Physician MBAs in Cuba: Rajat Kapoor, MD, MBA’18


The Cuban health system is based on population health of not only their country, but also the countries that want it.

The Latin American Medical School (ELAM), located outside of Havana, hosts 1500 students every year from 120+ countries. The school has a pre-med year, where students are taught basic courses and language. Following this, the second year of didactics are taught in a fairly extensive manner to all students. After that, students join Cuban students for their clinical years.

ELAM teaches students from most countries for free. They will only charge a minimal fee for students that come from developed countries. The students aren't expected to stay in the country after they finish their schooling. The Cuban system actually helps the students to transition back to their respective countries by assisting them in gaining medical certifications in different countries.

Cuban primary care is the definition of population health for a global setup. They not only teach primary care for physicians to practice in Cuba, but also in various countries that lack the infrastructure.

The Cubans succeeded in sustaining their healthcare system during the special period of Soviet downfall, because of their community approach. They have learned to get the maximum out of minimum. They developed cost-efficient algorithms. They spread these systems and algorithms to help the undeveloped economies. They supply their physicians with resources from drugs to instruments, and they send paraclinical staff and tents to poor countries and sites of natural disasters.

The Cuban health system holds true to the promise of population health, community health, social health and economic efficiency at the best level.