Okay, so you have finally decided to study medicine and pursue a rewarding career in the medical field. You have successfully secured a stellar MCAT score, gained clinical experience and completed all your prerequisite courses, now is the time to start thinking about selecting the right medical school. There are more than 60 medical schools in Caribbean, choosing where to apply can be a dauting undertaking. Being a prospective medical student, your goal is to find the perfect fit for you.
Probably you are thinking to submit your medical school application to a long list of Caribbean medical schools. Selecting the best Caribbean medical university is one of the key steps along your premedical journey. Make sure to figure out how many medical schools to apply, where to apply, carefully research each school, and check the Caribbean medical school admission requirements prior to applying, so that you can make the right selection.
If you are currently a high school student, or even in a college and thinking about how to choose the best Caribbean medical university, here are some important considerations to keep in mind that will help you evaluate potential schools.
Let’s get started.
Your MCAT scores and GPA will ultimately help you decide which medical schools to apply to. It’s a great idea to research the accepted students’ profiles of schools you are interested in and compare your scores. Most Caribbean medical schools provide information related to GPA and other admission requirements on their website. Don’t be dishearten if your scores are below the average of a school in which you are really interested, if your other admission requirements such as personal statement, clinical experience, letters of recommendation, and secondary application are strong.
Once you are all set to apply, you need to figure out the number of medical schools to which you are going to apply. Usually premedical students apply to 13 to 15 medical schools. However, if you are worried about your grades and low GPA, don’t even try to apply to more than 20 schools will only waste you time, energy and efforts while affecting your ability to gather quality materials for your medical school application.
When it comes to creating a list of schools for your application, it is a good idea to consider the medical school rankings as it provides a broad interpretation of a school’s overall quality. Many students think that higher ranking schools provide the best education and best fit. Different education ranking publications consider different factors such as MCAT, GPA, acceptance rate, faculty resource, research activity, and residency placement to determine the quality of a medical school. Applicants can use medical schools’ ranking to determine how competitive they are for the specific school. In addition, medical school rankings matter when it comes to submit your residency application as it can increase your chances of matching into the competitive specialty of your choice.
Though all medical schools follow the same curriculum, the way in which they convey the information varies from school to school. The biggest difference among curriculum is the lecture format and organization of the curriculum. Many schools follow the organ system-based approach while some present information based on the discipline such as physiology, anatomy and microbiology. Some schools focus on giving students clinical training as early as the first week of medical school while some focus on giving students hands-on experience during clinical years.
Keep in mind that the application process and admission requirements are different from school to school. Top Caribbean medical schools required applicants to complete 8 credit hours of biology, chemistry, physics, Mathematics and English including lab experience. Applicants who have taken courses in advanced science coursework such as human anatomy, human physiology, genetics, as well as social science courses such as psychology, humanities and philosophy are preferred over other candidates. In addition, you are required to submit 2-3 letters of recommendation, official transcript, personal statement and MCAT scores.
Medical school applicants want to get into the most prestigious institution, but a school reputation is not the only factor to consider. It is important to explore school websites, speak with the current students and alumni, attend interview to learn the culture and curriculum of a school. Furthermore, factors such as early opportunities for medical training, preclinical course load, shadowing opportunities, research opportunities, and elective third-year rotations also matter when electing the best Caribbean medical school.
Now you have developed an in-depth understanding of how to choose a medical school. It’s time to start evaluating your options and narrowing your focus. Visit your favorite medical schools to get a feel for the place. Hopefully these tips will help you find the best Caribbean medical school university for you.