About the ads

Medical School in Cuba

Discussion in 'Caribbean' started by Trunion, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. Trunion

    Trunion Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    I am cuban and have no plans to go study there, but I am curious about their medical education program. I read that they have thousands of doctors on the island and that they even have sent thousands to Venezula and other countries. Does anyone know how their medical education program is structured. I have heard that it takes about 3 years after high school to become a physician there. It sounds plausible since they seem to graduate doctors at an incredible rate. I have even read that Castro is offering medical education to poor students from the US who would like to go there. Can anyone shed some light on Cuba.
  2. wytosk

    wytosk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    ASU
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I would be very suspicious about any program where a 21yr (assuming one graduates hs at 18) is practicing medicine. Some things just take time to sink in. Except Doogie Howser MD of course.
  3. nena

    nena Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    in most latin countries you enter medical school directly out of high school. usually they graduate from high school at like age 16. its like a BA/MD program type thing. so you have 18 year olds doing what first years do in the US. they start rotating at like 20 and finish by like 22-23 if they don't fail anything that is.

    for the OP, the reason you might graduate in 3 years is because if you completed the pre-med reqs in the US they might take those courses and do 'convalidaciones' so you don't have to take them again. by doing that, it puts you in like year 3 of their 6 year program. but i will tell you that if you do the convalidaciones they may take courses like general undergrad biochem and subsitute it for medical biochem which will put you at a great disadvantage. especially if you plan on taking the usmle. also, the way school works in most latin countries is continuous. there aren't christmas breaks, spring breaks, etc. holidays do not exist. so you complete alot of coursework in one year.
    i suggest you check the net (although its hard to find any info) and call the cuban consulate in your city. they do have a program for US students. i know it was made up by fidel or something like that. i remember reading about it on some website. i forgot though what it was. anyway, good luck!

  4. this is intersting because just the other day someone told me that schools in cuba offer an excellent education to US students and that they have great faculty however i would like to see their usmle scores, wouldent that be somthing if cuban schools weree some big kept secrete
  5. Trunion

    Trunion Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Thanks for your replies...personally I feel that most of these Cuban docs are nothing more than glorified EMTs. Where there were no doctors before they can make a significant impact on the state of medical care, however, I can't imagine that 3 years after high school these doctors are remotely qualified to practice medicine as we know it. I have heard of some of these doctors emigrating to the US and they seldom ever pass USMLEs and practice here, however, they do end up working in HMO's (clinicas).
  6. nena

    nena Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    here, there, everywhere
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    i have been told from several professors and physicians where im from that Cuban doctors are excellent physicians. what most ppl don't understand is that medical school in latin countries is not easy. ppl tend to think that medical education is most difficult in the US. this is not true. in latin countries its very difficult as well.

    for example, let me give you an example test in gross anatomy. first thing is a 10 page written exam composed of multiple choice, short answer and pairing. afterwards you have an oral exam, one on one with the professor. its you, the prof., and the cadaver. you have 6 minutes to pull out a question, answer it and answer any other questions the professor feels like asking you at that time. he can ask you ANYTHING and you have to be prepared to answer and show him/her what you are talking about. in biochem apart from a 15 page exam you have a practical where you have to take blood out of a student and perform some type of test according to what you are learning (i.e, cholesterol, sugar..etc) you fail if you don't take out blood correctly. so its not easy. class is usually from 7am till 7pm, 6 days a week (yes, saturdays too, till 3). plus apart from class, you have to figure in time to study. so its very rigorous and demanding. thats why some of these 18 year olds are pretty darn good. its all they do--school..
  7. Quash

    Quash Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    21
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Wow, another cuban on the boards :-D My parents are from Pinar del Rio
  8. Ramon y Cajal

    Ramon y Cajal Junior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Isla del Encanto
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    This is in reference to the quality of Cuban-trained physicians.

    During my clinical rotations here in Puerto Rico, I have had the opportunity to work with several Cuban-trained doctors and they have all been outstanding. They haven't had it easy as they had to basically escape from Castro.

