A couple of things I don't understand about the Caribbean medical schools?

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doctor in da makin

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Some backstory: My parents really, really want me to go to the Caribbean this summer for medical school. I took a gap year this cycle and still didn't get in, which makes them feel like I'm "wasting time." They probably have gotten in my head, as I'm here asking this question now. With DO schools axing grade replacement, I am stuck with my measly 3.2 GPA. I could retake the MCAT, but how good is a 3.2/508 really? Honestly, I don't think my MCAT could even improve by that much anyway. Even with an SMP, there is no guarantee that I could do well enough and improve my MCAT enough to go to a US school. More "time (and maybe money) wasted."

1. My parents boast about how Ross claims to have a 99% match rate on their website. I tried to tell them that the graduates don't get their first choice over there, about the merger, prelim spots, and the attrition rate. All they tell me is that no matter where I go to school, I'll have to work hard anyway. SDN says that US schools want their students to succeed, but schools like SGU just want your money. Don't they both have more or less the same dismissal policies though?

2. There is a NY Times article from 2014 that says: "...John R. Boulet, a co-author of both studies and a researcher at the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, said that more than 90 percent of American graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the requisite tests find a residency position. “Through persistence they eventually get in,” he said." Is this a bunch of BS or what?

3. From the same article: "Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions." To what extent is this true?

4. In regards to the merger, many of the Adcoms here on SDN have admitted that they really don't know for sure how the merger will affect medical graduates yet. Then is it 100% sure that IMGs will get screwed over by the merger?

Final words: I have been shadowing a podiatrist since last week (secretly) in light of being pressured to go to the Caribbean. I had a cousin who did the same thing a few years back and he loves podiatry. I just want to be able to shut the door on my parent's obsession with the Caribbean before breaking the news to them.

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Not a professional here, but I feel like a 3.2/508 can be competitive for some DO schools especially if you have an upward trend of some sort. The general consensus is to avoid the Caribbean at all costs.


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From what I understand many Carib schools accept more students than they have clinical rotations for in third year. So they weed people out in the first two years and don't let people take Step 1 or do clinical rotations. Whether the wording of the policies of dismissal is the same, more or less, I don't know; but the practice and implementation is far different. US MD and DO schools want their students to succeed. You do get a chance to do your rotations places where you could make connections, I suppose, but that likely hardly overcomes the bias that most other residencies may have against Carib grads. If those programs don't rank you highly then you're not left with great choices otherwise. I don't know much about the merger, but I doubt anything coming down the line will be good for Carib schools.
 
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Some backstory: My parents really, really want me to go to the Caribbean this summer for medical school.

please show your parents the following threads. they should learn and understand why the Caribbean route is a terrible idea, and that they are doing you a major disservice by forcing you to apply there.

gonnif's Analysis of the Caribbean Route (read this carefully and in detail to know why going to the Caribbean is a very bad idea)
WedgeDawg's Argument Against Going to Medical School in the Caribbean
Caribbean Cycle Theory

EDIT: also, not to be rude, but you should decide your own life and your future since you are an adult. be independent, make your own decisions. take out loans to finance your education so that you don't have to depend on your parents. @Goro nicely said the following:

Goro said:
OP, you're an adult now. You're able to vote drink, drive, smoke, work, pay taxes, and fight and die for your country. You're therefore old enough to grow a spine and tell your parents that your career is yours, not theirs, to determine..
 
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Some backstory: My parents really, really want me to go to the Caribbean this summer for medical school. I took a gap year this cycle and still didn't get in, which makes them feel like I'm "wasting time." They probably have gotten in my head, as I'm here asking this question now. With DO schools axing grade replacement, I am stuck with my measly 3.2 GPA. I could retake the MCAT, but how good is a 3.2/508 really? Honestly, I don't think my MCAT could even improve by that much anyway. Even with an SMP, there is no guarantee that I could do well enough and improve my MCAT enough to go to a US school. More "time (and maybe money) wasted."


"My parents"

That is your problem. Family support is important, but they aren't going to be there for you when you're up until 4am studying for an anatomy exam in the morning, or when you're on your EM rotation and the patient starts to crash, or when you're on your residency interviews and you're asked a quick response pressure question.
You're a big boy/girl now, so it's time to make your own decisions. Advice on SDN is pretty straight forward MD>DO>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Caribbean
 
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A 508 is my absolute best case scenario. A 503 is probably my realistic shot. I still don't feel that is good enough.

