Frequently asked questions (OLD)

Can ISMS place me in a Residency Program?

ISMS will prepare Students with a unique and combined program with Kaplan to pass the necessary examinations to be accepted in specialization programs in the U.S. Students need to bear in mind that high grades are required to enter a residency program, and that personal character, as well as letters of recommendation, will be considered by the specialty staff that will interview the candidates.

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Is it possible to do clinical rotations in the U.S.?

Yes, ISMS has arranged with several hospitals in the U.S. for its Students to access multiple clinical rotations. If Students have a specific hospital choice they would like to consider, making their own arrangements, ISMS will assist them.

Can ISMS help me pass the USMLE Step 1 test?

ISMS has designed a medical program that will help you pass the USMLE. (No student will receive his medical diploma unless he has passed Steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE.)

Are ISMS programs approved by U.S. academic medical authorities?

Our medical programs are designed with the highest standards of any American Medical School and fully approved by all Government agencies in Panama. ISMS has contacted and is in the process of being accredited by different organizations in different countries, including the U.S.

ISMS, once the school is open it will be  listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED)( FAIMER), necessary requirement to be accepted for USMLE step 1.

Is there any financial aid available? If there is, does it cover tuition?

They are various U.S. government and private institutions that offer student financial aid, such as the following:

ISMS tuitions are very competitive when compared to other medical schools around the world.

ISMS does not endorse nor has any relations with the organizations listed above, but they could be very helpful to you in obtaining financial support.

What is the required GPA for admission into ISMS?

Our medical students are selected with a criteria based on a comprehensive evaluation of the commitment, understanding, abilities, grades, and will that every medical student must possess in order to excel in the field of medicine. We take an in depth look at every quality the student has to offer, and we do not specifically base our decision process to deny or accept any medical student solely on grades.

When my application is complete, how long does it take to get an answer?

The process takes a 6 week minimum or an 8 week maximum. Once the student's information is evaluated and all references checked, ISMS will notify him or her by phone and by mail. Promptness in your document's completion and delivery will secure a quicker response.

Can my ISMS studies help me obtain a license to practice medicine in the U.S.?

Yes. If you are an American citizen and have passed the complete ECFMG-USMLE examination, you will be able to obtain a license in the U.S. If you are not an American citizen and you have passed the complete ECFMG-USMLE examination, this test will give you the opportunity to obtain a medical license in the U.S. and give you the opportunity to obtain a VISA to work in the USA.

Where is the ISMS Medical Science Campus?

The Campus is located in Panama City, Panama, in a building in the centric Obarrio neighborhood.

How would you describe ISMS facilities?

The ISMS Campus is has all the amenities, security, space, tranquility any medical student may need or require.

What is Panama like?

Panama is a country located in Central America, populated by friendly people. Its climate is delightfully tropical, with beautiful landscapes that include rain forests, beaches and mountains. Panama City is a true melting pot and a very cosmopolitan and modern place. Panama has a democratic government and its main currency is the US Dollar.

Are the housing options any good?

Panama has excellent housing facilities for single or married couples.

How long is the ISMS academic program?

The program requires 4 years of medical school.

How long has ISMS been operating?

Even though ISMS was recently established, all its Faculty professors and academic staff are top professionals in their field and possess years of academic experience.

Are classes given in large or small groups?

We are committed to have small groups of students. Our goal is always to have the best attention directed to you.

Do I need a VISA or permit to enter and live in Panama?

Yes, you can enter the country with a tourist Visa but in order to start at the university you must obtain a student Visa. In order to do so, you may apply as instructed in the "Visa Requirements" section.

Is ISMS certified?

Yes, the ISMS School of Medicine is certified by all academic authorities in Panama, as well as is listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED),and comply with all the ECFMG requirements .

What languages are spoken in Panama?

Spanish is the official language, but English is fluently spoken by plenty of Panamanians, especially in the service industry.

What is your Basic Sciences program’s structure?

Our Basic Sciences program has three (16-week semesters) per year. Break periods during the summer and winter vacations will allow students to travel, work or study for exams. After completing a 2 year period with 16-week trimesters, Students pass on to take our 2 year Clinical Program.

How long does an ISMS Student have to live in Panama?

Students must complete the entire Basic Sciences program in Panama and will be in Panama for two years. However, if the Student wishes, it’s possible to return home during break periods.

Where does the University offer clinical rotations?

ISMS University is currently developing clinical rotations in the United States Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.

Does ISMS offer any study hall facilities?

Yes. ISMS offers 24-hour study hall facilities. While instruction in-class is important to the success of our Students, outmost emphasis is placed on the students own study efforts and habits. Students can also meet to study in groups or individually.

How many courses must be completed in the Basic Sciences program?

32 .

What kind of rotations does your Clinical Program offer?

Core Clerkships (3 year 40 credits )

Internal Medicine. 8 weeks.

General Surgery.8 weeks.

Pediatrics 6 weeks.

Obtetrics an Gynecology 6 weeks.

Family Practice and Primary care. 8 weeks.

Psychiatry. 4 weeks.

Required Clerkships ( Year 3 or 4, 10 credits )

Anesthesia. 2 weeks

Neurological Sciences. 6 weeks

Radiology. 2 weeks.

4 Year Requirements (14 credits )

Medicine 4 weeks

Surgery. 4 weeks

Electives preceptorship. 6 weeks.

Core Clerkships 3 year Required Clerkships
Year 3 or 4
Core Clerkships 4 Year
Internal Medicine 8 weeks Anesthesia 2 weeks Medicine II 8 weeks
General Surgery 6 weeks Radiology 2 weeks Surgery II 6 weeks
Pediatrics 8 weeks     Pediatrics II 8 weeks
Obstetrics an Gynecology 6 weeks     Neurological Sciences 4 weeks
Family Practice and
Primary care
4 weeks     Obgyn- Obstetrics 6 weeks
Neurological Sciences. Neurology 4 weeks     Family Practice and
Primary care
4 weeks
Psychiatry 6 weeks     Electives preceptorship 4 weeks

The remaining of electives are selected at each student's discretion based on interest and availability.

All courses are taught on a quarterly basis. Degrees are conferred in January, May and August. Calendar dates are subject to change at any time by official action of the International School of Medical Sciences.

How many rotations must be completed in Clinicals?

72 weeks of rotations.

When is the USMLE Step I taken?

Students are required to pass the USMLE STEP 1 after the Basic Sciences courses, before progressing to the Clinical Program.

When is the USMLE Step II taken?

In order to receive their M.D. degree, Students must take and pass the USMLE STEP II. This examination may be taken after the 3rd. or 4th year, when core rotations are mostly completed.

When is the step 3 Exam taken?

In order to practice medicine in the United States Students must  To be eligible for Step 3, before submitting your application, you must:

pass Step 1 and Step 2 CK, AND

obtain the MD degree.

obtain the equivalent of the MD degree from a medical school outside the US and Canada that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements and obtain ECFMG Certification.

The USMLE program recommends that, for Step 3 eligibility, applicants should have completed, or be near completion of, at least one postgraduate training year in an accredited US graduate medical education program that meets state board licensing requirements.

What medical facilities does Panama have?

Panama has a broad scope of medical facilities with excellent specialists. Most of these facilities will work closely with ISMS to train its students in clinical settings, as well as to treat any student, faculty, or staff that may become ill during their stay in Panama.

ISMS has a strategic alliance with the Centro Médico Paitilla, one of the most respected hospital and private clinic institutions in the country.