Caribbean Medical School Requirements
Caribbean Medical School Requirements

Each year, the number of available spots at Canadian medical schools is extremely limited. Intense competition for limited places and a low medical school attrition rate have created a situation that leaves thousands of perfectly capable aspiring physicians out of the selection process. 

American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine provides a Doctor of Medicine (MD) curriculum for all those interested in becoming physicians, and the degree is comparable to any Canadian university school of medicine. As a top-tier Caribbean medical school, AUA was created in part to give international students a viable path to medical residency and practice.

For Canadians who aspire to become doctors, matriculation to AUA’s MD program offers an excellent opportunity to bypass the systemic issues with the Canadian medical schools (as well as their American counterparts) and realize their medical career aspirations through an education in the Caribbean.

Doctor of Medicine – Program Overview

AUA’s educational program leading to the MD degree is a 4.5-year program. 

It consists of two years of preclinical sciences coursework on the AUA campus in Antigua and 84 weeks of study in the clinical sciences at teaching hospitals throughout Canada, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This is where students complete their core and elective rotations.

Application Requirements for Canadian Students

Canadian medical school applicants do not need to submit MCAT scores to be considered for admission to AUA. Although a high MCAT score is among the admission requirements at many medical schools, our admissions committee uses a holistic approach throughout the application process to find the best candidates, as there is more to becoming a doctor than simply test scores. 

As opposed to other international students, aspiring Canadian medical school students do not need to submit official TOEFL or IELTS score reports to apply to AUA.

Application Checklist

  • Official transcripts from all secondary and post-secondary schools attended
  • Two letters of recommendation:
    • Academic source
    • Professional source
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Personal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Complete application form

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites

The AUA’s College of Medicine requires a minimum of 90 credit hours of college courses, including certain courses in biology, chemistry, physics, math (statistics or calculus) and English, and strongly recommends that applicants earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited undergraduate institution before applying. 

Undergraduate studies with a focus on science courses is seen as the default choice for North American students, however, social science courses can also provide an excellent preparation for a career in medicine, as long as students of the social sciences also fulfill the basic science requirements.  

Official Transcripts

Applicants need to provide all official transcripts from any undergraduate, graduate, medical, and/or professional schools attended. Students should provide official electronic transcripts (eTranscripts) utilizing their schools online ordering system to provide AUA secure certified PDF official transcripts. 

At least one of the two letters of recommendation must be from a science professor who has taught you and knows your academic abilities. If you haven’t taken science coursework in two or more years, a second professional letter can be accepted (from a non-science professor or employer, medical colleague, or other professional) in its place. 

Interview

Students will be interviewed as part of the admissions process, either in person or remotely.

Other Requirements

Candidates who have taken MD courses at a medical, dental, podiatry or DO schools will be required to submit a “dean’s letter” in addition to transcripts from those schools. 

All students are required to submit a criminal background check (CBC) prior to starting at AUA. Applicants who have any violation appearing on a CBC are required to submit the CBC documentation before their application is reviewed by the Admissions. Failure to submit a CBC in advance of a decision may result in a reversal of acceptance.

Canadian Student Exceptions

Canadian applicants to the AUA School of Medicine do not need to submit MCAT scores to be considered for admission. As opposed to other international students, aspiring Canadian medical school students do not need to submit official TOEFL or IELTS score reports to apply.

Transfers from Other Medical Schools

AUA does not transfer credits from other medical schools or programs, including other Caribbean medical schools. Students who transfer from a different university school of medicine will be evaluated for eligibility into the first period of Preclinical Sciences only and must meet the same undergraduate criteria as a new student.

Transfer students from any other university school of medicine are required to obtain official transcripts and a letter from the dean’s office of that school confirming their enrollment dates and stating whether or not the applicant has been the subject of any disciplinary action.

Canadian Resident Matching Service

doctor 1

Through the Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS), AUA College of Medicine students are eligible to participate in residency training and receive licensure in Canada. 

