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Why study medicine at a Caribbean Medical School?

March 05, 2012
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Why study medicine at a Caribbean Medical School? Many of our applicants ask us two questions. They say” I didn’t get into a US/Canadian medical school. Will this affect my medical career?” They also say “I hear foreign medical schools are not as good as American schools. Is this so?” Now these are valid questions. Attending medical school is a significant investment of time, energy, passion and money. The decision which medical school to attend is not one that should be taken lightly. But say you are an ambitious American graduate, dreaming of becoming a doctor. What is the reality facing you when you apply to medical school? In 2010 only 8.9% of applicants to American medical schools were accepted[1]. The reality is that the majority of aspiring American doctors will study for their USMLE in a foreign medical school. And yet this shortage of medical school places in the United States does not reflect a shortage of jobs for qualified doctors. Quite the reverse. This severe competition for a medical education poses a significant social problem for the US, as the country faces a serious shortfall in the number of family physicians needed for national healthcare. The U.S. healthcare reform plan intends to provide health insurance to 32 million Americans currently without cover. This will lead to a massive increase in demand for healthcare in a system already struggling to meet the demands placed on it. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates; based on the current rate of medical graduates, that there may be a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the US in the next 15 years. While new medical schools are opening in the US to meet this shortfall, these new schools face a significant obstacle in a cap on government funding for medical hospital residencies and may struggle to obtain their students placements for clinical rotations. So in the light of this information a leading accredited Caribbean medical school like Saint James School of Medicine becomes not only a credible option, but also a smart alternative to an over-subscribed, expensive American medical school. Not only has Saint James an established and growing program of medical residencies and strong ongoing relationships with a number of hospitals in the US, it also offers affordable fees, allowing graduates to cast their net more widely in medical practice, unburdened by heavy debt. After four semesters studying Basic Sciences at one of our beautiful Caribbean schools; our MD Program medical students do their USMLE prep and clinical rotations in US hospitals. Our graduates are eligible to become doctors in the United States or Canada. And there’s no better environment to study the basic sciences than the laid back island cultures of Anguilla and Bonaire. Our students study hard then recharge on beautiful beaches. Life is simple, there are few distractions and our students’ excellent results show how successful a quality Caribbean medical education can be. -    A choice of two beautiful schools in Anguilla and Bonaire -    Some of the lowest fees in the Caribbean -    No MCAT required. -    Close knit, supportive community -    Tutoring, mentoring and one on one guidance -    Rotate alongside medical students from top US schools -    Graduates in residencies in the US and Canada -    80%-90% residency match. -    Work in the US or Canada Medical schools like Saint James offer a very real solution to the United States’ physician shortage. Today almost one in four doctors in the US is a graduate of a foreign medical school[2]. 95% of Caribbean medical graduates go into primary care, so schools like Saint James provide a valuable service to the United States in filling this crucial skill gap.

[1] Source US News. In 2010, 521,876 applications were submitted to the 121 medical schools that reported entrance data to U.S. News. On average, just 8.9 percent of applicants were admitted.
[2] Source Heath Affairs, Health Department State Report, Amy Hagopian, Matthew J. Thompson, Emily Kaltenbach and L. Gary Hart.
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