8 Best Medical Schools in Cuba 2023

If you’re seeking to study medicine in an accredited medical school in Cuba, read on to know the 8 best medical schools in Cuba in 2023. 

Cuba has become one of the top study destinations for medical education. The country continues to attract international students from all around the world, especially those universities offering free tuition.

The affordable tuition fees and medical schools have helped produce a lot of doctors in Cuba. Currently, Cuba has the highest number of doctors per capita (67 per 10,000). Despite Cuba’s GDP and lack of drugs and equipment, these doctors contribute to Cuba’s healthcare system, and it is fairing well. 

Now, let’s see the list of the top medical schools in Cuba and what you must do to qualify for admission as an international student.

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8 Best Medical Schools in Cuba 2021

Top Medical Schools in Cuba

If you are looking for the best and most affordable universities in Cuba then you should consider any of these Cuba’s accredited medical schools:

1. Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM)

Also called the Latin American School of Medicine, ELAM is a government-run institution that has been catering to foreign students since 1999. It is situated in Havana and is believed to be one of the largest medical schools in the world – with applicants coming from more than 100 countries around the world.

The medical school accepts foreign students but places preference on students from poor communities. ELAM’s scholarships worth includes full tuition, housing, meals, Spanish textbooks, uniform, and a monthly stipend of $4 (100 Cuban pesos). 

ELAM is recognized by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), the World Health Organization, and the Medical Board of California. It is considered to be one of the best medical schools in Cuba

2. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana

Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de La Habana is a Cuban medical school established in 1976 and located in the capital. It offers various health-related degrees, and that includes a 6-year Medicine program.

The curriculum is called PENSUM. It strives to create physicians with comprehensive knowledge and skills. It includes internships in the departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynecology, and Surgery. Its graduates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and are well-versed in disease prevention, rehabilitation, and research as well.

The Medical University of Havana also offers post-graduate training in General Medicine, Pediatrics, Public Health, Gynecology, Surgery, and Diagnostics.

The Medical University of Havana is recognized by the Ministerio de Salud Pública, Cuba (Ministry of Public Health).

3. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Holguín – Mariana Grajales Coello

The Mariana Grajales Coello Medical Sciences University was founded in 1965. It was officially established in 1973, though its first 20 physicians who rotated in Hospital Vladimir I. Lenin already graduated in 1967. The school’s early professors included Havanan physicians and doctors from the defunct USSR.

Through the Health Technology Center and the University Polyclinic projects, students can major in various courses, including epidemiology, gastroenterology, genetics, geriatrics, pathology, intensive care, and natural medicine.

4. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara

The University of Medical Sciences of Villa Clara was established in 1966 and had its simple beginnings at the Provincial Surgical Hospital. Today, the school is one of the most well-respected medical schools in Cuba.

The school started with courses in Pathology, Radiology, Internal Medicine, Microbiology, Clinical Laboratory, and Parasitology, but has now evolved into a comprehensive, world-class 6-year program.

The school also follows the PENSUM curriculum, and Villa Clara students are taught Research, Community Medicine, Genetics, Morphophysiology, Health Promotion/Prevention, Psychology, Microbiology, and Pharmacology.

5. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Santiago de Cuba


Formerly the Medical School of the University of the Orient, it was opened in February 1962. In 1964, the school was finally inaugurated and transferred to its new building along with Avenida de Las Americas. Its second medical faculty was established in 1979 and catered to students from Santiago de Cuba, Granma, and other parts of the globe.

Today, Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Santiago de Cuba trains its students in over 24 medical specialties. Through its comprehensive Health Program of 1998, the school was expanded with the help of additional Caribbean medical faculty and currently receives hundreds of students from Haiti, Djibouti, Mali, and other countries.

6. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Ciego de Ávila


The Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Ciego is a public institution founded in 1978 and based in Moron. It is located on a vast campus covering 120,000 square meters and is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education

Its Faculty of Medical Science has emerged as one of the best Cuban medical schools and it was finally recognized as a Medical University in 2009. Currently, it is the academic arm of Ciego de Avila’s medical tourism program.

7. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Guantánamo

Established in 1979, the University of Medical Sciences of Guantanamo is a co-ed public university located in the municipality of Guantanamo, a mountainous territory located east of the country.

The university specializes in Medicine, and it is accredited by the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education. It trains physicians in over 53 medical disciplines as one of the more recognized institutions in the area

Not only is it a distinguished medical school, but the university also offers courses in Stomatology and Nursing.

8. Universidad de Ciencias Medicas de Cienfuegos

Universidad de Ciencias Medicas de Cienfuegos was founded in 1979 and has become a haven for many international students. There are now thousands of international students coming from 52 countries. There’s a huge multicultural community and this picturesque school holds true to its mission of training world-class physicians.

The medical school degree culminates with a rotary internship in the departments of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Pediatrics.

The school is affiliated with Dr. Gustavo Aldereguía Lima Provincial General Hospital and is accredited by the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education.

International students’ requirements for Cuban medical schools

The prerequisites for medical schools in Cuba are essentially identical to those in Europe.

One year of study at one of the nation’s medical schools is provided without cost to students by the Cuban government. Accredited Cuban political figures working together in their native nation respond to student queries.

  • To be eligible for university admission, applicants must have a minimum Level 4 pass in Physical Science, Math, Biology/Life Sciences, and English.
  • Applicants must be South African nationals and permanent residents of Gauteng.
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35 by December 31, 2021.
  • You must be medically fit to study medicine.

Why must I consider Cuba to Study Medicine?

Without a doubt, Cuba is the largest country in the Northern Caribbean. The country provides fantastic prospects for higher education, particularly in medicine. Cuba is well-known for its cutting-edge medical research and healthcare.
Those in Cuba are considered to have a higher life expectancy than people in other nations because they focus on reducing the spread of chronic diseases such as meningitis, cholera, AIDS, cancer, and airborne infections.


Cuba has some of the greatest opportunities for higher education, particularly in medicine, and is home to the largest and best medical school in the world.

FAQs about Medical Schools in Cuba

How long do you need to study Medicine in Cuba?

6 years. It takes 6 years to complete a medical degree in Cuba.

What are the general requirements to study in Cuban medical schools?

Applicants will need to submit a copy of their high school transcripts and grades. Other requirements include a copy of criminal records, HIV and pregnancy tests birth certificates.
Prospective students need to be younger than the age of 25 and be physically and mentally sound during schooling.

How much does it cost to study at Cuba’s top medical schools?

The cost of attending a university in Cuba can range from $ 20,000 to $ 40,000, depending on the institution and degree being pursued. The good news is that this tuition cost covers not just one year of the degree but the complete program. Additionally, low-income students are supported by Cuban medical institutions.

Is it difficult to become a doctor in Cuba?

In Cuba, like in other nations, becoming a doctor requires extensive training, passing medical tests, and completing a residency term. Cuba, however, has traditionally provided accessible education for bright but low-income medical students.

How can I study in Cuba?

A foreign student must have a student visa in order to study in Cuba. To apply, get details from the Cuban Consulate in your nation, as each country has different specifications. A passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of admission in order to enter Cuba.

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