Background: Worldwide, there are essential differences underpinning what educators and students perceive to be effective medical education. Yet, the world looks on for a recipe or easy formula for the globalization of medical education. Aims: This article examines the assumptions, main beliefs, and impact of globalization on medical education as a carrier of modernity. Methods: The article explores the cultural and social structures for the successful utilization of learning approaches within medical education. Empirical examples are problem-based learning (PBL) at two medical schools in Jamaica and the Netherlands, respectively. Results: Our analysis shows that people do not just naturally work well together. Deliberate efforts to build group culture for effective and efficient collaborative practice are required. Successful PBL is predicated on effective communication skills, which are culturally defined in that they require common points of understanding of reality. Commonality in cultural practices and expectations do not exist beforehand but must be clearly and deliberately created. Conclusions: The globalization of medical education is more than the import of instructional designs. It includes Western models of social organization requiring deep reflection and adaptation to ensure its success in different environments and among different groups.