Studying medicine is a worthwhile venture that positively impacts the lives of others. The rising cost of medical school education has made more and more students pursue education outside the US. Most Aruba medical schools offer less restrictive admissions and more affordable education.
Aruba is a southern Caribbean island with sunny skies, clear waters, and cooling trade winds. So it makes sense to think of Aruba when searching for a reputable medical school that’ll suit your ambition. Besides, you’ll also get to experience other cultures and broaden your perspective on inclusive healthcare.
Medical schools in Aruba provide high-quality education that stands up to international scrutiny. But what’s the best medical school in Aruba? Here are the top-rated Aruba medical schools:
- Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM)
- American University School of Medicine (AUSOM)
- Aureus University School of Medicine
Here’s an article that explores the best medical schools on the island, including top tips to help you find the perfect school for you.
Finding the Right Medical School in Aruba
Choosing to become a medical doctor is one of the most significant decisions you will make. But you’ll also need to find a good medical school that matches your ambition. The process of choosing can seem like a hard mountain to climb unless you know what to look out for.
Here are five things to consider when picking an Aruban medical school to attend:
One of the first things to look out for when choosing a medical school is accreditation. Accreditation shows that a medical school meets the standard for medical education. For example, a school with Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation shows that graduates can practice medicine in the US and Canada.
In recent news, international graduates of medical schools must be accredited by agencies affiliated to the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). For Caribbean medical schools, there are three accrediting agencies affiliated to WFME. These agencies include:
- Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (AAM-HP)
- Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM), and the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.
2. Affiliated Hospitals
Another area to look at is affiliated hospitals where you can do your clinical attachments. Clinical training is an essential part of studying medicine. When choosing a medical school in the Caribbean, look out for those affiliating with US hospitals.
Some Caribbean universities liaise with US hospitals to reserve student residency spots.
3. Residency Match Rate
Residency candidates have to match with residency programs for post-graduate training. All residency programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The match rate for international graduates has steadily increased since 2020. Many Caribbean medical schools have a match rate comparable to those in the United States.
4. Federal Loan Qualification
It is a well known fact that medical school is expensive, and over 70% graduate with debt. Medical School fees in the Caribbean, although cheaper than in the US, are still relatively costly. Though private loans are available, they are less flexible and have higher interest rates.
Many students rely on federal loans while in medical school to manage their debt profile, defer payments, and pay fewer interest rates. Look for Caribbean medical schools that have the approval to participate in the federal loan program. The National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFME) accredited foreign schools for federal student loans.
5. Availability of Student Support and Opportunities
The length and rigor of medical school make it emotionally draining. You have to look for schools that provide adequate support to their students. Such schools can easily be noted through student-to-faculty ratio, first-rate infrastructure, and endless research opportunities. You want to ensure that these factors are in place before choosing a medical school.
Best Medical Schools in Aruba
The Caribbean is fast becoming a paradise for US, Canadian, and Indian students to earn medical degrees. Aruban Medical schools follow the US medical curriculum, making it easy for students to continue their education and practice in the US and Canada. But one important question to ask is ‘which is the best medical school in Aruba?” Here’s a section that reviews the best medical schools in Aruba.
Here are the best medical schools in Aruba:
1. Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM)
Founded in 2004, Xavier University School of Medicine is a top medical school with top physicians from the US. The school provides its students with the attention they need to focus on their studies.
Built on a 125,000 sq ft campus, Xavier University School of Medicine has an unwavering commitment to excellence. It provides top-of-the-world amenities and infrastructure to prepare students for success. Xavier is recognized by international accrediting bodies, which allows students to participate in the study and clinical rotations in the US.
These international accreditations also allow students to become licensed to practice medicine in the US and Canada. Xavier is ACCM accredited, comparable to accredited medical schools in the US. The approval by New York State Education Department allows Xavier students to do residency training in New York. Other accreditations are the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) and the World Directory of Medical Schools, which is necessary for eligibility to take the United State Medical Licensing Examination.
Xavier has an incredible match rate for clinical rotations in the US and Canada with ACGME-accredited teaching hospitals. It offers a four-year MD program and a 5-year pre-med MD program.
2. American University School of Medicine (AUSOM)
Located in Oranjestad, the American University School of Medicine helps students achieve their dream of becoming medical doctors. Students receive a high-quality education with cutting-edge technology and an international curriculum.
The Education Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) accredited AUSOM. Other accrediting bodies are the Medical Council of Canada and the Medical Council of India. American University School of Medicine is registered in the World Directory of Medical Schools, allowing its students to become licensed to practice medicine in many countries.
AUSOM offers a four-year MD program at $88k and a five-year pre-med MD program at $104k.
3. Aureus University School of Medicine
Aureus University School of Medicine is a first-rate medical institution located in Oranjestad. It provides students with well-equipped facilities and innovative infrastructure. Students have a dedicated faculty and a safe and clean environment.
Aureus students have a solid medical foundation with hundreds of residency programs in the US and Canada. It is accredited by ACCM, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC), and the Medical Council of India.
Aureus participates in the National resident matching program. The US Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) accreditation is a requirement for all international medical graduates interested in residency in US teaching hospitals. Aureus is also accredited by the International Medical Education Directory (IMED), a division of the ECFMG.
Graduates of Aureus do their clinical rotations in prestigious university hospitals such as Yale, Michigan State, Staten Island, Boston, and Toronto. Aureus offers four years of MD and five years of pre-med MD programs.
Costs of Medical School in Aruba
It takes a lot of equipment and infrastructure to teach medicine and most medical schools factor the availability of this equipment when calculating school fees. Medical schools in Aruba are no different. Medical schools in Aruba split fees into semesters at $15,000-$17,000 per semester.
These fees are for only tuition and do not cover other administrative costs, insurance, housing, etc.
How to Fund Your Medical Studies
US students qualify for student loans while schooling abroad if the university is accredited by the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFME). Alternatively, here are other means of funding your education in Aruba.
Caribbean medical schools provide scholarship opportunities to qualified students. A single school can have up to 11-20 different scholarships. These scholarships are based on academic merits, commitment to civic duty, and many other criteria.
2. Private Loans
Students can explore the private loan options available to them. These loans cover school expenses such as tuition, books, housing, feeding, etc.
Some medical schools also provide loans to their students.
The challenge with private loans is more interest rates and less flexibility. It is easier for students with a decent credit rating to access loans.
Conclusion: Top Aruba Medical Schools
Attending medical school in the Caribbean is a phenomenon that has been around for international students. Xavier University School of Medicine, American University School of Medicine, and Aureus University School of Medicine are the best medical schools in Aruba.
Prospective students should consider factors such as accreditations, residency match rate, affiliated hospitals, performance in USMLE, and curriculum that meets internationally recognized standards.