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Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by milljea, Jul 18, 2001.
Can you give me your ideas on medical school in Cuba and the chance or getting residency in the US
I just got back from visiting my family Cuba a few weeks ago. My cousin goes to medical school in Cuba so I can give you a my secondhand impressions. As far as I know medical school in Cuba lasts six years with students entering straight from high school. Cuban doctors are very highly regarded by most of the international medical establishment, which I assume has partly to do with excellent training. There are a few Americans who train in the Cuban international medical school. As far as grading goes, it is pretty similar to this country except that the system uses numbers (1-5, 5 being the best) instead of letters. Residencies in Cuba get a little tricky, however. As I understand it, if you graduate from medical school and want to have a family medicine oriented practice, you do not need any extra training. Family medicine in Cuba focuses more on preventative medicine. If you want to go into a specialty, like surgery, you have to score very, very high in all of your classes. I am not sure whether they have "board" exams or not.
As far as any personal impressions that I got: there are many simlilarites between stressed out students in the US and Cuba as far as academics go. Added stresses for Cuban students come from lack of access to recent books, information, and school materials (My cousin was studying from this old, ratty microbiology book from about 1965, and did not have enough notebooks or pens to work with). So if anyone out there is going to Cuba and meeting any med students please think about bringing and giving away school supplies and new medical books (as well as medicine, shoes, clothing, oh gosh the list goes on and on!!). More stress coes from the fact that transportation in Cuba is very limited , so getting to and from medical school is a chore (my cousin hitchhikes twice a day to get to and from school). Plus, most students still live with their parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, you name it. Let me tell you, it is really hard to study when the house is full of people who cant understand that you need quiet time to study. Anyway, I really admire Cuban doctors and students because they can do so much with so little. Hope that helps!
cuba is a totalitarian communist third world country, hundreds of thousands of people have died either in firing squads fighting the government in the revolution, or on rafts trying to escape that hell hole. why anyone in their right minds would want to go there to study medicine is beyond me. Cuban medical education or medical care is immensely substandard not only to that in the u.s. but in the entire world. I have met many cuban doctors, and yes, medical education in cuba before castro was very similar to that in the u.s., but since communism took over the university 40 years ago, there is no comparison. the cuban government is good at one thing, putting out propaganda to mislead the world, but don't be fooled; going to cuba to study medicine is not bad just because it's a poor country, it's bad because you will have to endure enourmous oppression and violation of your human rights every day that you are there, for all of six years.
I'll move this over to the International Forum for ya!