Did Your Doctor Graduate From a Caribbean Medical School?

We discuss at length the importance of choosing your doctor on this blog. There are a variety of factors patients can, and should, consider when selecting a doctor to provide medical care. One such factor is the medical school the doctor attended.

All medical schools are not created equal. Just like anything else, some are good and some leave much to be desired. A growing number of doctors in the U.S., including those in Western Virginia, graduated from medical schools in the Caribbean. Recently, our firm has seen an increase in the number of medical malpractice cases brought against doctors with foreign medical degrees, particularly Caribbean medical schools.

There are more than 60 medical schools in the Caribbean, see full list below. Some of these schools have misleading, American sounding names such as “Georgetown American University” in Guyana, “Washington University of Health & Science” in Belize, or my personal favorite “All American Institute of Medical Sciences” in Jamaica.

The problem with Caribbean medical schools is two-fold. First, future doctors who apply to these schools have worse academic scores than their American peers. For example, at one of the largest Caribbean medical schools the average undergraduate G.P.A is 3.4, compared to an average undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.69 for applicants to American medical schools.[1] At the same Caribbean medical school, the average score on the M.C.A.T. is 26, compared with 31 for American medical schools. Id.

The second problem with Caribbean medical schools is the inferior education provided. In 2014, only 53 percent of United States citizens who attended foreign medical schools (most of them in the Caribbean) were placed through the National Resident Matching Program, compared to 94 percent of students from American schools.[2] A 2008 study in the journal Academic Medicine revealed Caribbean medical schools with a first-time pass rate on the United States medical licensing exam of only 19 percent.[3]

Many doctors with medical degrees from Caribbean medical schools are not, in fact, foreign born doctors. Rather, many doctors with Caribbean medical degrees applied to such schools because they were rejected from American medical schools.[4]

Given the statistical evidence on the questionable quality and training for doctors with Caribbean medical degrees, patients should be wary of doctors who graduate from these “last chance” medical schools.

Anguilla

  • Saint James School of Medicine        

Antigua and Barbuda

  • American University of Antigua       
  • Metropolitan University College of Medicine                       
  • University of Health Sciences Antigua School of Medicine             

Aruba

  • American University School of Medicine
  • Aureus University School of Medicine                     
  • Xavier University School of Medicine

Barbados

  • American University of Barbados School of Medicine         
  • American University of Integrative Sciences
  • Bridgetown International University             
  • Victoria University of Barbados                    
  • Ross University School of Medicine 
  • University of the West Indies

Belize

  • Central America Health Sciences University 
  • Washington University of Health & Science 

Cayman Islands

  • St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine

Cuba

  • Latin American School of Medicine
  • Medical University of Sancti Spíritus

Curacao

  • Avalon University School of Medicine         
  • Caribbean Medical University School of Medicine   
  • John F. Kennedy University School of Medicine     
  • New York Medical University
  • St. Martinus University          

Dominique

  • All Saints University School of Medicine     

Dominican Republic

  • Santo Domingo Institute of Technology
  • Mother and Teacher Pontifical Catholic University
  • Autonomous University of Santo Domingo  
  • Technological Catholic University of the Cibao
  • Eastern Central University
  • Ibero-American University    
  • Santiago University of Technology
  • O&M Medical School

French West Indies

  • University of the French West Indies            

Grenada

  • St. George’s University School of Medicine 

Guyana

  • University of Guyana
  • American International School of Medicine  
  • Georgetown American University     
  • GreenHeart Medical University         
  • Lincoln American University 
  • Texila American University   
  • Alexander American University        

Haiti

  • State University of Haiti                                
  • University Notre Dame of Haiti
  • Quisqueya University            

Jamaica

  • All American Institute of Medical Sciences  
  • University of the West Indies Faculty of Medicine

Montserrat

  • Seoul Central College of Medicine    
  • University of Science, Arts and Technology Faculty of Medicine   

Saba

  • Saba University School of Medicine 

Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • International University of the Health Sciences
  • University of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Medical University of the Americas  
  • Windsor University School of Medicine       

Saint Lucia

  • American International Medical University  
  • Atlantic University School of Medicine
  • College of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • International American University College of Medicine       
  • Spartan Health Sciences University   
  • Washington Medical Sciences Institute         

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • All Saints University College of Medicine    
  • American University of St Vincent School of Medicine       
  • Saint James School of Medicine        
  • Trinity School of Medicine    

Saint Maarten

  • American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine  

Trinidad and Tobago

  • University of the West Indies Faculty of Medicine

[1] Hartocollis, Anemona, Second Chance Medical School. The New York Times (July 31, 2014) pg. 4 of 8, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/education/edlife/second-chance-med-school.html?searchResultPosition=1.

[2] Hartocollis at 2.

[3] Van Zanten M, Boulet JR. Medical Education in the Caribbean: Variability in Medical School Programs and Performance of Students. Acad Med (Oct. 2008). 83 (10 Suppl):S33-6, available at https://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Fulltext/2008/10001/Medical_Education_in_the_Caribbean__Variability_in.9.aspx

[4] Hartocollis at 2.

Bo Frith