Most people who wish to apply for medical school in the US, get deterred by the high level of cut-off demanded by them. At the same time, the United States is facing a severe shortage of doctors. This is the primary reason why International Medical school graduates have been making up around 30% of internal medicine residencies and around 15% of residencies dealing with family medicine. Moreover, specialty practice areas are also witnessing a steady growth in placement for International Medical school graduates. And a significant amount of these graduates are supplied by the Caribbean medical schools.
Why go for Caribbean Medical Schools?
The best medical schools in the Caribbean provide students with medical training and experience that is on par with the quality of the same available in the medical schools in the States. But there are two distinct advantages of Caribbean Medical schools. They are:
- Because there is no particular admission cycle in the Caribbean medical schools, the wait time is shorter for students which in turn shortens their time to medical practice.
- Caribbean Medical school cost is much lower than those of the States, making it a lucrative prospect for students to study medicine.
What to look for while applying to a Caribbean Medical school?
- Accreditation: This is the first thing you should check while checking out a medical school. Keep in mind that if your degree is not from an accredited medical school, you won’t be able to practice in the US. Before applying to any school, make sure they are accredited by either ACCM (the Accreditation of Colleges of Medicines) or CAAM-HP (the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Health Professions). The authorities post the list of the schools accredited on their website. So check that list before applying anywhere.
- Curriculum: The academic quality at different Caribbean medical schools varies heavily. So before applying, make sure to go through the curriculum of the school and figure out if it has everything that you would need.
- Learning environment: The environment provided by the school plays a major factor in the learning process of the student. While some schools take up to 750 students annually, some schools maintain a fixed teacher-to-student ratio. It is better to apply somewhere that has a fixed teacher-student ratio as it guarantees personalized help from the teachers if and when necessary.
- USMLE pass rates and average scores: Always keep in mind that the USMLE step exams are the only gateways to practicing medicine in the US. So always make sure to find out the residency match rate and the average score of the school in USMLE. If you have to dig around for these numbers, chances are you are better off not applying to that school. As good institutions make it a point to highlight their stellar USMLE records to prospective students.