Comparing top Caribbean Medical Schools: RossU, SGU, and AUC
I’ve been examining the possibilities of Caribbean medical schools and found a few stats online that I thought were helpful for all of you out there as lost as I was. It’s a big decision to choose the right school, so good luck and remember that you’re not alone in the quest to become a great doctor who is well-prepared to serve patients.
Caribbean Medical Schools First Time Pass Rates
When looking into different med schools you want to look at the first time pass rates as an indicator of quality. SGU, AUC, and Ross University’s score are all pretty close together. Here are the USMLE first time pass rates to three Caribbean medical schools:
- AUC – 94%
- Ross University – 93%
- SGU – 91%
Note: according to the USMLE website, 73% is the overall international medical first time pass rate.
Class size seemed to be related to the USMLE first time pass rate. Personally, I don’t think class size is overly important (what’s the difference between 200 and 400 when it comes down to it in a big lecture room), but I know some people who decide their dream college based on it. A smaller class size is usually seen as a more cohesive class with more attention from the teachers, but a larger class size may also mean less competition for classes. Below I’ve listed the average class sizes for the three top Caribbean medical schools:
- SGU – 400
- Ross University – 300
- AUC – 200
Caribbean Medical School Clinical Sites
You definitely want to do plenty of research on the number of clinical sites offered by different Caribbean med schools since all of them will qualify you to do your residency in all parts of the US. Below are the number of clinical sites offered by SGU, Ross University, and AUC:
- Ross University – 71
- SGU – 48
- AUC – 25
Number of Exams Per Semester
If you’re like me, you like multiple chances to improve your grades and learn the professor’s teaching style and testing style. More tests is the best way to know how you’re doing. The way the schools handle exams are quite different. At SGU your grade is dependent on just 2 exams. At AUC there are 4 exams per semester plus a comprehensive final. Also they’re on a trimester system so the amount of material you need to study to prepare for the test seems much less than at SGU. Ross University has the most exams per semester which gives you the most chances to evaluate how you’re doing in the class. I saw an exam schedule a current student posted online, and they have 10 exams for your first semester, including a comprehensive exam. Here’s the summary of exams for your first semester:
- Ross University – 10
- SGU – 2
- AUC – 5
Caribbean Medical School GPAs
When looking at any medical school the average GPA is always one of the most important things to consider, as this validates the school’s excellence as a medical school. The average GPA among the top medical schools in the Caribbean, though, was pretty even. They are as follows:
- Ross University – 3.4
- SGU – 3.4
- AUC – 3.3
The MCAT scores are definitely another thing you want to check out when trying to decide on a medical school. However, the average MCAT scores were pretty even for the Caribbean’s top three medical schools.
- Ross University – 27
- SGU – 27
- AUC – 26
Until I started doing research on Caribbean medical schools I didn’t realize there were different teaching styles to take into account. Which one is best for you depends on how you like to learn. Here is a breakdown of the top three:
- SGU is case-based, so as a student you will attend smaller group discussions on different clinical cases as well as class lectures. This focus is more from a diagnostic point of view.
- At Ross University they teach system-based classes, which means they structure classes based on the organ systems themselves (Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Renal System, etc.)
- AUC is discipline-based, so you’ll be taking classes in one discipline at a time, like Anatomy and Physiology versus of one system at a time like Cardiovascular System, etc.
Now comes the one part everybody dreads: cost. Here is the average cost for attending four years based on my online research:
- AUC – $159,650
- Ross University – $151,087
- SGU – $234,644