ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine)
About ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine)ELAM (Latin American School of Medicine), Cuba was established in 1999 and is operated by the Cuban government. It is regarded as one of the largest medical schools in the world and a prominent part of Cuban healthcare system. Since its first class of 2005, ELAM has graduated tens of thousands of physicians from low-income communities. Mostly enrolled are international students from outside Cuba and mainly come from Latin America and the Caribbean as well as United States, Africa and Asia. ELAM’s motto is simple: “To provide free medical education to bright students who are passionate about becoming doctors, but lack the financial means to do so and this will drive them to return to serve in communities like their own”.
Fee StructureTuition, accommodation, and board are free, and a small stipend is provided for students.
AdmissionsThe Cuban government offers new students annual entry to the Latin American Medical School. The application for ELAM is submitted processed through the accredited Cuban diplomatic missions in the student’s home country. The Cuban Embassy provides authentic information about medical programs in Cuba.
Admission RequirementsApplicants will be carefully selected by the IFCO Medical School Advisory Committee, based on applications, transcripts, interviews, letters of reference, etc. Final admissions decisions will be made by administrators of the Latin American School of Medicine and the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. The application cycle begins September 30th and applications are due March 15th of the following year The application process is structured in such a way that it gives opportunities to people from economically disadvantaged families. To get into the university, the following requirements should be met.
- High school diploma
- High school transcripts
- One of these two documents should come with the stamp of the Ministry of Education from your country, or International Relations Department from your country, or the Cuban in the embassy in your country.
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of Health including HIV test and a pregnancy test.
- Age should not exceed 25 years at the time of enrollment.
- Be physically and mentally fit to pursue medical studies.
- Criminal Records.
- Scholarship application form
- Five photos 3cmx3cm (International Relations); six photos 2cmx2cm (Registrar’s Office)
- Documents for registration required for filing at the Registrar’s Office
Course of StudyThe regular course of study at ELAM is seven years. An additional semester of pre-med coursework is mandatory for all students. The course of study for the seven-year program starts in September. The additional Spanish intensive course and the pre-med courses are offered in the fall and spring semester respectively.
CurriculumIn terms of content, the Cuban medical curriculum is parallels with how medicine is taught in the US. The teaching style, however, is not the same. The Cuban schools emphasize cooperative rather than competitive learning that means ELAM has smaller classes (in terms of size), frequent oral exams, and incorporates intensive tutoring to help all students succeed. All students spend their first three years of study on ELAM’s campus. During these years, the curriculum focuses on the basic medical sciences and includes some practicum opportunities in neighborhood clinics. The first-year students have to follow an innovative plan called “morpho-physiology,” which assimilates various basic sciences to augment learning. From the third year onwards, students are located at one of Cuba’s 21 teaching hospitals. In these advanced years of study, classroom and laboratory studies are reinforced through supervised clinical practicum work on the hospital wards. The sixth year of medical study is the internship year. This is when students complete rotations in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, and general medicine.
FAQs about ELAM
How well does my Spanish have to be to study medicine in ELAM?
What is the level of the Spanish language that is taught in ELAM?
Does the Latin American School of Medicine accept transfer students?
What does the Scholarship include?
Will I be able to practice Medicine when I return to the US?
How are Exams given in ELAM?
Is the Latin American School of Medicine recognized Internationally?
Where can I get supplemental English language medical textbooks?
How is Campus Life?
How the Food and what is usually Served? Is food generally Expensive?
What should a student do if he has trouble in understanding Spanish, even after taking the mandatory course? Or if a student generally has difficulty in following a lecturer?
How is the dormitory Life?
Can there be any exceptions to accommodations in any situation?
How will I communicate with my family and friends at home?
Is it legal for medical students to travel to Cuba?