The Ivy Coach Daily

August 28, 2021

Medical School Applications Skyrocket

Aruba is a great destination for a vacation. Medical school? Not so much if you ask us (photo credit: Exceptionalimages).

Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go, Jamaica

During the 2020 admissions cycle, medical school applications skyrocketed. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, applications in fact rose by a margin of 18% year over year — a figure that compares to about a 3% annual rise in applications over the last decade. So why the spike in medical school applications? Why are applications up 60% in 2020 as compared to 2002? Maybe it’s a result of the pandemic, which has spurred an interest in medicine among many young people. Some even are calling it “The Fauci Effect.” But one thing is also clear: with the rise in medical school applications to American universities, more and more students — who likely realize their odds of getting into a program based in the United States is a long-shot, are turning to Caribbean medical schools.

As Kristen Moon reports for Forbes in a piece entitled “As Medical School Applications Skyrocket, More Candidates May Turn To The Caribbean,” “Increasingly long admissions odds are causing many U.S. students to consider medical schools abroad, particularly those in the Caribbean. A 1980 report published by the federally chartered Graduate Medical Education National Advisory Committee predicted that the United States would soon have an excess of doctors. So no new medical schools were established in the two decades that followed…Qualified students who come out on the wrong end of an admissions decision may find that a Caribbean medical school is a worthwhile option. International med schools may be more willing to look beyond a low MCAT score or one semester of subpar grades than U.S. schools. There are plenty of people who would make excellent doctors who do not have the opportunity to work in hospitals or have experiences and skills that compensate for a lower-than-average GPA. International schools take pride in finding – and admitting – them.”

But this all leaves us with an important question for our readers. Let’s pretend, heavens forbid, you need brain surgery. You’re sitting in a doctor’s office. Her diploma reads that it’s from a medical school in Aruba. Are you still going to have brain surgery with this particular physician? Or are you going to run across town to the brain surgeon who went to Harvard undergrad, the Stanford University School of Medicine, and performed her residency at NYU? Our guess? You’re choosing the second doctor every time out of ten. Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya…

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