MBBS in Caribbean Med Schools


The United States currently needs more doctors. According to the US Medical Schools Association, the US will need closer to 1 Lac doctor by 2033. International Students looking for direct Admission to mainland US medical schools receive only rejection letters from US medical schools.

MBBS in the Caribbean started gaining popularity in 2016 when Indian students looking at the US as an option for their Medicine Program found it extremely difficult to get admission to US Medical Schools directly and started exploring alternative routes. Caribbean medical schools attract these students as an alternative route to US Med Schools at first glance but comes with many challenges

There are 31 Med Schools on Caribbean islands, which you can consider to study medicine in the Caribbean, looking at the reputation and cost of the respective Schools.

MBBS in Caribbean Vs MBBS in India

Med Schools in Caribbean follow a different education system than Indian system of Medical education. Refer to the table below to understand the critical differences between MBBS in India and MBBS in Caribbean on a critical parameter.

Parameter India Caribbean islands
Med Schools 706 31
College Type Pub & Pvt Pvt
MBBS seats 1.04 Lacs 3500+
Tuition Fee for the course Pub 1-3 Lac , Pvt 60 Lac to 1.5 Cr 1 - 3 Cr
Duration 4.5+1 Yr. 5 Yrs.
Infrastructure Good to Below Avg Very poor to Good
Degree Awarded MBBS MD
Medium of Instruction English English
Study Pattern Pre-1 Yr.
Para 1.5 Yr.
Clinical 2 Yr.
Pre 1 Yr.
Para -2 Yr.
Clinical 2 Yr.
Internship 1 Year 2 Years
Subjects in MBBS 19 Subjects 40+ Subjects

Why Study Medicine in the Caribbean?

Studying Medicine in the Caribbean to get international exposure and a pathway to enter the US healthcare is a good idea. A few benefits of studying Medicine in the Caribbean are listed below:

Multiple Intake Options to start your Medicine as Some Caribbean Medical Schools offer rolling admissions Easy entry to Med School compared to the US and Canada.

No Entrance Exam: Like many Caribbean Med Schools, don't ask for the MCAT, UCAT or BMAT Scores.

Shorter Duration of the Program for International Students in comparison to the Actual US. Program, an Indian Student can start their Medicine just after 10+2 and complete 5 Years of BS/MD program in the Caribbean cum US. and then begin their residency program in the US.

The cost of an MD is lower than that of the US. Private medical schools, which are approx. 3.5 Lacs USD, which is not affordable for many. Caribbean, you can do the same program from 1.5 Lacs USD onward. Moreover, the cost of living is also significantly lower in the Caribbean than in the US

Scholarship opportunities help students who need financial assistance to complete the program.

Challenge to Studying Medicine at Caribbean

Studying Medicine in Caribbean Schools is not a good experience for many; only some medical schools in the Caribbean are worth studying. Many students, after completing Basic Science (BS) from Caribbean Med schools, face rejection from schools in the US or Canada, and the reasons are

Lack of Quality Education: All Caribbean medical schools do not offer the Quality of education you are expecting from them; this is because of the shortage of faculties; when the student's enrolment in any Caribbean Med Univ drops, they start removing the faculties to save the cost which leads to poor Quality of education.

Accreditation: This is the biggest problem in medical schools in the Caribbean, as most medical schools' status is either provision / withdrawal / not approved. You can check this on the CAAM-HP website.

Poor Residency Match: Many Caribbean Med Schools publish their USMLE Passing ratio, not the Residency match ratio, to mislead the students. Passing USMLE is good enough to secure your clinical rotations in the US. In contrast, Residency matches ensure your Medical PG in USA, your ultimate goal to enrol in a Caribbean Med School! The Residency match ratio is 15- 20% for most Caribbean Med Schools except for top-ranked Caribbean Med Schools. Suppose you are admitted to any Caribbean Med School except the few Best Med Schools in the Caribbean. In that case, you may pass the USMLE exam with an average score and not be able to match for the residency. It means the door to practice in the US is closed. The only option for you is to stay & practice on that particular Caribbean island, where there is hardly any requirement for a doctor as they are at par with very small towns in India. You land up nowhere after spending 5 precious years of your life and Crores of hard-earned money.

Lack of Clinical exposure: All Caribbean islands are tiny in size and Population, which leads to minimal opportunity for patient interaction. Most Caribbean countries have hospitals with I.PD patient beds of 20-100, like nursing homes in India. It means hardly any exposure to clinical in the Caribbean.

