MEDICAL SCHOOL FACTS FOR PARENTS
We’re excited that your son or daughter is thinking about applying to or enrolling in Ross University School of Medicine. Medical school is a major commitment—and for many who come to Ross, the pursuit of a medical degree is a family affair, with the student drawing inspiration and encouragement from their family back home.
We understand that as the parents of a student thinking about medical school, you have many questions about how our program works, the quality of education we provide, and life as an Ross student. Here, we'll answer your questions and give you the facts you need to help your son or daughter make an informed decision with confidence.
Ross has a track record of student and graduate success—including more than 785 residency placements in 2016 and 830+ in 2015—and 12,000+ graduates since our school’s 1978 founding. We invite you to read on to learn a little bit about what makes RUSM stand out.
Learn About Our Medical School
In these pages, we provide information about:
• Student Success: Find out how Ross students perform and about how our medical school program is set up to help students succeed. This section covers curriculum, student support services, United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) performance, residency match performance, and more.
• Tuition and Financial Aid: Explore options for offsetting the costs of a medical education. This section covers tuition and fees, applying for the U.S. Federal Direct Loan Program, our scholarship offerings, and more.
• Life at Ross: Learn more about what it’s like to study medicine at Ross, including during the pre-clinical semesters in Dominica and when your child is back in the US for their clinical education. This section covers housing, shopping, transportation, safety/security policies, and more.
• How Parents Can Help: Wondering what you can do as a parent? Check this page for a handy list of resources to consult as you discuss attending Caribbean medical school with your son or daughter.
Questions About Ross? We Have Answers
We encourage you, as parents of a potential medical school student, to explore these sections and find answers to your questions—or let us know what questions you have that we haven’t answered here. You can contact us at RUSMparents@rossu.edu anytime. To get you started, check out these four facts that address some of the most frequently asked questions about our school. What you’ll read might just surprise you!
Medical School Fact 1: Most of Your Son or Daughter's Medical Education Will Likely Take Place in the United States
Yes, technically, Ross is a Caribbean medical school. Students begin academic study on our high-tech campus in Dominica, an island in the West Indies. There, our students complete their basic science courses in our Foundations of Medicine curriculum. Depending on which curricular track your son or daughter selects—they have two options after completing semester one—they’ll have the opportunity to complete the Dominica portion of the medical program in just 16 or 20 months, assuming they complete their studies on time.
That’s less than two years, and less than half of their medical education.
The remainder of their medical education will take place in the United States, where they will complete their clinical curriculum through clerkships in one or more of Ross' affiliated US teaching hospitals. Our clinical network spans across the United States and includes many teaching sites in regions of country where the highest percentage of our students came from.
To sum up, the majority of your child’s medical education will not be in the Caribbean. It will be in the United States.
Medical School Fact 2: Ross Has a Lot More in Common with U.S. Medical Schools Than Most May Think.
As mentioned, even though Ross is technically a Caribbean medical school, the majority of your son or daughter’s education will take place in a US teaching hospital, where they will learn the principles of patient care from the same physicians who teach US medical school students.
But that’s not where the similarities end. The Ross Foundations of Medicine (preclinical) curriculum is modeled after curricula used by U.S. medical schools. In response to several US and global trends in medical education, Ross implemented what’s called an organ systems-based curriculum, meaning that students examine the physiological, anatomical, and biochemical processes of an organ system all at once. This approach emphasizes early clinical work, with patient encounters beginning as early as semester one. You can spot this teaching model in place at many medical schools throughout the United States.
To sum up, Ross strives to provide a medical education that is equivalent in content and quality to top US medical schools.
Medical School Fact 3: Our Students Take the Same Licensing Exams as Students from US Medical Schools.
All medical students who plan to be licensed to practice medicine in the United States must take and pass the three parts of the USMLE. This includes Caribbean medical school students. USMLE Step 1 is probably the most important test taken by a medical student—residency directors look at students’ performance on Step 1 when evaluating them for a residency position.
Medical School Fact #4: Qualified Ross Students Are Eligible for US Federal Funding.
As parents of a potential medical school student, you're likely to contribute toward the financial needs of your son or daughter. You'll likely be happy to know that Ross students are eligible for US federal funding and that we provide assistance to get the financing you need through our Office of Student Finance.
With some national organizations predicting an impending physician shortage—including the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), which predicts a shortfall of about 130,000 physicians by 2020—we believe that our role in educating tomorrow’s physicians is more important now than ever before.
To that end, we don’t want financial concerns to pose an obstacle to them becoming a physician. As you think about how your loved one is going to finance his or her medical education, please keep the following points in mind:
• Tuition at Ross is in line with private medical schools in the U.S.
• Ross students may be eligible to receive U.S. federal direct student loans through the U.S. Department of Education. This includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loans. In addition, Ross students who face financial challenges during the clinical years in the U.S. may be eligible for a special loan program.
• We offer several scholarships that recognize and award qualities like academic achievement, involvement in community service activities, and commitment to becoming a physician. Your son or daughter may qualify for one (or more!) of these awards. Check out our scholarship lineup here.
To sum up, Ross is committed to assisting students and their families with exploring options for funding their medical education.
There’s much more to explore when it comes to learning about Ross. Take a deeper dive into the Ross Parents Guide using the navigation buttons in the menu on the left or the links below.
- Explore Ross' Outcomes
- Discover Life on Campus and Beyond
- Review Financial Aid
- Take Action: How Can Parents Help?