Story of Arvin Bagherpour, M.D., Graduate MED
“Graduate MED – My commitment to find a better solution for thousands of students who are looking to offshore schools for their medical education.”
In the summer of 2005, I decided to become a Caribbean medical student. The option of an offshore medical school appealed to me. I did not want to wait another year and put myself through yet another round of medical school applications. Besides, spending two years on a warm beautiful beach, then returning home for clinical rotations seemed appealing.
Like thousands of American students who dream of a career in medicine, I packed my bags and headed for the Islands. The actual experience of medical school on the island was nothing like the ads had promised. Life on an impoverished island, with limited infrastructure and frequent shortage of electricity and air conditioning, created challenges that I was not prepared to undertake. Getting through medical school was hard enough without having to cope with the difficulties of daily living. Almost a third of my classmates dropped out after the first year — 33% is not a small number!
In addition, there were no clinical facilities for training on the island and finding clinical rotations while traveling from one city to another was very difficult. But the most challenging problem came during the fourth and final year when I realized that finding a good residency after finishing a Caribbean school was nearly an insurmountable undertaking, one that most of us as students had not given much thought to earlier. I was facing the very real prospect of not reaching my goal of becoming a qualified medical practitioner, even after paying a hefty sum in tuition and completing four years of training.
Through a fortunate turn of events, I survived this experience and eventually matched into my first choice, a radiology residency. However, it also led me to make a commitment to find a better solution for thousands of students who are looking to offshore schools for their medical education. I dedicated a lot o time and effort to developing a real alternative. This is how the Graduate Medical Education North American Pathway was created. I am proud that we can offer an accredited pathway that provides both the possibility of practicing in the USA or Canada, and the opportunity to study in the vibrant city of Kazan.
As a doctor who has gone through this process, an ideal offshore medical school should provide good living and study conditions. It should not compromise the quality of medical education and student support services. Most importantly, like its North American counterparts, it should provide access to modern clinics and hospitals for training and even develop accredited residency training if possible. It was with these thoughts in mind that we built Graduate Medical Education North American Pathway. I am so excited by the boundless possibilities for students who, up to now, have had very few options. Our program makes it possible to study medicine at a reasonable price, at a world-class university, and provides the option of a Royal College of Canada residency as well as the Match in North America. The most exciting opportunity for students is they can complete a residency in Kazan, yet be accredited to practice medicine in North America.