Getting accepted into a top medical school in the U.S. and Canada can be extremely challenging, but earning a degree from any accredited and recognized medical school is highly respected. With the number of applications to medical schools skyrocketing, more and more applicants are opting to pursue a medical education at Caribbean medical schools.
The Caribbean islands are home to more than 60 medical schools with varying accreditation levels, opportunities, basic sciences curriculum, and clinical rotation opportunities during the clinical medicine program. Therefore, before committing to medical school, it is important to make a well-informed decision because acceptance does not guarantee success.
Before committing to a medical education in the Caribbean, here are five things you should understand about Caribbean medical schools:
Accreditation is important as it shows that the medical school has met the medical program’s national standard, leading to a recognized degree upon completion. The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professionals (CAAM-PH) regulates the standard of medical education offered by different medical schools. Moreover, any prestigious medical school with a notable history will also probably be recognized by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (AAMC), which is a central aspect as you seek progress in your medical career.
- Admission requirements for applying to a Caribbean medical school
The admission requirements for Caribbean medical schools are similar to the U.S. medical schools for the Doctor of Medicine program. Applicants must have pre-med coursework, including one year of general biology, organic and inorganic chemistry and English. MCAT, GPA score, and English language proficiency are the other requirements to apply to Caribbean medical schools. It is important to check the MCAT carefully and the GPA score required to ensure that you are choosing the right medical school.
- Federal student loan qualification
Medical schools are expensive, with around 73% of students graduating in debt. Top Caribbean medical schools qualify for the federal student loan which can be instrumental in managing debt as it allows you to defer payments until after graduation with lower interest rates. Though the living cost of Caribbean medical schools may be more modest compared to the big cities, the cost of tuition can often be steep, forcing students to explore options for financial aid.
- Affiliated hospitals
Clinical training in medical school can play a significant role during the residency match process. Therefore, it is important to understand that not all medical schools in the Caribbean will have affiliated hospitals in the United States. However, the big four medical schools in the Caribbean have extensive relationships with the ACGME-approved teaching hospitals in the United States and affiliated hospitals in Canada.
- USMLE pass rate
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) plays a leading role in your residency application. Caribbean medical schools understand the importance of passing the USMLE exams. Therefore, they put emphasis on preparing the students for this standardized three-step examination.
Caribbean medical schools offer a great opportunity for students to complete the Doctor of Medicine program and earn a recognized degree that enables them to establish a career as a doctor. Studying this program at an accredited medical school in the Caribbean can set you up for a rewarding career as a doctor.
If you are ready for the rigors of medical school and dedicated work, apply for a Caribbean medical school that matches your career goals today.
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