Ill wait for any of the Adcoms to jump in, but I really would like you all to address the specific questions and concerns I have.

I have seen some claims about why the Carribean schools are bad (and I agree with them). I just want to dig a little deeper as to why.
 
Podiatry is great. I have a bunion that will need surgery about the time you are licensed to perform it.

Sounds great lol.

I just want to shut my parents up about the Carribean first. Having a good explanation for those 4 concerns I posted will do that. Do you have any thoughts on them?
 
I have seen some claims about why the Carribean schools are bad (and I agree with them). I just want to dig a little deeper as to why.

the threads i linked answer in detail as to why Caribbean is a bad idea. your parents should see them and take the time to really understand before making hasty and rash decisions.
 
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I mean, it's not bad. Have you given DO a shot with those stats?

I said that would be my best case scenario if I retook the MCAT. I had a 498. Applied to DO schools. I guess I shouldnt have been too surprised when I didn't get any IIs but it still hurt
 
the threads i linked answer in detail as to why Caribbean is a bad idea. your parents should see them and take the time to really understand before making hasty and rash decisions.

I believe the merger has been discussed alot, but I would like these specific questions addressed please.
 
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I said that would be my best case scenario if I retook the MCAT. I had a 498. Applied to DO schools. I guess I shouldnt have been too surprised when I didn't get any IIs but it still hurt
I could retake the MCAT, but how good is a 3.2/508 really?

that's a bit misleading since your original post implies you already took the MCAT once and got a 508. the 498 on first attempt is important information that shouldn't have been left out, since it changes things.

498 to 503 would probably be okay for DO schools. but many DO schools average multiple scores. getting a 508 in absolute best attempt may mean an average of 503, which would be okay.
 
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There's a girl I know that went to the Caribbean, think she finished her 3rd year, idk what happened, but she works with me as a medical scribe now
 
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I believe the merger has been discussed alot, but I would like these specific questions addressed please.

So the reason why I kept referencing those threads I linked is that they answer your specific questions pretty thoroughly. But that's fine, I'll try to answer them, and will defer to @mimelim @aProgDirector @gyngyn @Med Ed @gonnif for clarification, verification, elaboration etc. since they have far better and much more comprehensive knowledge regarding the merger and residency admissions workflows.

1. My parents boast about how Ross claims to have a 99% match rate on their website. I tried to tell them that the graduates don't get their first choice over there, about the merger, prelim spots, and the attrition rate. All they tell me is that no matter where I go to school, I'll have to work hard anyway. SDN says that US schools want their students to succeed, but schools like SGU just want your money. Don't they both have more or less the same dismissal policies though?

Caribbean schools are profit driven. US medical schools are education driven. I don't know what Caribbean dismissal policies are but in order for the business strategy to work, they have to fail a large fraction of the class. This can be done in various ways such as difficult qualifying exams the students have to take before they can sign up for Steps and/or do rotations in US.

US medical schools have to make sure their students succeed since if a large fraction of students fail out, the schools will get slammed by the regulatory bodies and be shut down. No such regulation applies for Caribbean schools since they are outside the US oversight. The few students who drop out are due to severe personal cases or academic dishonesty. That's a rarity and schools do best to avert that.

2. There is a NY Times article from 2014 that says: "...John R. Boulet, a co-author of both studies and a researcher at the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, said that more than 90 percent of American graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the requisite tests find a residency position. “Through persistence they eventually get in,” he said." Is this a bunch of BS or what?

He is dramatically oversimplifying the difficulty in the Caribbean route. Just persistence is not enough. Excelling in the boards and clinical rotations, as well as establishing very strong connections at US sites are required. Luck also becomes important. Many Caribbean students are doing their best to succeed in matching back in the US but only a few succeed in doing so.

3. From the same article: "Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions." To what extent is this true?

How would the study authors know that residency directors might favor these Caribbean students just because they rotated there? Did the study authors contact the residency directors for their evaluation criteria and reported based on that? Seems like a baseless speculation on their part.

4. In regards to the merger, many of the Adcoms here on SDN have admitted that they really don't know for sure how the merger will affect medical graduates yet. Then is it 100% sure that IMGs will get screwed over by the merger?

