Cambodia solely for the English part of the program, then they make a big mistake. The school can’t even get qualified teachers in every subject of study in any language, let alone English. Medical education in Cambodia has improved quite a lot for the past few years but still is very weak compared to those in Phillipines or India.

If I was to do it over again, I would go to the Phillipines, but the down side of it is that you have to have a Bachelors degree in science, and the admission is pretty selective too. But at least it’ll give you a very good chance of getting to practice in the US. I personally haven’t heard any Cambodian MD (maybe with the exception of one or two) getting a residency spot in the US using their qualification from Cambodia.

The main factor is not so much about rejection from the US training hospotals, the problem is students cannot pass USMLE step 1 based on what they learn in Cambodian school. The basic sciences there are extremely weak, not to say that English is another huge barrier for them.

I’m sure if you have the will, you’ll succeed. The path to MD is very hard, especially for those who start from scratch. I think more inquiries into Phillipines medical schools might be something you can look into to see if it’s possible you’ll get accepted there. Good luck