When we interview Applicants and ask them why they chose to apply to Trinity School of Medicine it's usually for the factors that differentiate our MD program from other Caribbean medical schools: Class sizes that are relatively small (from 25-75 depending on the term); clinical experience at our affiliated teaching hospital that starts in your first term; and the experienced leadership in our Dean, Dr. Skelton.
Equally as important as the experiences you'll have on campus and in the hospital in St. Vincent, are the outcomes you expect to achieve. In establishing Trinity the founders knew that the reputation and success of the School would be based on the performance of our students. From the outset, decisions were made to structure the MD program to closely resemble the U.S. curriculum and to establish clinical rotations in the U.S. with the right affiliations to set our students up for success. Throughout the years of the program there have been continual assessments and process improvements made, especially evident in the leadership addition of Dean Skelton early in 2012.
Over the course of the last 12 months, changes have been implemented to the 5th term curriculum that puts greater focus on preparing students for the USMLE Step 1 exam and the results support the new format.
The chart above depicts the year over year increase in Trinity students' average passing score on the USMLE Step 1 exam, a trend we believe will continue (data of 8/20/2013).
As one of the few, if not only Caribbean medical school to be led by a former U.S. medical school Dean, Dr. Skelton has helped to establish Trinity's strong academics, retained experienced faculty and encouraged the limits on class size to maintain Trinity's tightly knit community. With this foundation, Trinity students have achieved results on par with U.S. medical school students when it comes to passing Step 1 on the first attempt. This goes to show that following a path that may lead you out of the U.S. or Canada for a short time, doesn't mean a detour or dead end to your medical education.
The chart above demonstrates the correlation that generally exists between a students' MCAT score and their success rate on passing the USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt. Grouped by their MCAT scores, Trinity School of Medicine students have virtually the same 1st time passing rate as U.S. Medical School students and even surpass the U.S. students in the last MCAT range.
One of the most compelling outcomes that Trinity Students have achieved in recent years is the rate of graduates who have completed their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree and demonstrated the acumen and training to be offered a Residency Placement in the U.S. and Canada. Due to the limited seats in medical schools in their home country, U.S. and Canadian citizens chose to go abroad for the short term to ultimately achieve their long term goal. Many of those students are now well on their way to becoming licensed physicians in North America, having successfully participated in the National Residency Matching Program and Canadian Resident Match Program.
It has been researched, and you would expect to see a correlation between MCAT scores and Step 1 scores, but what's signficant from Trinity students are the numbers that are above the trend line where students have exceeded what would have been expected with the MCAT score. It's this type of ambition, commitment and drive that enabled these students to secure a residency position and will serve them and their patients well in the future.
Chart three above depicts the trend by which a student's USMLE Step 1 Score would generally to be higher given their higher MCAT score. Of significance to note is that the majority of the MCAT scores plotted fell outside of the range of admission for U.S. and Canadian medical schools. Opting instead to pursue their medical education with an accredited Caribbean medical school, Trinity students were able to demonstrate strong performance on the Step 1 exam and achieved their desired outcome with residency placements in the U.S. and Canada.
For those that are not willing to abandon their dream of earning an MD, Trinity may be the opportunity to prove to residency program directors and licensing boards that all you needed was an open door. With proven successful outcomes there's no reason to wait to start your medical education, new terms begin each January, May and September and applications are currently being accepted for all 2014 start terms.