    In Cuba, once you finish medical school, you are required to enter a Family Medicine residency and serve as a family doc. If you want to do something else (Surgery, OB-Gyn, Peds, IM, etc) then you have to do another residency on top of FM. After all that, if you come to the mainland US or PR, then not only do you have to pass all of your boards, but you must repeat a residency in your chosen specialty. These folks do not have it easy, but I find they are some of the most dedicated physicians who are eager to teach and share what they know.
  9. cubabella

    cubabella Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Un cubano de Cuba que no sepa como es su pais.
    Te in formo amigo que los medicos cubanos son super buenos y no es leyenda ni mito. Sabes que en Cuba para no tener las mejores tecnologias los medicos que se graduan son muy buenos y la educacion aunque gratis pero muy buena. Como en todos los lugares hay profesionales malos, mediocres y excelentes.
    Los medicos cubanos a diferencia de muchos medicos graduados de otros paises tienen sensibilidad humana y para estar seguro de ello vete a Miami y pregunta por medicos cubanos que han hecho la rivalida en Estados Unidos si son buenos o no.
    Para decirte que el high school de Cuba no tiene que ver nada con el high school de Estados Unidos, viene siendo como una mezcla de los primeros anos de college de USA. Despues se hacen 6 anos de medicina y despues obligados 2 anos de family practice enzonas rurales.
    Amigo antes de hablar averigue mejor porque esta muy equivocado con la educacion en Cuba, quizas muchos medicos que van a la USA no se hacen medicos por el ingles que aunque en la universidad se da ingles pero no es como practicarlo. Ademas otros porque vienen muy ayores y le es imposible. No se si es de su conocimiento que los profesionales cubanos les esta prohibido salir del pais a menos a alguna mision, muchos es decir la mayoria salen ilegales.
    Mejor investigue cubanito sobre su pais antes de emitir algun criterio, al menos si quiere llamarse cubano.
    Saludos,
    Desde mi cuba bella
  10. cabrillo

    cabrillo Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    132
    Location:
    cali
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    well said mi amigo. I am surprised how ignorant some people are about the rest of the world. The US is one of the few countries in the world that you have to have a degree and prerequisites to get into medicine. 98% of the world go directly from high school which by the way is not even close to the high school educational system in the US. High school is the US is a joke for most students; it is too flexible and people can graduate with pre -algebra and probably never taken a biology or chemistry class. How do I know? Well, I teach high school science. This is the key point that people do not understand about those countries that allow 18 year olds going into medicine right away. Nobody can graduate high school in those countries without bio, physics, chemistry, calculus, and more. Again, Ignorance is not a sin but surely makes some people uncomfortable. here goes a funny one; " american football and baseball are the most popular games in the world"...........come on 99.9999999999% of the world knows that soccer is the number one televised, watched, and attended game in the WORLD! just my two cents
  11. Crookshanks

    Crookshanks Juju

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Bump

    Hi, I would LOVE some more information on attending medical school in Cuba. I am a 21 year old pre-med in Florida. I have a 2 year old daughter, and I'd like to know about "life" in medical school in Cuba...could my daughter live with me on campus? Could I live off campus? Can I recieve money from the states while I'm there? I also don't have information on admissions...

    could anyone fill me in?

    Hola, estoy en busca de mas informacion acerca de la escuela de medicina en Cuba que acepta a estudiantes estadounidenses. Tengo 21 años y vivo en la Florida. Tengo una hija de 2 años, y quisiera saber mas acerca de como es vivir en cuba como estudiante y madre. Seria posible vivir en los dormitorios con mi hija? Me dejarian vivir en otro lado? Cuanto costaria? Seria posible recibir dinero de los estados unidos?

    Tambien, quisiera saber cuales son los reqiusitos para ser aceptado? A cuales escuelas puedo applicar?

    Gracias/Thanks!
  12. boricua_doc

    boricua_doc MS-I

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Hola a todos,

    Pueden encontrar la información que necesitan en el siguiente enlace,

    http://www.ifconews.org/MedicalSchool/main.htm

    Espero les sea útil.

    Hello everyone,

    You can find the information you are looking for at the following link,

    http://www.ifconews.org/MedicalSchool/main.htm

    I hope you find it useful.
  13. cdpiano27

    cdpiano27 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Messages:
    603
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Cuba actually has a terrific medical and healthcare system and a very good
    educational system. I know this because I follow the news and am originally from South Florida.

    I know in some other countries that most people in the US would consider "third-world" have much better education systems, especially at the early stages.

    One example is Roumania. Some of the brightest matheamticians in the world come from there. Probably more than China, India, and most likely rivalling Russia in this area.

    I think we need to redesign the high school system in the U.S.

    What is funny is that in my PhD program in the matheamtical sciences, everyone ends up eventually caught up, because only the best are taken. I notice that graduate education in the US is always much better then undergraduate education. And undergraduate education is much better than high school education.
    This is because the US university's reputation usually rest on the research funding and graduate/professional programs. It is very easy to bring in people from other countries to study in the US so the academic reputation is not jeopardized.

    The reason why people do not apply to med school after high school in the US like in Cuba, China, and Europe? The students are not academically prepared. Tell people to try to take MCAT after high school. I bet that FEWER THAN 5% would get a 30 or above!!! THat is, unless every class was AP. And even then there is no organic/biochemistry taught!

