Students interested in becoming a physician know that some big hurdles stand in the way—the
first of which is Caribbean medical school. (Internship, residency, and licensing exams can be
worried about later). Caribbean Medical school can be exciting and difficult, but first you have to
And as one might expect, getting into Caribbean medical school is not easy. There are certain medical school requirements that must be met—prerequisite classes, good grades, an undergraduate degree, medical experience, and a high score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
But exactly which classes should be taken? What are the necessary Caribbean medical school prerequisites? How good should grades be—and how high should test scores be? What sort of undergraduate degree works best? The answers to these questions—which can be intimidating— are detailed below.
Students should know what they are up against, but they should also know that it can be done: the latest census by the Federation of State Medical Boards puts the United States licensed physician population at just under 1 million. If you think you can meet the necessary Caribbean medical school requirements, ask yourself some questions:
- Are you fascinated by human anatomy and the biological sciences?
- Are you an exceptional student willing to put in long hours of studying?
- Can you dedicate four years of undergraduate work to preparing for Caribbean medical school?
- Do you do well on standardized exams?
- Are you willing to use your free time to gather medical experience?
- Are you really and truly sure you want to be a physician?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, then Caribbean medical school may be in your future.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL?
Excellent high school students should look for a university with a good premed program and do their best to gain entry. “Premed” is not a major, but rather a set of med school prerequisite courses. The pre medical school course requirements typically include the following:
- Biochemistry (one semester)
- Biology (two semesters with a lab)
- English (two semesters)
- General chemistry (two semesters with a lab)
- Math (two semesters)
- Organic chemistry (two semesters with lab)
- Physics (two semesters with a lab)
- Psychology and Statistics are sometimes required
Premed students must take these classes, and they must get good grades in them. Grade point
average (GPA) is one of the critical Caribbean medical school requirements, and a big factor in
whether or not you get accepted. Generally speaking, physician hopefuls should have an
accumulative GPA of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale). That said, Caribbean medical schools look at
how the mean GPA breaks down between science and non-science classes, and they also look at
GPA trends—a late upward trajectory is good.
Caribbean Medical schools also weigh the reputation of the undergraduate university and the relative difficulty of the applicant’s major. So, depending on circumstances, a student with a GPA below 3.5 may be accepted—especially if the student excels in other aspects of the Caribbean medical school application evaluation
CARIBBEAN MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSION PREREQUISTES
The cold facts—accumulated by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—show
that the 53,030 students who applied for Caribbean medical school in 2020 had a mean GPA of
3.6 and an average science class GPA of 3.49. The 22,239 matriculants (accepted students) carried
a mean GPA of 3.73 and a science GPA of 3.66. A quick mental calculation—as premed students
should probably be able to do—puts the acceptance rate at 41.9 percent. More than half of
applicants, then, fail to get into medical school despite being exceptional students.
Undergraduate students can major in whatever they like if they take the necessary courses that fulfills pre med requirements. Most premed students, however, major in the biological or physical sciences. AAMC data shows that 58 percent of Caribbean medical school applicants and matriculants in 2020 majored in biological sciences. Physical sciences, the second most common major group, accounted for 9 percent of applicants and 10 percent of matriculants. About 3 percent of Caribbean medical school applicants and 4 percent of matriculants majored in the humanities—it can be done.
While in university, premed students should sacrifice a good deal of free time to gain medical experience. Caribbean Medical schools want students to understand the responsibilities and working lives of medical professionals. Students can gain experience by participating in such extracurricular activities as:
- Assisting in faculty medical research projects
- Participating in summer health education programs
- Shadowing a physician
- Working in emergency medical services (EMS)
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