Trinity School of Medicine News Blog

Trinity School of Medicine, the ILP, and an Opportunity of a New Beginning

"When you enter med school, everything from undergrad vanishes and you start fresh. And that’s what Trinity gave me: a new platform to do my best in, the best environment to really thrive." 

This is one of the many things we love to hear from our students. The above was said by David
*, a third year student at Trinity, now in his rotations in Baltimore. David is a smart, hard working student that scored a 21 on the MCAT, went overlooked by the US med school system, enrolled in Trinity's ILP program, and thrived, scoring an impressive 244 on the Step-1 exam. (As a refresher, see below for what sort of doors a score like that can open for a match candidate). 

Topics: trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical schools residency match Step 1 Pass rate step 1 score ILP MCAT

MCAT, Step 1, and the Physician Shortage: The Critical Role of Trinity

One of the most common questions our admissions team is asked is, "I've heard matching is much harder for IMGs. Is that true?"

Our answer is always the same. "No, it's not true."

Sometimes explaining this involves first getting into the complex history of medical education standards, or the outdated view that Caribbean schools lack rigor or quality. CARICOM has gone to great lengths to rectify this with programs like CAAM-HP, and Trinity has always prided itself on the quality of its educaton, but there are still challenges to overcome.

That said, it's crucial to remember that there are many, many factors that go into the residency match. We'll attempt to address a few of them in this post.

First, though, we need to speak to the outdated stigma and calm anxieties perpetuated by (understandably) nervous student communities and the uninformed: while the United States and Canada are facing physician shortages, and while this is often attributed to a lack of residency opportunties, that is not entirely accurate.

The demand for physicians outstrips the number of medical students produced by US medical schools, let alone the number of residency slots available (to the tune of about 4,000 extra residencies, with that gap projected to grow an additional 6000 over the next ten years). The residency slots are there; the demand for doctors is high. Being an international medical graduate is simply not the barrier it once was, with the American College of Physicians openly acknowledging not only the value of these students and their passion for medicine, but recognizing that the United States healthcare system actively depends on IMGs to address the medical needs of the 300,000,000 people living within the nation's borders. 

So, why the perception of limited access creating a physician shortage? 

It's more than a perception. There is a choke point, it's just the match receives too much focus; a significant portion of the issue is in the medical school admissions process itself. It can be addressed, though.

The competition to be admitted to an allopathic US or Canadian medical school is very high, and one of the major factors is MCAT scores. The MCAT, a test designed to measure a student's ability to perform in medical school, is ostensibly a good thing; it helps schools get through the field of applicants efficiently and creates a barrier for people that may dream of becoming a doctor but just aren't adequately prepared or suited for it. 

Except there is a disparity between its effective value and its application. Don't get us wrong, it's an important metric, but it can be over emphasized and therefore too restrictive. As a result, a lot of excellent physicians don't get the educational opportunity they need to join the field and make a difference.

You don't have to take our word for it. Dr. Darrell Kirch, president of the AAMC, said it himself, "The MCAT doesn't predict how good a doctor you'll be," he said. "I can point to many very successful medical students when I was a dean who had scores below that, and those [with scores] above that who struggled for various reasons."

This is why Trinity looks at the entire candidate, and evaluates on a much deeper level. As a smaller school, this is a major advantage for our team and our students (more on that later). We have so many students that showed great potential with MCAT scores that were good, not great, who then went on to not only place near the top in their Step 1 scores and then proved themselves as excellent physicians. Trinity changes the MCAT from a barrier to clear to an indicator of progress: the MCAT score may be where a student's knowledge began, and it can highlight any strengths and weaknesses early on, but it becomes about how far they've come and show their capacity to grow. 

The National Residency Match Program (NRMP) surveyed residency program directors across the country about their decision making criteria and determined that the single greatest factor in assessing whether an applicant is considered is their step 1 score. Trinity aggressively prepairs its students for this with its comprehensive Step 1 prep program, as well as its curriculum of early clinical experience designed to cement classroom lessons. 