    In Japan, the opposite trend is true. High school is very hard, college is easier, and graduate school, is even seen as a waste of time. They think that in most majors the companies should train you.

    Cubabella is correct in her post.
  14. pmtdenna

    pmtdenna slvrbck

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    What??!!!! If Cuban health care is so terrific, why do Cubans come over to the states and other countries to have reconstructive surgery, eye surgery, cancer treatments, etc.? When is the last time anything meaningful in medicine came out of Cuba? If waiting in line for 2 years to have a gallbladder removed is "terrific", I would hate to see what terrible is. The truth is that Fidel's communist dictatorship boasts universal health care for all and, in actuality, delivers substandard healthcare to the poor. The wealthier Cubans find a way to come to the US, Canada, Argentina, etc. in order to get the best medical care availble. If Cuban health care is so great, why aren't people flocking to Cuba for their terrific system? :rolleyes:
  15. Crookshanks

    Crookshanks Juju

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Location:
    Florida
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Here's my two cents.

    My family is from cuba, and truthfully I don't know ANYTHING about their health care system EXCEPT that the poor get great preventive/primary care. According to my grandmother, doctors are assigned a few blocks and they each have to visit their blocks on a weekly basis. This is a benefit to the elderly people who live alone, especially. If you're poor it doesn't matter because you still can go see a doctor whenever you need to without worrying about finances, like it is here in the states, where my dad hasn't seen a doctor in ages because he's poor and unemployed. As a result his problems have gotten worse.

    The overall impression that I get is that cubans who come here are much more impressed with THEIR healthcare back at home than they are with the crap they get here-if they get any-because often they're poor and can't afford it. If you're rich YES you will get great healthcare in this country, but not if you are poor...

    ALSO, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Cuba ranked above the USA by the World Health Organization, in regards to healthcare? I think that says something.
  16. the negative 1

    the negative 1 Ain't got time to bleed

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Charm City
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
  17. medschool22

    medschool22 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    80
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Considering that when Castro offered to send doctors to the affected areas from Hurricane Katrina and the US rejected that offer (even though we desperately needed doctors in these areas), I would highly highly doubt that these graduates would ever be able to practice in the US. The US has wanted nothing to do with Cuba for decades, and Bush announced today (?) he wants democracy in Cuba.

    Wouldn't count on going to Cuba for an MD unless you plan on staying there or out of the US.
  18. pmtdenna

    pmtdenna slvrbck

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    There is not one citizen or legal immigrant in the United States that can claim they can't get access to health care. Granted, the volume of uninsured patients in ER's around the country is taxing the system, but treatment is given just the same. There are so many programs available to assist with health care and preventative medicine it is almost staggering. And yet I hear this argument, this very tired and sad class envy argument, that healthcare in the US is only for the rich. :rolleyes:
    If your father is in need of medical treatment, I encourage you to help him enroll in medicare or medicaid, or both if he qualifies. You can find further information here www.cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid.asp
    As for the World Health Organization ranking the USA below Cuba in terms of healthcare, perhaps you should look at the criteria that they use. The following comes from a World Health Organization press release in June of 2000:
    "WHO’s assessment system was based on five indicators: overall level of population health; health inequalities (or disparities) within the population; overall level of health system responsiveness (a combination of patient satisfaction and how well the system acts); distribution of responsiveness within the population (how well people of varying economic status find that they are served by the health system); and the distribution of the health system’s financial burden within the population (who pays the costs)."

    In this article the US health care system, according to the criteria chosen, actually ranked 37th out of 191 countries. HOWEVER, when it comes to health system responsiveness, the US is ranked #1. It is the distribution of the health system's financial burden that changes the index rating for the US so dramatically. Because there is such a large spread between the lowest income earners and the highest, the United States scores poorly. However, when you compare the lowest income bracket population in the US and the percentage of income spent on healthcare, it is dramatically lower than the lowest income bracket of almost every other country. And for countries of comparable population size, the United States has the lowest percentage.
    So yes, ranking Cuba above the US does say something. It says that class envy can so distort your perception that good becomes bad and bad becomes good. You should also note that amoung industrialized nations, the WHO ranks the United States as the stingiest donator of medical and humanitarian aid in the world, based upon percentage of GDP. Ironically, in 2004 the United States donated more than twice the amount of international aid donated by all other nations combined. I find that very telling.
    Before anyone flames me for this post, ask yourself the following:
    If the US health care system is so bad, why are Cubans risking their lives to come over here when they could just stay in the medical paradise of Cuba?
  19. stinastina

    stinastina

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    255
    Location:
    Georgia
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I did some research on the program a couple of years ago. I have a 9 year old son and from what I understand you live in a dorm and you have very meager living arrangements. I don't believe you will be allowed to live off campus. I read that a lot of people lose weight because there is not a lot to eat, it is difficult communicating with the US by phone and mail and the dorms are pretty substandard. You don't want to take your little girl there. Granted, I also hear the education is great - but you gotta put your kid first.

