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Dismissed from US Med School but now ready to apply 4 years later

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by san2, May 7, 2012.

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  1. san2

    san2

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    This is on behalf of a friend.

    My friend had directly out of undergraduate been accepted to a US medical school. However, she had failed a couple courses her first year of medical school simply because the school was too rigorous for her and she had come into medical school as a business major having had no exposure to most of the courses presented in medical school. The school told her to repeat first year, and she did and she failed one course. Because of the accumulations of failed courses, she was dismissed from the school.

    She enrolled in an foreign medical school in Poland. There while her grades were so-so her first two years, there was no failures, and she took the Step 1 and passed on the first attempt with a 240. She studied very hard for Step 1. Then she did great on the rotations 3rd year and took Step 2 at the end of her third year and got a 260. Her grades third year were much better than her first two year grades. She is going into her fourth year soon, and is collecting great letters of recommendation and the school in Poland is very supportive of her applications for US residencies.

    She plans to apply to Pediatric residency programs throughout the US, and then hopes to do a pediatric cardiology fellowship afterwards. She has had no disciplinary violations what so ever and she has been very well liked by both her friends and professors.

    What do you all think is the chance that she can match into a pediatrics residency here in the US, despite being dismissed from a US medical school, but recovering from that in a very strong way? Thank you all
  2. JackShephard MD

    JackShephard MD

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    I'd say strong... to quite strong.
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  3. Lbgem

    Lbgem Junior Member

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    Tell her to do away rotations and get a couple of LORs from US docs. That should help even more.
  4. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    I'm not sure that anyone here has seen enough students who failed out of a US medical school and then graduated with excellent step scores in Poland to be of any help to you. Its hard to give you odds when we don't have any data points to extrapolate those odds from. FWIW Peds is one of the easiest fields to get into. If you're going to get help anywhere your best bet might be the valuemd forum, which caters to gaduates from foreign medical school.

    In any event its not like she has a decision to make. She's already gone through medical school, she's going to apply regardless of her odds, so what's the point of worrying? As other's have said make sure she schedules multiple away rotations at likely residency sites, both to get letters and audition for her top choices. After that just apply really broadly and hope for the best.
  5. Mr hawkings

    Mr hawkings Senior Member

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    I know that previous matriculation gets automatically reportd on AMCAS to school. Is it the same for ERAS?
  6. Houmd

    Houmd

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    assuming that she applies broadly, isn't picky about location, and that those passes were on first attempts then she has a very high chance at matching
  7. grayscaleart

    grayscaleart

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    She redeemed herself and has persevered. Going to Poland means she probably wanted it BADLY. I agree that she has a really strong chance.
  8. grayscaleart

    grayscaleart

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    I don't remember but the state boards will definitely have her give a detailed explanation
  9. san2

    san2

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    im starting to get some hope for her and thank you all. She went to an English medical program they have in Poland which accepts international students in their MD program. It is recognied by the Polish Medical Council, and if she wanted she can practice in Poland, but ever since being dismissed from the us med school, she still had not lost sight of her final goal of being a pediatric cardiologist in the united states and will apply to many ped programs broadly, particularly in Ohio, New York, Texas, and Michigan. She is from Florida, and her top choices are pediatric programs in Florida, but she isnt being picky at all and will be happy anywhere. She also is trying to arrange some visiting student clerkships in the US.

    she is also going to soon contact the us medical school which she was enrolled at, and see if they can change the fails to a withdraw on her medical school transcript or even better clear the grades. From people she has talked to, first year grades are the most irrelevant grades so hopefully the school can take that into consideration. I think that will help her a lot if the school can change the F's to a W or best case scenario clear the grades entirely. but thank you all for your contribution.
  10. san2

    san2

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    I dont think she is too concerned about the state boards as much as she is concerned about getting into a pediatrics residency program. We all highly doubt a state wont allow her to practice medicine because she failed first year basic science courses. And anyways, her medical school is recognied in all states, including California, so we dont think the medical board will be an issue.
  11. KluverB

    KluverB New Member

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    She'll be fine. Peds is not particularly competitive. If she's got an eye for a residency at a "top tiered" residency program it would behoove her to do an away rotation at a "top tiered" program back in the US for a couple good LORs. State boards won't care about her past. Residency PDs might/will since I assume it's on her CV. Either that, or she'll have to explain why there are gaps in it. IMHO, better be upfront about it and explain with confidence.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  12. san2

    san2

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    the thing she will explain is that her medical school in the US was simply too academically rigorous for her and she failed anatomy twice and histology once. she's really hoping that the us med school she attended will erase her grades or have the F's change to W's. She was a steller student in undergrad, graduating with a 3.6, and a 33 MCAT. And yes the English Polish medical program she claims is infinitely easier than the us medical school curriculum and she had to study for step 1, 3 months all day everyday dedicated studying to get a score like that.

    hopefully PD's will understand. I think her biggest concern is getting the interview for the different peds programs she plans to apply to. During the interview she thinks she can explain what happened.
  13. GuyWhoDoesStuff

    GuyWhoDoesStuff I do stuff

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    So her excuse is "medical school was too hard"? Yikes. Good luck with that.
  14. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    +1, come up with something else to say. It can be as simple as "I wasn't ready" or "I had some personal problems".
  15. Stixman28

    Stixman28 Medical Scientician

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    "Med school in the US was way too hard, so i went somewhere infinitely easier, and did great!"

