THE PROCESS FROM ENROLLED MEDICAL STUDENT TO FULLY LICENSED PHYSICIAN:
- STAGE ONE: Basic Sciences – the first two years of med school, during which students participate in classroom seminars with labs and complete the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1.
- STAGE TWO: Clinical Sciences – the last two years of med school, during which students participate in core and elective rotations in teaching hospitals and complete the USMLE Step 2CS and USMLE Step 2CK.
- STAGE THREE: Residency – graduates then apply to residency programs that allow them to practice independently at teaching hospitals, but under the direct supervision of established physicians. Here they will complete USMLE Step 3, the final Step exam.
- STAGE FOUR: Fellowship – after residency, a physician (or fellow) is able to act as an attending physician in the general field of his or her training, while taking on a secondary role to learn a relevant sub-specialty.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CARIBBEAN MEDICAL SCHOOL:
Although a medical student’s workload is intense, it’s not insurmountable. Once you see exactly how medical school is structured, you’ll know what to expect and how to manage your time and study habits accordingly.
During the first two years, you’ll spend a majority of your time in lectures and labs. These require a lot of studying if you want to stay ahead without falling behind. At Washington University of Health and Science – College of Medicine (WUHS), Basic Sciences are taught on a three-semester schedule (three semesters per year). In their first two years, medical students can expect to spend about eight to nine hours in class and an additional three to four hours revising. On the weekends, some students take a day for themselves but most will spend half of each day off studying. During exam periods, these hours tend to become more extreme.
During the third and fourth year, rotations completely remove any sense of consistency from your schedule with some lasting as little as two weeks and others taking as many as twelve. Rotations are immersive and emphasize hands on training by allowing the student to function as a “student-teacher” doctor and apply knowledge from the classroom to practical situations. The level of difficulty varies, as does the workload. Areas like family practice and pediatrics are more conventional, operating during normal business hours, while other rotations have more erratic schedules, such as surgery, emergency medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology.
The difficulty of medical education doesn’t end after acquiring your license. You’ll need to work hard for the rest of your medical career if you want to succeed. However, the discipline you’ve practiced to complete medical school, residency, and fellowship will help you solve any challenges you encounter as a physician.
BENEFITS OF STUDYING IN THE CARIBBEAN:
Feel like you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting into a U.S. medical school? That might be because less than half of all applicants are accepted each year. Many students with the potential to become brilliant physicians have abandoned their dream because of that competitive process – don’t let yourself be one of them. You have options, and a Caribbean medical school may be the best one.
Holistic Evaluation: Because of the exorbitant volume of applicants and extremely low acceptance rates, U.S. medical schools give disproportionate weight to MCAT scores. Most Caribbean medical schools, on the other hand, don’t even require an MCAT score to apply. Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) College of Medicine, understands that test scores and GPA are not a reflection of an applicant’s ability to become a successful and knowledgeable physician. WUHS offers interviews to any student who meets the minimum criteria in order to give candidates a chance to prove their passion, determination, and potential.
Acceptance Rates: Of the 49,480 students that applied to U.S. medical schools last year, only 20,343 were accepted, making a less than 50% acceptance rate the national average. Caribbean medical schools, with fewer applicants and a higher acceptance rate, do not have to reduce candidates to their test scores and GPA. Dedicated students to medicine who were initially rejected for admissions by U.S. medical schools should consider a Caribbean medical school as a viable option.
Rolling Admissions: Whether you are part of the annual 50% applicants rejected by a U.S. medical school, or have simply decided to apply shortly after the year’s application deadlines, you’ll have to wait a full cycle before you can apply to a U.S. medical school again. That’s correct – A whole year! Following this dream is already going to take on average 9 to 15 years. Luckily, most Caribbean medical schools have two or three intake semesters per year. Although WUHS’s curriculum follows the U.S. model, applications are accepted year-round for September, January and May start dates. The admissions committee has even accepted students just weeks before the semester begins.
Accelerated Study: Think about how much money you could save if you trim a year or two off school and start working that much sooner. Medical schools in the Caribbean tend to offer accelerated programs through articulation agreements with post-secondary institutions. WUHS’s program permits students to finish their pre-medical coursework in one year. Qualified students who complete the program are guaranteed admission to WUHS. This program’s seamless transition to medical school saves at least two years.
Clinical Rotations in the United States: Top Caribbean medical schools have an extensive network of clinical affiliates throughout the United States, with slots specifically reserved for their students. That’s right—you’re getting the same clinical experience as your U.S. counterparts. WUHS, for example, has more than 35 clinical sites through the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and abroad.
Graduate Success: Less competitive admissions criteria does not result in less qualified physicians. WUHS evaluates incoming applicants differently, but the education and experience it offers prepares students and graduates to score above average on test scores and earn prestigious residency positions. This year, WUHS’s USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate is a whopping 96%! Graduates have gone on to secure residency placement in highly competitive specialties.