  20. egmartin

    egmartin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Young U.S. medschool-bound students (and American med students) have this view of medical education in the "third world" as substandard. There is a gradient of medical education quality in the U.S. just like in Latin America. Because of Ernesto Guevarra's influnce on Castro (and his own socialist ideals), Cuba requires one doctor for every 165 citizens, and it has implemented this quite easily. Cuba touts itself as a leader in healthcare, offering to export physicians after natural disasters in Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

    Cuba offers amazing preventive and primary care services to all of its citizens, but there is an ugly side to this. While citizens enjoy easy access to physicians, the U.S. embargos make it impossible to stock any of the state-run pharmacies that regular Cuban citizens are required to go to. Most of these pharmacies in areas outside of Havana are nearly empty--they don't even carry aspirin.

    Medical services in Havana are a completely different story. The Cuban government HAS to make money somehow, and they do it through "healthcare tourism." Many wealthy, sick individuals from countries all over Latin America come to Havana for its EXCELLENT and affordable healthcare. Cuba is especially known for their excellence in eye surgery. There are plenty of pharmacies in Havana that carry all the normal prescription and over-the-counter drugs you'll find in the U.S., so as to give tourists a false impression that this is representative of the services "real Cubans" receive.

    Castro's free medical education program in Cuba is what most Americans refer to when talking about medical education in that country. Americans spend their years on a former military base and do their clinical rotations in Havana, so as to keep them isolated from the realities of the Cuban healthcare system.

    But hey, it's a free medical education--and a pretty good one at that. I'd take it.
  21. neurodoc

    neurodoc Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    I've heard this claim that high school in the US is not nearly as good as HS in other countries and even that HS grads from other countries (Cuba as far as this thread is concerned) are really equivalent to US college college students...this being the justification for these countries' admitting HS grads directly into their (usually six year) MD programs...

    The fact is that US HS education is uneven in quality, as is US college education. However, US medical education is fairly well-standardized and is of very high quality. Many US high schools are quite excellent, and I would say that they are probably more rigorous than high schools and even some colleges in Cuba or anywhere else... Ever hear of the Bronx High Scool of Science? Lowell High School in San Francisco? Boston Latin? etc?

    Also, the fact that there are more than 3x the number of applicants for the 15,000 or so US med school slots means that the med schools get to pick the most qualified applicants... I don't care how good, on average, Cuba's high schools may be. This is not relevant, and I'm quite sure that no matter how good they may be (and I doubt they're any better than BHS or Lowell), and in any case they are certainly no better than UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, U Penn, NYU, U of Chicago, or dozens of other fine US colleges who graduate thousands of US med school applicants each year.;)

    Nick

    I applaud Cuba for its policy of producing lots of doctors, but I don't buy the argument that their graduates are better than ours.
  22. arsenewenger

    arsenewenger

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    696
    Location:
    Washington
    Status:
    Post Doc
    SDN 2+ Year Member
  23. Mario123

    Mario123

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    great forum
    I found this website, I thought it was interesting so I'd like to share it, their medical dictionary is a killer!
    http://www.medicoscubanos.com/
  24. jro1985

    jro1985

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 5+ Year Member

    The US healthcare system aims to the develop of curative treatments, based in the high and expensives new technology, and there is a lack in preventive medicine. Indeed, the US healthcare system is the most powerful and advanced in the world. The problem resides in the 45 million people without health insurance, that's why the World Health Organization ranked Cuba, Francia ,Canada ,etc.. above US, those countries provide a Universal Coverage, therefore, all people have access to the system, and the preventive medicine is encouraged. The bottom line, in US we have the best treatments, training, facilities and specialists, but it's expensive (there is an overused, because the focus in curative medicine, and the lacking in prevention),and not all the people have access. (~45 millions and growing!! :eek:).
  25. chaicos

    chaicos

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    B.S
    LOS CUBANOS QUE MANDAN PARA VENEZUELA RECETAN ASPIRINA Y JUGO DE LIMON Y LE QUITAN LOS PUESTOS DE RESIDENCIAS A DOCTORES VENEZOLANOS CON 7 ANIOS DE ESTUDIOS. LASTIMA, RESPETO A TODO EL MUNDO PERO SEAMOS REALISTAS... 3 ANIOS DE EDUCACION NO SON SUFICIENTES. COMO VAN A PRACTICAR MEDICINA CON EQUIPOS QUE TIENEN 40 ANIOS DE ATRAZO.
    SUERTE
  26. matayo