I think regardless of the merger, residency directors give first priority to US MS4s and strong FMGs (internationals who graduated from medical school abroad). US IMGs from Caribbean schools are in the bottom of the pack and get the last (if any) priority (because of questions on their judgment for going to Caribbean in the first place). The merger if anything further emphasizes the differences in priorities, so the US MDs and strong FMGs benefit the most followed by US DOs and much later by US IMGs.
 
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Some backstory: My parents really, really want me to go to the Caribbean this summer for medical school. I took a gap year this cycle and still didn't get in, which makes them feel like I'm "wasting time." They probably have gotten in my head, as I'm here asking this question now. With DO schools axing grade replacement, I am stuck with my measly 3.2 GPA. I could retake the MCAT, but how good is a 3.2/508 really? Honestly, I don't think my MCAT could even improve by that much anyway. Even with an SMP, there is no guarantee that I could do well enough and improve my MCAT enough to go to a US school. More "time (and maybe money) wasted."

1. My parents boast about how Ross claims to have a 99% match rate on their website. I tried to tell them that the graduates don't get their first choice over there, about the merger, prelim spots, and the attrition rate. All they tell me is that no matter where I go to school, I'll have to work hard anyway. SDN says that US schools want their students to succeed, but schools like SGU just want your money. Don't they both have more or less the same dismissal policies though?

2. There is a NY Times article from 2014 that says: "...John R. Boulet, a co-author of both studies and a researcher at the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, said that more than 90 percent of American graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the requisite tests find a residency position. “Through persistence they eventually get in,” he said." Is this a bunch of BS or what?

3. From the same article: "Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions." To what extent is this true?

4. In regards to the merger, many of the Adcoms here on SDN have admitted that they really don't know for sure how the merger will affect medical graduates yet. Then is it 100% sure that IMGs will get screwed over by the merger?

Final words: I have been shadowing a podiatrist since last week (secretly) in light of being pressured to go to the Caribbean. I had a cousin who did the same thing a few years back and he loves podiatry. I just want to be able to shut the door on my parent's obsession with the Caribbean before breaking the news to them.

I don't know why you think a SMP is out of the question. They exist for people in your exact situation (low gpa). They allow you to prove yourself academically in a structure similar (albeit watered down) to that of medical school. If you haven't applied DO yet with those stats I highly suggest you look into a year long SMP (Univ. of South Florida, Miss. College, Drexel, etc.). Also, since your parents are so hard up on the Caribbean, give them the number to a travel agent so they can go and get it out of their system. This is your career, not theirs.
 
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Got a cousin, went 2 years into Caribbean medical school and dropped out. Now he has a 200k debt with his parents trying to help him pay it off (since you need a guarantor for student loans).
For you and your parents' sake, avoid the Caribbeans at all cost. Whether that's taking another year or DO school.
 
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Got a cousin, went 2 years into Caribbean medical school and dropped out. Now he has a 200k debt with his parents trying to help him pay it off (since you need a guarantor for student loans).
For you and your parents' sake, avoid the Caribbeans at all cost. Whether that's taking another year or DO school.

It all depends on how you feel about it. I know students that would rather have an MD from a caribbean school, than a DO degree from a US school. If you are smart, compassionate, have good social skills and work your ass off, you will be a good physician. The harsh reality is that a lot of people feel that if you have a DO degree is because you could not get into an allopathic school.....and if you went to the caribbean is because you could not get into a DO school.

If you can be above that, just take the opportunity that works the best for you.
 
Like most complicated issues, there isn't a clear answer whether the Carib is a good or bad idea. There are lots of threads here on SDN explaining why it is bad: a relatively high fail out rate, limited specialty options, increased difficulty in getting a residency position. There are other sources that tell you it's all fine: 90+% match rates, lots of grads have completed residency and are practicing, education is the same as in the US. The real answer is somewhere between those two extremes.

1. My parents boast about how Ross claims to have a 99% match rate on their website. I tried to tell them that the graduates don't get their first choice over there, about the merger, prelim spots, and the attrition rate. All they tell me is that no matter where I go to school, I'll have to work hard anyway. SDN says that US schools want their students to succeed, but schools like SGU just want your money. Don't they both have more or less the same dismissal policies though?

