most part, all the below questions apply to the majority of the English-language programs at PUMS.
If you have additional questions, then feel free to email us at
. We hope
this will help you answer some of the questions.
Also, once you
have been accepted to the school, we invite you to join our Online
Community (we will confirm your acceptance before granting you
access to the site) and you can post other questions for all the
upperclassman to read and answer.
- How is PUMS overall preparation?
As with any school, there are some courses that are better
than others. There are some that put you to sleep while others that keep
your attention. In the first years of the 4 year program, the
core basic sciences have a strong academic program that is modeled
after the American teaching style with some exceptions. All classes
have multiple choice question exams, and final exams administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) also referred to by students as "Shelf Exams."
With a few
exceptions there are oral examinations. Many of
the professors and assistants have experience teaching abroad in
countries such as United States, Canada, Japan, England, Germany, and
Norway. Ultimately, it is the student's responsibility to motivate
him/herself to prepare for all the exams, and at times go beyond
what is presented in class.
- How are the professors?
All of the professors have an excellent background in their
field. All of them are also conducting their own research
concurrently. Their English proficiency is dependent on their
experience teaching abroad; however, most of them are fluent and
understandable. All professors have been found to be extremely
approachable with friendly attitude and willingness to help with any
problems. Show a little respect and they will do the same. They are also very open to suggestions and feedback
from students on how to improve their program and the students'
preparation as future physician. They also are willing, for anyone
who is interested, to involve you in their research or clinical
- What are the USMLE 1 and 2 results?
Tough question to answer as there are no official statistics since the university does not publish them. What we can comment is that for the people
who take them the majority pass on the first attempt. Not all students in the English language programs (including the 4yr MD) intend to practice in the U.S. and therefore have no need to take USMLE Step 1 or 2.
From the information gathered from students, the Step 1 scores range anywhere from just passing to as high as 240
, with the majority getting
around 200. Again, we do not have the official statistics so you
will have to take our word for it. We are aware that these
percentages are not impressive, but they are getting better every
year and are very much dependent on the motivation of the students in that class.
- What is the workload like?
Medical school is a paramount undertaking no matter what country
you are studying in. The standards are very high, the schedule is
demanding, and students are expected to perform comparably if not
better than their counterparts in the United States. The first month of the 1st year
is usually a little at ease, but by mid-October the pace picks ups.
By far, 2nd year of the 4 year program is the most demanding as you will eat and breath
Pathology. To contrast to this, 2nd year of the 6 year
program is the lightest and therefore we advise you to review past
material, study ahead, or get involved in some research/clinical
experience. All of this will undoubtedly help you down the road.
- What resources are available?
Students have free access to online journal and publications,
most of whose links are available on the ASG website. If you
prefer to read paper version, they and a other journals are
available at the school library. The library also posses a number of
great reference volumes among other a number books that the
departments recommend to students. There is also a smaller library which also has some popular journals along with many
other course books, BRS/NMS, and USMLE prep book which can be
borrowed. That library, located in the Pathomorphology building, doubles as a private study room for all the
English speaking students. Additionally, ASG maintains its own library of donated textbooks and review materials which students make check out for free. Contact ASG for more information if interested.
- Does the school offer a review program of
the USMLE? The school used to offer a review
course which was taught by a US company, but due to lack of interest
by the student body it was not economical. Due to the recent
interest by the students, the school is considering re-implementing
a review course. Currently, however, the school offers NMBE subject exams as final exams for each class, as well as a Comprehensive Basic Sciences Exam at the end of the 2nd year for the 4yr MD Program.
- What are the classrooms like and what are
the class sizes? The campus is continuously
being renovated with a focus on expanding the class size and adding
modern equipment. Classes are spread throughout the city with some
of the lectures being conducted in the hospital setting itself. The
school has undertaken a project to expand the campus where in 2008 a
new academic building containing lecture halls, library, and study
rooms will open near the dorms. Class size is dictated by
accommodation. Typically lectures involve the entire class
regardless of size. Seminars, labs, and clinical rotations are
comprised of smaller groups.
- How is Poznan as a whole?
