The Caribbean is well known for its beautiful beaches and vacation resorts. Sandy beaches aren’t the only way that the Caribbean is getting international attention. One Caribbean medical university after another find themselves in the headlines as these medical schools increase in number and popularity. They often attract a different kind of student that, with the right training, can become high-quality physicians with a unique educational background.
Gaining International and Cultural Experience
Many students that attend medical school in the Caribbean are overcoming a challenge they’ve faced in gaining admission in their country of origin. Indiscretions in their early education or difficulties in one academic area can leave a blemish on an otherwise flawless record.
While other students are looking for a different kind of education; one that challenges them not only academically but culturally. They are looking to immerse themselves in a different culture and way of thinking. Attitudes like this may not be encouraged in traditional medical schools but it leads to physicians that are comfortable with diversity and thinking outside the box.
Students that attend Caribbean schools come from all over the world. Immersed in learning and living amongst different cultures, builds knowledge that can’t be found in a homogenous student population.
Learning to See
Students have a different kind of learning experience in many Caribbean schools. They receive top of the line instruction but many times the facilities in which they learn are not technologically advanced. Clinic hours are often spent treating locals in buildings not designed for medical procedures. Training includes learning to diagnose without the aid of technology by learning to truly ‘see’ the patient.
Talking and listening become the most important tools these physicians develop. This training can then be built upon during residencies in the United States. Students have a firm foundation on which to add the technological training they need.
Interests and Specialties
Some Caribbean medical schools have agreements with hospitals and residency programs in the United States that help with further training. This allows the best students to move onto to the training needed to get accredited.
Highly competitive specialties can be hard for internationally trained students get admission. However, for most specialties, students can find a match to a residency program. The quality of the residency program is often weighted more heavily than the medical school attended when trying to get board certification. This gives students a good chance of practicing in the United States or other international locations with the same success as students from other medical schools.
Caribbean medical universities offer cultural diversity as well as a unique educational environment. With hard work and persistence, students can achieve their goals and become high-quality physicians.