    matayo

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Caguas, PR
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Are you serious? The United States is the only country in the world other than Canada that has graduate medical education. Singapore, India, United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Africa, China - EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY does medical education in undergraduate. That means just about every doctor practicing in the world finished when they were 21-23 range. It's not only possible - it's typical.
  27. matayo

    matayo

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Caguas, PR
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    pmtdenna: Are you an idiot? IT'S THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE! Have you not read any of the accounts of Americans flocking to Cuba to get complicated procedures done because they are better at them and do them cheaper than in the US? The US is not the best at anything...in fact...if you scrutinize carefully you realize the US is not the best at hardly anything except military and having the most money! That's EXACTLY why we have thousands of doctors in the US from India, China, Cuba, Central America, Africa and Europe.
  28. matayo

    matayo

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Caguas, PR
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Just one MORE FACT to point out how stupid you are: Cuba (BY ANY MEASURE AND ANY SURVEY BY ANY ORGANIZATION) has a HIGHER life expectancy than the US. Guess what? They also have A HIGHER RATE OF centenarians (people who live beyond the age of 100) than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Ok, Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world, but Cuba's is higher than the US.
  29. chaicos

    chaicos

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    HEY MATAYO,

    ARE YOU PLANNING ON PRACTICING IN CUBA?
  30. BrainBuff

    BrainBuff

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,345
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    matayo

    You are either very naive or a victim of the most ridiculous propaganda that I have seen in a while. You, my friend, know nothing about Cuba, just like in another thread you did not even know that Puerto Rican schools, being a territory of the US are LCME certified and that they are not typical "caribbean" schools.

    The US has some the best medical schools in the world, produces one of the highest numbers of Nobel laureates in Medicine and publishes most of the medical research in the world. The US is THE BEST.

    The reason we have thousands of doctors from foreign countries is because this is the best place in the world to practice medicine and they ALL would like to come here to practice. That fact could only attest to the greatness of the US.

    Cuba's infant mortality rate is outrageous and your statement about centenarians is laughable.

    And by the way, your insults and name calling will not be tolerated. We could all do without your vitriolic anti american sentiment that appears to be more politically motivated than anything else.

    One last thing, I will exhort you to go and live in Cuba and be a doctor there. If you are not planning to do that, then just do us a favor and ..........
  31. chaicos

    chaicos

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I AM AN IMMIGRANT MYSELF. IT BOTHERS ME WHEN PEOPLE TALK TRASH ABOUT THE COUNTRY THAT THEY LIVE IN. MATAYO YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO GET ON A PLANE (OR A RAFT) AND GO TO CUBA. THEY WILL GIVE YOU THE MEDICAL EDUCATION THAT YOUU WANT AND THAT YOU DESERVE FOR FREE. THAT IS RIGHT FOR FREE.
    DO ALL OF US A FAVOR AND GO WHERE YOU BELONG.
    I DON'T THINK THE SYSTEM IN THE USA IS PERFECT. STILL, I CHOOSE TO LIVE HERE. I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO IMPROVE IT. I DON'T THINK THAT ANYWHERE ELSE IS BETTER. IF I THOUGH SO, I WOULD MOVE TO THAT PLACE TO PRACTICE LIKE YOU SHOULD.
    THANK YOU.
  32. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,154
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    How about some facts.

    Look for Cuba in here: http://www.who.int/whr/2005/annex/indicators_country_a-f.pdf

    Look for the US in here: http://www.who.int/whr/2005/annex/indicators_country_p-z.pdf

    Cuba's newborn mortality rate is 4 per 1000. The US is 5 per 1000 (which would be worse than Cuba). The rest of the numbers for infant mortality are about the same.

    Cuba's life expectancy is 77. Same in the US.

    So what? Well, Cubans spend less than $200 per person on healthcare (as of 2002). US Americans spend over $5000 per person (as of 2002).

    Instead of masturbating over how great the US is, how about standing up for the tens of millions of US citizens who get worse healthcare than the poorest citizen in Cuba? Every other industrialized country has figured this out. We look pretty stupid.

    Love and kisses,
    White Girl born in California
    p.s. I love my country
    p.p.s. Lies and ignorance are un-American.
  33. BrainBuff

    BrainBuff

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,345
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Your ignorance is embarrassing, White Girl born in California. I would like to think that you are not intentionally spreading "Lies" since that would make you un-american and you seem to enjoy trumpetting your patriotism as well.

    Where did you get that? Where did you get that tens of millions of US citizens get worse healthcare than the "poorest citizen in Cuba" ? Did you get it from the Michael Moore movie, White Girl born in California?