Non-recognition of the Caribbean MD program in India

The biggest problem for Indians planning to study in Caribbean Med Schools is the Non-Recognition of MBBS from the Caribbean in India by NMC as it violates the NMC rule for MBBS Abroad due to studying in two campuses and duration is less than the 5-1/2 year. After completing an MD from Caribbean Med School, You cannot practice in India.

So, pick either of the top medical schools in the Caribbean (Budget of 2.5 Cr+) or consider something other than the Caribbean Med Schools. Explore alternative options in a 1 Cr budget in Europe.

Requirement to get into Caribbean Med School

The entrance requirements for Caribbean medical schools are comparatively more flexible than Medicine programs in the US. These schools typically seek similar application components as those in the US and Canada but lower minimum score prerequisites for GPA.

Standard Caribbean medical school requirements commonly include:

  1. Completing an undergraduate or Bachelor's degree in Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Biology.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. Submission of two Letters of Recommendation (LoR).
  4. Personal statement.
  5. Successful completion of a personal interview.
  6. MCAT/UKCAT/GAMSAT or other standardized test scores
  7. English language proficiency score (Minimum 7 overall, Minimum 6.5 in each section)

Only Top Ranked Med Schools in the Caribbean seek this

Top Medical Schools in the Caribbean

Though there are 31 Med Schools in the Caribbean islands, only a few are recognized for their Quality of education; you can consider the Med Schools below as the Best Caribbean Med Schools

  • American University of Antigua College of Medicine in Antigua (AUA)
  • SABA University in Saba
  • St. George’s University in Grenada (SGU)
  • Ross University, Barbados
  • American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, St Maarten (AUC)
  • American University of Antigua AUA

1. SABA University, Saba

SABA University


SABA University School of Medicine, a renowned global medical institution boasting over three decades of prominence, educates outstanding medical practitioners. Beginning with a twenty-month tenure on the tranquil and unspoiled Caribbean island of Saba, students progress to clinical training at esteemed teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada. Embrace membership in a welcoming and diverse community, receive tailored guidance within our deliberately small class environments, and avail yourself of an array of resources including mentorship, counselling, wellness programs, and academic assistance facilitated by our Student Support Services and Learning Centre

usmle

2. St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada

St. George’s University School of Medicine


Established in 1976 as an independent institution, it has contributed highly trained doctors globally for over 45 years. Pioneering international medical education, in 2023, more than 1000 SGU Graduates, the highest in the world, from a non-Mainland US Campus were matched for US residencies. Over 20,000 physicians from over 150 countries have emerged from SGU with a unique opportunity to begin medical education in Grenada or the U.K. and complete clinical rotations in 80+ affiliated hospitals across the US, Canada and the U.K.

The SGU School of Medicine, Grenada offers a 4-year Doctor of Medicine degree for Bachelor's degree holders. It provides 5, 6, and 7 year Medical Degree Pathways for 10-2 Students with insufficient grades as foundation classes. Noteworthy facts about St. George's University include being the US's largest licensed physician provider. SGU admits students on a rolling basis, with classes commencing in August, January, and April, and also offers a U.K. Pathway starting in January or September. Indian Students prefer 1 Year Program in India and subsequent years in US or UK.

3. Ross University School of Medicine

Ross University School of Medicine


The curriculum at Ross Medical School aims to equip its graduates for professional practice in both the U.S. and Canada. Students at Ross undergo a comprehensive medical education, engaging in early practical experiences within the Barbados community before proceeding to clinical rotations and residency programs in the U.S. Those seeking to acquire the practical skills and knowledge necessary to create a significant healthcare difference in the U.S., Canada, or overseas will find Ross as the ideal destination to learn the practice of medicine.

4. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine


Graduates of AUC, St Maarten emerge equipped with empathy and skills to cater to diverse communities. After completing the medical sciences curriculum in St. Maarten, students undertake clinical training in the US or the UK. AUC has facilitated the journey of over 7,500 graduates practising in various specialities across the United States, Canada and the U.K.

The AUC program spans 4 years, encompassing medical sciences in St. Maarten or the United Kingdom campus and USMLE for 2 years, followed by clinical sciences, including clinical rotations in the US and U.K., alongside USMLE 2, also spanning 2 years.

