BIMS (Bioprist Institute of Medical Sciences)

Will Attending a Medical School in Jamaica be Considered in the United States?

Introduction

Studying medicine isn’t just about earning a degree. It is about choosing to lead a life of impact. When you choose the medical profession, you choose to serve mankind. You choose to dedicate your life to the betterment of the world through research and clinical care. And since your medical education is the most crucial step in your aim to contribute to a healthier society, the college you choose is of utmost importance.

If you choose to pursue medicine, you need to prepare yourself for a process that is lengthy and needs utmost dedication. There is a huge demand for physicians in the US and, joining the ranks of these talented doctors will demand your time and effort.

What it takes to become a doctor in the US

The journey of becoming a doctor can be long, arduous and extremely demanding. Becoming a doctor in the United States involves preparation right from high school level. You can start your journey by completing Advanced Placement courses in subjects such as physics, chemistry and Biology, which are undergraduate pre-requisites. As an aspiring doctor, you will complete a 4-year undergraduate program, followed by 4 years in medical school and anywhere from 3 to 7 years of residency training. Given below is an outline of steps to be followed if you want to become a doctor in the US.

  • Undergraduate Education: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is the first step towards your goal of becoming a doctor. Some schools also offer pre-med programs that include classes needed to prepare for the Medical College Admission Test, or MCAT. You can consider undergraduate courses like BA in Biology, Global Health, Neurology, Paramedicine and BSc when you chalk out your plan to become a doctor in the US.
  • MCAT: Another important step is to prepare for and clear the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test. This test is a multiple-choice examination that tests your critical thinking, biology and verbal skills. Medical schools use this score to assess your prospects of succeeding in their program.
  • Complete Medical School: Medical school will involve four years of education and training, with the first two years including laboratory work and text-book study. Years three and four will involve clinical experience through hospital rotations. During the first two years, you will also complete step one of the USMLE, or United States Medical Licensing Examination. Part two of your licensing test is generally completed by year four of medical school and includes clinical diagnosis and disease development.
  • Residency: Residency entails your clerkship or internship under the supervision of an experienced doctor. During your final year at medical school, you will start the process of narrowing down your specialty and submit applications for residency. Once you are matched with a residency, it will take you three to seven years to complete your program depending on the specialty you choose.
  • Part three of the USMLE: After completing your residency, you will need to appear for the final part of the USMLE. This step will assess your abilities to practice medicine safely. The third part is generally conducted after residency as international graduates need to be certified by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates to be considered eligible for this test.
  • Board Certification: On completion of medical education and residency, you will need to obtain a certification from one of 24 specialty boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
  • State License: After certification, you will need to obtain your medical license from the state board to practice medicine legally. Each state will have its own licensing requirements and procedures. Completion of these steps means you are now eligible to practice medicine in the United States.

Will attending school in Jamaica be considered in the US?

Hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in the United States hire doctors on the basis of their qualifications, skill and abilities. And with the current shortage of physicians in the country, well-qualified doctors are the need of the hour. So, if you are concerned that attending a college in Jamaica may hurt your chances practicing medicine or matching to a residency in the US, rest assured that this isn’t the case.

If you are a student of an accredited medical school, you will have the opportunity to practice in the United States.  A student of a properly accredited medical school will have the same opportunities as a student of a medical school in the US or Canada. You can practice medicine in the US with a medical degree from Jamaica provided the college is accredited, you have cleared licensing and board certification, and completed your residency program.

Conclusion

The medical profession is noble, challenging and gratifying. And the road to becoming a healthcare professional is tough. However, once you achieve your goal of becoming a doctor and practicing medicine, you enjoy a career that is demanding as well as extremely rewarding. And this doesn’t change whether you’re practicing medicine in the US, or anywhere else on the globe.

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