Students at most U.S. and international medical schools receive clinical training in their third and fourth years through clerkships in teaching hospitals and clinics. The leading Caribbean medical schools send their students to the U.S. for clerkships. U.S. medical schools are typically affiliated with a teaching hospital where their students do most of their clerkships. But Caribbean medical schools must contract with various physician groups and hospitals to secure clerkship slots for their students, often in geographically dispersed locations, and often on a space-available basis.
Medical students receive the best clinical training when their clerkships are in teaching programs fully integrated with the curriculum of their medical schools, when the training physicians are appointed as faculty members of the clerkship programs, when patient volume is sufficient to provide appropriate practical experiences for students, and when student receive individualized instruction and support from their assigned faculty physicians.
When considering Caribbean schools, carefully research their clerkship programs. Are their clerkships in one or multiple metropolitan areas? Are the clerkships in accredited teaching hospitals? Do they have clerkship capacity for all students or as space is available? What is the student-to-faculty physician ratio in the clerkship programs? What patient case volume can they expect? The answers to these questions will be an important indicator of the quality of clinical training students can expect, which can have an impact on their perceived qualifications in the residency match. There can also be a financial impact on students if there are travel and living expenses among multiple clerkship sites.
Trinity’s clinical campus in Baltimore, Maryland provides a medical center environment unique among international schools. Here students complete all third and fourth year clinical clerkships in a leading center for medical education, home to some of the top medical teaching hospitals in the U.S., including the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins and LifeBridge Health System. A wide selection of away-rotations is also available to students who desire to complete one or more fourth year electives outside of Baltimore.