    In order to debate, one requires knowledge. Please tell me what you know about medical care in Cuba. I am eager to hear you out (without the rhetoric, please) otherwise I would rather continue masturbating over how great the US is.
  34. chaicos

    chaicos

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    94
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    When was the last time that Cuba was on the news for a significant healthcare discovery?
    Once again, go there and be happy. You will be a "doctor" in Cuba in no time.
  35. leorl

    leorl Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    5,559
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Physician SDN 10+ Year Member
    Regardless of your own personal opinions, please keep discussions civil. It's always best to have a discussion rather than an insult hurling session...there's absolutely no need for it.
  36. RussianJoo

    RussianJoo Useless Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,171
    Location:
    Rock City
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Cubans have been very generous with their health care. Cubans have build many hospitals in the caribbean, and are working all over the caribbean. Have you seen the movie Sicko? they went to cuba and got free healthcare..
  37. Trunion

    Trunion Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Back in September 2005, I asked a simple question and it was answered...yes, it appears that cuban docs recieve 3 years of education after High school. I learned they also then complete a 2 year residency in FP and that is it. Well, perhaps Cubabella, Cabrillo, and Matayo are only interested in some polical ideal fin which they view Cuba on some sort of pedestal but I for one can't buy the fact that these minimally educated doctors are remotely equivalent to a US doc. As far as the WHO stats go, well most reasonable people recognize that these numbers are what ever Fidel (and now his Bro) says they are. Can you imagine the poor soul who has to tell the minister of health that the birthrate has dropped...off to jail you go. I think that the Cuban Docs do serve a purpose and have done a good job of preventing Cuba from becoming another Haiti. I still stand by the fact that very few of these Docs have sucessfully become MDs in the US even though I would suspect that many have come here. Most of them today have transitioned to the Nursing profession or are working in "clinicas" in Miami.
  38. tantrum

    tantrum Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Messages:
    440
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I've worked with some Cuban docs in exile. Their medical training seem shallow and they tend to refer a lot. I think it's more of a pyramidal system where they get their top docs in specialties and even these specialists tend to order ALL procedures (whatever they can do with limited technology). They send so many of their doctors overseas as political exports like in Venezuela. Preventive care does not take a lot of money to be successful (some developing countries have successfully used trained native midwives). But to use FP's in these models will not be cheap as training a doctor involves a lot of time and money.
  39. santafe

    santafe

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Post Doc
    I'll try to shed some light on this port, although unfortunately the information might be kind of old since I left Cuba for GOOD 3 years ago :)
    1- The medicine program is not 3 but 6 years (at least in the 90s) with the 2 first years being mostly premeds.
    2- The following 3 years consisted of clinical rotations, being the 3 and the 4 dedicated mostly to the 4 core specialties and the 5th to the more specifics clerkships.
    3- The last year was mostly for clerkships in the main specialties, with evaluation after each rotation.
    4- Before getting the degree doctors are supposed to render a two part examination: practical and theory.
    5- After those 6 years they need to practice for 2 more in what's known as social service, after that, they're allowed to enter a specialty (merit based) or continue the family medicine path. All of them range between 3 and 4 years with a few exception of 5.
    That was till the 90's, with the Venezuela explosion Fidel started to open the doors of the Faculties to a multitude of people who wouldn't have dreamed of becoming a doctor before, some conferences became classes on TV and other BS and the final year of clerkship was derivated to a year in family practice. I really don't know how things are going on with all those changes, but most professors seemed to be really upset when those changing started. However, I'm sure that the program is still 6 years after HS :)

    BTW: when medical school in cuba wasn't a place of mass production of doctors there was no way of convalidating courses, you needed to start the program from the beginning. And I know this one for sure.
  40. BrainBuff

    BrainBuff

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,345
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    santafe For the record, just clarifying some stuff:

    Medical School is SIX years. There is no such thing as being a Premed in Cuba. You finish High School ( 12th Grade ) and then you go to the University to study your field of interest (if you got admitted). Unlike in the US, Medicine and Law are not Graduate School Programs, they are just like Bachelor's Degrees. The only difference is that a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering, Arts, Communications, and every other field that you can imagine takes FIVE years instead of SIX for Medicine. Law is also FIVE years.

    In the last decade the government has turned into a mass production of doctors to ship to other countries as a source of hard currency. Primarily Family Doctors. The irony is that now, there are not enough doctors in Cuba and they have had to turn into the above described TV classes and conferences to the dismay of the faculty!!

    Another note of interest: The situation is chaotic enough, that students in their SIXTH year ( before graduating ) are actually staffing street clinics, etc without any direct supervision whatsoever. This is happening because most of the trained physicians and specialists are being shipped out therefore creating a shortage in their own country!

