Are Carribean medical schools in your future? Here's where you can find out everything you need to know before attending one of the foreign medical schools.
I am gonna be honest and say there are a lot of opinions about electing to attend one of the offshore medical schools so think very carefully about why you are going and what you want to get out of your medical education.
Going to the Caribbean can be hit or miss and is not a sure thing. I have several friends from undergrad and grad school for whatever reason decided to attend a foreign medical school and as far as I can tell they are all doing well. But let's not think this is always the norm.
I spoke with a number of individuals who are professors, admissions committee members at allopathic medical schools and doctors and they are some items you definitely want to be aware of. The main issue is that about 1/3 of students who leave the U.S. for medical school in the caribbean do not make it past the first semester. This is in stark contrast to the fact that U.S. medical schools have a graduation rate that is well above ninety percent.
What is going on?
If you're honest with yourself going to a foreign medical school was not your first choice. You're there in many cases because you couldn't get into an American medical school. This means you have to consider are you actually prepared for the study of science. If you don't have the basic foundation in science regardless of where you attend medical school you're going to have academic issues.
So just because you're accepted doesn't mean that your less than stellar academic record will suddenly change once in medical school. In reality, things only get tougher and they move at a faster pace.
Financing has to be considered as well.
Most likely you're gonna take out loans for medical school and you can even get financial aid while attending some of the Carribean medical schools. But here's what you need to know. These schools can accept you, take your money, and then kick you out for unsatisfactory academic performance. So I urge you to be very deliberate when deciding on a Caribbean medical school.
Your clinical years are an important part of your medical training and the foreign medical schools have to contract your training with hospitals in America and the problem is that sometimes there is not enough spots available for all the students. Therefore, you could be scrambling to find a hospital for your clinical rotations. On this same line you'll be viewed as an International Medical Graduate when competing for residency positions in the United States.
Obviously, the Carribean medical schools can and do produce some great doctors. So my intent is not to scare you out of this route, I just want you know what you're getting into and make an educated decision.
I think if you are intent on being a physician with the Medical Doctor degree this is a great avenue to pursue if you cannot get into an allopathic U.S. medical school or you are hesistant about attending a medical school that awards the Doctor of Osteopathy degree.
If you're good at being independent, are comfortable living in a different country, and are sure you have what it takes to succeed academically then by all means pursue the Caribbean medical school route and become the doctor you imagine yourself to be. There are always going to be naysayers regardless of what path you choose, but the worst thing you can do is not try. Just be aware of the pros and cons and use the advice of those in the Caribbean and your advisors before making a final decision...which is yours and only yours to make.