The U.S. medical school admissions process is notoriously fierce. For less competitive applicants who are having difficulty gaining entry to a U.S. allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO) medical school, the Caribbean may provide an alternative path to becoming a doctor. Medical schools in the Caribbean generally have higher acceptance rates than those in the United States, and their applicants have lower average GPA’s and MCAT scores.
However, students at Caribbean medical schools who wish to return to the United States for their residencies should be aware of the challenges that this option entails:
- 1) Securing a residency in the United States is more difficult for students applying from foreign medical schools, especially if you are aiming for competitive specialties such as dermatology or radiology. The majority of Caribbean medical school graduates pursue less competitive fields including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics. While doing your research on particular schools, be sure to find out where and in what specialty their students match.
2) To practice medicine in the United States, you will be required to take the same board exams as medical students attending school in the United States. To evaluate the quality of a Caribbean medical school, look into their student passage rates for USMILE step 1.
3) While dealing with a rigorous medical school schedule, you must also be able to adapt to living in a foreign environment, surrounded by a language and culture that you are probably unfamiliar with.
Many graduates from Caribbean medical schools have gone on to have successful careers in medicine. While this route poses unique challenges, it can be a solid option for less competitive applicants who can do well in school and expect to pass the boards if given another chance.
Three of the most established medical schools in the Caribbean include
- St. George’s University School for Medicine
- Ross University School of Medicine
- American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
More about Caribbean medical schools
Be sure you are attending an accredited medical school
Hear from a former Caribbean medical school instructor
Get more information about medical schools in the Caribbean