    Tantrum also makes a very good point that people frequently overlook. It is completely impractical and disastrous for any country to produce doctors en masse, because of the expenses involved. The needs of the population are not met that way either because you are sacrificing everything else. Cuba likes to brag that they have one doctor per 100 inhabitants but thousands of them are now driving taxis and trying to work in the tourism industry because they can earn a better living that way.
  41. santafe

    santafe

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Post Doc
    Thanks for the clarification, instead of premeds I should've said basic sciences :) biochem, anat, physio, histo, embryo, and so on. The downfall is that they also take phylosophy, which according to most students is a waste of their already scarce time :)
  42. doctor4dapoor

    doctor4dapoor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    41
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Good point. Def. liked the part about soccer:)
  43. quietly80

    quietly80

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't know about the Cuban med school. I will let others debate that.
    I do know about a fast track approach compared to US (typical) med schools. My family is currently in the Caribbean while my husband attends med school at a "fast track" school. This doesn't mean less intensive. It just means that you go all year with minimal breaks and the first 4 semesters are pre-med, next 5 are medical sciences and last 6 clinicals. To be able to practice in the US, in medical sciences semester 5 you must go and take the USMLE (correct acronym?) through Kaplan University. Then there are certain hospitals that you can do clinical rotations at - or go foreign like we plan to.
    A semester is 4 months, minus break times.
    The material is all up-to-date with the US and the classes are intensive.
    You can enroll straight out of high school, but having a basic knowledge of trig and calculus is a must. My husband struggled his first semester with Calculus. He didn't have anything past Algebra in high school.
    He did have lots of practical medical experience - he was a fire-fighter, EMT 1 & 2 and the medical person in charge on the Alaska State Ferries.
    Having 5 children has also helped in the practical experience. So, even if he doesn't make the highest score in bookwork, he may excel in clinicals.
    ;)
  44. imperfection

    imperfection

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    USA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I would never claim to be an expert on Cuban health care or medical education, however, I have done a great deal of research on the subject. I am in the process of completing a research paper comparing US and Cuban health care policies and health outcomes for a college Medical Anthropology course and while many of the papers and articles I have read have clear biases either in favor of or against Cuba, I feel that I am beginning to form as unbiased an understanding of the Cuban system as is possible given the nature of the data. To clarify, the research paper in question is a scientific research paper and as such requires that sources carry a certain level of creditability. The statistics on Cuban health outcomes which I have considered have been verified and found to be truthful. In fact, the Cuban system for reporting health outcomes across the country has been lauded as one of the best in the world and it certainly considered by most to be at least as accurate as that of the US. What I am trying to say here is, I suppose, that the opinions I wish to state have not been formed by watching Sicko or by listening to anti-Cuban US propaganda. I take the sources of data I consider very seriously.
    Introduction aside, there are a few key things which must be considered when looking at Cuban health care (which one must understand before considering Cuban medical education). Firstly, Cuban GDP per capita (PPP) is approximately a quarter of that of the US. Second, Cuba considers health care to be a right, not a privileged.
    It has been the predominant model globally that the former consideration is the more important, that as GDP grows healthcare improves. Both the US and Cuba manage to prove from their opposite ends of the spectrum that this is clearly not the case. Despite having a very high GDP the US ranks behind a great many other developed nations in its health care outcomes. Despite having a comparatively low GDP Cuba ranks above many developed countries in health outcomes (depending on the indices used Cuba frequently ranks higher than the US). This does not prove that Cuba is the best health care provider, not least because there are so many ways to measure such a qualification that it is almost meaningless. It merely says that Cuba is clearly doing something right.
    A number of different ideas have been proposed as to what it is that Cuba is actually doing that is 'right', all seem to play some roll. Mostly it can be summed up under three headers, one of which I have already mentioned: for Cubans, health is a human right. The second is that preventative rather than curative practice is the focus and a great deal more is considered to be a part of health care than in most other countries. What I mean by this is that in Cuba maintaining good conditions in the workplace and good nutrition for all Cubans is considered to be an integral part of effective health care. Finally, Cuba persues integrated health care which means they use techniques other than the Western norm of allopathic medicine. This is particularly helpful as it provides alternatives to procedures which are difficult to do without supplies which are held out of Cuba by the blockade.
    All of these things effect medical education in Cuba. The focuses of Cuban health care are the focuses of Cuban medical education. Cuban medical school teaches preventative medicine, integrated medicine, and medicine without the high tech gadgetry that is considered necessary in the US. Furthermore, they teach medicine as a human right.
    Basically, if you want the best of high tech medical education then go to med school in the US or another developed country. Cuba is not going to provide you with the 'best' of medical education if that is how you evaluate the best. If you want medical education that focuses on providing health care effectively to everyone then you may want to consider going to Cuba.
    As a disclaimer, I am personally considering Cuban medical school. I came to the decision to apply after about a month of research into the Cuban health system. While I am under no disillusionment that Cuba represents some holy grail of health, I do feel that it provides a good model for health care and could teach me a great deal.
    Sorry for the essay! I would love to hear from folks who have studied/lived in Cuba as my experience so far comes from dry academic journals!
    Perhaps this will help to clear up some of the issues which have been raised in this thread. If folks want specific statistics feel free to ask, I don't have much time free but I can try to dig through my research for pertinent facts.

