The Best Caribbean Medical Schools for Students with Low Stats

The top Caribbean medical schools if you want to practice in the United States

not all caribbean medical schools are created equal

not all caribbean medical schools are created equal

Getting into an American medical school is harder than ever. According to the AAMC, only 41% of applicants matriculated during the 2018-2019 academic year.

With an increasing number of applicants and limited number of spaces, even students with competitive stats are being turned away by admissions committees.

If you’re an aspiring doctor with a low GPA or MCAT score, you’re probably researching every option carefully. You might even be wondering, “Should I go to Caribbean medical school?”

Medical schools in the Caribbean have historically provided an alternative path to students with lower stats who might have otherwise given up on their dreams of practicing medicine. And the benefits are mutual—international medical graduates (IMGs) play an important part in the American healthcare system, comprising over a quarter of the U.S. physician workforce.

But a word of caution: although many graduates of the best Caribbean medical schools go on to have successful careers in the United States, it can be more difficult to do so than for their U.S.-educated counterparts. Caribbean medical students must achieve a very high GPA, score high on the USMLE exams (especially Step 1), secure prestigious rotations during M3 and M4, and receive strong rec letters from clinical supervisors to give themselves the best odds.

American medical school graduates are still the most likely to secure a spot in a U.S. residency program. Therefore, we strongly recommend retaking the MCAT or enrolling in a postbacc or Special Master’s program before abandoning all hope of attending an MD or DO program in the U.S.

However, if you’ve exhausted these options and are still committed to becoming a physician, top Caribbean medical schools can provide a viable route to a career in medicine. (Note: matching into more competitive specialties like anesthesiology or plastic surgery is the exception and not the rule for Caribbean med school grads—most IMGs become primary care physicians)

If your goal is to practice in the United States, one of your first questions might be, “Which Caribbean medical schools are accredited in all 50 states?” Technically, the answer is 0.

Currently, foreign-operated medical schools cannot seek accreditation from US accreditors. (A full explanation of this point is beyond the scope of this guide.) The more appropriate question is “Which Caribbean medical schools give graduates eligibility to practice in all 50 states?

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of 6 medical schools in the Caribbean whose graduates are eligible to apply for licensure in all 50 states.

----

----

Big 4 Caribbean Medical Schools

(Note: Although there are no official Caribbean medical school rankings, these schools are generally regarded as the best due to relatively high USMLE pass rates, ability to receive federal loans, and ability of graduates to apply for licensure in all 50 states.)

St. George’s University School of Medicine

  • Location: Grenada

  • Average GPA: 3.3

  • Average MCAT: 498

  • Residency match rate: 93%

American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

  • Location: Saint Martin

  • Average GPA: 3.27

  • Average MCAT: 496

  • Residency match rate: 84.5%

Saba University School of Medicine

  • Location: Saba Island

  • Average GPA and MCAT: not published

  • Residency match rate: not published

Ross University School of Medicine

  • Location: Barbados

  • Average GPA: 3.2

  • Average MCAT: 496

  • Residency match rate: 88%

Honorable Mention:

Medical University of the Americas (MUA)

  • Location: Nevis

  • Average GPA and MCAT: Not published

  • Residency match rate: “Since 2001, 88% of MUA graduates seeking residency in the United States and Canada secured positions”

American University of Antigua (AUA)

  • Location: Antigua and Barbuda

  • Average GPA and MCAT: Not published

  • Residency match rate: Not published

----