If there’s anything we’ve learnt in the last two years, it’s the fact that we need doctors. And a lot of them. The numbers right now are nothing short of dismal. The ratio of doctors in South Asia is one for around 1,200 individuals. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it’s just one for every 5000 people. In the U.S., the ratio is one doctor for every 385 individuals, which is not very impressive since we’re talking about the most developed nation in the world.
There is no career field more prestigious, noble and well-paying than medicine. Many students devote themselves to becoming doctors from the time they are in school, enrolling for tuitions to help them do well in their board exams while also coaching for medical entrance exams. They are prepared to work hard to achieve their goal.
Unfortunately, there might not be enough institutions and colleges to cater to this demand for one reason or another. The ones available in their country may also be extremely expensive. Therefore, students are looking outside their own countries to pursue a career in medicine.
The Caribbean–A New Medical Education Hub
There are plenty of institutions around the world that offer top programmes in medicine. But of late, MBBS in Caribbean has become increasingly popular. As a result, countries in the Caribbean islands have become the preferred destination for many international students who are pursuing medical careers. There are numerous reasons for this drastic shift, and we’ve listed a few of the major ones below.
Even top colleges in the Caribbean Islands do not have complicated admission procedures. They require neither SATs nor English language proficiency tests like the TOEFL or IELTS. These are usually requirements in universities and colleges in other countries. Moreover, these tests cost quite a bit of money, and there’s no guarantee that you’d do well in them and get a good score even though you speak and write English perfectly well. MBBS in the Caribbean islands for Indian students is, therefore, a more viable option.
Institutions in the Caribbean nations, however, do have their own minimum requirements for a medical program. At the American University of Antigua School of Medicine or AUA, students need to pass the qualifying exam and entrance test of their countries. For example, Indian students need to pass their grade 12 exams and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET), the country’s gateway to medical education, with a score of 70 percent and above. Other colleges might have their own specific requirements, but generally, the admission procedures to study MBBS in the Caribbean are more student-friendly and hassle-free.
English language convenience
Most if not all institutions that offer MBBS in the Caribbean use English as the medium of instruction. While other countries like Russia and China have also become popular for medical education for international students, the language of their respective countries is still a big drawback for students looking to study abroad. Communication could be a big hurdle while pursuing medicine. This, however, is not a problem if you study MBBS in the Caribbean. English is not just a medium of instruction; it is also a language that is spoken widely among the Caribbean populace. Studies apart, this ensures your life and time in the country is easy and comfortable without any communication barriers.
MBBS in the Caribbean usually involves a pre-med program 1 to 2 years before students enrol for the MD program involving various core subjects that will last another 5 years, followed by a residency. That’s around 6 years of solid medical grounding that is much needed to become a good doctor. The residency then ensures you fine-tune your skills and apply your learning in medical school.
Caribbean medical colleges and universities have tie-ups with institutions in other countries. So once you get into a program, it means you will have international clinical rotations in those institutions. These may be in European and American countries or elsewhere around the globe. These rotations expose students to more holistic, rounded and world-class learning and practices of not one but many institutions. For example, one of the requirements at AUA is an 84-week clinical rotation in the U.S. Other institutions may have rotations in different countries for varying periods. The residencies may also be in affiliated institutions and hospitals.
A degree that’s accepted in the U.S.
Some prestigious Caribbean medical colleges can be counted among the top in the world. MBBS in the Caribbean is akin to getting a similar degree from the U.S. Institutions in the Caribbean islands to follow a pattern and standard more or less similar to those in the U.S. Many colleges require their students to give each of the three USMLE (U.S. Medical Licensing Exam) at different stages during their study. This is required for residency and to practice in the U.S. Students who want to go back to their respective countries are well equipped to pass the tests to qualify and practice in their own countries. This includes the ‘Screening Test’ in India once a student completes their international medical degree.
Students must check the accreditation of the institution they are applying to in the Caribbean. While there are world-class institutions to study MBBS in the Caribbean, there might be fly-by-night institutions too. All medical colleges and institutions in the Caribbean nations are accredited by an agency called the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP). This body ensures that global standards of medical education are met. AUA is not just recognized by the CAAM-HP but also the U.S. Department of Education and various medical boards in various states in the U.S. Many agencies that accredit institutions in the US also accredit institutions in the Caribbean Islands.
Medicine is one field where hands-on training is extremely important. Of course, you need to be well versed in your books and theories too. But in a profession where the practical application of your learning is a matter of life and death, it cannot be stressed enough how important hands-on training is. MBBS in the Caribbean puts more stress on practicality and application rather than concentrating only on theory. No wonder medical colleges in the Caribbean give high priority to this aspect so they can mould students into the best possible doctors in the world.
The cost of studying medicine in countries like the U.S. and Canada are astronomical. To study MBBS in the Caribbean means getting the best in medical education at a much lower price. Even the cost of studying MBBS in countries like India are becoming extremely high by the day. No wonder students are venturing outside. For MBBS in the Caribbean Islands for Indian students, fees might not be so much of an issue due to its affordability.
Study in paradise
We don’t need to tell you that the Caribbean nations are literally paradise on earth. Its pristine natural beauty makes it the top holiday destination in the world. Imagine studying medicine in such a setting!