    I agree, a MUCH better answer is needed.

    Also, in terms of the "friend" thing i really hope you are just a friend and not the student in question, because that is really an atrocious answer. Someone who has been through the process of applying to medical school should know better than to make crappy excuses
  16. 1AO KTG

    1AO KTG

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    I didnt know you could go to med school in a place like Poland, then apply directly to residency.
  17. Whiskeypunch

    Whiskeypunch

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    It's only because there historically has been a gap between the number of AMG's and the number of residency slots.

    In roughly 4 years this gap is going to close dramatically and at that point the IMG's are in a world of trouble. FMG superstars will still be fine.
  18. Raryn

    Raryn House

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    No matter where in the world you went to med school, as long as you pass Step I and Step II, you can apply to residency. (As long as it was a legit med school. There's a certifying body that looks into that sort of thing, to make sure people are just making med schools up or claiming some mail order school or something)
  19. san2

    san2

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    if the US medical school she was previously enrolled at, completely erases those grades from her transcript there, then technically did she attend that school at all? I know this is optimistic thinking, but she is hoping that can happen. she has contacted the schools dean to see what he can do about it. if the school does not accept, she will then ask if they can change the F's to W's on her transcript.

    She actually was in the past few days seeing she is eligible for away rotations, and also one peds program in Florida. While as I said, she is not picky at all and would be happy to go anywhere for a residency in peds, her first choice would be a peds program in Florida. She also thinks her chances of matching in a peds program in Florida is almost 100% certain given her scores if being dismissed from a US medical school for failing a few courses can be forgiven

    Is her logic right in that if the previous medical school erases her grades entirely, it technically means she didnt attend that school since she had taken no classes there as seen by the transcript. She will still say she attended this medical school, but wont talk much about it since there would be no grades available.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  20. san2

    san2

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    any ideas?
  21. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    I'm not sure this is true. Don't all foreign schools need to have some sort of LCME certification for there grads to go through the match? Isn't the ECFMG basically a clearing house to determine if your med school was 'legit' by US standards?
  22. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness

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    I would be surprised if her old school agreed to this unless the failures all came during a semester where she withdrew.
  23. san2

    san2

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    If it is WHO accredited, than basically it meets the minimum criteria.
  24. Andreji

    Andreji

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    No, being listed in the IMED directory is the criterion to be ECFMG eligible. By 2023 the policy will be stricter, with a formal LCME equivalent accreditation for all med schools whose students could apply for ECFMG certification.

    http://www.ecfmg.org/annc/accreditation-requirement.html
  25. san2

    san2

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    unfortunately the previous medical school she was enrolled at refused to remove her grades, despite herhigh step 1 and 2 score and all passes in her courses at her polish medical school as she is going into her final year. they will write a letter though saying that she had no disciplinary or behavioral problems, and the reason she was dismissed was solely because of academics.

    we're all just hoping residency pd's will look at her step 1 and 2 scores, see that at her polish med school which was a graduate entry program and recognized by the EU she passed her first 2 years and did well on clinicals, her research in pediatrics in Poland, and that she is a us citizen really interested in becoming a pediatric cardiologist, and can forgive the dismissal from the previous us med school she was enrolled at.
  26. TenderRender

    TenderRender

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    I'm not sure if your friend has addressed this yet, but she needs to be able to tell a very compelling story of why she was dismissed. It sounds like from your perspective that she blames her old school for it; that the US MD program was too hard or too tough, and that it wasn't fair. She can't have this attitude going in. I'm not sure if she does since we're obviously only getting the story from you, but if she tries to dismiss her failures as a US MD as not being her fault, I think PDs might be very tentative about taking her.

    It sounds great that she has nice Step 1s and Step 2s, but unfortunately a US school decided she didn't have the chops to be an MD after giving her multiple chances. If she really owns up to that and links it together with her clear and vast improvement, it sounds like she'll have a great chance, as the other posters have noted. But if she deflects the blame on her Med School being unsupportive or being too tough then it'll probably turn off a lot of PDs. Does your friend accept fault, and can she tell a compelling story that humbly describes how she's changed?
  27. san2

    san2

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    The real reason is she actually does not take any fault, and blames the previous US MD school she was enrolled at because it was simply going into way more detail than she was learning. And she consistently kept using Kaplan lecture notes, rather than the class lecture notes given, thinking its the best way to prepare for Step 1 and that the inclass exams would be board style questions but the exams were actually filled with tiny details that were found in the class lecture notes that the kaplan books did not even cover at all. Also she found the class lecture notes too confusing, and resorted to Kaplan to clarify a lot of things and basically did not look at the class lecture notes. Kaplan was as seen not enough and she failed and was dismissed.

