Frequently Asked Questions

About ISMS

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.

The Campus is located in Panama City, Panama, in a building in Panama Pacifico neighborhood.

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 in the Caribbean and the Pacific oceans 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.

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.

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

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 page.

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


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

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 wll be  listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) ( FAIMER), necessary requirement to be accepted for

USMLE step 1.

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.

The program requires 4 years of medical school.

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


Core Clerkships (3 year - 40 credits)

  • Internal Medicine  (8 weeks)
  • General Surgery   (6 weeks)
  • Pediatrics             (8 weeks)
  • Obtetrics-Gyn       (6 weeks)
  • Family Practice and Primary care (4 weeks)
  • Neurological Sciences (4weeks)
  • Psychiatry            (6 weeks)

Required Clerkships ( Year 3 or 4 - 10 credits)

  • Anesthesia (2 weeks)
  • Radiology (2 weeks)

4 Year Requirements (40 credits )

  • Medicine   II       (4 weeks)
  • Surgery    II       (6 weeks)
  • Pediatrics  II      (4 weeks)
  • Obtetrics-Gyn II (6 weeks)
  • Family Practice and Primary care (6 weeks)
  • Electives preceptorship  (12 weeks)


Highly recommended electives include:          
·         Emergency Medicine
·         Family Medicine
·         Pathology Cardiology
·         Intensive Care Medicine
·         Anesthesiology
·         Urology
·         ENT
·         Dermatology 
·         Radiology
·         Vascular Surgery
          Plastic Surgery
The remaining of electives are selected at each student's discretion based on interest and availability.

All Basic Sciences 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.


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.

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.

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.

The Basic Sciences program is comprised of 3 trimesters a year for 2 years.  Basic Sciences Program

CSA Clinical Skills Assessment, formerly administered by ECFMG

The clinical skills requirement. Step 2 CS of the USMLE is the exam currently administered that satisfies this requirement. Specific time limits for passing Step 2 CS for ECFMG Certification may apply.

For detailed information, including information on time limits for completing the examinations for ECFMG Certification and using a passing performance on former exams to satisfy these requirements, see Examination Requirements.

In order to practice medicine in the United States, students must take and pass the step 2 CS  examination. It is therefore strongly recommended that all students wishing to practice medicine in the United States take this exam during the final year of clinical rotations. However, in order to receive their M.D. degree, ISMS University does not require students to take the CSA.


Important Note: Prior to June 14, 2004, passing performances on an English language proficiency test and the ECFMG Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) were requirements for ECFMG Certification. Passing performances on these exams were subject to expiration for the purpose of entering U.S. programs of graduate medical education; Standard ECFMG Certificates based on these exams may list “valid through” dates, the dates through which the passing performances are valid for this purpose. Effective June 14, 2004, some of these examinations are no longer subject to expiration, regardless of whether a “valid through” date is listed on the Standard ECFMG Certificate. See Validity of Examinations for Entry into Graduate Medical Education.

Applicants may use the Standard ECFMG Certificate to enter an accredited program of graduate medical education in the United States.


Important Note: Passing performance on an English language proficiency test (such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language™ [TOEFL®]) is no longer a requirement for ECFMG Certification.


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.) Our staff is always available to assist you.

Students are required to pass the USMLE Step I after the Basic Sciences courses, before progressing to the Clinical program.

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.

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.

For more information visit the USMLE website.


1.      For several years, U.S. medical schools have been moving away from solely didactic learning to a curriculum in which hospital clinical experience is incorporated into basic science studies.

2.      A medical program must be at least 32 months in duration in order for international medical school graduates to be eligible for licensure in the various states.

3.      Incorporating Problem-Base Evidence Medicine in the curriculum

4.      Students who attend schools that provide a medical education through distance learning are not eligible for licensure in the U.S.


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.

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

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

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.

Student Life

Panama has excellent housing facilities for single or married students.

Students must complete the entire Basic Sciences program in Panama,  minimum  two years. However, if the student wishes, it is possible to return home during break periods.