Before we begin this article on studying medicine in South Africa requirements, let’s have a brief knowledge about medicine in this country.
Medicine is a respected and renowned course and it is usually the foremost choice for most students after they had completed their high school education. However, to become a doctor, one has to input a lot of hard work, effort, consistency in preparation, and perseverance needed to cross the finish line.
This being noted, to secure a medical seat in one of the best medical universities in South Africa is really challenging, as the requirements to study medicine in this country are huge. However, it is challenging but not impossible so don’t be scared.
Are you a South African student and you are aspiring to become a doctor? Then this is also for you aside international students to learn more in detail about the requirements to study medicine in South Africa.
Before we list out the requirements needed to study medicine in South Africa, here are a few things to know before you study medicine in South Africa.
Things to Know before Studying Medicine in South Africa
1. International Students can Study Medicine in South Africa
International Students can also study in South Africa irrespective of the country of origin of that student.
This is made possible due to Educational policy in South Africa which made it open not only to its citizens but also to international students who want to study medicine in South Africa.
There are many medical schools that are found in South Africa that indicates on their official websites that they are and will be accepting international students. These universities include the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, etc.
Get to know more about South Africa, like the cheapest universities in this country.
2. English Language is the Language of Instruction in the Medical Curriculum in South Africa
South Africa is a country of many native languages but aside from these languages, the citizens of South Africa are also very proficient in understanding and speaking the English language because it is their second language. This is also a reason why many international students go to this country, especially those who are from the western countries and who want to pursue high-quality education at the cheapest price.
One university that offers English courses for international students is the University of Cape Town. For students who are not proficient in English enough, other supplementary language courses are also available in the universities of this country.
3. Difficulty Level in studying Medicine in South Africa
In terms of getting into a university or getting accepted into a medical program in South Africa, the difficulty level is relatively high because the number of students that are allowed in the 13 universities in South Africa are very limited. The administration of each university in this country has to lessen the student applications by making the entrance exams very competitive. In as much as it is that way, it will not stop in admissions.
It is also worthy to note that the average dropout rate of universities in South Africa is nearly 6% including other courses, while the average dropout rate from students studying medicine in South Africa is around 4-5%.
4. Number of Medical Schools in South Africa
As of now, the number of medical schools in South Africa are very few having only 13 universities that are accredited to study this course in the higher education department of South Africa. In as much as they are few number of medical accredited schools, they still accept international students because of the quality of education they provide.
In the nearest future, because of how good the education in the country is, there is high probability that the number of medical institutions will rise and many will get admitted based on the demand for this course.
5. The Components of the Medical Program in South Africa
Like most medical curricula used around the world, the medical curriculum in most of the universities in South Africa is very similar. The duration of the whole curriculum used in this country is 6 years of studying and extra two years of clinical internship. This is for practicing what they learned from the degree.
The six years of study compromises of theoretical studies in its first three years, which often involve activities and practices on the already present information in medicine while the second half of the duration is for the practical application of these theories that has been learnt in the early years.
Some of the activities or applications conducted in the medical schools are usually held in hospitals. This is done to prepare them for the next two years of their clinical internships in which students will be granted shifts and will be assigned tasks just like a doctor.
6. Next Step to become a Doctor in South Africa
After the conclusion of the degree in medicine and the compulsory clinical internship, the student will be awarded a designation certificate by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). After the student has received the certificate, he/she will need to complete a year of compulsory community service before the commencement of the medical profession with colleagues. After this compulsory community service, the medical student will now be recognized by the HPCSA to take their board examination for doctors.
Once there is a pass mark in this exam, the student will be considered a fully-fledged member of the health professionals’ community.
Now that you have noted the above things needed for your knowledge when studying or applying to study medicine in South Africa, let us dive into the requirements needed to be met to begin your study.
Studying Medicine in South Africa Requirements
Below are the basic requirements needed to study medicine in South Africa: