CARIBBEAN MEDICINE PREFACE
Caribbean medical schools have become a very popular alternative for undergraduates wishing to pursue a career in medicine.
In Canada, a country of 34 million people, there are 14 English language medical schools (3 French). Nationwide, those 14 medical schools offer only 2,043 spots annually. In Ontario, where I grew up, only one out of every six applicants gets accepted and matriculates (in 2010 there were 5,412 applicants for 954 spots in that province). As a result, many qualified students are being rejected year after year.
A typical path for Canadian students has been to apply to medical schools in the United States, but this has proven to be a difficult and extremely expensive route.
In the United States there are 125 medical schools offering a total of 18,655 spots; and, one out of every 2.3 applicants gets accepted. In 2010 there were 42,742 applicants for those 18,655 spots. But, if you are a Canadian applying to the U.S., you are considered a foreign applicant.
In 2010, only 171 foreign (non-U.S. citizen) students entered the first year class at a U.S. medical school. So, 99% of students that are accepted and matriculate at a U.S. medical school are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States (Green Card holders).
Therefore, instead of giving up on what, for most, is a very deeply-felt goal of attending medical school, many students have chosen to enter medical schools in the Caribbean with the goal of obtaining a residency and eventually practicing in the United States or Canada.
I want to provide much-needed information to students, like you, who are considering this option, as there must be many uncertainties you are facing.