Medical Education in Thailand has seen a long journey with various turns with intense progress. Various factors that drive the growth of the Medical Education System in Thailand are expensive public infrastructure and universal coverage, the postgraduate program is in alignment with international standards, the brain drain is at a lower level in comparison to its neighboring countries because the majority of education is in Thai, changes in the need of society, changes in the nature of students, evolution in learning and teaching processes, rapid changes in technologies supporting medical practices and education, an enormous explosion in medical knowledge and changes in the health system.
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1. Ministry of Education, Royal Colleges and Medical Council are the three bodies that controls Higher Medical Education in Thailand
Thailand has 23 Medical Colleges out of which 21 are Public Medical Colleges and 2 are Private Universities, which shows that Medical Education is fairly controlled by government colleges. Higher education at both undergraduate and graduate levels are under the responsibility of the office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC), which conducts national medical exams to ensure quality education. Medical Aspirants in Thailand are likely to study in Public Universities due to the improvements in course structure and government inclination to promote medical education in the public sector.
2. Maximum no. of Public and Private Medical Colleges are concentrated in the Central Region
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Central region in Thailand is an ideal location for the students due to the high concentration of HIEs, cultural diversity, employment opportunities and rapid developments in the healthcare sector. Around 10 Public and Private Medical Colleges are located in the Central Region which is the maximum no. of colleges at one region. Major reason behind this accumulation of colleges in the central region is the high growth which the authorities have attempted to direct by means of a series of master plans since 1960s. Some districts have evolved into functional units as the inner city has become more institutional and commercial and the outer city more residential.
3. Most of the Medical Aspirants follow the 6 years program route to complete their medical education in Thailand.
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In Thailand, the undergraduate medical curriculum consists of a 6-year training programme divided into three phases, namely year 1 for general education, years 2-3 for basic medical sciences, and years 4-6 for clinical experience. There are two main tracks for medical training: “normal” and “rural,” which differ in their admission process, location of training, and location of work. Students from all over the country can apply for normal track training through a central selection procedure. Their training is provided in traditional medical schools, and job placement is available at any community hospital in the country. Students applying for the rural track are chosen specifically from the provinces. Their training is undertaken in regional or provincial hospitals, and job рlасement is to соmmunity hospitals in the provinces or regions from which they соme. The curriculum for both tracks is very similar, with clinical training usually taking place in tertiary or quaternary care hospitals and involving limited community experience.
4. Highest no. of Physician Graduate of 2020 is from Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University.
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It is the oldest and largest medical school and oldest of any kind of university faculty in Thailand. The faculty is now part of Mahidol University. The medical school accepts about 250 students for undergraduate education and more than 100 to postgraduate studies each year. Furthermore, faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University ranked no. 126 – 150 (tied) in Times Higher Education’s World Best University 2021 in Clinical and Health.