The school year at Caribbean Medical University is divided into three academic semesters each calendar year. One of the benefits of this setup is that it allows you to enroll in medical school throughout the year instead of waiting for one application cycle as is the case in the United States.
Please note the academic year begins with the spring semester. Here is a summary of the academic semesters:
At CMU your academic progress will be gauged by both subject and comprehensive review exams which are not counted towards your academic grade. Instead these exams will allow you to determine how prepared you are to take the medical board examinations.
Your Basic Science coursework will be completed in extremely modern classrooms and laboratories. Also you'll get clinical exposure starting in the first semester via the three hospitals located on Curacao. Semester I
Expect to spend a total of 80 weeks completing the Clinical Sciences Program where all 48 weeks of the core rotations are mandatory. There are an additional 32 weeks of elective rotations which you will select yourself.
Please note the above is not a complete list of all the clinical clerkships available to you and each elective clinical rotation will last approximately 4 weeks.
Clinical Clerkships take place in the following states:
At Caribbean Medical University you will be adequately prepared to take your United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). There is ample preparation for this exam beginning in your Basic Medical Sciences curriculum. You will find that taking all of your course examinations in USMLE format is a tremendous advantage along with access to review courses and simulated USMLE exams.
CMU is a caribbean medical school that does everything possible to ensure you will pass your USMLE aka The Boards. There is a USMLE Review Program that will help you make the transition from the basic sciences to the clinical curriculum.
Additionally, the course "Biological Basis of Clinical Medicine" is a fifteen-week board examination review course. You won't find many offshore medical schools offering this much USMLE test preparation.
Just like in the United States you'll take the USMLE Step 1 after your Basic Sciences coursework and will have to pass the exam in-order to move onto your clinical rotations.
As you can tell there is a lot riding on passing The Boards but don't get stressed out. It is apart of the process of becoming a doctor and CMU wants you to be very successful.
Here is what's offered to give you your best chances of passing the first time:
After your clinical courses are completed you'll most likely take USMLE Step 2 before graduation allowing you to be ECFMG certified. This certification will be the key to applying to residency programs.
Tuition and fees at Caribbean Medical School are actually extremely cheap when you compare the rates to what you'll find in the United States. During your Basic Sciences tuition will be $4,900 per semester and $6,900 per semester during your Clinical Science rotations.
Just like in undergrad your cost of living is really dependent on your specific needs and wants but while in Curacao expect to budget anywhere from $600 - $1000 US per month.
Scholarships will always be your friend in education. This is the case at Caribbean Medical University where there are a number of scholarships offered to support your medical education. This is something that you do not typically see at most international medical schools so pay attention to this list of awards available:
Medical school loans. There are a number of loans available to ensure that medical school becomes a reality for you. CMU offers the MedLoan which is credit based and those coming from the United States and Canada will have options available to them.
For U.S. residents please note Caribbean Medical University is currently in the evaluation stages with the U.S. Department of Education for the purpose of approving federal loan programs.
Remember federal loans generally have better terms and conditions so this is something you'll want to see happen.
Lastly, only borrow what you need for your medical school education. Additionally, exhaust all scholarships and grants before resorting to student loans. You'll be happy that you've done so, especially when your student loans begin to hit repayment.
Caribbean Medical University is approved by the Government of Netherlands Antilles and the Government of the Island of Curacao. Additionally, the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) has listed CMU in the directory of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
This status means you will be eligible to take the USMLE and participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), which is the service you'll commonly hear referred to as the match. Upon completion of your residency through ERAS you'll be able to apply for a license in the United States to practice medicine.
Again you'll need ECFMG Certification because you're graduating from an international medical school in-order to seek an unrestricted medical license to practice medicine.
Caribbean Medical University is currently under review by the United States Department of Education to determine if its accreditation standards are comparable to that used by the Liasion Committee on Medical Education which evaluates U.S. medical schools.
There's actually a premedical program here at CMU for those who are just graduating from high school. But let's focus on what you'll need for admission to medical school where you'll receive the M.D. degree.
You'll want to have at a minimum 90 credit hours of college level courses and it is strongly encouraged that you have a baccalaureate by the time of matriculation. The reason being that when you actually want to practice medicine in the United States many of the State Medical Boards will require you to have a college degree.
Here are the specific admission requirements:
If you've already taken the MCAT it is a very good idea to submit your MCAT score because it will help CMU determine if you're a good candidate for acceptance. The MCAT score will be used in combination with your Grade Point Average (GPA).
Personal interviews may be requested of you and this is at the discretion of the admissions committee.
Once your application is completed you'll have a response in approximately 7-10 business days so this definitely a very fast turnaround time. But here's what you'll need to submit:
If Caribbean Medical University seems like a great fit, then go ahead and apply to CMU.