And it works. See the data yourself. 


Topics: Caribbean medical schools first year residency positions residency match Step 1 Pass rate

Trinity SOM Students Achieve New High on USMLE Step 1 Exam

The Faculty and Administration are brimming with pride over our Students' recent accomplishment with regards to the USMLE Step 1 Exam. This week, the ECFMG provided us with results from the past six weeks of Step 1 Exam testing. Ten Trinity SOM students sat for the exam for the first time and achieved some terrific results. The combined passing scores resulted in an average Step 1 passing rate of 234.

Topics: alternatives to US medical school Caribbean medical school student success Caribbean medical students alternative to Canadian medical school Caribbean medical schools Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribbean medical schools

Results of the 2014 Match: U.S. and Caribbean Medical Schools

Recently, the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) hosted the algorithim-based process of aligning doctors with residency positions in the United States.  This competitive process, commonly known as "the Match," included over 52,000 applicants this year and amongst them were Trinity graduates from the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The 2014 participants were vying for post graduate education positions which resulted in 25,687 matched applicants to first year positions. 

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success Caribbean medical schools Accredited caribbean medical school Medical school options for US students first year residency positions US students residency match Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribbean medical schools Compare Caribeen medical schools

Resolution Worth Keeping? Start Your MD In 2014 at Trinity SOM

How Do You Compare MD Programs?
You likely have a check list you use when evaluating schools with items such as Step 1 scores, Residency match success, finances and accreditation. Many reputable Caribbean medical schools will meet these requirements so go beyond the check list and determine what motivates you and in what type of environment you thrive. The following videos from 2013 showcase our students describing the unique qualities that are positioning them for success: 


Limited-Sized Incoming Classes
With each new term facilitating 25 (January and May) or 75 (September) new students to the Campus, students establish strong bonds fostering cooperation instead of competition. VIEW VIDEO

Topics: international medical schools become a doctor trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students Caribbean medical schools Accredited caribbean medical school Medical school options for US students Options for Canadians for medical school get in to medical school can I start medical school this fall Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribbean medical schools Small Class Size

5th Term Step 1 Preparation, Critical to Residency Opportunities

When so much of your future rides on scores earned on the USMLE Step exams, it's important to have an advantage going into test time.  Because the competition for a Residency position includes US Medical school seniors as well as other International Medical Graduates (IMGs), just passing Step 1 isn't enough.

Topics: international medical schools become a doctor Accredited caribbean medical school first year residency positions residency match Step 1 Pass rate

Charting Successful Outcomes: Trinity Students in Caribbean Medical School Compete

When we interview Applicants and ask them why they chose to apply to Trinity School of Medicine it's usually for the factors that differentiate our MD program from other Caribbean medical schools:  Class sizes that are relatively small (from 25-75 depending on the term); clinical experience at our affiliated teaching hospital that starts in your first term; and the experienced leadership in our Dean, Dr. Skelton. 

Topics: alternatives to US medical school Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Accredited caribbean medical school Medical school options for US students Options for Canadians for medical school Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribbean medical schools

On-Demand Webinar: What You Don't Know About Trinity SOM

Topics: alternatives to US medical school foreign medical school Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Caribbean medical students medical missions Caribbean medical schools Accredited caribbean medical school Options for Canadians for medical school first year residency positions get in to medical school can I start medical school this fall residency match Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribbean medical schools Small Class Size

Trinity from an Applicants Perspective: Part Three

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. 

Topics: alternatives to US medical school Caribbean medical students Accredited caribbean medical school residency match Step 1 Pass rate Compare Caribeen medical schools

Question & Answer with Trinity Med Student Seth Clohosey

What factors led you to select Trinity School of Medicine for your medical education?

Topics: Caribbean medical school student success trinity school of medicine Medical school options for US students Options for Canadians for medical school Step 1 Pass rate

Carlson's Caribbean Adventure: A Trinity Student Blog

Want a direct student perspective? Read Moriah Carlson's blog about life on St. Vincent and her husband's time at Trinity!