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Will going to the Caribbean screw you over?

Discussion in 'hSDN' started by nysegop, Apr 17, 2012.

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  1. nysegop

    nysegop

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    Is it worth going to medical school in the Caribbean? I have heard two stories:

    A. Going to schools in the Caribbean isn't bad as it's easier to get into but most people will fail or drop out, the academics are virtually the same. Going to PR or DR med schools isn't as bad as you would think.

    B. Going to school in the Caribbean will ruin your career. You won't be able to get ANY competitive fellowships and you will be among the lowest paid, lowest respected doctors in the country.



    Which of these is true?
  2. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    b


    go DO before you become a caribbeaner.
  3. zwitterion34

    zwitterion34 .4520000000000000k Member

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  4. Hemorrage

    Hemorrage 117

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    US MD > US DO > Caribbean

    That said, there are plenty of successful american physicians who went to the caribbean.
  5. notbobtrustme

    notbobtrustme Crux Terminatus

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    Carribbean is going to **** people over in the next 5 years as the number of residency spots will be matched by the number of US MD/DOs leaving little to no room for IMGs.
  6. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    I'd modify that to read: US MD > US DO >>>>> Caribbean.
  7. Kaushik

    Kaushik I'm on a horse. Moderator Emeritus

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    Most likely yes.
  8. Shalashaska

    Shalashaska

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    I think if you are pondering going to the Caribbean right now, then now is the time to go. I think that when people start going there after the next 2 years, life will become much more difficult getting back to the United States and practicing. That being said, the future is unpredictable. I know several Caribbean grads who are successful physicians in America.

    People bash the Caribbean because of what they hear from other people. However, the Caribbean isn't going to be the most viable option in the next few years, so once again, if you want, go now or keep applying in the US if you want to practice here.

    SGU and Ross are two good schools down there.
  9. blizzah

    blizzah

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    There STILL aren't stats on the MONSTROUS attrition rates bandied about for the Caribbean.

    A is more true than B, but it lies somewhere in the middle.


    I am not suggesting anyone go to the Caribbean, but you look at the match lists for SGU and Ross and there are a ton of primary care (and some surgery, anes, etc.) matches into the US. Therefore, it isn't like you are throwing your life away going to the Caribbean since clearly, over a thousand students from the more respected Caribbean schools match every year.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  10. druggeek

    druggeek

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    Attrition + people not matched + number of lower/mid tier schools success rates = carribean gives you a poor chance overall.
  11. At0mic

    At0mic lurking > posting

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    Probably closer to B. While I do know of a couple successful physicians who went to Caribbean schools, going DO is a safer bet.
  12. todds

    todds Member

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    At this point, I would say going to Caribbean is a very bad idea. Perhaps this was few years back it would be a different story. Even though this is unpopular, i would hesitant and brand new DO as well as brand new MD schools as well.

    I would go to a well established DO or an MD school thats not completely brand new. Things may change in the future, but you don't want to be in 200K debt and not have a residency to complete.
  13. druggeek

    druggeek

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    There was a news story of some random dude who got fired from somewhere (for faking his credentials) setting up a med school in St Kitts (2004-2007 I believe). The dude would run his own anatomy labs and toss pieces of the cadavers into the garbage bin (lolwut). Turns out he faked his MD and didnt even finish med school at some random unknown place. He pretty much ran away and the school obviously shut down, no one graduated (no sh*t).

    Imagine paying 40-50k in tuition to that place, wasting 2-3 years... and getting nothing in return at all except a middle finger (at best).
  14. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict

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    With a decent balance, it wouldn't ruin your life that much, cause remember doctors still end up being humans at the end, not soulless life saving zombies :eek:
  15. HoltMD

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  16. robertch8

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    I think the days of going to the Caribbean and getting a good residency are pretty much over, but there are plenty of FM spots in the middle of nowhere that I'm sure will be available for years to come.
  17. nysegop

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  18. whatbout2morrow

    whatbout2morrow My brother's keeper Bronze Donor

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    No, internal medicine.
  19. KobeshouldbeaMD

    KobeshouldbeaMD

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    1. Yes, It has a higher chance of ruining your career because some of them close down or lose accreditation, and they aren't well respected in terms of residency placement.
    2. Some people get into competitive specialties, some don't.. The majority of the people who graduate, mind you a lot of people drop out or get expelled, will not land super competitive specialties.
    3. You will not be "lowest" paid.. That makes no sense. You will get paid like anyone else, you just have to make it thought residency and graduate.
    4. You might get some disrespect from people, but you probably won't. I don't think other physicians care about alma mater, I think they'd care about how well you do your job.
  20. Finches

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Theresa's_Medical_University_(St._Kitts)

    News story: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_486515.html
  21. Sophocles

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    PR is not really Carribean:thumbup:
  22. nysegop

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    I feel sorry for the graduates from that school. They just wasted a ton of money and time only to find out they can't be licensed physicians in many states.
  23. druggeek

    druggeek

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    maybe current 30 something year old and older attendings dont care but im sure with all the carribean talk... other attendings (people currently in med school/pre meds, as they become attendings) could make fun of a carribean guy behind the scenes.
    well... i dont know if I feel sorry for them.
    Would you feel someone for someone giving their bank account info. to some dude who emailed him from nigeria saying someone died and they now inherited a certain amount of money? :laugh:

    People need to do IN DEPTH research on a situation before handing over thousands of dollars... this goes for anything. Instead, many people will just read some website and be convinced. Like some dude talking to me just yesterday:

