Getting accepted into Caribbean medical school is not easy. Statistically speaking, an average premed student who applies at various medical institutes around the USA has a significantly higher chance of not getting into any of these schools than receiving an acceptance letter from one of them. This is why it is so important to keep your options open during this crucial time and apply at as many places as you can.
For premed students in the US, this typically means also applying at Caribbean medical schools such as AUSOMA. These med schools are catering to a large number of med students today, and producing brilliant physicians whose potential would have otherwise gone unrealized.
But before you apply at these offshore institutes, it is important to know if there is a difference between them and your traditional US medical schools. This is what we will address in our article today.
1. Pre-admission assessment of med school applicants
A lot of aspiring doctors who have been refused by US based medical schools end up getting accepted at a Caribbean medical school.
To any average person, this might appear as Caribbean medical schools not being as competitive as their US counterparts. In fact, it is a very widely accepted – though completely untrue – idea that Caribbean med schools will take in anyone as long as they have the means to finance their education.
The reason why Caribbean med schools are so welcoming to aspiring doctors who have failed to get into a US based school is because they judge their candidates very differently. While a prospective student is judged majorly on his grades and MCAT score in a US med school, Caribbean medical institutes take a more holistic approach to his assessment.
When applying to a Caribbean institute, you can expect to not only have your academics considered, but also have your extracurriculars, hobbies, character, and personality taken into account by the admissions committee.
2. The admission cycle for medical students
At a US medical school, admissions typically open around fall. In contrast to that, most Caribbean medical schools, such as AUSOMA itself, offer rolling admissions. This means that Caribbean medical schools welcome new students twice a year, usually in August and January.
The benefit of rolling admissions is that in case one is not accepted the first time around, he does not have to wait an entire year to try again. Someone who is left out in the August cycle or unable to apply at that time can simply apply for the same in January and vice versa.
3. Interviews of prospective students
While most med schools in the US will invite you on campus for an in-person interview and campus tour before the official admission, you don’t have the same luxury with Caribbean medical schools.
Though Caribbean schools do offer virtual campus tours and meet you online, most applicants are not able to make the expensive trip to the actual university before being absolutely sure about their acceptance. Hence, as an applicant living in the US, you fail to experience the excitement and rush of emotions that being on campus in person brings with itself.
4. Areas of practicing medicine
Studying medicine in a Caribbean medical school makes you more open to practicing outside of the US once you have graduated. Once you have experienced what it is like to live on an island like Aruba, you might never want to leave it – even when you have accomplished what you initially came here for. In this way, an education at a Caribbean institute opens up your eyes to more wonderful possibilities that you may like to explore.
However, you can still go back to the US after completing your degree if you choose to do so. Unlike popular belief, studying at a Caribbean medical school does not mean that you would not be able to practice your profession in your hometown in the United States.
5. The invaluable cultural experience
Finally, it is important to talk about the huge difference in cultural experience that exists between studying medicine within the US and in a Caribbean school. In fact, the rich culture and history is a big motivator for many aspiring doctors who apply to schools such as AUSOMA.
Studying at an institute in the Caribbean is an experience in and of itself. Living on a beautiful island with the opportunity to meet interesting people and make new friends, all the while pursuing the career of your dreams – this is not easy to come by without leaving your hometown in the US.