In the first four or five semesters at a Caribbean Medical University, you will spend your time going through basic science courses similar to those you would go through if you were studying in the U.S. The courses are aimed at preparing you for the United States Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1. Passing the exam will in turn enable you to gain entry into clinical semesters.
Like the basic science courses, the clinical rotations and the fourth year of medical studies in Caribbean Universities are similar to those of medical schools in the United States. The clinical training in the institutions must adhere to strict guidelines, especially in regard to the quality and the location. Moreover, the sub-internships and rotations should be done in hospitals affiliated to the medical schools. The hospitals should also have members of faculties in the appropriate fields.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is the approving authority for the clinical rotations. In addition, it is required that the residency training programs in the rotating specialties be approved. After the third year, the students participate in USMLE Step 2, which examines the students’ clinical knowledge and skills.
Even in the most competitive specialties, Caribbean Medical Schools graduates have a great chance of getting residency positions. However, studying in a reputable school, an exemplary performance on both USMLE Step 1 and 2 and good recommendations letters will go a long way in improving your chances. Remember that the quality of training you gain while in residency is usually more important than the school you have attended. Together with your colleagues back in the U.S, you must apply for the board certification and meet specific requirements in order to get license from the state and begin practicing.