Canadian AUA medical school graduates have matched at these Canadian residency programs:

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of British Columbia-Vancouver Island Health
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Manitoba/Northern-Remote
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Ottawa-Urban
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Western Ontario

Canadian Clinical Rotation Sites

medical

AUA students from Canada have furthered their medical school education through clinical rotations at many of the premier medical schools and clinical sites in Canada, including:

  • Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital
  • Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre/Dalhousie
  • Dalhousie University
  • Divisions of Family Practice – Surrey, Langley & Delta
  • Faculty Of Medicine – McGill University
  • Grey Bruce Health Services
  • Homewood Health Center
  • Joseph Bryant Memorial Hospital
  • McMaster University
  • McMaster University Medical Center
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Center
  • Queen’s University – Hotel Dieu Hospital
  • Queen’s University School of Medicine
  • Schulich School of Medicine
  • St. Joseph’s Health Center
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Manitoba, Health Sciences Center
  • University of Ottawa Department of Medicine
  • University of Toronto
  • Vancouver General Hospital

Grants, Scholarships and Financial Aid for Canadian Students

scholarship

AUA College of Medicine has been reviewed and approved by the Canadian Ministry of Education, which means that Canadian students who attend MD programs at our Caribbean medical school can qualify for Canadian financial aid programs. Canadian medical school students are eligible for federal loans, provincial loans, and participating grant programs. 

Grants & Scholarships for Canadians

In addition to grants and loans from Canadian institutions, Canadian students can also qualify for both grants and scholarships offered by AUA.  

Canadian Scholarship

The Canadian Scholarship, offered to a limited number of new, incoming medical school students, recognizes the academic achievements of exceptional Canadians and offers them a pathway to become licensed, practicing physicians. 

This scholarship is limited – apply early for consideration.

Award Amount

Total – $32,000 – $4,000 awarded per payment period (1-4) plus intersession and $4,000 per payment period (5-8)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.00 and above
  • Undergraduate degree GPA of 3.25 and above
  • Resident of Canada

Cultural Awards

The Canadian Citizen Grant is offered to a limited number of incoming students to help offset the cost of their medical school education.

At AUA College of Medicine, we believe that the development of culturally diverse and compassionate medical professionals benefits both patients and the medical community. In pursuit of that goal, the Canadian Citizen Grant was created. 

Award Amount

Total – $20,000 – $4,000 awarded per payment period (1-4) plus intersession

Eligibility Requirements

The sole eligibility requirement for this grant is Canadian residency, there are no GPA requirements.

Canadian Financial Aid and Loans

The Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) offers loans, grants, and repayment assistance to full-time and part-time students seeking postsecondary education at certain Caribbean medical schools. 

Canadian financial aid is provided through a partnership between the CSLP and most provinces and territories. However, Quebec and the Northwest Territories manage their own programs.

Learn more about how to apply for Canadian financial aid.

Please note that certain provinces and territories designate schools once they are approved by the Canadian Ministry of Education and placed on the Master Designation List (MDL). 

Other provinces and territories have additional criteria in addition to requiring a student to initiate an application for school designation. The provinces and territories that have been approved thus far are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Territory of Yukon

The approval process for Canadian financial aid may take up to 12 weeks. In addition to being on the MDL, these provinces also require a student to request school designation by completing an application, which can be found on their student aid websites of their respective schools. AUA’s four-digit educational institutions code is ZUCL.

Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate Lock-In

In order to help protect Canadian students from fluctuations in exchange rates, which can have a major impact on the cost of their medical education in the Caribbean, AUA sets locked-in rates for Canadian Dollars (CAD) converted to United States Dollars (USD). 

The locked-in rate offered to students will remain in effect throughout their enrollment in Preclinical Sciences with AUA. The exchange rate will be set based on a 3-month average.The set exchange rate will apply only against tuition and related fees billed due at the beginning of each period. All miscellaneous, incidental, housing, transportation, and other fees should be paid in USD. 

Students who would like to use their locked-in exchange rate for tuition and related fees must remit full payment by the published due date.

American University of Antigua College of Medicine – A Socially Responsible Learning Environment

AUA College of Medicine is an innovative medical school dedicated to providing a learner-centric education of the highest quality, granting opportunities to underrepresented minorities, fostering a diverse academic community, and ensuring that its graduates develop the skills and attitudes of lifelong learning, compassion, and professionalism. 

AUA was founded with the commitment to support underserved communities and to address the impending physician shortage with an emphasis on primary care. As such, the University recognizes its social responsibility to advance the field of medicine and lead the next generation of physicians and healthcare professionals to respond to global healthcare needs.

With this excellent accreditation status, AUA medical graduates are eligible for residency, licensure and clinical rotations throughout India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada as soon as they pass their necessary licensure exams.

The manageable tuition fees and cost of living in the Caribbean lowers the economic barrier to entry. Also, students from Canada in the AUA MD program are eligible for Canadian student aid, loans and scholarships, as well scholarships and awards offered by AUA. 



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