Top 5 Medical Schools in the Caribbean

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It is now more difficult than ever to get into an Caribbean medical school. AAMC data shows that only 36% of applicants who applied for medical school in Fall 2021 were accepted. This means that around 64 percent of applicants to medical school in the most recent cycle didn’t receive admission.

Admissions committees are turning down students with high GPAs and MCAT scores because of the increasing number of applicants. The competition rate in best medical schools in the caribbean is very high.

This might make it difficult for you to become a doctor if you have poor academic records. You are probably researching all options that can help you get into medical school with a low GPA . Perhaps you are wondering if Caribbean medical schools are worth your consideration.

Who should apply to Caribbean medical schools?

Because of their lower admissions standards, top medical schools in the Caribbean have historically offered an alternative route for students with lower stats that might otherwise have given up on their dream of becoming doctors.

International medical graduates (IMGs) play an important role in the healthcare system of America & accounting for 25% of the current United States physician workforce.

18% of these IMGs are graduates from Caribbean medical schools. This means that approximately 4.5 percent of all licenced doctors in the United States today received their MD from the Caribbean.

A word of caution, however: Although many of the top Caribbean medical schools have gone on to be successful in their American careers, it is sometimes more difficult than for their U.S.-educated counterparts.

To be successful, Caribbean medical students need to have a high GPA and score well on the USMLE exams (especially Step 1), secure prestigious rotations during the M3 and M4, and receive strong letters from their clinical supervisors.

Aside from this, Best Caribbean medical school graduates are the most likely to be accepted into a United States residency program. In general, matchmaking into residency programmes in highly competitive fields such as anesthesiology and plastic surgery is not common for Caribbean medical school graduates. Most IMGs go on to become primary care physicians.

This is illustrated by the 2021 Main Residency Match, in which around 73 percent of IMGs who were successful in obtaining a residency ended up in one of three primary care specialties: pediatrics, family medicine, or internal medicine.

Overall, IMGs have a lower chance of being accepted into any residency than those who apply to American medical schools. They are likely to be accepted at a rate of around 55-60%, compared to nearly 92 percent for Americans.

We strongly recommend taking the MCAT again or enrolling in a post-bacc programme to improve your career prospects. Before you abandon all hopes of getting into an MD/DO programme in the U.S.

Top Caribbean medical schools are an option for those who have exhausted all other options but still want to be a doctor.

Which are the top 5 medical schools in the Caribbean ?

There are no official rankings of Best Caribbean medical schools. However, the following four schools, collectively called “The Big 4,” are widely regarded as the best because they have high USMLE pass rates, match rates, federal loan eligibility, and graduates can apply for licensure across all 50 states.

Below are statistics about each of the Big 4 Caribbean medical schools. You might notice in the data that we have listed residency attainment rates instead of match rates.

This is because most Caribbean medical schools don’t report the percentage of graduates who matched through NRMP Match (as it is common), but the percentage who achieved residency via any route including SOAP week or last-minute postings for unfilled jobs.

Top “Big 4” Caribbean medical schools are as follows:

1- St. George’s University

According to St. George’s University, 95% of eligible graduates obtain a residency within the first year of their graduation. The university also noted that 29% of graduating students find residency placements in areas other than the NRMP. Their match rate may be closer to 66%.

Best medical schools in the caribbean
No. 1 Caribbean Medical School

However, it is not clear how many SGU grads are eligible to enter the Match each year. While other Caribbean medical schools don’t provide this level of detail about how their graduates match up, past NRMP indicates that grads from most Big 4 schools are similar in terms of matching success (note: The NRMP no more publishes IMG match rate by country).

Acceptence rate of St. George University:
Location :Grenada
Average GPA & MCAT :3.3 & 496
St. George Acceptance Rate :Around 16%
Residency attained rate:95%
Specs. of St. George University

Note: In 2021 St. George’s University voluntarily resigned CAAM–HP as one of its two accrediting organizations, leaving the Grenada Dental and Medical Council (GMDC), as its sole accreditation. 

The GMDC applied for approval from WFME, the World Federation for Medical Education. This is required for SGU graduates to be eligible for certification through the Education Commission for Foreign Graduates.

To receive ECFMG certification from the United States, IMGs must have graduated from an approved WFME medical school by 2024.

Approval: The WFME has not approved the GMDC, so there are concerns about SGU students graduating after 2024 being able to obtain residencies in America. To understand the changing situation, speak to the school.

