Is Local Language Essential for a Doctor?

It is said that when a person is in pain, physically or mentally, they mostly talk in their mother tongue or native language. The profession of a doctor involves people in such a pain. So it really surprises me when students who are aspiring to become a doctor ask this question –  

“Do I have to learn Russian?” or 
“Do I have to learn German?” or 
“Do I have to learn Ukrainian?” etc. 

 The answer to these is “Off-course YES…!!!” 

The question you should be asking is: 

“Will the classroom-teaching and Exams be in English Language in all the years?” 

 You have to be very clear about this as there can be 3 types of MBBS programs: 

  • Fully English taught: both classroom-teaching and exams will be in English Language for all the years of Study. 
  • Bi-Lingual:  2 or 3 years Classroom teaching and exams in English and remaining years in native language 
  • Native Language: both classroom-teaching and exams will be in Native Language for all the years of Study.  

Bi-lingual and Native language programs can help you do MBBS in a very low budget. 

Food for thought: 

  • If you are doing MBBS in China, even in a fully English taught program, you need to clear their language proficiency in Mandarin (Chinese) up to a level of HSK-4 within first 2 years. Else you will be expelled.  
  • In Germany, MBBS is taught only on German Language. 
  • In Russia and Ukraine, universities will teach the local language as a part of the curriculum in the first 2 years of the course. 


My Word 

For you to excel in Clinical Exposure you need to interact with patients. And that can best happen if you know their language. Your living in the country also becomes comfortable if you know the language. Moreover, you can do the internship in that country only if you know their language..!! So, you get a registration/license-to-practice only if you know the local language. Choose Fully English or Bi-lingual MBBS programs only and also focus on learning the local language. 


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