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I am an overseas Pakistani (with PAK nationality) student with perfect grades in IGCSE, A Levels and SAT-II exams. I will be applying to private and public medical colleges in Pakistan for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. Assuming I can pay the fees for overseas candidates in both schools, I am confused as to whether I should choose Shifa International or Dow Medical. I've listed the pros and cons I have considered below.

I'm looking for a university that has good name value and reputation internationally so that it is easier to get into GOOD residencies or research programs abroad, has USMLE/PLAB preparation, facility for students to get involved in research (that's important to me). I'll also be living in a hostel. And yes, I know Aga Khan meets all those requirements but I'm posting this to decide what to do in case AKU denies me admission.

I would love anyone's input, especially current students of both schools, on whether I'm wrong about anything I know about the universities or if they'd like to add to my list.

For DOW (LOCAL, not DOW INTERNATIONAL) the pros(+) and cons(-) are:
+ Excellent name value, good reputation
+ Big hospital with lots of exposure
+ Located in Karachi, where my family is and where I'm originally from
+ Large batch size, which may be an advantage in terms of number of people available for help or finding new friends
+Not sure after this PMDC/PMC thing, but probably DOW's fees will be less than Shifa's

- I don't know if there is facility for students to participate in undergraduate research (WOULD LOVE INPUT AND INFO ON THAT)
- Hospital isn't in good condition like Shifa, many say they don't follow proper medical protocols at all which I think is important at med school level especially if you want to get into GOOD, TOP residencies in the US/UK (which I'm planning)
- Large batch size may mean you are unable to interact well with faculty
- I've talked to some people there and they say there are practices like ragging
- Many say the lectures are pointless and don't really help at all. I know academics are ultimately down to me, but I don't want a university where sitting in class is a total waste of time either.
- Heard about poor management practices and that the stress on GOOD ATTENDANCE is overwhelming for students
- Campus is not well developed and clean

For SHIFA INTERNATIONAL (ISLAMABAD), the pros(+) and cons(-) are:
+Their name value is getting better, talked to one alumnus and he said they have a good alumni network in the USA, although not as good as DOW's
+JCIA accredited, well developed hospital
+I've heard people say it's second only to AKU and they have a better modular system than DOW or other medical colleges
+Small batch size, better interaction with faculty and I think that may lead to better research prospects
+I've heard they prepare students well for USMLE/PLAB
+Cleaner campus, better location
+Probably a better hostel than DOW's

-It's new, young and doesn't have as much fame as DOW
-I've heard there are only very limited extracurricular opportunities
-Small campus site, like literally the college looks like a small school building but, does that even matter?
-I've heard you have to make links and push hard to get yourself into research (but then again, not sure about undergrad research at DOW either)

SO, what is your input people?
 

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Hi Hamza, I am currently a 3rd yr at Shifa. DM me for my contact number. You may call me. I'll be glad to help out. Your questions are very detailed and would take me alot of time to type out and i would prefer talking over phone 馃槄
 
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