Ross Medical School
Probably the best known Caribbean medical school is Ross Medical School, or Ross University School of Medicine.
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Ross University School of Medicine is located in Dominica in the Caribbean. This Caribbean medical school was founded in 1978 and has graduated over 7,700 medical doctors in that time.
The school’s website is available here.
- Rolling admissions. Ross University School of Medicine has rolling admissions, which means that if you graduate in December from college, you could start medical school in Januray. A definite plus.
- Not as competitive as US schools. According to a recent graduate from Ross, most students have about average GPA’s (3.5 or so) and MCAT scores in the 25-27 range. Ross’s website states that they take a more “holistic” approach to choosing their medical school class and do not base their decision solely on academics.
- Interviews done locally. This is a definite benefit. For most medical schools, you have to pay the bill to fly to the school for an interview. Ross University will set up a interview for you closer to your location.
- For more information from the Ross Medical School website,
- Tuition. Tuition varies by year, tution and fees range between $15,968 and $17,812. Click here for full information.
- Eligibility for Aid. US citizens, permanent residents and eligible non-citizens can qualify for
federal student loans. Canadian and international medical students will have to apply for private loans, potentially through a US bank with a US cosigner. There are few scholarships available, with only one $2,000 scholarship listed on the website for minority medical students. Click here for more info.
- Cost of Living. Rent is affordable, costing around $500 per month for one bedroom, one bath, small kitchen in safe area. Groceries and other living expenses would also be lower than in the USA.
- Different culture. If you are coming from the United States, you will face a very different culture and environment in Dominica.There is less access to things we take for granted in the United States, such as clean water, places to shop, places to do laundry, etc. One recent graduate said that this was one of the best things about going to Ross because it made her a stronger, more grateful person.
- Ross Medical School has a competitive culture. According to one recent graduate, students are “extremely competitive” with one another. This could be due to the grading system.
- Grading system. Letter grades are given with the top 5% receiving honors and the bottom 10% failing.
- Lectures are required
- Hospital rotations done throughout USA.During your thrid and fourth year of medical school, you will rotate through different hospitals doing specific rotations (pediatrics, family medicine, surgery, etc.). When you attend Ross Medical School, you will do your rotations in different places throughout the United States instead of staying locally. For a list of affiliated hospitals, click here
- Most graduates match into primary care specialties with few in competitive subspecialties. To understand which specialties are more competitive, click here and choose specialties in the top right corner. If you review Ross University’s match list here, you will see that most match into
specialties like family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine. In the 2011 class, there were very few surgical
subspecialties with no residents matching into opthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, or otolaryngology. Also, no residents matched into dermatology.
- More difficult to match into competitive residencies. US medical school graduates have top priority in matching in residency programs, making it more difficult for international students to get into competitive programs.
- Feeling of stigma. One recent graduate stated that she felt that she was labeled as “taking the easy way out” and was looked at as a “second class citizen.” Some people do harbor this prejudice, and it is something to be aware of when choosing Ross or any other Caribbean medical school.
In my mind, Ross Medical School has similar pros and cons to any Caribbean medical school, which you can view here. In my mind, these schools are a great choice if you are planning on going into a primary care specialty, want a lower cost tuition and do not mind living in an area with a lower standard of living than what you might be used to.
Ross Medical School has a longer history than many Caribbean medical schools and wide hospital affiliations, which puts it at an advantage to other Caribbean medical schools.