Best Caribbean Medical Schools: The 2024 Medlink Students Review

Updated on 21/05/2024 in
Caribbean Application - Prospect International Students

In recent years, Caribbean medical schools have emerged as a strong contender for high-quality medical education, offering a gateway to fulfilling medical careers. The mantra 'Sun, Sea & Study Medicine' captures the unique charm of these institutions. Whether you aspire to become a successful doctor in the United Kingdom, the United States or any other part of the world, the Caribbean may be your ideal destination.

This 2024 review takes a deep dive into the best Caribbean medical schools, analysing various aspects of higher medical education like admission requirements, tuition fees, clinical rotation opportunities, and more to provide a comprehensive overview for 2024 med school applicants.

If you’re ready to learn more about the top medical schools in the Caribbean, let's dive into the 2024 Medlink Students Review:

The Benefits of Studying at Caribbean Med Schools In 2024

The Caribbean is a quickly growing and thriving region, especially when it comes to medical education. Local governments and international organisations such as the Commonwealth of Nations and the Caribbean Community are actively working together to support the success of the region while promoting global collaboration.

Over time the Caribbean has captured the attention of prospective MD students, largely due to its impressive selection of globally recognised medical universities.

But let's delve a bit deeper and highlight some compelling reasons why Caribbean Medical Universities might be a tempting option for you:

Internationally recognised medical universities

Accredited Caribbean medical schools award internationally recognised degrees, empowering their graduates to practise medicine across a number of global destinations, including the UK, the US, India, and beyond.

The best Caribbean Medical Schools we’ve shortlisted for you below are: 

  • Accredited by their government or local Ministry of Education
  • Listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS);
  • Fulfil the criteria of the GMC for standalone medicine programmes, including the requirement to comprise 5,500 contact hours. This allows Carribean Med University graduates to take the PLAB or UMKLA exams & earn their licensure to become a doctor in the United Kingdom.
  • Grant internationally recognised degrees that allow students to become successful healthcare professionals in various countries across the world.

Tropical climate & peaceful nature

In the relaxed atmosphere of the soothing ocean breeze, lush greenery, and laid-back lifestyle, students can truly focus on their studies and achieve their best.

Flexible admission process

Many Caribbean Medical Universities have adopted a no-entry-exam policy, offering flexibility that is often absent from European or US MD courses.

Instead, applicants are assessed based on their previous academic record, their performance in an interview, and the overall strength of their application. If you are not certain as to whether you are eligible for the MD Course at the Top Caribbean Universities, just reach out to a Medlink Advisor, and we will guide you through the admission process with ease. 

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Affordable tuition fees and cost of living

While the cost of studying Medicine in the Caribbean is comparable to that in the US or Western Europe, Medlink Students provides a unique opportunity for students to secure a scholarship covering up to 50% of their tuition fees throughout their 4-year course.

Fast-track 4-year MD programmes

The medical universities in the Caribbean have a streamlined US-based curriculum, which consists of 2 years of studying the Basic Sciences of medicine and 2 years of Clinical Rotations.

Flexible clinical rotations

Clinical training is carried out in accredited international teaching hospitals throughout the Caribbean, the US, and many countries around the world.

The top Caribbean medical schools offer their students the flexibility to choose where they want to conduct their clinical rotations, even if their choice is their home country. The only requirement is that students must declare their preferred location in advance and cover any difference in tuition fees. The availability of rotation placements depends on the cohort size and hospital capacity.

Residency opportunities with Caribbean medical schools

Once students have earned their medical degrees from a Caribbean medical school, the crucial next stage is securing a residency position. Many Caribbean institutions have forged partnerships with accredited hospitals worldwide to provide a wealth of residency opportunities for their graduates.

Richmond Gabriel University is a prime example of this, assisting its students in securing matches for the National Resident Matching Programme (NRMP) and residencies in the UK each year.

Opportunity to make a difference

Students that study medicine in the Caribbean are given the opportunity to take part in the Medical Students without Borders programme.

This initiative is aimed at providing students with the chance to carry out their clinical training in struggling regions of the world where they can make an actual difference.

The Big 2 Medical Universities in the Caribbean  

Currently, there are over 90 medical universities to choose from in the Caribbean region.

We will guide you on how to successfully shortlist the 2 most appealing Caribbean Med Schools in terms of rewarding academic experiences and teaching processes:

Richmond Gabriel University College of Medicine 

RGU is a private medical school located on the main island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The university places the success of its students as its number 1 priority and goes to great lengths to ensure that each graduate comes out as a well-rounded medical professional.

Richmond Gabriel University College of Medicine also offers a 4-year grad entry MD programme, consisting of 2 years of on-site lessons on the Basic Sciences of medicine, followed by 2 years of clinical training through hospital rotations. The medical university in the Grenadines also offers a 16-month pre-medicine course for students without a Bachelor’s Degree, which can be taken online.

The university’s motto, Rise To Greater Heights, perfectly represents both the faculty and students of Richmond Gabriel University. Staying true to the maxim, the graduates of RGU have consistently succeeded in securing their spot in residency programs in the UK, USA, Africa and the Caribbean.

Discover what it's like to transition to Richmond Gabriel University from an international background through the eyes of Pauline, a dedicated MD1 student from Turkey:

Richmond Gabriel University clinical rotations

Get a closer look at Pauline's story and her daily life at Richmond Gabriel University by watching her full interview:

Bay University School of Medicine 

Bay University School of Medicine is an internationally recognised medical university located on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. It is a new and modern medical school that is a fast-growing star among the jewels of the Caribbean. This medical university also carries out its education in small classroom sizes, ensuring efficient lessons and convenient communication with professors.

