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Studying Medicine in the Land of Roses. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Bulgaria, the land of roses, gives you this opportunity! The Medical University Sofia is situated in the capital of Bulgaria, close to the city centre, presenting students the option of being close to the cultural hub of Sofia. The campus is huge, with a few hospitals and university buildings on it. The dentistry building is close too. The campus can be entered from various entrances, each of them close to different forms of public transport. Be it Bus, Tram or Metro, everything will take you there.
Despite being in Bulgaria, the language of study is English. The medical degree is 6 years long, the first two being the preclinical years, the third year a bridge to the clinical years and the next 3 years are the clinical years. Applying to this university can be a bit tricky and confusing due to the language-barrier (Bulgarian is the official language here). But there are various organizations available that will take the application process off your hands, along with the translation of documents and provision of accommodation.
Year 1: In the first year the students are eased into the process of studying anatomy. I personally loved the step-wise slow exposure to the different levels of studying anatomy. We started with being taught basic terminology. Once we had that in, we were exposed to bones and then moved on to study muscles and nerves in the anatomy lab. Cytology taught us the proper usage of a microscope to study cells. We had Biology too, which included Parasitology. That subject left its mark! Other than that we studied Chemistry, Physics and Latin. Since we would need to know Bulgarian to live in Bulgaria, Bulgarian was a subject too.
Year 2: Anatomy and Bulgarian were continued in second year. Cytology turned into Histology, with more focus on tissues and organs. All seminars had a heavy focus on practical parts, with biochemistry regularly asking students to create presentations to explain the topics and biophysics and physiology conducting all experiments in their labs.
Year 3: 3rd year introduces students to the clinics for the first time, through the subject Internal medicine. Students learn the basics of the physical exam and the importance of history taking. Pharmacology is a heavy focus, along with Pathophysiology. The studies from now on are more clinics-based and more revolving around the human body. Microbiology and pathology are introduced too.
After 3rd year, the learning system changes. Exams are not conducted just at the semester-ends anymore and subjects are not studied throughout the whole semester. From 4th year on students go through a cycle-system; one speciality is studied for 30 days and then followed by an exam.
Year 4 & 5: Students find themselves in the clinics, accompanying doctors and visiting patients. They can read through reports, witness medical procedures and learn to develop treatment plans. Various specialities are covered in this way.
Year 6: The final year follows the cycle-system too, for a short time though. After that state exams are conducted. Once the state exams are done, It’s time for GRADUATION !
-by Navneet, studying medicine in Europe at MUS