News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Dec. 20, 2021: Do your education plans include attending medical school in the Caribbean? Many U.S.-based college grads do so every year, either because they didn’t get into stateside programs or were put on a long waitlist.
Caribbean medical programs also offer a solid opportunity for students, whose grades or MCAT scores were on the border, or just under levels demanded by U.S. schools. But if you intend to head to the Caribbean to earn an MD, do some additional research to make sure the institution you choose is properly accredited, has a low attrition rate, and is recognized by the hospitals or professional organizations you hope to work for back in the States.
Here are four key facts to know before packing up and moving to the Caribbean for your MD degree.
Figure Our Financing In Advance
Often, the smartest and most effective way to cover all the expenses associated with med school is to seek help from a private lender. In fact, you can get assistance from private loan sources for undergrad coursework or graduate-level medical school. The main benefit of going this route is that you can obtain the loan on your terms, take time searching for a low interest rate, all while investing in yourself for the eventual goal of becoming a medical doctor.
It’s easy enough to check accreditation in advance, but many students just don’t take the time to do so. See exactly which organizations accredit the schools you have on your short list. The important thing is do research on the accrediting agencies. Some are bogus and carry no weight with U.S.-based hospitals or medical societies. However, there are several MD programs in the Caribbean that have the stamp of approval from major oversight agencies and routinely send doctors into U.S. internship programs.
Find Out About the Attrition Rate
A school’s attrition, or drop-out, rate can tell you a lot. If it’s low, that means the majority of those who begin the program end up earning their diplomas. And, while that statistic alone won’t give you the whole picture, it’s a good start. You’ll likely want to avoid institutions that have high attrition rates. Usually, a high number means that few actually finish the course of study. It’s an unfortunate waste of time and money to enter a medical school where you’ll have more than a 50 percent chance of not taking home a diploma. That’s a lot of hard work and cash down the drain.
Know License-Exam Pass Rates and Residency Rates
Speak with representatives of your prospective programs and find out what percentage of grads pass their physician license exams in the U.S. and how many are accepted into residency programs. These two numbers paint a more comprehensive picture of the overall quality of the institution. Together with the attrition rate, you can get an accurate feel for whether a given Caribbean medical school is worth your time and money. If you have any doubts, or can’t get enough info from the institution’s office, check with a few U.S. hospitals in your area to see how they feel about the schools on your list.