An Offshore Caribbean Medical School is one that caters “primarily to foreign (North American) students, wishing to practice medicine in the US and Canada” compared to regional medical schools that focus on their home nation. Most off-shore medical schools are primary located in the Caribbean.
1. Limited acceptance in US or Canadian Medical schools
♦️ Less than half of those that apply to US medical schools actually get accepted. According to AAMC, 849,678 pre-med students applied to enter medical school in the 2018 application cycle and only 40% of Applicants were admitted into US medical schools, leaving 60% of premed students trying to get into Non-US Medical schools or simply giving up on there dream. In Canada, almost 14,000 people applied to a Canadian medical schools in 2015. Only 2,611 (18.7%) were accepted! (CBC News).
♦️ I must add that although the competition is not as fierce with getting accepted to a Caribbean School, there are a handful of high quality schools that require MCAT scores and a decent GPA. Although most schools provide students the support needed to successfully navigate through medical school and get accepted into residency, there is however a tremendous level of hard work, commitment & dedication required from students.
2. Holistic Admissions Process:
♦️ Most Caribbean Medical Schools take a more holistic view in the admissions process. Failure to meet a certain cut off for MCAT or GPA score would not necessarily disqualify you as an applicant to a Caribbean medical school. Your personal statement, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities are also considered in the application process. There are some Caribbean medical schools that have an MCAT requirement for admission while others don’t. I encourage to do your research to determine each schools eligibility requirement.
3. Rolling Admissions
♦️ Majority of Caribbean Medical schools have 2-3 admission dates as opposed to the traditional September start date. This allows students up to three (3)opportunities of applying in any given year. Essentially, If you miss an application deadline, you don’t have to wait a whole year to re-apply.
4. Clinical Rotations In the US/Canada
♦️ Some Caribbean medical schools offer students the opportunity to complete core and elective rotations in clinics and hospitals across the United States (fewer number in Canada). It is highly recommended that you do your due diligence in making sure the school you are interested in attending has hospital affiliations in the US and actively participates in connecting students to reputable hospitals/clinic where they can complete their clinical rotations. This is very important when applying into residency in the United States.
5. Opportunity to Study Abroad
♦️ Studying in the Caribbean provides you with a diverse, culturally enriching learning experience & an environment that allows you to focus solely on studying medicine.
To Your Success,
~Dr. Ola Kolawole