10 Best Medical Schools in the Caribbean

Medical schools in the Caribbean have developed into an excellent alternative to studying medicine in the United States or Canada, either for citizens of those countries or for other international students. The curriculum and admission requirements follow the American system, with the same admissions tests like MCAT required, and very often, clinical practice can be undertaken in American or Canadian hospitals.

However, the cost of tuition is much less than the comparative costs in either country and – of course – the setting and cultural experience are quite different in the Caribbean. Studying medicine there will allow you a cultural immersion like no other and it will also place you in an ideal location for quiet, peaceful studying when needed. Here are the best medical schools in the Caribbean.

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Top Medical Schools in the Caribbean

1. St George’s University Grenada

St George’s University in Grenada offers degrees primarily focused in the medical sciences – medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing -, alongside arts and sciences and business studies. It is a fully international university situated in Grenada, West Indies, and was established in 1977 (the medical school was first). St George’s University Grenada is considered the best medical school in the Caribbeans based on the accreditation and student success after graduation.

The MD program is offered in different lengths of tuition periods, from 4 years up to 7 in total. If you have a Bachelor’s degree already, you can apply for the 4-year program, while the 5, 6 and 7-year programs include pre-medical preparatory coursework to make up for undergraduate lack of experience. On the 4-year program, you will spend the first two years on the True Blue campus in Grenada, moving on to focus on clinical sciences for the next two years. For the two years’ clinical experience, you can practice at teaching hospitals in the US and the UK.

2. Saba University School of Medicine

If you’re looking to study in a secluded haven where you will be focusing exclusively on your medicine degree, Saba University is the place to be. Located 28 miles (15 minutes’ plane ride away) from St. Maarten, Saba is a small island nation which is known for its peace and quiet. It is an extremely picturesque place to focus on your studies but also to enjoy the outdoors and the Caribbean lifestyle.

Saba University School of Medicine has been in existence since 1992 and is considered one of the top medical schools in the Caribbean. It was founded as an international alternative to medical schools in the United States and Canada. It is an international medical school and, upon graduating, you will receive the doctor of medicine degree. The program is five years long, split into five semesters of basic science followed by the clinical medicine curriculum. During the second half, you will have the opportunity to practice in affiliated teaching hospitals in the US and Canada.

In order to gain admission to Saba University, you will need to meet the requirements which vary depending on your country of origin, and will also need to prove that you are proficient in English.

Upon graduation from Saba University School of Medicine, your degree will be automatically recognized in all 50 states in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

3. Ross University School of Medicine

This private medical school in the Caribbean is located in Bridgetown, Barbados, and has separate administrative offices in New Jersey and Florida in the United States. It moved from Portsmouth, Dominica, to Barbados in 2018.

The medical school was founded in 1978 by Robert Ross, an entrepreneur. It now has a number of international partnerships, including Dillard University, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, and more. The MD program’s curriculum is split into the basic pre-clinical semesters and the clinical training, as per traditional medical programs. However, Ross University doesn’t have any affiliated teaching hospitals. Instead, it contracts with hospitals throughout the US to place students into clinical rotations for their clinical practice. This means that you will have the opportunity to complete rotations all over the US.

4. American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine

The America University of the Caribbean, owned by Adtalem Global Education, has an administrative center in Florida but the main science campus is located in Sint Maarten. It is recognized by the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom and by most states in the US.

The original AUC was founded by Dr Paul Tien in 1978 and located in Montserrat, but was forced to move to Sint Maarten after the eruption of the previously dormant Soufriere Hills volcano.

The MD program is split into 5 semesters studying Medical Sciences on campus, followed by 4.5 semesters training in the Clinical Sciences portion at AUC’s affiliated teaching hospitals. The latter are in the UK, the US and Ireland. The total length of the MD program is therefore 4 years.

5. St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine

Located in Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, St Matthew’s University is one of the top medical schools in the Caribbean and has a School of Medicine and a School of Veterinary Medicine. In medicine, it confers the MD degree after a 10-semester program.