    "ya man im going to x (insert name of low-tier med school) school in the carribean, i think it's better man i dont know to do a 4 year degree then do another 4 years, im gonna save mad time and their website says it's accredited so ill be a doctor in Canada right away" (he's taken a year off from high school, had a low 60s average in high school, and doesnt know what residency is)
  24. nysegop

    nysegop

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    Yeah, but the students obviously thought that it was an up-and-coming school created by a registered doctor. Maybe they thought as the school gained popularity it would become more prestigious. I'm sure they had their reasons.
  25. theWUbear

    theWUbear MS0

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    Macho07 beat me to it, but i'll say it anyway: looks like we have another geography major; Puerto Rico is part of the united states OP :thumbdown:thumbdown:thumbdown:
  26. JCTWP46

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    Although I doubt pediatric residencies are too competitive, I was surprised to see the medical schools attended by the peds residents at my local hospital. Of 24 residents, 7 went to medical school in the Caribbean, 3 in India, 1 in Australia, 1 in the Netherlands, and 4 are DO. Along with 5 from our state school, 1 from U of Illinois, 1 from U of Texas, and 1 from UNC. Just thought I'd share :)
  27. nysegop

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    I suggest you guys do a little bit of research into geography. Even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, it is still part of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is an ocean. There are islands within that ocean. Puerto Rico happens to be in that ocean. Seriously, this is sixth grade geography. I can't believe we're having a debate about this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_islands_in_the_Caribbean
    http://travel.answers.wikia.com/wiki/Is_Puerto_Rico_part_of_the_Caribbean
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribbean
    http://www.spanishcourses.info/countries/puerto-rico-info-172-en.htm
  28. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels Moderator

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    I think people are mostly speaking in terms of the fact that PR medical schools are considered US medical schools, not carrib FMG schools like Ross, SGU, etc.
  29. AlexMorph

    AlexMorph

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    Just don't do it, don't go to the Caribbean...it's not worth it.
  30. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    The point isn't where it is located. The point is PR schools are fully recognized and accredited medical schools in the same category as other US med schools. Graduating from a PR school will make you an US med grad, graduating from a true Caribbean med school will make you a FMG. World of difference regarding residency matching.

    And by the way, the Caribbean is a sea, not an ocean, per sixth grade geography. Couldn't resist.
  31. lunt

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  32. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    I have a co-worker who left last week to start at Ross. She's paying about $20K to get a head start on topics that will be covered during the first semester. Ross claimed that students who participate in this prep course have far greater success passing Step 1 than those who don't. When she told me all this, I had to shake my head.

    OP, don't go to a for-profit, offshore medical school. They don't have your best interests in mind. If you're accepted to a US allopathic or osteopathic medical school, you can feel fairly assured that you'll pass your boards and graduate. Adcoms do their best to admit only students they believe will succeed. The same can't be said for adcoms at Caribbean medical schools.
  33. nysegop

    nysegop

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    I'm sorry, this is probably a really stupid question, but what is the difference between "step 1" and "step 2"? Do all schools have these "steps"?
  34. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    Steps are licensing exams: USMLE Step 1, Step 2CS, Step 2CK, Step 3. Step 1 is taken in the third year of medical school, I believe. If you do poorly on Step I, your chances of getting a competitive residency go down the drain. It's probably the most important exam a medical student will ever take.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  35. nysegop

    nysegop

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    I still don't get it. So if you don't pass step 1 then you take step 2? and then step 3?
  36. druggeek

    druggeek

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    No. Every exam is taken and must be passed to obtain your license. Step 1 is crucial in residency matching (and often getting a spot will need a solid score vs. a barely passing score, while getting a competitive residency spot will need a top notch score..) and is highly emphasized everywhere.

    Some carribean schools wont even let you take step 1 until you can prove you're ready... and most people there get like 6 months to study vs. 5 weeks in the US...
  37. nysegop

    nysegop

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    Ohh I see. So people's residency could potentially change if they got a lower or higher score on step 2?
  38. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    Step 2 is taken during your 4th year, so yes it does factor into the residency decision.
  39. nysegop

    nysegop

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    What is the purpose of step 3? Does it affect your residency? How come on the Puerto Rico school it had a step 1 residency and a step 2 residency?
  40. druggeek

    druggeek

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    Either you're trolling to some extent or you just need to do basic research.
  41. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    I could see that dru, but he might have just started his pre-med program. And for nysegop:
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=USMLE
  42. RickTaylor

    RickTaylor

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    A few people got into anesthesiology. That's pretty good, right?
  43. nysegop

    nysegop

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    I am no troll, but thanks for the help you gave me.
  44. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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    Anesthesiology has been a low competitive specialty these past few years.
  45. KnuxNole

    KnuxNole Sweets Addict

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    I wouldn't say it's trolling, a lot of pre-meds don't know what the Steps are. I was talking about Step 1 with a pre-med last year and they were shocked about all the standardized tests you take in med school.
  46. yellowbird12

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    .
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  47. yellowbird12

    yellowbird12

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    So it seems like its been tough for you lately..?
  48. tenndoc

    tenndoc bringer of sarcasm

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  49. Disinence2

    Disinence2 Emergency Medicine

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  50. Whiskeypunch

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    Caribbean schools used to be an option, 4-5 years from now when you are matching it'll be a nightmare.

    There has been a shortage of spots in US medical schools for a long time, and there was a significant gap between the number of AMG's vs. the number of residency slots. That gap is closing dramatically as DO schools grow at a 300% rate/10 yrs and MD schools grow at a 15-20% rate over 5 years.

    These offshore schools are going to collapse. The smart investors sold their Caribbean schools to DeVry and have started for profit DO/MD schools in the U.S. (1 for profit DO school built, 1 in the works and 2 for profit MD schools in the works).
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

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