The city is unique in that there are many students from around
the world seeking education in various fields and as a result there
is a large student population in Poznan. It resembles any major
modern city with wide range of educational and recreational
activities which include movie theaters, opera houses, and countless
clubs to let loose and meet people. If you are used to living in
large cities then you should have no problem acclimating. The city
represents many eras of architectural advances, showcasing its own
history and influences from neighboring countries, which also
reflect the cuisine, arts, and nightlife of Poznan.
- What is the age of students at the English
program? Within the 4 year program there are
students who have recently completed their undergraduate studies
therefore they are in their early to mid 20's. On the other hand, there are
also students who have complete graduate studies or who have been
out of school for a few years, putting these individuals in their
late 20's, 30's, and even 40's. In the 6 year program, the majority of the
students are straight out of high school, and are therefore generally in their late teens.
- How easy is it to obtain an airline ticket
to travel back and forth? There are many
agencies where tickets can be purchased. The standard is that the
earlier you buy, the better the deal you will get, which applies to
both your flight and the price. Each agency has certain amount of
tickets that they can sell, and many students run the risk of being
placed on the waiting list if they procrastinate.
- How early can one come to the school?
It is recommended that you come no more than 2 weeks
before the start of classes unless you have family to visit in the area. Otherwise, there is no need to be here earlier. You're better off staying home and
working or relaxing before you get overwhelmed with medical school
. If you are not coming with the group flight from New York, we recommended
that you arrive about the same time as your other classmates,
usually about 3 to 5 days before classes start. This way you can
acclimate yourself to the city and participate in the Orientation activities
designed by the school officials and ASG.
- How are the accommodations?
The school offers several dorms where students can reside in.
Eskulap, which is the largest and built in the 1970's, is a 13 story
building. The rooms there all have been renovated with internet
access, and are setup in a suite style, where two people live in separate
rooms and they share a bathroom. This is great for couples or long
time friends. The two other dorms, Medyk and Aspirynka, are the most
recently built dorms and are the place where many of the 4 year
program students reside, along with 6 year and 5 year dentistry students. The
rooms there are single occupancy with a private bathroom, and come
with the standard high speed internet connection and cable TV. Additionally, many students are now resided in the student dorm Wawrzynek, which historically has been housed by students of the Polish program. The accomodations are similar to Eskulap.
(Building with yellow stripe is
Aspirynka and is the newest dorm, opened in 2002, and building with blue
stripe is Medyk, opened in 2000. They are very much alike inside)
- How is the interaction between Polish and
English speaking students? The cardinal rule is
to treat others as you would want to be treated. Although, many
Polish students speak English, the interaction between Polish and
English students is low. They regard us as being spoiled since we
are able to afford more things. They also feel that there is
preferential treatment by the faculty because we pay. Overall
though, both sides get along fine and even work together to improve
the school. From a male stand point, there is a greater interaction
between English male speaking students and Polish female speaking
students. The reverse is not that prominent. Furthermore, the
kindness applies to Poles in general, as they are very open and
sympathetic to foreigners. Only drawback, is that too few speak
- Is Polish a difficult language?
During the first year, all non-Polish speaking students are
required to complete basic Polish language course. Polish belongs to
the Slavic languages and is considered by many to be a language that
is best learned outside of classroom. Many students, by second year,
become fluent out of necessity rather than from classroom
experience. Students are required to learn Polish by their third
year in order to take full advantage of clinical exercises. It is a
difficult language but not impossible.
I bring all my books with me? No, unless you have the
space in your luggage and don't mind breaking your back carrying the
heavy luggage through the airports. You have several options. First, bring them all. Second, have them shipped to Poland
once you arrive, but make sure to bring Anatomy and Histology books
with you. Third, buy them through Amazon.co.uk (British Amazon.com)
and have them shipped to your room (takes about 1-3 weeks depending
on book availability). Fourth, go to the MedicalBooks.pl bookstore (www.medicalbooks.pl) on Grunwaldska and
buy your books when you arrive. Last
option, see what you can buy from
upperclassman when you arrive. Check the message board on ASG, as well as the dorms for flyers to see what students are selling. Additionally, ASG hosts a used booksale each Fall to give new students an opportunity for one-stop shopping for used books from upper classmen.