The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Caribbean Medical Schools

Going to Caribbean medical schools is usually a source of some conflict with prospective medical students. Many worry about the implications of going to school there while others just want to do whatever is necessary to go to medical school. These students usually have lower numbers (low 3s GPA and usually low 20s MCAT), but have a very strong desire to get into medical school and become doctors.

Consider This Before Deciding on Caribbean Medical Schools

The Good
Medical Schools in the Caribbean are accredited medical schools that give a MD degree and allow you to become a doctor. While this is not true of EVERY medical school in the Caribbean, it IS true of the ones we will talk about on this website, so stay with me and don't be ripped off. The schools I recommend also have a good track record for high USMLE scores (the medical licensing exam), and getting their students into residency. So becoming a doctor of SOME sort and being able to work in the United States is taken care of at one of these schools.

The Bad
Caribbean medical schools are, in some ways, seen as the "cheating" way of getting into medical school. While logical, intellegant people realize that just because you did poorly in undergraduate work doesn't mean you will be a bad doctor, there are many, many people who don't realize that. And for that reason, they look down on doctors who graduated from Caribbean medical schools. Now, while you might be saying, "so what if a few look down on me, screw them, what do I care." And you'd be right, BUT, many of those people do the hiring for practices or hospitals around the country and it can and does detrimentally affect your ability to get a job.

That said this is only a slight detriment and should probably NOT be a major deciding factor for you. What may be a major deciding factor is...

The Ugly
This is a big problem, and one that will not likely go away anytime soon. But if you go to a Caribbean medical school, you will be forced to apply for and enter the match as a foreign applicant. This has some implications to the match that don't exist for medical school students of the United States, but that isn't the problem. The real problem is that foreign medical graduates have a much, MUCH, harder time getting into certain specialties in medicine. The more competitive specialties such as Surgery, Radiology, Optho, ENT, Dermatology etc., all are very selective AGAINST foreign medical graduates. So, what does that mean for you? Well, if you have your heart set on a specific specialty in medicine, the Caribbean more likely than not will give you MORE hurtles to cross rather than less.

Remember, you likely didn't do well in undergrad and now are considering other ways to get through medical school. At this point you want to overcome hurtles you have already set up for yourself, such as a bad MCAT, GPA, or overall application but you want to do this WITHOUT creating new hurtles.

So, to sum up, if you want to go to the Caribbean for school...

Here Is My Advice
1. Make sure you have to, use this website as your guide and you will better your application in such a way that you may be one of those with significantly lower numbers than the averages and still be able to get in.
2. Only consider it if you are OK with going into a less competitive specialty if you had to. By all means you can APPLY to the completive ones, and, if your numbers are good you have a good shot. But don't go if the only thing in medicine you want to do is...neurosurgery (just an example input any competitive specially here).
3. Make sure you go to one of the schools that has a strong reputation for doing well on USMLE and having success in the match. Below is a list of the schools I've found so far.

List of Legitimate Caribbean Medical Schools
Ross University
St. George Medical School
American University of the Caribbean
SABA University School of Medicine

Click Here to return from the Caribbean Medical Schools page to the Medical School Home Page.

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