The journey to medical school is never an easy one. Americans think that students in other countries have it easy because of an absence of a pre-med program and direct admission into medicine from high school. However, such is not so.
The United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Spain, Kenya, Argentina, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, New Zealand and other nations of repute have sort of premed programs either resembling that of the United States or having premed courses embedded in medicine programs.
If embedded in programs, then that field of study will take more than four years for completion.
At times, obtaining admission in medical schools is difficult because of their strict (and sometimes exorbitant) academic requirements. Other than that, when students are able to clear the admissions tests, they are unable to pay the fees which can be quite expensive.
Other than that, medicine is a tough field of study and for students. The lack of sleep resulting from countless hours of studying, loads of sessions to attend and cramming up a lot of knowledge in the mind may not result in the outcomes everyone desires.
When financial constraints grow, people hence sacrifice some of their dreams. This happens when aspiring students of medicine do not have finances to go for Doctor of Medicine (M.D) program at medical school. Hence, they look for alternate career and education options suiting their finances.
Is the Caribbean a good alternate option for studying medicine?
For quite some time, the Caribbean has been known to be a good alternate destination especially when it comes to studying medicine. Most of the medical schools there are private but some of them are state owned and have been improving their standards continuously.
Most medical schools in the Caribbean (especially Windsor University) have been teaching the Doctor of Medicine (M.D) degree programs since quite some time. Other than that, the faculty at these medical schools are educated in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
Other than that, they also have faculty members from Latin America and South Asia. Thanks to the initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), the standards of these schools has improved by considerable margins.
Caribbean medical schools have managed to produce some of the best physicians that are still working in the field. They not only work in the Caribbean, but also in the United Kingdom, Australia, Latin America, European Union, Canada and the United States of America.
Though some schools in the Caribbean are not on the level as they should be, education in the Caribbean, especially in medicine, has been making a lot of strides. Thankfully, Caribbean medical schools are not just alternate options for Americans and Canadians, they have also managed to attract students from Colombia, Brazil, India, Nepal, Mexico, Belize, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Belize (pregnancy pillow).
Reasons for the Caribbean being a good place to study medicine
Here are some of the best and valid reason why students should study medicine in the Caribbean with relative ease:
Relaxed admissions requirements
Admissions requirements of Caribbean medical universities are often perceived to be lax because of relaxed requirements. In reality, they are not because the MCAT scores requirement for these schools is lower than that of American medical schools but somehow a bit higher than Latin American medical schools.
Yet, MCAT scores are important because that is how students enter medical school.
Holistic evaluation methods and policies
Caribbean medical schools are flexible when it comes to admissions requirements and this flexibility is due to holistic testing and evaluation methods. They believe in giving candidates the chance to prove their passion, grit, potential and determination for medicine.
Rolling Admissions schedules
If students in America are unable to make it to medical school, they then have to wait a full year before they can apply for admission again. In the Caribbean, it is a little different because they have rolling admissions policies i.e. taking in students in August and January.
As odd as these reasons can seem, they are quite valid, and they are the reasons Caribbean medical schools have made their mark on the map of medical education.