Succeeding even in top Caribbean medical schools will be difficult. Go to the Caribbean medical school sections for the reasons why it will be a tough road to doctorhood.
That is why it is imperative to find out which of the top 4 schools you should attend. You want to pick a school that gives you the highest chance to become a doctor.
If you fail to do so, you will lose several years (the years preparing for medical school and years during medical school) and hundreds of thousands of dollars. So which school is the best?
The ranking of the top Caribbean medical schools were determined based on the following criteria for 2011-2012, from most important to least important:
- drop-out rate
- availability of rotations
- class size
The drop-out rate is the most important criteria because you will need to graduate from medical school before you can become a doctor.
In addition, it is an indication of how much the school cares for its students. When the school accepts you, does it really believe you have what it takes to become a doctor? Or does it just want you for your money?
The drop-out rates for the top Caribbean medical schools are listed below:
- St. George Medical School: 10%
- AUC Medical School: 13%
- Saba Medical School: 40% – 50%
- Ross Medical School: 40% – 50%
Availability of Rotations
Availability of rotations is the second most important criteria because it will determine how smoothly your third and fourth year of medical school will go.
If rotational spots are constantly unavailable, it could delay or even impede your path to becoming a doctor. The less you worry about securing spots for rotations, the more time you have to impress your attendings and do well.
The availabilities of rotations for the top Caribbean medical schools are listed below:
- St. George Medical School: excellent (in fact, they get preferential treatment over other schools)
- AUC Medical School: good
- Saba Medical School: fair
- Ross Medical School: fair
For Saba and Ross, you will get to complete your rotations. But it could be accompanied by wait time and last minutes changes.
Price of Education
Tuition is the third most important criteria.
This should be pretty self-explanatory. Less tuition means less debt which means more money in your pockets. The less debt you have, the better you are able to choose a specialty based on your interests and instead of the accompanying salary. Also, if you drop out, a lower tuition would reduce the damages of school debt.
The total tuitions for the top Caribbean medical schools are listed below:
- St. George Medical School: $230,000
- AUC Medical School: $170,000
- Saba Medical School: $110,000
- Ross Medical School: $180,000
Although Saba Medical School has the lowest tuition, it is ineligible for US federal loans. Therefore, you will need a private lender to fund the tuition. This results in a higher interest rate on the school loan.
As of July 2013, Saba is eligible for US federal loans.
Class size is the least important criteria. I, personally, don’t care much about class size but some people do.
Smaller class size usually means more attention from teachers and a more cohesive class.
The class sizes per trimester for the top Caribbean medical schools are listed below:
- St. George Medical School: 400
- AUC Medical School: 100 – 200
- Saba Medical School: 80 – 100
- Ross Medical School: 400 – 600
The Winner Is …
The top Caribbean medical schools from best to last are:
St. George Medical School is the most expensive, but it maximizes the chance for you to become a doctor. It has the lowest attrition rate and offers the easiest path throughout clinical rotations.
AUC is a solid contender. Its tuition is competitive, its attrition rate is low, there shouldn’t be any problems for securing rotational spots, and its class size is comparatively low.
The main thing goings on for Saba Medical School is its low tuition and small class size. The attrition rate is atrocious, which would be the main deterrent for attending the school.
Ross Medical School doesn’t have any advantages over the other three schools. Its tuition is high, the attrition rate is high, and it has the largest class size. It seems to care about its profits over its students. Do not go here unless you have no other option. Its poor performance has even caught the attention of federal regulators.
How Data Were Acquired
Information about each school’s drop-out rate and class size was obtained from an AUC student’s blog.
The ease or difficulty in securing rotation spots were from Caribbean medical school forums.
Tuition amounts were from the respective school’s website.
This article is part of the Get into Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about getting accepted into medical school.