A new view of Caribbean medical schools

Medical education
Some people are rethinking the value of medical schools in the Caribbean.

Times are changing for some of the 70 for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean that have long had a bad rep, according to STAT.

Critics have said the schools scam unqualified students who can’t get into U.S. medical schools, giving them huge debts and worthless degrees—if they even graduate.

But some of the schools are working to change that image and are graduating doctors who help solve shortages of primary care doctors. According to the report, many medical students and residents are willing to work in poor, rural and underserved communities in need of physicians.

Two of the schools, Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica and American University of the Caribbean in St. Maarten, have hired a public relations firm and published a series of editorials and letters to make the case for the value of overseas medical students.

“Our students have persevered. They haven’t had all the opportunities in life and they still want to help people,” Heidi Chumley, M.D., Dean of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, told STAT.

However, concerns remain about the cost to American taxpayers when students drop out or don’t get a residency and their loans are not repaid.