    But when she went to Poland, all she did was the Kaplan lecture notes for the basic science courses, and easily passed the courses with just the knowledge presented in the Kaplan books. When Step 1 rolled around, she obviously was very prepared and did great on Step 1.

    She continued that trend in 3rd year by studying the Kaplan lecture notes for the different clerkships, while doing her clinical clerkships in different Polish hospitals. Clinical clerkships there are much more laid back and timings are much more accommodating than they are in the US, so she had a lot of time to study for Step 2 and did well on that too.

    In hindsight, she actually wishes she didnt go to this US MD school and just directly enrolled in this Polish school, as it would not have left her with this massive explanation she has to give now.

    This is exactly the reason she was dismissed. How to circumvent that seems very difficult, and we're hoping she can explain this in her interviews. It wasnt really her academic deficiencies. It was more that she could not adapt to the way her previous med school taught, and that led to many failures leading to her dismissal.

    but her steps proves she has the knowledge to go into residency and do well, along with her clerkships, and research.

    We're both just very disappointed the previous med school didnt erase her grades. She's a sure fire getting into different pediatrics graduate training programs in Poland, but if thats going to help her at all get a ped residency in the US we kinda doubt. But she is trying for peds residency in Florida, while Im applying for IM programs in Florida. I think we both would be nearly certain we could have matched into Florida, if she didnt have this dismissal on her record. There are some peds programs in Florida which are IMG friendly, and so her matching there at one of those programs would be nice, but the effect the dismissal will have on her application is a little worrisome.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  28. ijn

    ijn

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    I mean 99% of US medical students cannot simply study Kaplan and get by in their classes with just that. I think it's fair for US residencies to see a huge burning red flag if she used the same anti-class strategy after failing with it for a year. How do you explain failure in the repeat year?

    I know what I would think as part of the admissions committee - she doesn't learn from her mistakes and kept doing Kaplan instead of learning the details that she knew were going to be heavily tested. You do know that studying 5-8 weeks for STEP 1 is more than enough, even if your school doesn't "teach to the boards."
  29. TenderRender

    TenderRender

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    Yeah, if she goes in with that story, then I would think that would raise MASSIVE red flags that would cause a lot of places to turn her down (obviously I am not a prog director, so what do I know). She sounds quite arrogant and if that comes through in the application or her interview then she's toast. Unless this is a US MD school that has some kind of reputation for failing students who didn't deserve to be (are there any with that rep? There MIGHT be one or two DO schools that have such a rep), then the fact of the matter is that she couldn't handle a US MD curriculum, and failed again when given another chance.

    It sounds like she's placing too much weight on the Steps. She spent a lot more time preparing than the average med student, and was apparently taught specifically to the boards. The Steps are supposed to show, on a standardized basis, that you learned the material in your medical education well. Its not supposed to be the medical education itself.

    Kaplan is not a medical school.

    I wish the best of luck to your friend, but I hope that sometime between now and her application period she sits down and realizes that these Prog directors are going to be looking at a lot of applicants who were able to do the coursework AND pass the steps, while she has not yet demonstrated being able to do the former. If she's able to show a little bit of humility and admit that it was her fault that she couldn't pass her first year courses twice, and frames the story around "Look at how I've learned my lesson and how I've improved!" as opposed to "Screw US MD schools, they don't know what they're doing! Please accept me US MD residency?"
  30. san2

    san2

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    yea we'll have to think of something better. its just difficult, because thats really the reason why. i guess we can say this is what happened, but mistake has been learned, and it wont be repeated. and she did well on her clinical clerkships and she can anytime get into a peds training program in Poland so hopefully they will take all this into consideration.

    Im really just worried she goes unmatched or gets into a peds program very far away from Florida, and I end up matching in IM residency in Florida.
  31. TenderRender

    TenderRender

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    Yeah man, hell she doesn't have to 100% believe her story, she just needs to come off as humble and that she's learned her mistake and tried her best to make up for it (and with her nice Steps, she's clearly worked hard).

    Idk if I'm reading this wrong, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea for her to say something like "Well I could get into a peds program here in Poland" because it makes it sound like "Hey, I don't really need you guys". The directors will probably full well know that she could practice in Poland if she wanted to looking at her app.

    It sounds like she definitely has the app, she just needs to be able to tell a compelling and humble story as to why her past mistakes should be forgiven. Good luck to you both!

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