At present, Belize is home to four offshore medical schools. These and other offshore medical schools in the Caribbean target students, who although they may be motivated and talented, cannot get admission to med school in the U.S. Typically, the curricula at these schools parallel those in medical schools in the U.S. The basic sciences program is five semesters and can be completed in as little as 20 months. The clinical medicine program involves about 72 weeks of clinical rotations at hospitals in the U.S. or elsewhere.
Although these offshore med schools offer an alternative to other types of medical education, some of these schools come and go. For example, Grace University School of Medicine in Belmopan left Belize in 2003, and St. Matthew's University School of Medicine moved to Grand Cayman from San Pedro.
Medical School of the Americas (Belize), Ambergris Caye
This school, which currently has about 50 students, has a campus on 7 1ŕ2 aces on south Ambergris Caye, about 2 miles south of San Pedro Town. The main school building is a large square, wood-frame structure around a central open courtyard. MUA is no longer associated with the Medical University of Americas in Nevis. Faculty members were trained in the U.S., Guatemala, Cuba and elsewhere. Tuition and fees currently run around US$6,000 per semester. The school says it has a student/faculty ratio of 6:1. Students say that living costs on the island run about US$750 to $1,000 a month, depending on living arrangements. That includes rent of about US$450 for a one-bedroom apartment, US$150 for water, telephone, electric, and US$200 or more a month for food. Sharing a two-bedroom apartment will cut expenses somewhat.
Medical University of the Americas
1000 Coconut Drive (P.O. Box 127), San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
St. Luke's University School of Medicine, Belmopan
St. Luke's is a small school in Belmopan with fewer than 75 students. Tuition at St. Luke's ranges from US$8,600 to $9,900 per semester; Belize nationals pay a lower rate, as little as one-half the “international” rate. The school estimates that housing costs in Belmopan for students will range from US$150 for a one-bedroom house to $500 per month for a three-bedroom. A majority of the faculty at St. Luke’s are Belizean.
St. Luke's University School of Medicine
P.O. Box 557
Central America Health Sciences University Belize Medical College, near Belize City
Founded in 1996, Central America Health Sciences University Belize Medical College has its campus on the Northern Highway north of Belize City, in a modern group of buildings. Tuition and fees are around US$6,000 a semester. The school estimates monthly living expenses for students are around US$700-$1,000. There are also required medical malpractice insurance (US$1,000 a year) and other costs.
Central America Health Sciences University Belize Medical College, Belize City
P.O. Box 989, Belize City
U.S. Information Office:
P.O. Box 55996, Washington, DC. 20040
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.cahsu.edu
InterAmerican School of Medical Science, Corozal Town
This is the newest of the four offshore med schools in Belize, opened in September 2005. It is located on 8 acres in Corozal Town. The school, which is associated with John Trummer, M.D., an American who has practiced in Corozal for many years, and the Trummer Clinic (Bethesda Medical Centre), was started by R. Shayne Pavlic, who earlier started an offshore school in Nicaragua. His sister, Liesl Pavlic, M.D., and father, Romeo Pavlic, M.D., are on the faculty. Says Naomi Gietzen, Academic Services Director: "We are training both Belize student and students from all over the world, although primarily the United States. We are offering discounted tuition to Belize students as well as offering one full tuition
scholarship to a qualified Belize student every year." Tuition is US$5,000 per trimester, plus the cost of textbooks. Room, board and other expenses run about US$1,000 per trimester. There is also a US$1,000 matriculation fee.
InterAmerican School of Medical Science
US Information Office:
10 N Post St. Suite 642
Spokane, WA 99201-0705
tel: 509-838-0592 or 877-DOCSTUDY