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Caribbean medical school: What are the benefits?

Street scene in ArubaFor many Canadian students a Caribbean medical school is a viable option for overcoming the difficulties of gaining acceptance into Canadian Medical Schools. However, there are other benefits of attending a Caribbean medical school.

Become a doctor sooner

In many cases, attending a Canadian medical school requires a four-year Bachelor degree. Working in partnership with Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) in Aruba, Accelerated Career Institute (ACI) offers the pre-medicine training you need to enroll at this institution. The ACI program offered in Burnaby, BC, is 16 months and includes all the required prerequisites. Burnaby is within easy commuting distance of Vancouver and all Lower Mainland cities.

As well, many Canadians who plan to attend medical school apply two or three times at Canadian universities. This means that it might take them five or six years just to gain acceptance. With ACI, you can have your science curriculum completed and be on your way to clinical training by the time your peers are making their first applications to med school. Successful completion of the ACI Health Sciences program will guarantee your entrance to XUSOM with no MCAT required.

Caribbean medical school fees

In general, a Caribbean medical school is less expensive than studying in Australia or Ireland, two other popular destinations. The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) conducted a survey and found that those studying in the Caribbean ended up with less bank and student loan debt. ACI and XUSOM students can qualify for Canadian and provincial student loans.

Clinical rotations in the United States

Students in Caribbean medical school programs don’t do their clinical rotations in the same country where they are studying. Clinical rotations take place in the United States. This is great for graduates as they are able to work in familiar environments, and can find work in Canada or the United States upon graduation. You can begin your training in places like California, New York and Washington.


According to the CaRMS survey, 94 per cent of students in the Caribbean rated their satisfaction with the education they were receiving as high. Caribbean schools base their curriculum on the North American standard, so you can be assured that your education will be compatible when you return to Canada.

While it is said that Canadians who study abroad have lower matching rates than those who study in Canada, there is still a great need for doctors, especially in northern and rural areas. Some provinces are actively trying to increase the number of foreign trained doctors to fill the gaps. Some foreign-trained Canadians choose to look for residencies in the United States. Keep an open mind and expect to be flexible in your career.

The Caribbean is the most popular choice for students interested in studying abroad. Start your training with Accelerated Career Institute’s Health Sciences program and then enter medical school in Aruba at XUSOM. Find out if this path is right for you by contacting us today.

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