Caribbean med school soon vs wait for MD school - thoughts, opinions appreciated

I am having a bit of a dilemma: I am a 40yo non-trad. I decided to pursue medicine a year ago always assuming I would prefer the US MD schools. I got all pre-reqs ( from 20 years ago, BS degree in BIo with 3.5+ GPA) and 2 MS degrees in science/engineering and plenty of lab research experience, currently working in biotech industry as engineer. So only things I have to do is to prepare/take MCAT and do the clinical shadowing experience.
My plan is to do all of that this year and apply to US MD school in the 2019 cycle to (hopefully) start med school in 2020.
Recently, I attended a Caribbean med school open house. I’ve been doing some research and yes, I think that my chances of getting accepted in one of the top 4 Caribbean med schools and start there in Jan or may 2019 are high as long as I take the MCAT which I can do later this year or beginning of next.
I am well aware of the disadvantages and negatives associated with Caribbean schools (high attrition rates etc). But from the stories I’ve heard, it is really up to the individual to do well or not. I am not getting any younger either and my personal life at this point is pretty much resolved (divorced, son off to college this year, no plans for further marriage or kids). Basically med school would be my one and only priority and I know that I can dedicate the time and effort to obtaining good grades and pass USMLE.

what would you do? wait to apply to US MD schools where chances of getting in are unknown and risk not getting accepted and loosing time or apply to Caribbean school and start ASAP? I am not loving my current job and why stay miserable for the next two years while waiting on an US MD school? Also, I am targeting Pathology for residency and forensic pathology as my ultimate career goal.
any thoughts appreciate :slight_smile:

I don’t know a whole lot about the Caribbean experience tbh. But I would honestly caution that the bias against Caribbean students when looking for residency spots is real!! I rotated with a lot of Caribbean students and they were often awesome & super smart with GREAT scores but I know that even the students with amazing USMLE scores struggled to get interviews. For Caribbean students it honestly seemed like they needed STELLAR USMLE for even the “less competitive” fields and that is harder than you might imagine. Also, because programs get so many apps some will autamatically reject IMG apps the same way they use score cut offs to pre-screen (I literally heard this at multiple residency day talks from program directors).
The other thing that is worth thinking about is the amount of help the school provides. I am about to graduate from a well respected DO school and we have had a 100% match rate for YEARS… Part of the dirty secret to that is that a few people will need to scramble/SOAP for a spot every year. BUT the school has a lot of connections and does a lot to make sure that people find a residency spot. This may not seem like a deciding factor now but it’s honestly HUGE. You need residency to be a doctor & you need to give yourself the best shot at getting that.
Anyway, my class had a few ppl over 40 in it and my two cents is that it would be worth the few years to be at a MD/DO school in the US.

Best of luck!!!

I would only consider the Caribbean as a last resort after applying to several cycles for DO and MD. I know it sucks to wait, and you’re not getting any younger, but it would suck a lot more to go Carib and not end up with a residency position. If you look at IMGs on aggregate, only about 50% of them find spots in the residency match versus 95% of MD graduates. That’s a big gamble, especially if you’re going to finance this venture on loans. I’d encourage you to do some more research on match/graduation rates of these programs. This post is a good place to start. Also this blog (while probably not the typical experience) can give you some idea of what going Caribbean can be like.

I was wondering how your journey has been? I’m in the same predicament as you, nearly 40 and thinking of Caribbean med school despite knowing the curriculum is harder than us schools, so I can start right away : /