Bay University has a strong network of international partnerships which it utilises fully to provide students with diverse clinical experiences and research opportunities. This allows students to gain exposure to different healthcare systems and cultures, preparing them to be adaptable and compassionate medical practitioners who can cater to a wide range of patient's needs.

Bay University offers a 4-year graduate entry medicine course, which takes place on-site in Aruba, with the opportunity to arrange your clinical rotations in a large number of countries across the world. Additionally, this uni also offers a 2-year pre-medicine course.

Hear from Jag, a current student, about the welcoming and supportive environment that makes Bay University more than just an academic institution:

The Bay Medical University in Aruba

For more on Jag’s experiences and his take on the unique atmosphere at Bay University, watch the full interview below:

When to Apply for Medical Universities in the Caribbean

Caribbean medical schools employ a rolling admissions system, permitting applications all year round. Nonetheless, these universities operate on a trimester system, allowing students to commence their studies in several distinct months of the year:

  • January
  • May
  • September

The application process generally takes 4-6 weeks, so it is crucial to apply in advance. Keep in mind that the seats are limited and early applicants have a higher chance of getting accepted and qualifying for a Medlink Students scholarship.

Caribbean Medical Schools vs UK Medical Schools

A favourite destination for medical students worldwide is the United Kingdom. However, the Caribbean's growing prominence in the medical education scene makes for an intriguing comparison:

AspectCaribbean Medical UniversitiesUK Medical Universities
AdmissionNo entry examsUCAT test
Medlink Students ScholarshipYes, up to 50%No
CurriculumEmphasis on US-based curriculum and international clinical trainingUK-based curriculum with NHS placements
Duration of Programme4-year Graduate Entry Course5 - 6 years MD Course
Global RecognitionAccredited and internationally recognisedGlobally recognised
Clinical Rotationsin the Caribbean, the US & accredited teaching hospitals around the world, including student’s home countryin the UK via the NHS system
Cost of EducationOften lower compared to the UK - $20,000 on average per year
Significantly lower with a Medlink Students Scholarship - as low as $9,000 per year
Higher tuition fees, especially for overseas students - £23,500 yearly average for UK/EU students
£35,000 on average for overseas students per year
Student ExperienceTropical CaribbeanUK's Cultural Mosaic

When it comes to high-quality medical education, both the UK and the Caribbean stand out as fantastic options. The choice between these regions will heavily depend on the individual preferences and future career plans of students.

The UK offers a traditional path with strong historical roots, rigorous training, and an internationally recognised education system. However, admission into UK medical schools can be highly competitive, with strict entrance exams, and tuition can be considerably higher, particularly for international students.

On the other hand, Caribbean medical universities provide a fresh, vibrant, and more flexible alternative to traditional routes. With their internationally recognised degrees, high standard of education, practical clinical training, and unique tropical environment, Caribbean medical schools have successfully positioned themselves as viable and attractive options for medical education.

Importantly, studying in the Caribbean does not restrict students from practising medicine in the UK or any other part of the world. Their degrees are globally recognised, and graduates are eligible for medical licensure in various countries.

Whether you're attracted to the idea of studying under the Caribbean sun or amidst the UK's multicultural urban vibrancy, the choice ultimately lies with you. Both paths lead to the same destination - a rewarding career in medicine.

To wrap it up: Caribbean medical universities offer world-class education, international opportunities, and an extraordinary learning environment. Renowned institutions like Richmond Gabriel University, and Bay University serve as key pillars in this educational landscape.

Don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert advisors for a free consultation to learn more about studying medicine in the Caribbean and whether you qualify for a Medlink Students scholarship.

FAQs

Is the Caribbean a good place to study medicine?

Absolutely: from world-class medical education to providing a fantastic learning experience, the Caribbean has it all.
Are Caribbean medical degrees valid in the UK?

Yes, medical degrees from accredited Caribbean medical schools are recognised throughout the world.

How much does it cost to study medicine in the Caribbean?

On average, studying in the Caribbean costs between $13,750 and $27,990 per year.

Medlink Students provides exclusive scholarships, potentially reducing eligible students’ tuition fees by up to 50% for the duration of their studies.

Can Caribbean medical graduates practise in India?

Yes, graduating from an accredited Caribbean med school will allow you to earn your licence to practise medicine in India and many other countries around the globe, including the UK and the US.

Do Caribbean medical schools accept international students?

Yes, international students are accepted, and the entire curriculum is taught in English.

How many years does it take to study medicine in the Caribbean?

Studying graduate entry medicine in the Caribbean takes 4 years.

If you aren’t a Bachelor's graduate but still want to study medicine in the Caribbean, you can take a pre-med course that lasts between 16 months and 2 years.

What is Medical Students without Borders?

MSWB is a programme which lets students carry out their clinical training in countries with limited healthcare and resources. This gives students the opportunity to start making an actual difference in people’s lives from early on in their careers.

Article written by Dr Sam El Mais
Dr Sam El Mais, MD, MSc, BSc, graduated from a renowned medical school in Romania in 2019. He uses his professional knowledge and personal experience to guide students on crucial aspects such as university selection, admissions processes, and cultural adjustments.
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2 comments on “Best Caribbean Medical Schools: The 2024 Medlink Students Review”

  1. Hey, can you let me know more information about the pre med course offered by these caribean univerisities

    1. Yes, we are more than happy to. Basically, the uni allows you to build the foundational knowledge in the sciences for you to be able to continue with the 4-year program.

      We have a dedicated blog post with information on the pre-med courses offered by Caribbean universities. You can read it here.

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