Saba University School of Medicine

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Saba University School of Medicine
Saba University School of Medicine Logo.png
Motto Education For Life
Established 1986
Type For-profit
President Joseph Chu
Academic staff
Students 500+
Location The Bottom, Saba, Netherlands

Saba University School of Medicine is a for-profit medical school located in The Bottom, Saba, a special municipality of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. Saba University confers upon its graduates the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.[1] Saba University is owned by R3 Education, Inc.[2]


Saba University School of Medicine began in 1986 as a combined project between the island government of Saba and a group of medical educators from the United States.[3] Saba University was approved by the Federal Government of the Netherlands Antilles in 1988 and an official charter was granted in 1989.[citation needed]

Saba University's graduates practice primarily in the United States and Canada with over 1300 graduates.[citation needed] Over 120 students were placed in Canadian and American residencies in 2009 alone.[4][self-published source?] Saba's USMLE Step 1 pass rate was 95% in 2002 and 94% in 2003. The USMLE Step 2 pass rate was 93% and 90% in those years respectively.[5] Class sizes are 80-100 students per matriculating class. Students complete the first 20 months of basic science medical education on the island and return to the US and Canada to complete clinical rotations at hospitals contracted by the school.


MD Program[edit]

Saba University School of Medicine campus

The first five Basic Science semesters of the MD program follow a similar outline as those seen in American medical schools. They consist of the lab work and course material necessary to gain a basic understanding of the medical sciences prior to entering clinical rotations. The sixth through tenth semesters include 42 weeks of required clinical practice, and 30 weeks of elective clinical practice based on the students expected specialty.

M.S. in Hyperbaric Medicine[edit]

Saba University School of Medicine has a hyperbaric master's program for its medical students and its own Hyperbaric Recompression Chamber.[6] This hyperbaric facility is administrated by Saba Marine Park authorities and is under the medical direction of a Saba faculty member. It is run by volunteers, most of whom are medical students at Saba University and local community residents. The training of these volunteers is coordinated by the graduate students completing training in hyperbaric medicine.[7]

Accreditation and Licensure[edit]

Saba University School of Medicine is a legally recognized entity of higher education in the Netherlands and its program of medicine is accredited by the NVAO.[1]

As of June 2009, Saba University has received a positive initial review (with the exception of an "Unsatisfactory" in the "Academic orientation" category) by the Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie (NVAO),[8] which is responsible for assessing academic quality in the Netherlands, Flanders, and Dutch Caribbean. In 2012, Saba University received a positive accreditation decision on the university’s M.D. program by the NVAO, and is now listed by the NVAO, making the University the 9th medical school in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. [9]

Saba University's students who successfully complete the requisite licensing examinations are eligible to practice medicine in Canada, Puerto Rico and all 50 States in the U.S.[10] In addition, Saba University has been approved by the following U.S. states which have a separate review process for the purposes of licensing or providing clinical rotations:

  • Saba is approved by the Medical Board of California.[11] However, this recognition applies only to coursework begun on or after January 1, 2002.[12]
  • Saba is approved by the New York State Board of Education for the purpose of students participating in clinical rotations in that state.[13]
  • Saba is approved by the Florida Department of Education's Commission for the purpose of students participating in clinical rotations in that state.[14]
  • Saba is approved by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA)[15] for coursework that began on or after January 1, 2002.

In July 2013, Saba University School of Medicine was approved by the United States Department of Education for participation in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Qualified citizens and permanent residents of the United States became eligible to receive funding from the Direct Loan programs to help pay for the cost of their education.

Student Life[edit]

Several student organizations exist at Saba. These include, but are not limited to:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°37′33″N 63°14′48″W / 17.625791°N 63.2467°W / 17.625791; -63.2467