5. American University of Antigua College of Medicine

American University of Antigua College of Medicine


Graduates from AUA Antigua can get licensure in all 50 US states, Canada, and the UK. AUA boasts a curriculum emphasizing small class sizes with a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio during the initial academic period, transitioning to a 20:1 ratio for the remaining Pre-Clinical Sciences curriculum. Its educational structure is on par with the US, Canada & the UK while maintaining a nurturing and supportive atmosphere. The AUA School facilitates clinical placements in the US, Canada, the UK, and beyond. Also, it offers the option to start Basic Science studies at AUA and transfer to Warwick Medical School, USA, for the degree.

AUA Antigua follows an innovative 4.5-year M.D. program covering:

  • Pre-Clinical Sciences on the AUA campus in Antigua - 2 years.
  • Pre-Clinical Science Integrated Course intersession at the AUA campus in Antigua - 13 weeks, followed by the USMLE Step I examination.
  • Clinical Sciences comprising 84 weeks of Core and Electives clinical clerkships at affiliated teaching hospitals in the US. Additionally, eligible students can pursue elective rotations in the US, Canada & the UK.

Best Medicine Universities in USA via Caribbean

Private
St. George’s University (SGU)
Admission Open

St. George’s University (SGU)

  • Country : USA via Caribbean
  • Degree : Bachelor
  • Course : Medicine
University Type
Private
Grade
A+
Estd. Year
1976
Intake
Sep-23, Sep-24
Course Fee
₹315.93 Lacs
ECFMG
Approved
Medium
English
World Rank
1969
Duration
5 Yrs incl. internship, CAAM-HP under provision
Specialization
MBBS
Eligibility
80% & above
VIEW DETAIL
Private
International American University (IAU)
Admission Open

International American University (IAU)

  • Country : USA via Caribbean
  • Degree : Bachelor
  • Course : Medicine
University Type
Private
Grade
B
Estd. Year
2003
Intake
Sep-23, Sep-24
Course Fee
₹120.48 Lacs
ECFMG
Approved
Medium
English
World Rank
28856
Duration
5 Yrs incl. internship, CAAM-HP under provision
Specialization
MBBS
Eligibility
60% & above
VIEW DETAIL
Private
Avalon University
Admission Open

Avalon University

  • Country : USA via Caribbean
  • Degree : Bachelor
  • Course : Medicine
University Type
Private
Grade
B
Estd. Year
2003
Intake
Sep-23, Sep-24
Course Fee
NA
ECFMG
Approved
Medium
English
World Rank
9068
Duration
5 Yrs incl. internship, CAAM-HP under provision
Specialization
MBBS
Eligibility
60% & above
VIEW DETAIL
Private
Spartan Health & Science University
Admission Open

Spartan Health & Science University

  • Country : USA via Caribbean
  • Degree : Bachelor
  • Course : Medicine
University Type
Private
Grade
B
Estd. Year
1980
Intake
Sep-23, Sep-24
Course Fee
₹105.92 Lacs
ECFMG
Approved
Medium
English
World Rank
15163
Duration
5 Yrs incl. internship, CAAM-HP under provision
Specialization
MBBS
Eligibility
60% & Above
VIEW DETAIL

Cost of Studying Medicine in Caribbean Med School

Medical school education comes at a significant cost. In 2023, the average expenses for public US medical schools hit approximately $250,000, while private US medical schools surged to about $330,000. Interestingly, the tuition fees at top Caribbean medical schools can match those of US medical schools. Cost of MBBS in Caribbean in INR is approx. 1 Cr to 3 Cr for the complete course for Indian Students.

Cost of Studying Medicine in Caribbean Med School

Financing of your Tuition Fee

To finance their education, many students resort to federal student loans. Yet, only six Caribbean medical schools have approval to participate in the federal loan program.

  1. St George’s University School of Medicine (SGU Grenada)
  2. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC St Maarten)
  3. Ross University School of Medicine
  4. American University of Antigua (AUA Antigua)
  5. Medical University of the Americas
  6. St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine

However, you should contact individual Caribbean medical Schools you are considering to ensure that the medical program is eligible and that you can participate in the loan program. You must also check their accreditation on the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFME).

Accreditation of Caribbean Medicine program in the US

Accrediting agencies possess WFME Recognition Status: the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions, popularly known as CAAM-HP, the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM), and the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders. Verifying the CAAM-HP accreditation status of the medical School you plan to attend is imperative. This accreditation aspect is a significant concern in Caribbean medical schools, as several schools' statuses remain either provisional, withdrawn, or unapproved.

