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Some Other Tips we may not have covered thus far:

Other Useful Tips

Tip #38: Do not rush when selecting your Caribbean medical school.

This is likely one of the most dangerous decisions you can make. Every semester we see students coming in and applying last minute, without doing any research on the school, or sometime even the medical program in general. The excitement level is there initially, but usually does not take you far. Do your research and take time to make this choice. Medicine is a great field, but not for everyone.

Tip #39: Be sure you can finance your education.

This is a common issue found with many Caribbean medical students, particularly if accepted into the school that is not Title IV approved and DOE recognized, therefore, loan options are limited. Students come in with enough money to finance the first few semesters and then plan on taking time off or working remotely to finance the rest. Sometime, there is not even a plan. This does NOT work. Medical school is very intensive and requires 100% dedication. It also costs money. Unless you have a solid plan on financing 100% of the program, we strongly advise you to reconsider your approach. Otherwise, in a year or two, you will be stuck with no degree and no money. As harsh as this sound, we have seen it plenty where students are struggling with this issue. A school is required to properly advise you not to join if you do not have sufficient resources to finance your education. Almost no Caribbean medical school will offer that advice.

Tip #40: Obtain solid science background.

Medical school is a science based filed (yes, we said it). However, Caribbean medical schools attract students from various fields and walks of life. There are many accountants, engineers and lawyers entering the medical education in the Caribbean. However, many of them struggle during the program due the fact that the last time they opened a biology or chemistry book was years ago. Medical program expects that you have the basic science knowledge and will not teach the 101 material. Many schools in the Caribbean will accept you into the program despite the fact that you do not have any science courses (as long as you have 90 credit hours and a decent GPA). We advise that you spend time, and if necessary, invest money, into brushing up on the science background. There are free online courses that offer basics in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, etc. If you are not confident in your basic knowledge of these subjects, you are going to struggle in the medical school.

Tip #41: Delay putting down the tuition deposit until you are sure this is the school for you.

After you have been accepted to one of the schools you will be asked by your admission advisor to pay for a tuition deposit, sometimes called a reservation fee. This fee ranges from $750-$1500 and is generally non-refundable. The advisor will likely tell you that the seats are filling up fast and that he may not be able to hold the seat for you unless you pay the money. This is a typical sales tactic that advisors like to use to meet their monthly reservation numbers. Do not fall for that. If you choose to join that school you will have to pay that deposit. However, while you are in the process of determining which one is the right school for you, avoid paying any money outside application fee. This could save you thousands of dollars. The Caribbean medical school market is very competitive and the school will take you any time, even if they are almost at capacity. It seldom, or almost never happens that a student is denied admission due to capacity issues. The only semester it may happen in is the Fall semester, as that is when most of the students start the medical school.

Tip #42: Start your medical education in May.

Caribbean medical schools typically have three start terms: Spring (January), Summer (May) and Fall (September). When looking over the three start terms, the Fall semester is always the biggest as most students typically like to start the school in this term. On the other hand, May is usually the smallest semester and is always the smallest class. We would advise that you join the school in May because being in a smaller class is much better than being in a large class. Your access to professors will be much easier and the classes generally run much more smoothly. In the lab, particularly anatomy lab where there are a limited number of cadavers, your time on cadaver will be significantly higher than in the big class. Similar will be applied in other labs (access to microscopes, computers, mannequins, simulators, etc).

Tip #43: Review student catalog or handbook.

This is a step often overlooked, but very important. School’s catalog/handbook (many schools use these terms interchangeably), provides the list of all the policies and the program information students should be aware of. Ensure that you agree with all the policies listed. These policies may play an important role should there be an issue with the faculty or administration. You should know what your rights, as a student, are.

Tip #44: Disclose, in writing, any special needs or disabilities to your school. Before you commit, make sure that the school informs you, in writing, that they can accommodate your special need.

The Caribbean medical schools are IN THE CARIBBEAN. They are not subject to compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other regulations regarding disabilities and special needs. Most of the Caribbean medical schools do not have the capability of accommodating special needs. Be sure that you disclose to the school, in writing, all accommodations you seek before you commit. There is often a big disconnect between the admission advisor promising you the ability to accommodate your need and the Dean on the island being able to actually provide the accommodation. Receive an acknowledgement in writing, by the Dean, that the campus will be able to accommodate your special need before you decide to commit to the school.