As long as they’ve existed, there’s been a stigma attached to Caribbean medical schools. Their graduates aren’t as qualified as U.S. medical grads, they say. Their campuses are too far away, they say. The Caribbean isn’t as nice as Connecticut, they say. Well, they’re wrong. There are lots of advantages to being a Caribbean medical student that you don’t get to hear as often. Here are just some of them:
- Serene Environment
Location is surprisingly a lot more important than you think. When you’re studying medicine in Connecticut, you’re probably not thinking about brutal winters or having to dig your car out of the snow. At a Caribbean medical school, you’ll be studying in a tropical paradise and that means no worries about crazy weather fluctuations. Seriously, winter is the worst.
- Better Clinical Preparation
At most medical schools, you’ll be deep into textbooks until your second year. At AUA, we have a Center for Simulated Learning and simulated doctors’ offices on campus, which give our students a distinct advantage by offering early hands-on experience. That means you’ll be better prepared by the time you begin clinical rotations. Essentially, you’ll be one of those early adopters who got the new iPhone months before everyone else. Just don’t let it get to your head.
- Diverse Clinical Rotations
At U.S. medical schools, you’re pretty much stuck with one teaching hospital for clinical rotations. Caribbean medical schools have clinical sites throughout the U.S. The better ones have clinical sites in Canada, India, and other parts of the world. By studying at different hospitals, you enrich your clinical experience and become a more well-rounded physician by understanding the concerns of patients from diverse backgrounds. If you want to stay in one place, AUA has an agreement with FIU, allowing qualified students to take all core and elective rotations in Miami, FL. It’ll definitely give you more diversity than Connecticut. Actually, I have no reason why I’m railing on Connecticut so much. It’s a fine state. I presume.
- Post-grad Flexibility
You may have decided to go to a state school for your medical training because it’s close to home, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll able to practice in your home state. Although Caribbean medical schools can’t guarantee that either, you’ll become more flexible with your options post-grad. Having studied abroad and attended hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada, you’ll be able to handle the location shifts more smoothly than your U.S. medical colleagues.
What has your experience been like as a Caribbean medical student? Sound off in the comments!