Medical schools in Canada have become rather selective, and that’s why a growing number of Canadian students have chosen to study abroad. Overall acceptance rates for first-time med school applicants hover around 25 percent in Canada, but some schools accept less than ten percent of applicants. Caribbean medical schools have become one of the most popular alternatives for Canadian students. Today, nearly one in three students choose to study medicine abroad.
Caribbean Medical Schools Offer Hope
Many people are surprised to learn that there are over 70 Caribbean medical university campuses located on various islands. The number of people living in Canada and the Caribbean is similar. There are about 35 million people in Canada, and there are around 40 million people living throughout the Caribbean. Despite these similar population numbers, Canada only has 17 medical schools.
It’s common for Canadian medical schools to expect perfection from applicants. The typical applicant to one of these schools has a 3.87 GPA combined with a lengthy resume of volunteer work. In contrast, Caribbean medical school requirements are much more reasonable.
Most Caribbean schools accept students with GPAs in the 3.2 to 3.4 range, and many schools do not even require the MCAT examination. These medical schools also accept applications multiple times per year, so it isn’t necessary to wait an entire year between application attempts. Caribbean medical schools accept between 40 and 50 percent of applicants.
Financing Foreign Medical Schools
Medical schools are expensive, and Canadian medical schools are no different. Fortunately, qualified doctors make enough money to repay most of their loans within a short period, so cost shouldn’t be an issue.
There are various ways for Canadian students to finance their education at a Caribbean medical university. Many students go through the CanHELP international student loan program, and there are also banks that will finance a medical education outside of Canada.
A Quality Education
Many prospective students feel that a Caribbean medical university offers a second-rate education. This isn’t true. These schools have rigorous programs, and it is common for 50 percent of the students to drop out. This is because Caribbean schools offer an education comparable in every way to Canadian schools, and there are no shortcuts.
At the best Caribbean schools, as many as 97 percent of graduates go on to pass medical licensure exams in their home countries. Some Caribbean medical schools offer accelerated programs, too.
A Viable Alternative to Canadian Medical Schools
Caribbean schools offer an amazing opportunity to qualified Canadian students. Canada simply has too few schools, and medical school requirements are outrageous there. A medical degree from a Caribbean school is viable in Canada, the United States, and many other countries around the world. Graduates of a Caribbean medical university can expect a bright future.