Thursday, 4 September 2014
Which Caribbean Medical Universities offer the Pre-medical Programs?
Students with high schooling or the academic background with the science related subjects may be enrolled for the Premedical programs. Due to the flexible scheduling model, the Caribbean Medical Universities will render a fast track course of study for most of the national and international students.
Most Caribbean medical Schools are easier for the students to get enrolled when compared to other US medical schools, but there are extra hoops to jump through later on. For example, most of the Caribbean medical schools are not accredited by all states in the US. In particular New York, Florida and California have particularly stringent accreditation processes - so just because you graduate from a WHO-recognized medical school in the Caribbean doesn't mean you'll be able to practice anywhere in the US. If you know where you want to practice medicine, contact that state's board of medical examiners and find about accreditation before you matriculate to a Caribbean medical school.
Students typically spend the first four to five semesters of medical school in the Caribbean completing basic science courses before taking USMLE Step I. Basic science curriculums in the Caribbean are similar to US curriculums. Some schools offer a fifth semester, either in the Caribbean or in the US, to help students prepare for the USMLE Step 1 and transition to their clinical semesters.
Living in the Caribbean can present many challenges for those who have never lived outside the United States. For many students, it will be their first time away from the United States for a prolonged period of time. Many of the luxuries found in large US cities, such as restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, and commercial gyms, are not available on the islands, and friends, family, and religious support groups are thousands of miles away. On the plus side, many students form strong relationships with classmates and also enjoy learning about the history and culture of the local West Indian population. Former students also have fond memories of celebrating yearly holidays such as Carnival, the colorful, festive, and historical event celebrated annually throughout the Caribbean.
After successfully passing the USMLE Step 1, students proceed to their clinical rotations, which usually are outside of the Caribbean. When evaluating schools, it is important to ask what percentages of students who initially enroll in each class actually take and pass the USMLE Step 1 and successfully proceed to clinical rotations.