If you dream of getting into a medical school in the Caribbean, you should be aware of several prerequisites. Every medical school has certain basic requirements which must be completed before applying.
Medical school prerequisites consist of basic knowledge of science subjects, English proficiency, a good MCAT score, and some in-hand experience with patients. The fulfillment of these criteria ensures that the student is prepared to take up the challenges in the medical school curriculum.
The requirements may vary slightly in different medical schools, but let’s go through some of the common prerequisites that are generally required.
Basic knowledge of certain subjects is mandatory for securing admission. This helps students in understanding the concepts better and makes it easier for the professors to progress with the curriculum. The requirements include science subjects that you might have studied in your high school or undergraduate studies.
A one-year course in general biology or zoology with adequate laboratory practice is necessary for students. Additional coursework in embryology, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, or comparative anatomy is an added advantage.
Students should complete one year of inorganic and organic chemistry each with laboratory sessions. You can also take up biochemistry in place of one semester of organic chemistry.
One year of studies in English literature and Composition is preferred to demonstrate a student’s writing, communication and reading skills.
Besides these, students with humanities, computer, social science, or physical science background will also be considered for admission. The above are mandatory requirements to get into medical schools, but additional coursework will give you an edge over others who fulfill the basic prerequisites.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
MCAT is conducted by AAMC to test the scientific knowledge, critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills of students. A good MCAT score will help you jump through the hurdles of admission easier. MCAT is mandatory for students who are U.S. citizens and preferred for others.
The following three categories of students must attend the MCAT test:
- Students whose score in the required science courses is C or lower.
- Students who completed the coursework at any community college.
- Students who did the coursework more than 5 years ago.
English communication and writing skills are necessary as it is the medium of instruction in medical schools. Students whose native language is not English will need to pass a TOEFL exam to be eligible to apply.
Hands-on experience in handling patients is necessary to get selected for medical schools. Adequate experience in a hospital as a volunteer, or by helping physicians is useful in the curriculum, hence important in the admissions process. Students without experience should fulfill this criterion before matriculation.
Meeting these requirements and possessing other essential qualities such as ethical