Are Caribbean Medical Schools Worth it?
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The Caribbean has four major medical schools that are sometimes referred to as “The Big Four”. These medical schools are accredited and have produced many fine physicians. Many of the graduates are American born and return to the states to set-up a lifetime practice. They have proven that medical schools in the Caribbean can and do produce fine doctors of medicine.
Actually there are some specific advantages to Caribbean medical schools. These medical schools are a viable option and alternative to American medical schools. They are generally lower in cost. Tuition is normally less expensive. Housing is readily available for US students. Another advantage is that admission is easier than US medical schools. The opportunity to gain acceptance into a medical school should be greater than that of an American medical school. The medical schools in the Caribbean generally use English to teach all of their classes. Language should not be a problem.
While US medical schools have one deadline for admission, the Caribbean medical schools usually offer three application periods in a year. This means you might be able to start classes at a time other than the traditional start dates of American medical schools. There are three medical schools in the Caribbean that deserve your research and investigation. Those three include: Ross School of Medicine, Sava School of Medicine, and the St. George University.
There are some disadvantages to attending a Caribbean medical school. The cost of travel will be an added expense. It is not cheap to travel these days. You will also have to adjust to a different culture. For some this may be difficult. Although most American medical students make the adjustment with time. Another disadvantage is the process of obtaining clinical rotations and residencies. The Caribbean medical schools do not have a strong program like American medical schools. There is also a limited number available. Many of the Caribbean medical schools do offer rotations back in the United States but you will have to investigate those specific situations. If you return to the States you will have to take the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) and the USMLE tests as well.
Caribbean medical schools do over an alternative for American medical students. The final judgment will always be up to the individual. Many students have attended medical school in the Caribbean and have solid careers. You will have to make those decisions for yourself.
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