Ross and SGU advertise that their match rates are very high. The problem is getting everyone to agree on what the number actually represents. First, some sizable proportion of students at SGU and Ross fail out in the first two years. Exactly how big that number is isn't clear, but a reasonable estimate is 25%. You can fail out of these schools if you fail enough courses, if you can't pass the COMP exam which is required to sit for Step 1, or if you can't pass Step 1. Once you make it past that hurdle, you're very likely to graduate. The second issue is what's considered "a match", these schools almost certainly include prelim-only matches as a "success". Are they? Maybe, because maybe most of those people end up with some further training. Or maybe not, we don't really know. They also consider anyone who matches within 5 years to be a success -- I don't know if you'd consider graduating from medical school and then 4 unsuccessful match rounds followed by a match into something as a "success".

So, more realistically, these school's "match rate" using "total 1st year matriculation" as a denominator and "Categorical/Advanced matches leading to certification in the first year of the match" as a numerator is probably more like 60%, perhaps less. And this is where SDN experts will diverge. Some will look at 60% and say "That's a reasonable shot, I think it's totally worth it, and my success only depends on my performance". Others will say "Only a fool would gamble crazy tuition knowing that they had a 40% chance of catastrophe"

Although US and Carib schools may have similar dismissal policies, the difference is culture. In the US, someone failing out of school is seen as a failure of that school -- a failure to see that this person wouldn't be able to handle the workload, or a failure of the school's support system to help, etc. In the Carib, it's seen as normal operating procedure -- that in taking weaker students some will succeed and some will not, and that they are giving people a chance to prove they can succeed, and failure is expected.

2. There is a NY Times article from 2014 that says: "...John R. Boulet, a co-author of both studies and a researcher at the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, said that more than 90 percent of American graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the requisite tests find a residency position. “Through persistence they eventually get in,” he said." Is this a bunch of BS or what?

This is probably true, but don't underestimate how miserable it is to not match, the costs of repeated application cycles, etc. Also, this statement is somewhat self serving -- those that give up and no longer look for spots are probably no longer measured.

3. From the same article: "Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions." To what extent is this true?

There may be some truth to this. Ross/StG/AUC have definitely started paying hospitals to take their students. This allows students to rotate in those programs, and gives programs an "extended interview" to know whom they want. So perhaps it gives students a better shot at those programs. However, these are usually not the greatest quality programs out there, and remember that if having your school rotate at a program gives you a better shot there, it will give you a worse shot at the program which rotates the other students for the same reason.

4. In regards to the merger, many of the Adcoms here on SDN have admitted that they really don't know for sure how the merger will affect medical graduates yet. Then is it 100% sure that IMGs will get screwed over by the merger?

Who knows? The question is whether DO/AOA programs will continue to favor DO students after the match, or whether they will open their doors to US grads. Most likely I expect no change, or very slow change (which isn't worth worrying about). Interestingly, one possibility is that IMG's do better -- that they are allowed to take some sort of extra OMM training (and if I was running one of these carib schools, I'd build that right into my curric) and then apply for these spots that used to be DO only, displacing the lower performing DO students. But there's too many unknowns to predict.

----

So:

1. The carib is not a dead end option, although a good proportion of students who start down that road ultimately get derailed, yet still stuck with all of the debt.
2. You do need to be realistic about your options in the Carib. You will not be an orthopedic surgeon, nor a neurosurgeon. Sure, someone has done it in the past. But it won't be you.
3. You need to make sure that you really want to be a physician. If you do this, it needs 150% of your attention and effort. The volume and pace of material is much more intense than you've been exposed to in college. Although everyone's path is different, I studied every night on weeknights, and one full day every weekend, during my M1 and M2 years. And unlike college courses, everything builds upon what came before -- you need to learn it and remember it.
4. Remember that with each "cut", you're competing with a smaller group of "smarter" people. You got a 498 on the MCAT, which is below the 50th percentile (which is 500, I think?). When you take the USMLE, your score will be compared with all the US grads with (usually) higher MCAT's. Everyone says that with more studying they can bump their score higher -- but don't forget that everyone else taking the exam is also studying more.

I have to be honest, I worry that you don't want this badly enough. You took the MCAT and got a 498. You've applied 2 cycles. Yet you didn't take the MCAT again. And, perhaps more telling, you took the MCAT the first time and didn't give it your best shot.

