The Caribbean Islands, near USA

ABOUT THE CARIBBEAN

The Caribbean islands are a group of islands on the Caribbean Sea, commonly grouped as West Indies along with few mainland countries like Suriname, Guyana and Belize. The Caribbean is regarded as one of the top tourism destinations on earth with the pristine beaches and natural beauty.

The Caribbean region has in the last 40 years has developed into a medical education hub for international students, especially from USA, Canada, India and European countries, thanks to the American Education system and curriculum strictly followed by the universities, also that have their clinical sites all over the United States. Studying Medicine at the Caribbean is a clear and easiest pathway to continue medical education and practice in USA. Most students studying in the Central American / Caribbean Medical Universities have been successful in the Residency placements and are working in over 45 countries, especially USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

EDUCATION

Key Reasons to Study Medicine in the Caribbean islands & Central America:

  • Caribbean medical schools strictly follow the US Education system and curriculum and are focused on preparing Physician workforce for countries like USA, Canada, etc.
  • Opportunity to pursue 2 Years of Clinical rotations program in teaching hospitals in USA / UK.
  • MCAT, SAT, IELTS / TOEFL Scores not required
  • Practical and Perfectly planned education curriculum and pattern that results in high success rates in licensing examinations like USMLE, MCI FMGE, PLAB, AMC etc.
  • Dedicated USMLE training / preparations during the course of study
  • Up to 5-10 times lesser cost than studying Medicine in USA or other major developed countries
  • In most Accredited Universities we suggest, students write the NBME - National Board of Medical Examiners’ examination - USA's board examinations.
    • NBME is the body that conducts the board exit examinations for Medical students in the US Universities.
    • NBME is the body that governs the USMLE examinations as well. Hence, most of these universities follow the same curriculum followed in USA / Canada and impart USMLE practice from Semester 1.
  • Shorter course durations: 4 – 5.5 Years. Premedical qualification is not mandatory in few universities for students with strong academic background
  • 100% FREE, Globally recognized post graduate training in USA / other developed countries on successful completion of USMLE or other respective licensing examinations
  • Stipend paid during Post Graduate Education (Minimum of 3,500 - 8,000 $ pm)
  • High standards of living; Safe, secure and peaceful environment.
  • Climatic conditions similar to India (temperatures ranging from 25⁰C to 35⁰C), Good for Clinical exposure.
  • Over 2.5 million / Approx 30% of people in the Caribbean are of Indian origin (Source: Wikipedia).
  • Few universities here are run and facilities governed by Indian managements; Good number of Indian students.
  • Three intakes a year: January, May and September
  • High Visa success rate and lower documentation requirements
  • The Medical Universities we suggest are all recognized and approved by global bodies like
    • MCI – Medical Council of India
    • Governments of the countries they are located in
    • ECFMG – Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, USA
    • FAIMER’s IMED – Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research’s International Medical Education Directory, USA
    • ACGME – Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education – Residency / Teaching hospitals in USA
    • MCC – Medical Council of Canada
    • WHO – World Health Organization’s Avicenna Directories, etc.,

In general terms, these universities are similar to IIT and other entrance exam Olympiad schools operating in few parts of India. Apart from imparting medical education, the universities focus completely on the licensing examination [USMLE (USA), MCCQE (Canada), PLAB (UK), AMC (Aus / NZ), etc.] and prepare the aspiring students to be successful in the same.

Hence the programs are career oriented, yet cost effective / value for money.

Program Structure:

The programs are structured such that once the students clear Step 1 of NBME / USMLE after finishing Basic Medical Sciences in Yr 2 (in some cases Yr 3) they could continue their 3rd and 4th year – Clinical studies (in few cases 4th and 5th years) in affiliated teaching hospitals in USA(Optional). Students can do the clinical rotation in UK even without clearing PLAB/USMLE.

After finishing USMLE Step 1&2 with a decent score (Either in USA / UK or Central America), Students get a Temporary / Provisional License to pursue the Residency program in USA / Canada.

“Residency” is an option for students to pursue Post Graduate training / Specialization in a teaching hospital in USA / Canada / UK, etc, on work based study mode. The PG program is 100% free of tuition fee. A very good stipend is paid during the program. Minimum Stipend ranges from US $ 4,000 and may be up to US $ 12,000 / Month. Students generally earn back what they have spent on their UG education within a span of 1 – 1.5 years. They also have very good chances of settling down in the countries from which the finish Residency.

Further, Students who complete Residency program in USA / Canada / UK / Australia / New Zealand have additional benefits back in India too. They NEED NOT WRITE MCI SCREENING TEST IF THEY ARE COMING BACK TO INDIA TO CONTINUE THEIR PRACTICE.