Tropical Paradise: This one’s a major perk that can’t be claimed by U.S. medical schools. Understandably, navigating a foreign country can be daunting, but Caribbean islands offer the best of both worlds—English is the national language, U.S. currency is accepted, and the mainland is a short flight or water taxi away. After all, the Caribbean is a popular travel destination designed to provide the comforts craved by Western tourists. Ambergris Caye – Belize is one of the prominent tourist destinations in the tropics, where you’ll delight in perfect weather, pristine beaches, nature, outdoor activities, and more.
Instead of studying in a stuffy dorm room to escape the cold, you can always study on the beach in consistently warm weather. A good climate can dramatically benefit your studying habits. The option to study inside or outside may sound insignificant but can possibly help with your studying. It also allows you to unwind when studying for exams.
If you’re considering applying to medical school, choosing the right one may be the biggest decision you’re facing at the moment. Just keep in mind that your dream of becoming a physician doesn’t end with rejection from U.S. medical schools. Focus on a top medical school in the Caribbean like WUHS, and you’ll find that attending and graduating from us just means you spent the first two years of your medical education studying on a beautiful island.
Caribbean medical schools like WUHS offer students the opportunity to develop clinical skills early in the curriculum. Many U.S. medical schools put this off later in their preclinical curriculum or leave it entirely to clinicals. By experiencing clinical settings earlier, students are generally more prepared to apply the medical knowledge they acquired during Basic Sciences for their clinical rotations.
Caribbean medical schools typically cost less than U.S. medical schools (both out-of-state public and private). Some Caribbean medical schools may approach the costs of U.S. medical schools – not WUHS! You will find that WUHS’s tuition costs are extremely competitive while offering a U.S. medical school curriculum.
In today’s global society, students who are able to have a global medical education have an advantage in residency applications and when they become physicians. Since Caribbean medical schools are affiliated with numerous teaching hospitals, it gives students the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations throughout the United States. Some schools even offer clinical rotations throughout the globe. WUHS has clinical rotations available throughout the U.S., U.K., Canada and abroad.
HOW TO APPLY TO A CARIBBEAN MEDICAL SCHOOL
Everything you need to know when applying to WUHS
- Review our admissions criteria: Admission Criteria
- Consider when the best time for you to start medical school is: September, January or May.
- Cost and financing available: Finance
Gather Your Supporting Documentation
You will need to complete and submit the following items to be admitted to WUHS:
- Completed application: Complete the online Apply Now
- Application fee: Provide the non-refundable $100 application fee, payable to American Academic Services (payment by credit/debit card required)
- Personal statement: Provide a personal statement no longer than 750 words concerning your medical career expectations. The statement should summarize your goals for your medical career, the personal attributes that qualify you to become a physician, and your assessment of your capability to meet the technical standards of the university both under the pressures of life on a Caribbean island and in clinical settings which may provide cultural and logistical features differing from those to which you are accustomed. Note: AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) personal statements will also be accepted.
- Student CV/History: Chronological listing of educational, employment, and volunteer experience dating back to high school.
- Official transcripts: Official transcripts must be sent to WUHS, directly from the college registrar in an official sealed envelope. For foreign schools, notarized copies of the original transcripts may be directed to WUHS when official transcripts are not readily available. However, official transcripts must follow the notarized copies prior to matriculation. Please note that all foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a credentialing service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A listing of credentialing members can be found at www.naces.org.
- Letters of Recommendation: Official letters from a Pre-Medical Advisory Committee are strongly recommended, however, we will accept a minimum of 1 letter from an individual academic professor who has taught the applicant (science preferable, but not required) and 1 professional letter. Additional letters of recommendation from professors or employers with details of previous medical experience will be accepted to further support the applicant’s candidacy to medical school.
Sending Supporting Documentation to WUHS
All supporting documentation for the application should be mailed to:
Washington University of Health and Science
2602 Oakstone Drive, Suite 6
Columbus, OH 43231
WUHS’s team of admissions advisors is available to assist you and respond to any admissions process questions and concerns quickly and efficiently. Please feel free to email your inquiries to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact an admissions advisor by phone at 1.866.966.9843.
Other Admissions Policies – Please Note:
- Background Check Policy: WUHS requires all applicants to consent to a background check as part of the admissions process. Background checks are needed to protect the safety and well-being of patients, to ascertain the ability of medical school applicants to participate in clinical clerkship and eventually become licensed physicians, as well as to verify the information you provide on your application. Applicants should note that any misstatement or omission made during the application process may result in withdrawal of acceptance or dismissal after discovery by the University.
- Foreign Medical Students: Those who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents of the United States must obtain a B-1 Nonimmigrant Visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to entering the U.S. to sit for their USMLE Step 1 examination and to complete their clinical training in years 3 and 4.Washington University of Health and Science will provide documents in support of a B-1 Visa application. It is our strong recommendation that students apply for the Visa in the country of which they are a citizen. Washington University of Health and Science is not responsible for obtaining B-1 Visas for students, and does not guarantee that every student who applies for a B-1 Visa will be granted one. It is the student’s responsibility to plan accordingly and to consult with an immigration attorney if necessary.