Respected students aspiring for medical studies in Georgia,
On September 15, 2022, the Embassy of India, in Yerevan published “Advisory to Indian Students Seeking Admission in Georgia”
After reviewing answers to the questions in the “ADVISORY TO INDIAN STUDENTS SEEKING ADMISSION IN GEORGIA”, published by the Embassy of India in Yerevan, we discovered several points that are inconsistent with the Law of Georgia on Medical Practice. We understand how this misinformation can be misleading for the applicants and families seeking medical education. We are working closely with the Georgian Authorities to have a corrected version of the answers communicated to the Embassy of India and a new Advisory published as soon as possible.
Before new, corrected advisory is published, it as our responsibility to provide clarification and provide correct answers to the questions addressed in the document.
In response to the various queries received from Indian students, aspiring for medical studies in Georgia, the following are the few answers provided by the Georgian authorities, for information of all concerned:
I) What is the duration of the Undergraduate Medical (MD) Program in Georgia for Indian students?
Ans: Following national legislation and related regulations on higher medical education and Medical Sector Benchmarks, which is mandatory to be fulfilled in order to get state accreditation, the duration of undergraduate MD programs in Georgia is 6 years (360 ECTS) including internship during the 6th, graduating year.
II) What is the duration of Internship/Clinical rotations in the medical course (MD)?
Ans: Up to 3rd course, the students take fundamental and basic pre-clinical subjects, acquire clinical skills in Clinical Skills Centers. Starting from the 4th year of study, MD students start clinical rotations. During 9-12th semesters (5thand 6th years of study) students have clerkships/internship in clinical settings (university hospitals, teaching hospitals, primary care settings that meet requirements stipulated by national regulations and Sector benchmarks in Medicine), the 6th year completely comprises studies in clinical environment. Clinical clerkships/internship during this period of study comprise 120 ECTS.
III) Do medical universities in Georgia provide internships in the same medical university hospitals and Indian Students (MD students) allowed to do internship in Georgia?
Ans: All medical schools in Georgia provide the same clinical settings (university hospitals, affiliated teaching hospitals, primary care settings) for all MD students for their clinical studies regardless their nationality and citizenship. Some of the Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) do have their own university clinics in Georgia, and those who do not own the clinic/hospital, usually sign the MoUs with several clinics. Such agreements shall indicate the medical field to be served, number of students to enroll on traineeship, duration of internship, etc. Indian students and other foreign nationals have the same rights as Georgians to take these clinical courses following and fulfilling the general curriculum of the program. If they wish to undergo extra clinical activities/internships at other clinics, this can be facilitated in agreement with the HEI and clinics themselves and it always helps if the students know the local language in order to communicate with the patients. All medical schools/universities MD programs provide the Georgian language course for international students within their curricula to facilitate communication with patients.
IV) Are Indian medical students allowed to touch the patients and practice during the internship/clinical rotations?
Ans: All students in Georgia, regardless of their nationality, are allowed to perform physical examination and certain medical procedures, determined by the educational curriculum, on the patients under the supervision of their instructor and after obtaining informed consent from the patient (according to the Law of Georgia on Patients’ Rights).
V) Does an Indian (MD) student get registered under any professional regulatory body or otherwise under any institution that is competent to grant a license at par to the citizens of Georgia?
Ans:. Indian MD students as well as other MD students regardless their nationality who study in accredited and authorized medical schools/universities by accredited agency NCEQE (National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement), which is internationally recognized as accredited Agency by World Federation of Medical Education (WFME, https://wfme.org/download/list-agencies-recognition-status-applying/?wpdmdl=1936&refresh=632b23a563a371663771557) are registered by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. International accreditation implies that all MD diplomas of graduates from accredited by NCEQE MD programs in Georgia are recognized worldwide (like obtaining “tickets” for continuation their medical career in any other country).
According to Georgia legislation, Graduates of MD program have the right:
a) to be employed as a junior doctor – position that may be occupied by a MD graduate from state-accredited higher medical institution who shall perform the duties of a doctor according to the instructions and under the supervision (Article 5 - Law of Georgia On Medical Practice, https://matsne.gov.ge/en/document/view/15334?publication=17)
b) to take the postgraduate residency course and after passing the Unified State Certification Exam get the right of independent medical practice (Article 17, Law of Georgia on Medical Practice),
c) to continue doctoral studies (i.e., research career in biomedical sciences leading to PHD degree, comprising 3 years), engage in pedagogical and/or scientific activities (Article 17, Law of Georgia on Medical Practice).
After passing NPDQE graduates are allowed to continue with postgraduate studies/residency at the clinics/hospitals that are accredited by the Ministry of Health to provide such residency programs (in specialized fields of medicine). The national post-diploma qualification exam for MD graduates is administered by the Medical and Pharmaceutical Regulation Agency, operating under the guidance of the Ministry of Health of Georgia.
After completion residency license for independence medical practice is granted by the Ministry of Internally Displaced persons from the occupied territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (abbr. Ministry of Health of Georgia) regardless nationality and citizenship of residency graduates.
VI) Does an Indian (MD) student allowed to get a license to practice in Georgia as a medical practitioner? If yes, what is the process?
Ans.: Based on aforementioned, Indian (MD) students after graduation of undergraduate studies can work as junior doctors, or they can pass NPDQE, take the track of residency program on specialty they choose and get the license for running independent medical practice according the following regulations:
A student of a higher medical educational institution, a medical resident, a physician job seeker, a junior doctor regardless of nationality, have rights to perform the duties of a doctor according to Law of Georgia on Medical Education (Article 14 - Law of Georgia on Medical Practice) https://matsne.gov.ge/en/document/view/15334?publication=17
“ADVISORY TO INDIAN STUDENTS SEEKING ADMISSION IN GEORGIA”
We hope this letter provides clear guidance to all students seeking medical education in Georgia.
For additional information, please refer to Law of Georgia on Medical Practice, https://matsne.gov.ge/en/document/view/15334?publication=17
or contact us at your convenience.
Professor Zurab Vadachkoria MD, PhD, DSc.
Tbilisi State Medical University