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Apr 29, 2002
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There seems to be a lot of discussion lately on this topic, including a lot of fear-mongering anecdotes with an undercurrent of innuendo that odds are you will necessarily fail if you go to the Caribbean.

With that said, I'm sharing an article from the AMA's blog about why applicants/soon-to-be graduates fail - including U.S. graduates - to obtain a residency position.

Why medical students aren't matching--and what happens next?

I've spoken about this before on this forum, but it's worth reiterating:

1) Getting into a Caribbean medical school is no guarantee you will finish and graduate and be able to call yourself doctor.

2) The pathway is fraught with risks and traps; you must navigate it with aplomb (e.g., avoid decels, score well on the Steps, don't get into trouble, etc.)

3) You have to be very smart when it comes time to apply for residency, including a lot of "back-up" options. The way you do this is:
(a) choosing a school that has a long track record of placing graduates in the residency you want in the location you want;
(b) looking at the prior placement lists available on a school's website to get an indication of those places.
Point is, there are no guarantees in life, even if you go to a U.S. medical school (not that your overall chances of succeeding aren't substantially better). However, you will have to work harder, smarter, and wiser if you choose the Caribbean pathway - not less. If you go to an established, reputable school and believe that they are going to spoonfeed you and hand you a degree, you will fail. If you choose any other Carib school, for whatever reasons (or promises they make to you), trust me when I tell you that all bets are off. Many of those schools are an absolute crapshoot.

Be smart. And good luck. Don't be afraid of the anecdotes and fear-mongerers. But, keep straight and fly right if you want to succeed... which you should... or you're just wasting your time and money.

-Skip
 
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