Last Updated: 03/18/15
Caribbean Medical Schools
Caribbean medical schools can be a great option for students going into medicine. They are generally less expensive than American schools and usually much less competitive. Additionally, most Caribbean medical schools accept students to start medical school 3 different times of the year. And some don’t even require you to take the MCAT!
Negatives to Caribbean Medical Schools
Sounds good right? Don’t hop on an airplane just yet. There are a few negatives to Caribbean medical schools that are important to consider. The first is accreditation. It is extremely important to attend a medical school that is properly accredited, but since these schools are outside the US, they aren’t accredited by American authorities. In addition, there are 4 states (CA, FL, NJ, NY) that evaluate medical schools in the Caribbean on an individual basis and most schools are not accredited by all 4 states. Bottom line – research every single school you plan on applying to and find out how it is accredited. We have done some research ourselves and compiled a list of accredited Caribbean medical schools for you to research further. But don’t take our word for it, do your research before you apply – we cannot stress this enough! You do not want to attend 4 years of medical school only for your degree not to be valid in the US.
You should also know that your clinical opportunities may be limited by your choice of medical school. Some Caribbean schools send their students to US hospitals to gain clinical experience (note: as of May, 2012 this practice of paying American hospitals to have their students train there has attracted some controversy). However, the Caribbean students may not get as much experience as American MD students, especially if they are located at the same hospital. You should research where each Caribbean school sends its students for clinical rotations.
Caribbean medical students are also at a disadvantage when applying for residency programs in the US. Recent match data published by the AAMC shows that American MD students with lower USMLE scores are still more likely to get a residency spot than Caribbean MD students. You can find the data here.
Our Opinion on Caribbean Medical Schools
We’ve listed a few negatives to attending medical school in the Caribbean. However, none of this was meant to discourage you from applying. Going to the Caribbean can be a great option for many students. We would like to encourage you to do thorough research and choose a school wisely.