2- Washington University of Health & Science

2 Caribbean Medical School Wuhs
No. 2 Caribbean Medical School

Washington University of Health and Science, (Belize), is an offshore medical school and Best Medical School in the Caribbean that offers Basic Science and Clinical Sciences curricula. These are designed to prepare students to practice medicine in the USA or Canada.

Location :Belize
Average GPA & MCAT :MCAT not Required
WUHS Rate of Acceptance :100%
Residency attained rate:70%
Apply :Link
Specification of WUHS

3- American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

3 Caribbean medical School AUC
No. 3 Medical School in Caribbean
Location :St. Maarten
Average GPA & MCAT :3.97 & 496
AUC Rate of Acceptance :Rumored that it could be between 12-20%
Residency attained rate:94%
Specs. of AUC University

4- Saba University School of Medicine

4 Caribbean MEdical School Saba univ
No. 4 Caribbean Medical School
Location :Saba Island
Average GPA :Not Published
Saba Rate of Acceptance :Not Published
Residency attained rate:94%
Specs. of Saba University

5- Ross University School of Medicine

5 Caribbean Medical School Ross
No. 5 Caribbean Medical School

RUSM was founded in 1978 and has over 15,000 alumni. They are currently practicing in all 50 states of the United States, Canada, as well as abroad. Ross University School’s mission.

Location :Barbados
Average GPA :3.2 & 493
WUHS Rate of Acceptance :20%
Residency attained rate:92%
Specs. of Ross University

Annoted mentions

American University of Antigua

  • Locality: Antigua and Barbuda
  • Average GPA and MCAT not published
  • Rate of attrition not published
  • Rate of residency attainment not published

Pros and Cons of Caribbean Medical Schools:

advantages to getting admission in Caribbean medical school
Reasons to study in Caribbean medical School

It’s difficult to obtain admission to an U.S. medical school. As of 2012, just 19,517 of 45,266 students were admitted to one medical school. This means that 57% of applicants were not accepted by any medical school, having applied to more than 20 schools. This means that less competitive candidates are looking to Caribbean medical colleges to pursue their ambitions to become doctors. What are the ramifications of this decision? Do you think attending a foreign medical school really a wise alternative? Here’s a list advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration:

Pros:

  • Very Easy To get Accepted
  • Easy Clinical Rotations in United States
  • Rolling Admission base

Cons:

  • No guarantee that you will become a doctor
  • Limited options available for Residency
  • Very High Competition to get Admission

Top Caribbean Medical School FAQ’S

Average GPA and MCAT for U.S medical school matriculants is 3.6 respectively. Average GPAs and MCAT of students matriculating at Caribbean schools is much smaller. They offer second opportunities to students with low GPAs or MCAT scores that have little or no chance of success in a US Maryland or Do school.
The tuition is relatively affordable and there are the ability to accept students on a rolling basis. Apart from having low to zero MCAT scores One of the benefits of attending medical schools located in the Caribbean is that they pay less tuition costs for quality medical education in comparison to other medical schools.
These are list: 1-St. George's University 2- WUHS (Belize) 3- Ross University. Ross University 4- American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine 5-Saba University School of Medicine.
Caribbean is accredited by WUHS in 2009. Thanks to NCFMEA in addition to WFME Recognition, WUHS students enjoy many of the same benefits as students in medical schools across Canada and the United States and Canada. WUHS students are eligible in federally-funded student loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
Caribbean is accredited by WUHS in 2009. Thanks to NCFMEA in addition to WFME Recognition, WUHS students enjoy many of the same benefits as students in medical schools across Canada and the United States and Canada. WUHS students are eligible in federally-funded student loans from the U.S. Department of Education
One of the many benefits of going to school in the Caribbean are the medical schools typically offer lower tuition costs for a top standard of education, particularly in comparison to the colleges that offer medicine within the USA.
Caribbean Med schools are infamous because they take students who aren't prepared for the rigorous requirements that medical schools offer. In the end, they have high rates of attrition, low USMLE passing rates as well as poor matching rates for residency.
Going to an Caribbean school can be significantly more socially, academically physically, and logistically challenging than attending an US MD or DO school. It is recommended that you be able to work at minimum 1.5x more than an US medical school student.
Expanses to study in Caribbean Medical Schools are vary from $5900- $21000. Cheapest and Best Caribbean medical School is Washington University of Health & Science ( WUHS ) located in Belize

Conclusion:

Although there are many Caribbean medical schools, it is important to note that there are only four. They have a track record of placing American residents in residency programs and ultimately making them doctors. The best place to begin your research if you feel that you should attend medical school overseas is to search for the top medical schools in the Caribbean.

These views and opinions are the author’s and may not reflect those of