Many high school graduates, particularly from lower-income families, are often enticed by the above average income that comes with a career in medicine. Despite the fact that there are many talented and intelligent middle class graduates in national high schools, very few of them pursue their dreams of attending medical school because of one particular factor that prevents their chances of ever being a doctor: the extremely high expense of going to one of the USA accredited universities or colleges.
An alternative would be to attend a medical school abroad that provides a quality medical education program comparable to one in America. On the other hand, many students have no idea how to find the best medical schools. For example, there should be a selective list of criteria before you enroll in a medical school program in any of the Caribbean universities listed online.
1. Quality assessment. You have to consider the peer assessment. Usually, directors of such institutions rate other establishments without bias. Aside from that, there is also an independent assessment by the residency directors on their schools. The assessment usually involves knowing whether a certain school exists and what the assessors think about its medical program and facilities.
2. Fields specialty. Some schools focus on research while others are experts on primary care.
- Research activity is focused on surgery, psychiatry and radiology. Total research activity is measured by the amount of research grants awarded to the medical school and their hospital affiliates. Check out the average research activity per faculty member as commensurate with the total research activity. If you want to specialize in these fields of medicine, look for schools that rate highly in this area
- Primary care rate is focused on the fields of family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine. This criterion usually rates how many graduates enter their residencies in this field. If you are more inclined toward this practice, reflect on this data highly.
3. Student selectivity. Check out their mean MCAT (medical college admission test) score and mean undergraduate GPA. This will help determine their minimum admission score and grade point average that they require of their students. Verify the acceptance rate by determining how many students were usually admitted per year.
4. Faculty resources. The student to teacher ratio must be sufficient to accommodate the students per class. Look also for the qualifications of the faculty and their expertise if this fits the kind of practice you want to engage in the future.
Studying abroad is a prospect that few students really contemplate. However, do not let this get in the way of your dreams. Most schools with global standard medical programs can be measured by this criteria alone. Do not believe misleading advertisements, as you need to verify the claims personally. There are usually support programs for foreign students abroad, which allow them to acclimate to the culture and living independently while pursing their aspirations of having a medical career.