Medical schools in Caribbean islands have been the top destination for medical aspirants who were locked out of the admission process in the mainland U.S. due to their low MCAT scores or the paucity of seats in medical schools. But, how did the Caribbean region become the preferred choice for American medical aspirants? Let’s find out the answer to this question.
Why Medical Schools in the Caribbean are So Popular in the U.S.?
The answer to this question is multifold. For one, the Caribbean islands are the only English-speaking regions in South America, and they are close to the mainland U.S. Secondly, a number of medical schools in Caribbean region offer clinical rotations in hospitals in the U.S., giving them much-needed exposure to American healthcare. Since most American students will be practicing in their country after graduation, it stands to reason that they are familiar with the medical needs of patients in their country.
For these reasons, talented and skilled students who are often locked out of American medical institutions join medical schools in Caribbean countries.
Pros of Joining Medical Schools in Caribbean
- Student-friendly Admission Process
Medical schools in Caribbean do not rely on a single metric, like your MCAT scores, to determine your future in the medical field. They consider several factors in evaluating your eligibility for admission, including your academics. If you have good academic performance, you can get into medical schools in Caribbean without even an MCAT score.
- High USMLE Pass Percentage
Some of the top medical schools in Caribbean, such as the Caribbean Medical University, Curacao, offer world-class pedigree, with over 95% of outgoing students clearing USMLE.
- Financial Assistance
The tuition fees of medical schools in Caribbean tend to be on the lower side. Combine that with the low cost of living in these countries, and you have a significantly lower student debt burden when compared to what American institutions put on you. And, many Caribbean institutions have financial assistance programs to make it easy for you to get loans.
- Clinical Rotations in the U.S.
As previously discussed, medical schools in Caribbean have one significant advantage over most other international medical schools. Many of them offer clinical rotations in the U.S. For American students, this can be an invaluable benefit.
- Rolling Admissions
Admission seasons and processes in the U.S. are rigidly defined and enforced. However, medical schools in Caribbean regions allow students to enroll anytime during the course of the academic year. Suppose you suffered any delays due to personal emergencies or decided to switch to the medical field after a few months of enrolling in another course. In that case, you can do it with medical schools in the Caribbean.
Cons of Joining Medical Schools in Caribbean
- Huge Variation in Quality
While some institutes like CMU, Curacao offer high-quality medical education, the same cannot be said of others. There are over 60 medical schools in Caribbean region, and except for the top 20, the quality of education in most others can be questionable at best.
- Accommodation Challenges
Infrastructure happens to be a challenge with most medical schools in the Caribbean. You may not find a dorm on campus because of the limited intake capacity. You will have to make your own arrangements in the local area. While doing so, make sure that you choose a college in a location with a low crime rate.
Choose a Better Education
Some of the medical schools in Caribbean islands offer world-class medical education, including clinical rotations in the U.S., ultimately making you a world-class doctor. However, it all depends on which institute you choose. So, choose wisely.
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