Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Vita-Salute San Raffaele International MD Program in Milan, Italy. Program information was provided; opinions are personal.
The first time I went to Italy was in April 2009. Rich and I had been dating for nearly a year, and going to Italy was his suggestion.
He had been to Italy several times before, but mainly to Rome, and southern Italy. It would also be his first time in Milan, but he had proclaimed it to be the perfect “home base” for our trip, which I would later agree with. Although our time in Italy was short, due to his demanding work schedule at the time, we took fabulous day trips to places like Venice and Lake Como. We did both the overpriced, romantic gondola ride in Venice and the off-the-beaten path wandering, through small cobble-stoned pathways and tucked away restaurants, in Bellagio. It was a fabulous trip. Mostly.
Our last night in Milan, we had what we’ll call The Great Italy Fight of 2009. I won’t go into specifics, because that’s not what this post is about, but let’s just say that after two hours of loud screaming that probably appalled our neighbors in our swanky, five-star hotel, I ended up storming out of the room--in the rain, by myself, only to discover that every eatery within walking distance was closed. When I returned to the room, Rich and I had both simmered down enough to take a cab to the Navigli, where we ate late-night pizza at a club/restaurant and talked about what had happened.
I had loved how modern and clean Milan was during the trip. Everyone seemed friendly and kind and even though I knew that I was in Italy, I kept feeling like I was in an immaculate northeastern US city, with beautiful and interesting architecture, the entire time I was there. Even though I didn’t speak Italian, I can’t remember ever having an issue with language barriers either. Almost everyone spoke English. After The Great Italy Fight of 2009, I silently brooded to myself that I would come back to Milan and do her right. I would window shop and eat my Milanese brioche for breakfast and give her the kind of happy memories she deserved.
Then, I read about the Vita-Salute San Raffaele International MD Program last week. My first thought was literally,
“Crap! How did I not know about this three years ago?”
Because, yes. I am not lying when I say that I may have considered not trying to fight for a coveted spot at a US medical school if I had gotten into this program.
First of all, Milan is a great city. If I thought that you were going to get shipped off to some distant, sketchy locale with subpar professors and classes, you know that I would tell you. In fact, I took a week to respond to San Raffaele about writing this, because I wanted to research them first and make sure that I wasn’t leading you astray.
As far as academics go, though, San Raffaele is well known worldwide for its excellence. Their focus is on international medicine, and they have healthcare centers in Brazil, India, Uganda, Poland, Chile, Israel, Mozambique and Algeria. If you are worried that you don’t speak the language, don’t worry, all classes and clinicals are taught in English. The International MD Program is trying to train a new kind of doctor: “someone who possesses the necessary human, cultural and professional abilities to actively participate in healthcare and share ideas in today’s globalized world,” in their own words.
For their facilities, you will have access to buildings of both Vita-Salute San Raffaele Institute and the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. These include skills labs for practical training, a library with more than 20,000 books and several thousand scientific e-publications and resources, as well as to the clinical and research laboratories of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, http://bit.ly/scientificinstitute, the largest private research institute in Italy. The San Raffaele Scientific Institute has further expanded recently, with the inauguration of DIBIT, a scientific facility for basic, translational and clinical research. DIBIT is part of the largest biomedical science park in Italy, which includes the San Raffaele Hospital, Science Park Raf, created to support the foundation's development, and the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University.
And, if you’ve been having trouble with MCAT scores, the International MD program does not require MCAT scores. However, you must take their admissions test (information below).
More information and complete guidelines for admission are here:
San Raffaele has 64 places available for the 2011-2012 academic year. 32 are for EU citizens and 32 are for non-EU citizens (that’s us!).
The admissions test takes place next Friday, April 28, 2011 in the following locations:
New York, (USA)
Kuala Lumpur, (Malaysia)
But, the application deadline is TODAY.
So, GO! NOW! Register here:
If you do get in, I expect my invitation to Milan and let me tell you, there will be no fighting. Instead, we will go to Santa Maria delle Grazie to see The Last Supper, we will tour Castle Sforza, and we will gorge ourselves on pasta, cappuccino, and physiology discussions. OK, probably not the last one, unless we’re on a train to Venice, in which case, I’ll consent to letting you pick the topic of discussion. But, not without gelato.