Bottom line: The carib is clearly a workable option. There are many people on SDN who went to the carib and have great careers in a field they love. But it is a long, hard road. Getting in is the "easy" part. Everything gets harder from there, be sure you're ready for that if you choose this path.
 
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Podiatry is great. I have a bunion that will need surgery about the time you are licensed to perform it.

He's been over to our forum and has been asking the right questions.

We all encouraged him to give DO a second reapplication and to go no where near Caribb.

That being said if he chose to go podiatry, the programs would love to have someone with his stats.
 
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It all depends on how you feel about it. I know students that would rather have an MD from a caribbean school, than a DO degree from a US school. If you are smart, compassionate, have good social skills and work your ass off, you will be a good physician. The harsh reality is that a lot of people feel that if you have a DO degree is because you could not get into an allopathic school.....and if you went to the caribbean is because you could not get into a DO school.

If you can be above that, just take the opportunity that works the best for you.
I agree. As long as you work for it, you can be anything. I don't understand why so many view DO degrees as a negative, their are plenty of great physicians that came from DO schools. However, I find that a lot of students go into the Carribeans with the idea of it being a "shortcut" to a MD degree rather than them not being able to go DO, a lot of them find out that that is not the case...

Instead of this "shortcut", there are plenty of other ways to get into a US MD school, like retaking the MCAT or a post-bac. Everyone has heard at least one legendary tale of a student with a GPA below 3.0 and is constantly being told to quit. However, he preserves and study his ass off, getting a 520+ MCAT score and got into med school. If OP TRULY wishes to get into a MD school, then he needs to work for it. Heck, for all we know, his story may be passed down on the SDN forum history.
 
There's a girl I know that went to the Caribbean, think she finished her 3rd year, idk what happened, but she works with me as a medical scribe now
So the system works. She got two years of medical school. Isn't that what those Caribbean schools offer? I was under the impression that years three and four were bonus years for only the best and wealthiest students?
 
He's been over to our forum and has been asking the right questions.

We all encouraged him to give DO a second reapplication and to go no where near Caribb.

That being said if he chose to go podiatry, the programs would love to have someone with his stats.

It would be nice to feel wanted. I just want to be sure that I'm not making any rash decisions.
 
So the reason why I kept referencing those threads I linked is that they answer your specific questions pretty thoroughly. But that's fine, I'll try to answer them, and will defer to @mimelim @aProgDirector @gyngyn @Med Ed @gonnif for clarification, verification, elaboration etc. since they have far better and much more comprehensive knowledge regarding the merger and residency admissions workflows.



Caribbean schools are profit driven. US medical schools are education driven. I don't know what Caribbean dismissal policies are but in order for the business strategy to work, they have to fail a large fraction of the class. This can be done in various ways such as difficult qualifying exams the students have to take before they can sign up for Steps and/or do rotations in US.

I have seen this on SDN alot, but I don't remember seeing any hard data on it (I could be wrong!)

Crazy scenario here: what would happen if almost all students at SGU happened to pass the first 2 years and made it to the rotation stage? What if more students passed than they expected?
 
I have seen this on SDN alot, but I don't remember seeing any hard data on it (I could be wrong!)

Crazy scenario here: what would happen if almost all students at SGU happened to pass the first 2 years and made it to the rotation stage? What if more students passed than they expected?

They literally don't have enough rotation spots to accommodate everyone who matriculates. This scenario wouldn't happen because they would find reasons to fail enough people that this wouldn't happen. Or they would just make people wait a year. They intentionally accept people with low stats because they know the chances of them failing are very high. The people who make it out of the Carib tend to actually have decent numbers to begin with.
 
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I have seen this on SDN alot, but I don't remember seeing any hard data on it (I could be wrong!)

Crazy scenario here: what would happen if almost all students at SGU happened to pass the first 2 years and made it to the rotation stage? What if more students passed than they expected?
The stats I've seen posted here say that Ross generally accepts twice as many students than rotation spots. This means even if every student excels and deserves a spot, only half will get them. I don't think Ross expels students, I think they just make them retake their second year. The match odds for residency positions are roughly 90% from Ross. Caribbean schools are a gamble. You are betting that by year two, you will have better scores than half of your classmates. I think students who make it to their third year are set as long as they are willing to settle for primary care or a less competitive field like IM or Psychiatry. I imagine the top 10-20% of graduates can snag residency positions in more competitive areas.

