Monday, June 24, 2013

The Advantages of a Foreign Medical School

There are many things to consider when you are looking at the possibility of attending a foreign medical school. While there are some disadvantages to this option, there are numerous advantages that often make this the best possible choice.

One of the big advantages to attending a foreign medical school is that you may graduate with more experience than students of US medical schools. These schools often offer hands on experience earlier than US schools do, and allow you to see first hand numerous illnesses and ailments that may not be common in the United States. This experience will add to your knowledge, as well as your skills.  In addition, since these schools usually have a much smaller student body, you will get more time with your professors and a greater chance to interact with and learn from the faculty at the school. Both of these things will likely help you to become a better doctor once you graduate.

Another distinct advantage of a foreign medical school is that it offers a chance to experience the world and see another culture, something that becomes less plausible as time goes on and you have a career. It also offers the chance to leave the possible distractions offered by your home, family, and friends. It is often easier to study when your friends and the people surrounding you need to study as well.
A foreign medical school often offers multiple time a year to apply, as well as to begin your medical school education and will likely have somewhat more lenient requirements. While they will still look at your GPA and MCAT scores, they won't require either to be as high as it would need to be for a US school to accept you. This means that it is an option for students that wouldn't be able to have the opportunity otherwise.  They are also more likely to accept less traditional candidates, such as older students and students who Additionally, while some foreign medical schools hold classes in other languages, there is a wide range of options in the Caribbean where the classes are taught in English and the schools mirror the US model. They have the same classes, books, and tests. In addition, their professors offer the same qualifications.

Foreign medical schools offer a number of advantages that make them a good choice for a wide range of students. These schools are an excellent opportunity for students who dream of becoming a doctor.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why Study Medicine?

There are many reasons that people study medicine, and the high salary potential is nowhere near the top of the list. Few pre-med students indicate their future salary as one of the reasons they decide to study medicine.
In fact, most give their reasons as being far more altruistic. The biggest reason people have to study medicine and become a doctor s a desire to help others and make a difference. Most students entering medical school are well aware of the road that is ahead of them, filled with difficult tests, long hours, and years of study. They understand they will need to deal with blood, as well as cadavers, and they have accepted that without issue because they care deeply about other people and have a desire to help them.
The things you should consider when deciding if a career in medicine is for you, is what your reasons are and what you are looking to gain from your career. Future doctors should care about people and enjoy helping them using their skills, as well as their knowledge. They should also enjoy learning and coming to understand new things. Doctors have to constantly study and learn about new procedures, techniques, and diseases. It is a field that constantly changes. In addition, it requires years of study prior to even earning your medical degree. If you are going to study medicine, you need to enjoy learning, as well as have the desire and ability to dig deeper into subjects than what it usually required.
You should also be interested in the human body and its functions, since a successful doctor will spend a lifetime working on this. Medicine and the ways it can improve lives should be something you find fascinating. If you don't enjoy studying or learning this will not be the career for you. The road to your MD will be a long one requiring two years of studying the basic sciences before you even begin your clinical experiences. In addition, while medical school lasts for four years, you will have further education during your residency. This will last from three to seven years, depending on the specialty you want to study.  Doctors spend a lifetime learning about new discoveries, as well as new technologies that change the face of medicine. While the future earning potential can be high, most doctors do graduate with a considerable amount of debt. Given the time and energy it takes to earn an MD, as well as the time it will take to finish paying for your education, you need more than just a desire to make money as a motivator. The biggest motivator should be about what you are looking to spend your life on. If you don't have a passion for medicine, you should not begin studying it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Comparing Caribbean Medical Schools and US based Medical Schools

While Caribbean Medical Schools offer a vastly different location than US based medical schools, they are far more comparable than you might think.

When applying to medical school, both US based and Caribbean schools will be looking at the same things. Both types will look at your GPA and will likely require MCAT scores as well as letters of recommendation. Additionally, both will be interested in other pertinent information, such as volunteer/work experience in the heath field and exposure to different humanities courses. They will also have the same prerequisites in terms of college courses. However, the US based schools are more competitive and harder to get into. The Caribbean Schools, while still competitive, accept a higher percentage of students by far and will often take students several times during the year, as opposed to just once.

The schools themselves are very similar in their make up. They offer the same courses, use the same books, and give the same tests. However, the Caribbean medical schools will usually offer smaller class sizes, allowing for a great opportunity to interact with the professors, and other faculty members. Additionally, they are newer schools, so they usually have the latest technology. The older US schools often have outdated technology and the student body isn’t nearly as diverse. While hands-on experience is illegal in the United States, most Caribbean schools actually encourage this experience. You will likely graduate a Caribbean school with a great deal of first hand experience that would be lacking in a US school. However, the US schools will offer more modern conveniences since they are located in a first world country. While many Caribbean medical schools offer a lower tuition rate, and the cost of living is often lower on the island, federal loans will likely not be available. This means in the end, you will pay the same amount and you will need to find your own loans, something that may be more difficult and will likely have a higher interest rate.

After completing the basic science courses in the Caribbean, you will likely spend a great deal of time in the US doing clinical experience prior to your residency. While Caribbean Medical Students have a disadvantage when it comes to residency matches because of their international medical graduate certification, most students will find a match, either on their own or through the match program. In addition, the biggest factor in finding matches is you as a student. If you do well in school, get good scores on your USMLE (step 1 and step 2), and get good letters of recommendation, you will likely find a good residency in a field you are interested in.  

In the end, the two types of schools are far more similar than they are different, and the biggest indicator of your future success will be what you bring into the equation. Medical Schools in the Caribbean will prepare you just as well for your future career as medical schools in the US if you apply yourself.