There is so much to be said about my trip to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that perhaps I should author a short novel. But I’ll spare you the long-windedness -- since after all, you’re all busy Pre-Med’s or perhaps already Medical Students -- and simply address that which we are all curious about: the academics.
After meeting with Dean Johnson in person for over two hours (I still can't believe he was willing to meet with a prospective student for such a long time), speaking with both permanent and visiting professors, and pestering students (JOKE -- I hope I wasn’t too bothersome with my extensive questioning), I have acquired answers to all of the pertinent questions I had in choosing the right medical school. The transparency of the faculty as well as the student body was so refreshing, and I feel that I have gained a true understanding of the technical aspects of Trinity. So without further delay, here is what I found:
- Does Trinity adhere to more of an advocacy curriculum, or one of global health?
Global health. In fact, many of the Trinity students have a particular interest in treating underserved populations, such as the two students who recently travelled to serve in Haiti (see previous Trinity blog post below)
Are the clinical clerkship rotations already established, or must we apply for them like some of the other Caribbean Schools?
Trinity is different from other Caribbean medical schools in that the clinical clerkships are already scheduled for you. You do not need to apply for them separately. They are completed in a number of places including Chicago, Atlanta, NY and Washington DC.
Is there an option to apply separately for Away Rotations during the 3rd and 4th year, that may be at hospitals/private clinics back home?
Yes! The core rotations must be completed through Trinity's affiliated hospitals, but for electives, students may opt to apply for away rotations elsewhere!
Typically, US medical students have a break between 1st and 2nd year of medical school. Trinity, being based on a trimester system, does not. If a student is interested in pursuing medical research (i.e. applying to one of many Research Institutes that sponsor summer research for medical students), could Trinity work with that student to allow them to conduct research?
Absolutely! Dean Johnson is extremely supportive of anyone wanting to pursue medical research, and seems open to working with students to incorporate any research endeavor into their education. Not only that, but I was ecstatic to learn that Trinity itself has several research opportunities available for students; namely, research involving acute rheumatic fever and RHD (Streptococcal study).
Is Trinity considered an off-shore US medical school, or an international medical school?
The academic curriculum is US-based, and rigorously prepares students for their USMLE Board exams - the certification exams for all physicians wanting to practice in the US. That being said, students who have studied at a school outside of the US are considered International Medical Graduates or IMGs.
How are the exams structured? Specifically, how much emphasis is placed on Clinical Vignettes?
At least 80% of questions are vignettes! In fact, Dean Johnson even let me glance at an exam. This is extremely important because the Board certification exams will be structured in this way, with a patient history presented before asking about a particular signaling pathway involved.
Although the residency match for 2012 has not yet occurred (it will in March 2012), can you possibly tell me the ratio of number of residencies applied for versus number of interviews received? Also, is there an available list of residency types for which your 2012 graduating class applied?
Students are encouraged to apply to at least 10 different hospitals for residency. There is no data as of yet about matching (the residency Match does not occur until March for US-hospitals), but most if not all of the students have received interviews. The most common residency picks of Trinity students are Internal Medicine and Surgery.
I hope this information has been as helpful to you as it was for me. With these questions answered, I am absolutely confident that Trinity School of Medicine is an excellent institution, and one that will push, challenge, and prepare me to be the best Doctor I can be.