The university has its roots in Belize, where in 1997 a group of doctors came together to establish a medical school. Over the years, the administration changed and the school moved to Grand Cayman in 2002.

The MD program is taught over 10 semesters, at the rate of three semesters per year. It is recognized by most states in the US for obtaining licensure (with the exception of Indiana and Kansas), and also approved by the New York State Education Department and the Florida Department of Education for clinical rotations by students in their hospitals. Moreover, there are two state-of-the-art hospitals in Grand Cayman that students can use to obtain clinical experience.

With tuition fees of $14,825 per semester during the first 5 semesters, and $19,400 per semester during the following five, the medical school at St Matthew’s University is significantly more affordable than in the United States, whilst still offering comparable levels of learning and the opportunity for licensure in the US after graduation.

6. American University of Antigua – Caribbean Medical School

This accredited medical school is based in Antigua and Barbuda and began teaching in 2002. One of its co-founders was former president of the Ross University, Neal S. Simon. AUA graduates are eligible for residency and licensure throughout the United States and Canada.

Their MD program consists of two components: Preclinical and Clinical. During the Preclinical Sciences courses, you will be taught on campus in Antigua. There is also an immersive preclinical training part of this period at the on-campus simulation center and at Mount St John’s Medical Center. Afterwards, the Clinical Sciences courses are taught at affiliated teaching hospitals throughout the US, Canada and India.

7. Trinity Medical Sciences University

Next on our list of top Caribbean medical schools is the Trinity Medical Sciences University. This medical school is based in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the pre-clinical study program is located for all students. Opening in 2008, this university’s administrative headquarters are in Roswell, Georgia, US, and the clinical rotations are conducted in the US. The university has partnerships with Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown and Northwest Hospital in Baltimore.

The School of Medicine follows the US style of medical school with a 4-year MD program. The curriculum is based on individualized learning plans and you can accelerate or decelerate your learning depending on your requirements.

8. University of Medicine and Health Sciences

The University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) is dedicated to preparing students for a medical career in the US, Canada, and beyond. They are based in Bassetterre, St. Kitts, and consider themselves a “boutique medical school.” This school was also founded by Dr. Robert Ross of Ross University in 2007.

The Basic Science program is the name given to semesters 1 through 4 of the MD program, where you will be taught on campus. The curriculum utilizes problem-based learning and emphasizes clinical correlations to provide a thorough understanding of biomedical sciences to students from various backgrounds. The Clinical Program is then completed during semesters 5 to 10, when students transition from the classroom to hospital settings in the US and Canada. The program kicks off in Portland, Maine, for one semester, followed by 78 weeks of clinical rotations at various teaching hospitals.

9. Xavier University School of Medicine

Located in Aruba, Xavier University is a not-for-profit medical school founded in 2004 and based in the country’s capital, Oranjestad. As one of the best medical schools in the Caribbeans, the school offers a pre-medical program and the main MD program, delivered over 4 years of tuition. As most US based programs, the first two years cover basic science and medicine studies, while the following two years cover clinical rotations done in the United States.

At Xavier University, the admissions team pride themselves on reviewing students’ applications holistically, and not requiring the usual MCAT results in order to apply. There are three start dates offered – January, May, and September.

10. Medical University of the Americas

The Medical University of the Americas, located in Nevis in the West Indies, is a medical school primarily enrolling students from the US and Canada and conferring the MD degree which then allows those students to return to their respective countries to practice medicine. It offers a small program, with intakes of 80-90 students only, in a unique setting and with state-of-the-art facilities.

The curriculum is split into basic sciences and clinical, across 10 semesters. The first five semesters take place on campus in Nevis, laying the foundations for the clinical practice to follow. From the sixth semester, students complete clinical rotations in the US or Canada at approved teaching hospitals affiliated with the university.

In order to gain admission, beyond your test results and proven English proficiency, you need to demonstrate your background in sciences is at the level required for the first year of the MD program. If this is not the case, the MUA offers a one-year pre-medical program as well, before starting the full medicine tuition.


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