Trinity School of Medicine News Blog

New Ideas and Old Assumptions: the Hidden Costs of Federal Loans in Medical Education

 Last year, St. Vincent and the Grenadines received formal recognition from the US Department of Education’s NCFMEA as having medical education standards comparable to those of the LCME in the United States. This recognition allows medical schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines that are accredited by CAAM-HP to apply for Title IV recognition and federal student loans for US citizens from the Department of Education.

As the only medical school accredited in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and qualified to obtain Title IV recognition, we are frequently asked by prospective and existing students about our federal loan status. We’re in the process of obtaining Title IV eligibility and believe we’ll gain this status in July of 2017. Securing this status doesn’t mean we’ll choose to offer federal graduate student loans. It's a complicated issue, and one we're happy to dive into.

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Tuition, Debt, and Medicine: The intersection of cost and value for future doctors

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, over 80% of medical school graduates leave school with debt. The median amount of education debt carried by U.S. medical graduates in 2015 was over $180,000. This is significant but surmountable, given the salary of a physician. However, the bigger Caribbean schools do not leave students with an average amount of academic debt. In fact, they can leave them repaying nearly twice as much. They also force students to deal with high attrition rates, 300+ member starting classes, and a sink-or-swim approach to both basic sciences and clinical rotations. 

The question, then, is this: is the greater cost worth it? Do you truly "get what you pay for" in that environment? Or is there a better option? One that also has a demonstrably better dedication to your future? Financially, culturally, academically, and professionally? 

We think so. And it shows in tuition, outcomes, and ROI.

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