The problem with this is it a huge life changing gamble. It's basically a 50% chance of becoming a physician and a 50% chance of failing out and dragging 6 figure student loan debt around for the majority of your life (student loan debt in most cases can not be discharged in bankruptcy. It will follow you until you pay it off). I don't think those schools deserve as much hate as they get here though. If someone wants that physician license bad enough and those Caribbean schools are their only shot, a 50-50 chance might be worth it to them.

I would really try your best for a DO school, as long as you don't quit, an acceptance to a DO school is basically a guaranteed physicians lisence down the road. You just need some work on your MCAT and DO should be within reach if you apply to 20-25 schools.
 
@doctor in da makin You didn't gain enough information after the first three threads? Also if the 508 score is hypothetical, then why not put a hypothetical for your stats at 3.2/528? If your parents believe that the Caribbean will make you a doctor, then they must also believe you have the potential to ace the medical college admissions test. Maybe MD/PhD options are awaiting you just around the palm trees.
 
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So he said a year ago he would retake the MCAT and shoot for a 503 and apply DO in September. I guess he never did retake? Is that right? Sounds like another case of magical thinking-if you wish for it to happen it will magically happen. Thanks @FCMike11 for link. It seems absolutely nothing has changed in the last several months.


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Some backstory: My parents really, really want me to go to the Caribbean this summer for medical school. I took a gap year this cycle and still didn't get in, which makes them feel like I'm "wasting time." They probably have gotten in my head, as I'm here asking this question now. With DO schools axing grade replacement, I am stuck with my measly 3.2 GPA. I could retake the MCAT, but how good is a 3.2/508 really? Honestly, I don't think my MCAT could even improve by that much anyway. Even with an SMP, there is no guarantee that I could do well enough and improve my MCAT enough to go to a US school. More "time (and maybe money) wasted."

1. My parents boast about how Ross claims to have a 99% match rate on their website. I tried to tell them that the graduates don't get their first choice over there, about the merger, prelim spots, and the attrition rate. All they tell me is that no matter where I go to school, I'll have to work hard anyway. SDN says that US schools want their students to succeed, but schools like SGU just want your money. Don't they both have more or less the same dismissal policies though?

2. There is a NY Times article from 2014 that says: "...John R. Boulet, a co-author of both studies and a researcher at the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, said that more than 90 percent of American graduates of foreign medical schools who have passed the requisite tests find a residency position. “Through persistence they eventually get in,” he said." Is this a bunch of BS or what?

3. From the same article: "Like St. George’s, Ross and American University have leveraged residencies by paying hospitals to accept their students for clinical clerkships in their third and fourth years of medical school. Those students get to know the residency directors, who may then favor them for residency positions." To what extent is this true?

4. In regards to the merger, many of the Adcoms here on SDN have admitted that they really don't know for sure how the merger will affect medical graduates yet. Then is it 100% sure that IMGs will get screwed over by the merger?

Final words: I have been shadowing a podiatrist since last week (secretly) in light of being pressured to go to the Caribbean. I had a cousin who did the same thing a few years back and he loves podiatry. I just want to be able to shut the door on my parent's obsession with the Caribbean before breaking the news to them.
I am going to try to say this as gingerly as I can..

What is wrong with standing up to your parents? Are you going to school for them? If you know going to carib is risky, don't go. My parents tried doing the same thing..talking me into carib. For months. They simply do not know what they're talking about. Yes, plenty of People go to the carib and work as physicians in the US. But that number is embarrassingly small compared to those who started. If any US med school had a 40% attrition rate, they'd be shut down. A US med school with even a 8% attrition rate would have eyebrows raised.

You know the facts. And you know You don't want to be there. Don't get desperate. At some point you need to start respectfully countering your parents' "alternative facts."
 
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OK, since you ignored everyone's advice, have you asked your parents if they'll pay off your debt after you fail out of the Carib. Because you're the gullible mark they prey upon.

Understand this:
The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

http://www.tameersiddiqui.com/medical-school-at-sgu

https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/hurricane-warning-from-carribean-schools.1235887/

Cue for the Carib Lotto winners to come in, sputtering about NRMP.
 
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OK, since you ignored everyone's advice, have you asked your parents if they'll pay off your debt after you fail out of the Carib. Because you're the gullible mark they prey upon.

