This year’s medical school application cycle is underway. If the past few years of data are any indication, more than 50,000 prospective students will vie for just over 22,000 spots at allopathic medical schools in the United States.
Thousands of them are no doubt combing through medical school forums on the internet, hoping to gain some insight on when they might receive an invitation for an interview or an acceptance letter. Many may find it difficult to think of anything other than how their GPA, MCAT score or extracurriculars stack up against others applying this cycle.
It’s no secret that medical school admission rates, particularly at U.S. schools, are lower than ever. Just 38% of applicants received an acceptance letter last year. Dozens of schools have admission rates under 2%.
But aspiring doctors shouldn’t let these numbers discourage them from pursuing their dreams. U.S. medical schools are not the only pathway to a career in medicine. International medical schools have proven a viable option, while still allowing the physician to practice medicine in the U.S.
“International medical schools tend to look not just at a student’s MCAT score, GPA or shadowing hours,” said Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University in Grenada. “We seek out qualified, well-rounded individuals who may not fit the traditional mold of a pre-med student because we know that their diverse experiences can make them exceptional doctors.”
There are dozens of international medical schools to choose from. So it’s imperative that students do their research and weigh their options carefully. Our article in Forbes has information on the five criteria to keep in mind if you’re thinking of applying to an international medical school.