3 Reasons to Consider Caribbean Medical Schools

Caribbean Med School

There is much debate over whether or not Caribbean medical schools are a valid option for premeds. Some premedical students may not be the most competitive applicants for U.S. medical schools. These applicants may not be as competitive for various reasons. Quantitative factors such as a low GPA or low MCAT scores are a couple of reasons why these students may not make the cut.

Some say that U.S. applicants should consider post-bac programs or retaking the MCAT before applying to medical schools outside of the U.S. Although there are valid arguments for both sides, this article focuses on 3 reasons why premeds may want to consider medical schools in the Caribbean as an alternative.

1. MCAT Scores and GPAs At Caribbean Medical Schools are Slightly Lower

The numbers speak for themselves. The table below shows the average MCAT scores and GPAs from recent years for each of the big 4. As you can see, all of the scores from the Caribbean medical schools are lower than the average scores from U.S. medical schools in the AAMC.

MCAT

GPA

American University of the Caribbean

21

3.1

Ross University

25

3.40

Saba University

?

?

St. George’s University

27

3.4

Mean U.S. Medical School Matriculants

28.3

3.68

We cannot fail to mention that we’re comparing averages, meaning that there are some U.S. medical schools may have numbers similar to those of the Caribbean schools. However, it may be fair to note that while a total MCAT score of 25 could be considered competitive at the big 4, a 25 will not even afford a secondary application at some medical schools in the U.S.

2. Some Caribbean Medical Schools are Cheaper

Recently, the cost of medical schools everywhere has gone up. However, a couple of medical schools in the Caribbean still cost much less the over half of the medical schools in the United States. The table below shows the program tuition and fees for the top 4 Caribbean medical schools compared to the median costs of U.S. public and private schools.

Program Tuition and Fees

American University of the Caribbean

$179,850

Ross University

$187,900

Saba University

$119.825

St. George’s University

$233,733

Median US Public

$187,393

Median US Private

$263,964

Of course, there’s always an exception. St. George’s University has recently increased its tuition and fees which now total at over $233,000 – more than most U.S. public medical schools. However, the cost of tuition and fees at Saba University boast the lowest, averaging less than $30,000 per year.

3. Multiple Admissions Cycles per Year

AMCAS is a centralized application processing service that is only available to allopathic medical school applicants to first-year entering classes. Most allopathic medical schools use AMCAS as the primary application method. AACOMAS is a similar application service for osteopathic medical schools.

Nearly every medical school in the United States has only one application cycle, regardless of the application service it uses. All U.S. medical schools begin the entering classes in the fall each year. However, that is not the norm for most Caribbean medical schools.

The big 4 Caribbean medical schools accept applicants year-round for multiple terms each year. For example, St. George’s University in Grenada accepts students for the Fall term in August and the Spring term in January. This allows students who may not have gotten accepted to a U.S. medical school to immediately apply to a school in the Caribbean.

These students could potentially begin medical school in January of the following year, without waiting another year to apply via AMCAS or AACOMS.

[View Information about Caribbean Medical Schools.]




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