Attending Caribbean medical schools can be a dream come true for many students. In addition to being admitted to medical school and studying to pursue the career path you desire, you also get the added benefit of enjoying an exciting, vibrant culture in a beautiful area of the world for a few years. While attending a Caribbean medical university is desirable for many aspiring medical students, you do not want to make a hasty decision about which school you will attend or which location you will live in. By exploring these three factors carefully, you can be a more educated applicant.
1) The Accreditation of the School
Just as the accreditation for a medical school in the United States matters, the same holds true for Caribbean medical schools. While most Caribbean medical schools are accredited, the accreditation varies. There are numerous accreditation that different schools have, so you need to educate yourself about these different accreditation and search for a school with the best combination possible. Keep in mind that only five Caribbean medical schools currently have the proper educational accreditation required by the United States for its graduates to practice medicine on the mainland. The Department of Education in the U.S. lists these schools as St. George’s University, Ross University, American University of the Caribbean, American University of Antigua and Saba University School of Medicine.
2) Medical School Requirements for Admission
Some people think that Caribbean medical schools have more lenient entrance requirements in comparison to medical schools in the United States, but this is not necessarily true. A typical Caribbean medical university, for example, may require you to take the MCAT and earn a minimum score before you can be considered for admission into the program. It may also require you to have a four-year degree with a strong concentration of courses in math and science. Your GPA, job experience and volunteer experience may also be heavily reviewed.
3) Where the School is Located
A final and important factor to review before you decide if and where you should attend medical school in the Caribbean is the location. Each island provides a different living experience. Some, for example, have a dominant Spanish or French influence, and others are British colonies or U.S. territories. Their language, currency, cost of living and more also varies. In addition, even the cost to travel to and from the mainland can vary from island to island.
While attending medical school in the Caribbean holds many promising opportunities, it is not a decision to rush into. By carefully exploring each school as well as each location, you can more easily make the right decision for your educational needs.