Tracking the Track Record

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Skip Intro

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20+ Year Member
Apr 30, 2002
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So, let's break the schools down a different way.

I took the liberty of looking at the number of Caribbean schools that primarily cater to U.S. students who intend to come back to practice here in the States (and possibly Canada). As such, the schools from the Dominican Republic (a former common pathway), Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and others that don't fit the "U.S. student" criteria were left off the lists. Also, the U.S. schools (proposed or actual) in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are excluded, as they are (will) not (be) ECFMG/USIMG pathway schools.

If you look at the number of schools that have been established and the ones that have popped-up more recently, you can fit them into pretty neat time categories. Herein, I've done that.

1) Late 70's/Early 80's: There were five schools, still in existence, that were established during that time frame. They are, in order from 1977-1983:
  • St. George's University (1977)
  • Ross University (1978)
  • AUC (1978) - originally in Monserrat, now in St. Maarten
  • Spartan (1980)
  • University of Health Sciences Antigua (1983)
So, let's discuss these first. The first 3 are well-established schools that have produced thousands upon thousands of doctors. The last two have practicing physicians in the U.S., but I would advise anyone to do their homework regarding licensing issues going forward. They certainly have not produced as many practicing physicians as the others. And they may have significant licensing restrictions depending on the state you want to practice in.

2) The 1990's:
  • Saba University (1994)
  • IUHS (1998)
  • MUA - Nevis (1998)
  • St. James SOM - Bonaire (NL) (1999)
  • AISM (1999)
  • AUIS SOM (1999)
Saba University is also a well-established, but smaller, school with a 20-year track record. They've grown a lot over the past 10 years, as well. The other... not so much. Again, I would consider licensing issues and whether or not you will be able to (a) find a meaningful residency or (b) be able to get permanent licensure in the state in which you ultimately want to practice.

3) The 2000's:
  • St. Martinus University (2000)
  • Windsor University (2000)
  • St. James SOM - Anguilla (UK) (2001)
  • College of Medicine and Health Sciences - St. Lucia (2002)
  • St. Matthew's SOM (2002)
  • Avalon University SOM (2003)
  • University of Science, Arts & Technology Faculty of Medicine (2003)
  • American University of Antigua (2004)
  • Aureus University SOM (2004)
  • Xavier University SOM (2004)
  • International American University COM (2004)
  • International University SOM - Bonaire (2005)
  • All Saints University SOM (2006)
  • CMU - Curacao (2007)
  • American International Medical University (2007)
  • University of Medicine and Health Sciences (2008)
  • Trinity SOM (2008)
Whoa... what happened here? A virtual explosion of schools in the first decade of the 21st century. If you look at the history of the COGME, you'll find out that there was suddenly predicted a massive doctor shortage in the U.S. Also, many looked to capitalize on being able to secure FFEL loans (which most schools in the Caribbean have not been able to do). So, we get a bunch of new schools. Again, ask yourselves if these schools have a long track record of placing graduates into residency and permanent licensure.

4) The 2010's:
  • Texila American University (2010)
  • Atlantic University SOM (2010)
  • Washington Medical Sciences Institute (2011)
  • All Saints University SOM - St. Vincent (2011)
  • American University of St. Vincent SOM (2012)
  • Georgetown American University (Guyana) (2013)
No real track record here. Caveat emptor.

So, that is 34 schools that the discerning potential medical student looking to study abroad has to choose from. It can be a dizzying amount of choices. But, to simplify, I would hope that people would consider:
  1. A long track record of getting graduates successfully into residency and subsequently licensed in the state in which they ultimately want to practice.
  2. A solid history of delivering a meaningful degree that you will be able to use to secure future employment.
  3. Recognition by at least one (if not several) equivalent educational boards in the U.S.
I'm sure that there may be individual success stories from each of these programs. But, you have to ask yourself this: am I going to be that lucky "one" person who seems to get the dream residency from a minor, lesser known program? Or, should I play the better odds by going to a school that meets one of those criteria.

That's a question only you can answer. Best of luck in making this huge financial and timely decision. It has the potential of impacting the rest of your life, which is something many of you might not be able to fully comprehend right now.

Good luck!


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Thank you, Skip! This post is helpful, as I'm considering medical schools abroad. I plan to apply to schools in the US, but if I don't get into any US schools, it's nice to know that overseas options are available.
@Skip Intro What do you think about MUA? Also, I am not even sure why you mention PR schools since everyone knows they are US schools and people have to submit their application to these schools thru AMCAS.
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