Residency Match in US after MBBS in Caribbean

Tightly linked to the affiliated hospitals is the residency match rate. As per the National Resident Matching Program, in 2023, 58% of international medical school graduates successfully secured PGY-1 (postgraduate year one) positions, marking the highest match rate in almost three decades.

Nonetheless, these statistics are majorly contributed by top Med Schools in the Caribbean. Some institutions exhibit lower match rates, while others boast rates on par with those in the United States. On average, 94% of US medical school graduates consistently secure residency program placements. Ross University stands slightly above this US rate, with an impressive 95%, and SGU touches 93% of its students matching into a program on their initial attempt.

Subjects in Medicine Program in Caribbean

The Pre-Medical Program is crafted to furnish students with a robust foundational background essential for navigating the demanding coursework within the BS course. Spanning three trimesters, each lasting 16 weeks, this program caters to high school graduates or college students possessing fewer than 90 credit hours, aspiring to meet the requirement for Admission into a medical school's M.D. Program.

This three-trimester program allows entry in each trimester, contingent upon academic qualifications. It encompasses undergraduate-level sciences and laboratory work, offering coursework equivalent to post-high school standards in Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, English, and Mathematics. These courses align with the overarching objectives of a pre-professional education.

PRE-MEDICAL SCIENCE COURSES
Trimester Course Name Credits
I
Foundation Biology 12
General Chemistry 10
Integrated Mathematics 8
II Organic Chemistry I 12
Human Biology 10
Physics I 10
III Organic Chemistry II 12
English Composition 8
Physics II 10

BASIC SCIENCE COURSES
Trimester Course Name Credits
I Gross Anatomy & Embryology 16
Histology 10
Ethics & Humanity 2
Introduction to Clinical Medicine I 2
II Biochemistry & Genetics 14
Physiology 10
Biostatistics & Epidemiology 4
Introduction to Clinical Medicine II 2
III Pathology 1 10
Pharmacology 1 10
Neuroscience 6
Behavioral Science 6
Introduction to Clinical Medicine III 2
IV Pathology 2 10
Pharmacology 2 10
Microbiology & Immunology 10
Introduction to Clinical Medicine IV 2
PRE-CLINICAL PROGRAM
V Comprehensive Basic Science Course 10

Clinical Rotations in Affiliated Hospitals in the US

A student's clinical training during medical School holds significant weight in securing a residency placement. For international medical schools, it's crucial to evaluate the affiliations with US hospitals, particularly in some Caribbean medical schools.

The Clinical Medicine Training Program (CMTP) spans six trimesters across two years.

Comprising 72 weeks, the CMTP involves Clinical Rotations: 48 weeks of Core & 24 weeks of Elective sessions, which include clinical lectures, case presentations, break-through seminars, and more. Additionally, it incorporates Clinical Subject Shelf Exam Prep Courses tailored for NBME and USMLE, along with ERAS Application Guides.

All 48 weeks allocated for core rotations are mandatory. Students select their elective courses, amounting to 24 weeks, from provided options or requested individual rotations, subject to approval by the Dean of Clinical Medicine.

The schedules for core rotations are determined by the Clinical Rotations Coordinator upon graduating and receiving the Certificate of the Basic Sciences, confirming the completion of all B.S. courses and passing the necessary Board exams.

To commence Clinical Rotations in US Hospitals, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete Basic Science
  2. Pass CBSE NBME
  3. Pass USMLE Step 1
  4. Start the rotation.

The Clinical Program spans six trimesters, encompassing a total of 72 weeks. While all 48 core rotations are obligatory, students can select 24 weeks' worth of elective courses.

This outline does not specify the course sequence. The Clinical Coordinator decides the scheduling of core rotations upon students' Admission into the Clinical Program. Typically, students complete their core rotations before undertaking additional requirements and elective courses.

Core Rotation ( 48 Week)
Trimester 6-9
Course Name Weeks
Internal Medicine 12
Surgery 12
Paediatrics 6
Obstetrics and Gynecology 6
Family Practice 6
Psychiatry 6

Elective Rotation ( 24 Week)
Trimester 10-11
Allergy & Immunology Neurology
Ambulatory Care Neuropathology
Anesthesiology Oncology
Cardiology Ophthalmology
Critical Care Orthopaedic Surgery
Cytology Pathology
Dermatology Plastic Surgery
Emergency Medicine Preventive Medicine
Endocrinology and Metabolism Psychiatry
Family Practice Public Care / Health Care Systems
Gastroenterology Pulmonary Disease
Geriatrics Radiology
Gerontology Rheumatology
Haematology Trauma Surgery

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