5 EASY STEPS

  • Consult My MBBS Abroad team. Know about the eligibility criteria and requirements, entrance examinations, universities, costs, visa success rates, future career prospects, etc
  • Apply for the university of your choice with academic documents, statement of purpose, reference letter, etc
  • On successful admission and payment of a part of tuition fee, prepare the Visa documents and apply for Visa and make travel arrangements
  • On Visa approval, fly to Central America / Caribbean. Enroll with the University.
    • Study Pre Medical course (8 Months – 1.5 Yr if required depending on University criteria).
    • Study Basic Medical Sciences – 5 Terms (2 Years).
    • Write NBME Board Exams and USMLE Step 1 (USMLE is optional)
    • Study Clinical Sciences in USA / Canada / UK / the Caribbean teaching hospitals (2 Years)
    • Write USMLE Step 2 CK and CS (Optional)
    • Write NMBE Clinical board exams
    • Graduate – Earn a Doctor of Medicine – MD degree equivalent to MBBS in India
    • Apply for Residency program in USA through NRMP after successful USMLE Step 1, Step 2 – CK and CS scores

UNIVERSITIES


Cautionary Note:

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates – ECFMG has in 2010, announced that from the Year 2023 (Students enrolling in a 5 / 5.5 Year Pre Med – MD Program in Caribbean from Year 2018 will graduate Only After January 2023) Only students of Caribbean Universities that are Fully Accredited by CAAM-HP / ACCM would be eligible to appear for USMLE Exams / Apply for PG Residency programs in USA.


. However, only few Universities located in the Caribbean are appropriately Accredited. Kindly Ensure You’re cautious while choosing a University. Only Enroll in Institutions Fully Accredited by either CAAM-HP / ACCM.

Click Here to Read the Official Announcement from ECFMG

Click Here to View the List of Accrediting Bodies Approved by Department of Education, USA

Click Here to View Accreditation Status of Institutions by CAAM-HP

Click Here to View Accreditation Status of Institutions by ACCM

List of Current Medical Schools in the Caribbean:


Ranking Institution Country Located Established CAAM-HP / ACCM Accreditations Status Comments
1 American University of Caribbean Sint Marteen 1978 Full Accreditation - ACCM Pre Medicine Not Available, Not Suitable for Indian Students. Expensive, Suitale for American Students Only
2 Saba University Saba 1994 Accredited by NVAO asPer Government Requirements Pre Medicine Not Available, Not Suitable for Indian Students. Expensive, Suitale for American Students Only
3 American University of Antigua Antigua and Barbuda 2004 Full Accreditation - CAAM-HP No 5, Still Costs Close to No 1 after Scholarships. Can Prefer No 1 than No 5. 6 Year Duration. Longer, Expensive
4 Medical University of Americas St Kitts and Nevis 1998 Full Accreditation - ACCM Pre Medicine Not Available, Not Suitable for Indian Students. Expensive, Suitale for American Students Only
5 Trinity School of Medicine St Vincent and the Grenadines 2008 Full Accreditation - CAAM-HP Best Choice with High Success and Less Expensive than Most Caribbean Medical Schools.

5 Years, Half Cost, Good Standards and Success. Yes, This is the BEST CHOICE
6 St Mathews University Cayman Islands 2002 Full Accreditation - ACCM Pre Medicine Not Available, Not Suitable for Indian Students. Expensive, Suitale for American Students Only
7 University of Medicine and Health Sciences St Kitts and Nevis 2008 Full Accreditation - ACCM Pre Medicine Not Available, Not Suitable for Indian Students. Expensive, Suitale for American Students Only
NOTE: As of 2018, Only the above 9 Universities are Appropriately Accredited as required by US Department of Education (NCFMEA). Students are advised NOT to enroll in institutions OutSIde the Above List. For Your Information, below are few of the Non Accredited / Provisional Accredited Insttutions:

EXPENSES & SCHOLARSHIPS

EXPENSES:


Expenses involved in studying medicine in the Caribbean may vary from university to university. On an average, the cost may vary from INR 30-70 Lakhs overall, inclusive of food accommodation, academic and miscellaneous expenses, travel, etc. In very few universities the cost may go too high.

However, the cost involved in pursuing a similar course in USA is very high. The students, on clearing USMLE / other licensing examinations get an entry into the residency program, which is lucrative enough for the student to retrieve the cost completely in Maximum 1 – 2 Years.

SCHOLARSHIPS:


Scholarships are available to aspiring students based on academic performance and merit, passion towards studying medicine, need, etc. My MBBS Abroad team would support all eligible students in the process of applying for scholarships.

APPLICATION PROCESS:


Medical universities in the Caribbean have 3 intakes every year – January, May and September.

Students should apply at least 2 months prior to the course start date for successful admissions. The documents required for application are:

  • 10th std mark sheets and pass certificate
  • 12th std mark sheets and pass certificate
  • UG Mark Sheets and Certificate (If any)
  • Copy of passport
  • Statement of purpose
  • Reference letters

The documents required may vary time to time. Kindly contact My MBBS Abroad team for updated information and assistance on your application and subsequent process

VISA INFORMATION:


Caribbean countries normally provide easy visa access to students planning to study medicine.

Most countries initially offer 1 Year visa for the students, which can be renewed on arrival / yearly basis.

The following documents are required for the Visa application and renewal:

  • Academic documents (10th, 12th, etc)
  • Medical Certificate
  • Passport
  • Admission and acceptance letters, etc

My MBBS Abroad team would process the complete process on behalf of the student.

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