Understand this:
The point here isn't that there are successful Carib grads. The point is how many additional obstacles to success you face by going to a Carib school.

The pool of US applicants from the Caribbean is viewed differently by Program Directors. The DDx for a Caribbean grad is pretty off-putting: bad judgment, bad advice, egotism, gullibility, overbearing parents, inability to delay gratification, IA's, legal problems, weak research skills, high risk behavior. This is not to say that all of them still have the quality that drew them into this situation. There is just no way to know which ones they are. Some PD's are in a position where they need to, or can afford to take risks too! So, some do get interviews.

Bad grades and scores are the least of the deficits from a PD's standpoint. A strong academic showing in a Caribbean medical school does not erase this stigma. It fact it increases the perception that the reason for the choice was on the above-mentioned list!

Just about everyone from a Caribbean school has one or more of these problems and PDs know it. That's why their grads are the last choice even with a high Step 1 score.

There was a time when folks whose only flaw was being a late bloomer went Carib, but those days are gone. There are a number of spots at US schools with grade replacement for these candidates.

It's likely you'll be in the bottom half or two thirds of the class that gets dismissed before Step 1. The business plan of a Carib school depends on the majority of the class not needing to be supported in clinical rotations. They literally can't place all 250+ of the starting class at clinical sites (educational malpractice, really. If this happened at a US school, they be shut down by LCME or COCA, and sued.

The Carib (and other offshore) schools have very tenuous, very expensive, very controversial relationships with a very small number of US clinical sites. You may think you can just ask to do your clinical rotations at a site near home. Nope. You may think you don't have to worry about this stuff. Wrong.

And let's say you get through med school in the Carib and get what you need out of the various clinical rotation scenarios. Then you are in the match gamble. I don't need to say a word about this - you can find everything you need to know at nrmp.org.

You really need to talk to people who made it through Carib into residency, and hear the story from them. How many people were in their class at the start, how many are in it now? How long did it take to get a residency, and how did they handle the gap year(s) and their student loans? How many residencies did they apply to, how many interviews did they get, and were any of the programs on their match list anything like what they wanted?

A little light reading:

https://milliondollarmistake.wordpress.com/

http://www.tameersiddiqui.com/medical-school-at-sgu

https://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/hurricane-warning-from-carribean-schools.1235887/

Cue for the Carib Lotto winners to come in, sputtering about NRMP.
At this point I think I have this memorized, italics and all
 
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OP - with a 498 you didn't have a real shot this cycle. You also will not be able to survive med school if all you can do is 3.2/498. The MCAT is just a lithmus test for how hard you are willing to work, not how smart you are. Until you can get yourself to hit that 508 then what makes you think you can succeed going to the carrib? The carrib is harder than US med school because US med schools care about you and try their best to help you succeed. If you have a 498 and try to succeed in the carrib you are setting yourself up for failure and you can't expect anyone there to care about you enough to help.

If I were in your shoes I would tell my parents "I would not succeed in the carrib, or any med school until I take care of my study habits and get my act together - I might not even want to be a doctor."Simple as that. Carrib is not a magic recipe for passing everything and getting into residencies. It is a medical school where you have no resources to help you get the finish line and once you are there you have to climb over huge obstacles just for the scraps of the US residency system.
 
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OP - with a 498 you didn't have a real shot this cycle. You also will not be able to survive med school if all you can do is 3.2/498. The MCAT is just a lithmus test for how hard you are willing to work, not how smart you are. Until you can get yourself to hit that 508 then what makes you think you can succeed going to the carrib? The carrib is harder than US med school because US med schools care about you and try their best to help you succeed. If you have a 498 and try to succeed in the carrib you are setting yourself up for failure and you can't expect anyone there to care about you enough to help.

If I were in your shoes I would tell my parents "I would not succeed in the carrib, or any med school until I take care of my study habits and get my act together - I might not even want to be a doctor."Simple as that. Carrib is not a magic recipe for passing everything and getting into residencies. It is a medical school where you have no resources to help you get the finish line and once you are there you have to climb over huge obstacles just for the scraps of the US residency system.
I second this (although I would say GPA is a representation of work ethic and MCAT is a representation of intelligence). Your gpa is within reach with some repair and so is your MCAT. You can get a DO spot if you spend a year working on both. Just a few months of serious MCAT study could easily raise your score to a 505+ and a full year of 3.8+ GPA with science classes could fix your GPA enough to get some interviews. A 3.3 sGPA is not an upward trend. An upward trend should not say "I am an average student" It should say that you are an above average student.