    Wishing you laughter,
    ~faultlessimperfection
  45. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,083
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I wouldn't attend a Cuban med school, or other foreign med school, if your plan is to practice in the US.
    Just like I wouldn't attend a US med school if my goal was to practice in Cuba.
    There are reasons for both of these.

    What's good for one country may not work/be good for another. I don't think most US patients would accept the lack of access to specialists and technology, and surgical treatment, that exists in Cuba. However, we could likely benefit from a greater influence on preventive medicine here in the good old USA. I don't think one needs to attend a Cuban medical school to understand or learn about that, though I do favor electives abroad for interested US medical students.
  46. ilton

    ilton

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    374
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    If you have read what people are saying you would understand that most of these doctors don't have specialties, they are general physicians. People don't flock to Cuba because, like you, most are ignorant about their system, and also Cuba isn't necessarily the hottest tourist spot, in case you haven't heard. This is all true, all these things people are saying. Latin countries have a better foundation in education than the US does. School even from an early age is much harder than it is here. The reason most people don't know this is because most americans are very ignorant about other countries, simply because they just think America has the best everything, which is just dumb to think that. This country has a lot of great things, but health care and education aren't the best.

    Still even with that I don't know that I would sacrifice not being able to specialize to go to school for free.
  47. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    7,622
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Which of course explains the droves of Americans risking their lives to reach Cuban shores in crappy little boats . . .
  48. tazlmc5

    tazlmc5

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Does anyone know how the application process works, when applying to medical school in Cuba and what is the link to acess the application? Any information. I am very interested in this program and I am a minority from an underepresented area so what are my chances. Does anyone have any comments on what it is like living in Cuba and going to medical school, any personal experiences in this area?
  49. BrainBuff

    BrainBuff

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,345
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    1.- There are no links, there are no online applications, period. Cuba does not have free internet access and their online resources are limited. The only medical school you can be considered for is the ELAM (Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina) which you get to thru government contacts. So that you start getting an idea about how crappy the system is (especially if you are used to the US), to get the info you need, you must contact the Cuban Interests Section in Washington (equivalent to a cuban embassy in the US). I am sure they will be thrilled to pass the propaganda out.

    2.- Latest reports indicate that students are not very happy with their education. Basic courses are being taught by video in classrooms proctored by senior students. Technology is rudimentary to say the least . In addition, the US dollar is taxed at 20% ( you get 80 cents of their convertible currency for $1.00 ) and the prices, well just the same as the US (hotels, goods, etc)

    3.- As far as what living in Cuba is like.... Do you live in a bubble?? Why do you think thousands of Cubans jump in little boats and risk their lives every year to get out of there?

    Before you give Cuba any thought, you should take a trip down there and check it out. You can visit thru a third country and they will give you a visa at the airport when you land.

    If someone who is underrepresented minority can become President of the US, I am sure that you can attend medical school here.
  50. dragonfly99

    dragonfly99

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,083
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    I'm not trying to talk down about any other country's medical system or medical school, but in general I think it's much better to attend med school in the country where you plan to practice (i.e. if it's the USA, then try to go to med school in the USA). This is because our educational system is set up to produce doctors who have the required knowledge and the experience training in US hospitals where they'll do their residencies. Same for Cubans or folks from other countries...I mean, if I wanted to practice medicine in Cuba, I wouldn't try to train in the US because they have a totally different health system down there. Also, it's hard to do modern medical education well "on the cheap" and the economic system down in Cuba isn't too hot which --> poverty, which isn't good for education in general.

    On a personal note, I disagree with the policies of Castro and his government, which has oppressed people for years and years. He has locked up political dissidents, artists, etc. who disagree with him. I have no doubt he thought (and thinks) that he was doing something good, and the gov't he replaced down there wasn't too hot either (corrupt and probably stealing all the people's money) but if you go down there and attend school you are tacitly saying that you approve of the Cuban government.

Share This Page


About the ads