Are you considering an offshore medical school? Was your MCAT score too low? An American university medical degree is expensive, even if you meet the rigorous application requirements. Caribbean medical schools can offer another route to becoming a doctor for driven students.
Why Consider this Route
The road to becoming a doctor is long and winding. US schools require unattainable MCAT scores, rigorous GPA requirements, and overwhelming student debt, which turns many away.
If you’ve had trouble getting perfect grades or just need a break from daily life, there’s another choice. Medical schools in the Caribbean have been training and certifying doctors for decades. Here are seven reasons to consider a Caribbean school.
1.) Unique Beauty
The best thing about studying in the Caribbean is that you get to study on an island in the Caribbean! These islands are some of the most beautiful in the entire world. Together they offer a unique and diverse collection of rare ecosystems, stunning scenery, and high-adrenaline recreational opportunities.
New York has culture. Boston has history.
You can only unwind after exams in a Caribbean medical university. You can do this by scuba diving in a coral reef or enjoying the sun on beautiful white beaches. From the dusky beauty of St. John’s to the sparkling splendor of Aruba, each island has unique features worth exploring.
2.) Unrivaled Affordability
The average medical student studying in the United States will end up taking out over $200,000 in student loans. Worldwide, medical schools are increasing their prices to be on par with American schools, aiming to seem more credible. Most Caribbean medical school fees, however, are much cheaper. Caribbean schools were established to assist students who couldn’t afford to become doctors.
If you’re considering graduate programs, be sure to explore direct loans and grants to make them even more affordable.
To see AUSOMA’s prices click here.
3.) Small Class Sizes
Many mainland American universities pack themselves full to maximize profits. An American medical school might have hundreds of students for a single medical sciences course. However, Caribbean medical schools’ emphasis on accessibility often translates to much smaller class sizes.
For students that head down south for their education, the days of packed classrooms are over. A Caribbean medical school provides individual attention for students to fully grasp challenging courses. Your education is truly their top priority.
4.) Prestigious Schools & Accredited Programs
Some believe Caribbean medical school students are not as skilled as their American counterparts in the medical field. However, this assumption is not accurate. That they are the cast-off detritus that couldn’t survive the “more prestigious” American institutions.
Caribbean schools were not as good in the past. However, they have improved and are now producing excellent doctors. These doctors also receive great practical experience.
Every school is unique, and some Caribbean medical schools still have a negative reputation. Let’s look at the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
For US students, 94% pass it on their first attempt, while internationally, 72% do. For Caribbean schools, there is a wide variety of pass percentages. The highest pass rate for a Caribbean school is around 85%, but the lowest falls below 20%.
What does this mean? That a prospective student should do ample research before picking a school to guarantee their preferred residency match.
In the Caribbean, there are four top medical schools: St. George, American University School of Medicine, SABA, and Ross. The newer American University School of Medicine Aruba (AUSOMA) is also becoming part of this prestigious group.
Start your search with those five and expand outward to others. Also, keep in mind where you want your residency. Not all states have the same accreditation requirements; be sure to check your state’s local policy.
5.) Study Abroad Safely
Another reason to consider a school in the Caribbean is the chance to study abroad. Traveling is important for future doctors as it helps them gain a broader perspective and understand the significance of their work. But studying abroad can be difficult too. An offshore medical school can be far from home and often not as safe as American schools.
In the Caribbean, you’re never more than a short flight away from your loved ones.
Caribbean medical schools are close to the US and have luxurious amenities, like a first-world resort. They are safe, clean, and primarily English-speaking. While the Islands are clearly very different than the US homeland, they provide all the convenience of the US. Flights to all major US cities are frequent and cheap, making it easy to go home for holidays.
Caribbean medical schools frequently pair their residency programs and clinical rotations with American counterparts. As a result, students typically only spend a few years overseas, rather than the entire process. This means that students will only be overseas for a few years, not the entire process.
6.) Easier Admission Requirements
American medical schools’ admission requirements are infamously demanding. Only students who meet specific MCAT and GPA standards are admitted because there are limited slots available. This leads to a smaller pool of students.
Some students struggle in their first year of college or feel anxious about exams. This can prevent them from pursuing a career in medicine.
Caribbean medical schools offer a second chance to students who are serious about becoming a doctor. They have lower admission standards than American universities, giving opportunities to hardworking students.
Every US medical school has its own admission requirements. Therefore, it is crucial to check the admission process for each individual school.
Almost all are starting to follow the American curriculum requirement, including pre-med courses and a four-year degree. Some also require MCAT scores. Reach out to schools’ admission representatives, and they will be able to provide you a comprehensive list of requirements.
7.) A Great Job Waiting for You
This last one is really the reason for going to medical school, to begin with – to become a doctor. A crucial step in that journey is the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
There certainly is a stigma against Caribbean schools, and on the surface, it actually looks justified. Just over 50% of graduates from Caribbean medical schools were able to find a match through the (NRMP). American institutions have a 90% success rate, which is compared to this.
That’s only a piece of the story, however. Caribbean med schools have different passing rates for the USMLE, and the NRMP rate also varies a lot. If you want to study medicine, ask schools about their rates. Even if a school doesn’t reach 90%, there are still chances.
Hardworking Caribbean medical school graduates can easily compete for residencies in the US healthcare system. It’s also important to note that certain focuses are more competitive than other ones.
Students in specialized fields such as cardiology or dermatology should be more careful when selecting their residency spot. This will improve their chances of getting their preferred residency spot. This increases their chances of securing their preferred residency spot.
There are many schools and many islands in the Caribbean sea, but one of the most beautiful is Aruba. Located just fifteen miles off the Venezuela coastline, Aruba is the resplendent jewel of the Southern Caribbean. There are three medical universities on the island. These universities are Xavier University of Medicine, Aureus University School of Medicine, and American University School of Medicine Aruba.
Whether you’re a recent high school graduate who needs to tackle introductory science courses or a college grad who’s already completed their pre-med studies, there’s never been a better time to discover everything the top Caribbean medical school can offer! AUSOMA offers affordable education, excellent teachers, a prestigious residency program, and a beautiful campus. To kickstart your education in basic sciences, clinical sciences, and medicine, apply to AUSOMA courses today!