If you had a bachelors of science degree with less than a 2.5 for both cGPA and sGPA I'd say the Caribbean school might be your only option, but with a year of sGPA and MCAT repair, you will be ok for DO if you apply to 20-25 schools. Think of it this way, if you can't do a year of science classes at 3.8gpa and use that time to get a 505 on the MCAT, you would not be able to handle years 1 and 2 at a Caribbean school. You would be their ideal student that makes them money without shelling out anything for rotations. In your case, it's not about not getting into a US school because your stats are too low, its not having the work ethic to pass medical school. Using a year to take upper level science classes and boost your MCAT score will tell you if you can handle med school or not.
 
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Why do I have this strange feeling that he has abandoned this thread and we will see him again in 5 months, asking the same questions with a different profile name...
 
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Why do I have this strange feeling that he has abandoned this thread and we will see him again in 5 months, asking the same questions with a different profile name...

Or literally just the same profile name.
 
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Why do I have this strange feeling that he has abandoned this thread and we will see him again in 5 months, asking the same questions with a different profile name...

/shrug. There has to be a lot of these people. Kids with bad grades and poor study habits and rich, pushy parents are the Carib's business model.
 
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Why do I have this strange feeling that he has abandoned this thread and we will see him again in 5 months, asking the same questions with a different profile name...
Well I'm still here.
If I end up being forced to go to the Caribbean, I'll expose it for what it is. If I take the MCAT again, ace it, and get into a DO school, I'll post that as well.
If I go to a Podiatry school, I'll still be here, just on the pod forum instead.

I am a doctor in da makin. (whether that's a DO, MD, or DPM)
 
Podiatry is great. I have a bunion that will need surgery about the time you are licensed to perform it.
Why not a foot and ankle orthopedist?

It all depends on how you feel about it. I know students that would rather have an MD from a caribbean school, than a DO degree from a US school. If you are smart, compassionate, have good social skills and work your ass off, you will be a good physician. The harsh reality is that a lot of people feel that if you have a DO degree is because you could not get into an allopathic school.....and if you went to the caribbean is because you could not get into a DO school.

If you can be above that, just take the opportunity that works the best for you.
OMG you're alive
 
Well I'm still here.
If I end up being forced to go to the Caribbean, I'll expose it for what it is. If I take the MCAT again, ace it, and get into a DO school, I'll post that as well.
If I go to a Podiatry school, I'll still be here, just on the pod forum instead.

I am a doctor in da makin. (whether that's a DO, MD, or DPM)
Great! When I made my last post, I had seen on your profile that you were last seen at 4 pm yesterday and since none of the posts on Sunday were being addressed, I was for sure you were gone.
Please review the previous post. Also, you shouldn't be "forced" to do anything, you're an adult.
 
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A 508 is my absolute best case scenario. A 503 is probably my realistic shot. I still don't feel that is good enough.

Ill wait for any of the Adcoms to jump in, but I really would like you all to address the specific questions and concerns I have.

I have seen some claims about why the Carribean schools are bad (and I agree with them). I just want to dig a little deeper as to why.
My friend got into two DO schools with a 3.4 and a 498, then 500 and then 502 MCAT.
 
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I'd also like to add that I have worked as a scribe in multiple ERs (one of which is Level 1 trauma, another is an amazing academic hospital) for two years now. Almost half the ED docs I work with are DOs. Many of my favorite docs (nicest to all staff members, most thorough work-ups and best bedside manners) are DOs. Many of the people that we consult (ortho, pulm, hospitalist, surge, ect) are DOs. Sure it might not be half and half MD vs DO in some of these specialties, but there is by no means 100% MD in any specialty. Going to a good DO school and working hard while there can totally get you into a great residency in a field you'll love. I also work with one doc who went to a Caribbean school. She is a peds ED doc so she obviously made it out of the Caribbean route successfully. I know this is all anecdotal "evidence" but I figured I'd mention it. If you really don't want to go to DO school, then I suggest drop your spot and give it to somebody who does (just as multiple people on this thread have suggested). But definitely don't be too quick to brush DO aside because you can 100% get an amazing education and become and amazing doctor by attending DO school.
 
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