Medical schools in the Caribbean are now offering pre-medicine courses on top of their 4-year MD programs to broaden the opportunity to more people. Most of the people the medical schools are targeting are high school graduates who don’t want to take an extra 4 years of college to start medical studies. Most of these pre-medicine students at my medical school are straight out of high school; they are 17 years of age or above. Very few students are actually around 22 or above, who already have bachelor’s degrees, and it’s only because they had no intentions of going to medical school while they were in college for undergrad. One strong reason to avoid doing pre-med courses has to do with the financial aspect of it. For example, if a student from the United States did his pre-med courses at a community college than he or she would save over $20,000. Even though these courses are pre-medicine, one has to realize that it’s being taken at a medical school; therefore, one has to pay a high price. On top of the tuition and school fees the student has to pay for the expenses for staying on a Caribbean island and that’s not cheap. The second reason to avoid taking these courses abroad is only for the young students who are high school graduates. If you are a high school graduate then I strongly recommend that you go through college before going abroad to study. If you do not finish college then go through college until you get the required amount of credits, 90 credits for most Caribbean medical schools. I strongly advise this because I was once 18 years of age and I was extremely immature; I know what’s it like to be irresponsible without a care in the world. While attending college, I made mistakes and met different people, and I learned from my mistakes and from the people I interacted with. In my opinion 50% of college classes are a total waste of time; however 100% of the college experience is not. I have noticed that every high school graduate, including myself, who goes through college changes in behavior and in mentality. The only reason you should do pre-med in medical school is when it will take you more than 16 months to complete it.
Medical school examinations have to deal with practical problems. For all of the classes I’m taking, they test us students by giving us a setting and they want us to know exactly what is going on with the patient in a certain setting. The teachers test our knowledge, by telling us a certain problem in a diagnosis and they ask questions of what enzyme is being affected, or what tissue is damaged, etc. I guess this gives us an introduction of what is to come for us medical students. I find it interesting because it has to deal with applications.